How to Restore a Colonial-Era Beehive Oven | Ask This Old House

From This Old House.

Ask This Old House mason Mark McCullough explains the history and function of colonial-era beehive ovens and then restores one in a house built in 1750.

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Time: 1-2 days

Cost: $3,000

Skill Level: Expert

Tools List for Restoring a Beehive Oven:
Dust collection grinder [https://amzn.to/39UtTek] [https://amzn.to/2QDWNb5]
HEPA vacuum [https://amzn.to/2s9bp8V]
Brick hammer [https://amzn.to/2s8cRIy]
Chisel [https://amzn.to/36G52c7]
Pry bar [https://amzn.to/2s9bPw1]
Pointer [https://amzn.to/306w0XZ]
Trowel [https://amzn.to/36JZKfW]
Sponge [https://amzn.to/39W7lJZ]
Brush [https://amzn.to/36ExNGe]

Shopping List:
Restoration or fire rated brick [https://amzn.to/36FsPJ4]
Type N mortar [https://amzn.to/35BuYUX]

Resources:
Most beehive ovens in the United States are between 200-300 years old, making them pretty fragile. Working on them can be an extremely risky job and should only be tackled by professionals.

To cut into the oven from the side, Mark used a sheetrock knife to remove the horsehair plaster. When disturbing old plaster, it’s important to protect against lead. In this case, Mark used a P100 mask and safety glasses, which can be found at any home center, and a 9 gallon dust extractor HEPA vacuum with automatic cleaning, which is manufactured by Bosch Tools [https://amzn.to/36PKbD6].

Once the horsehair plaster was removed, the rest of the work happened with a variety of masonry hand tools, including a brick hammer and chisels. These can all be found at home centers.

To repair the oven, Mark laid a base of Type N mortar, which is manufactured by Quikrete [https://amzn.to/35BuYUX]. For the replacement bricks, Mark chose Boston City Hall pavers, which are manufactured by the Stiles and Hart Brick Company (https://www.stilesandhart.com/). Normally, he would choose a fire rated brick for an application receiving this much heat, but because it was a restoration project, he felt that these bricks best matched the oven and still had a high heat resistance.

Expert assistance with this segment was provided by Old Sturbridge Village (https://www.osv.org/).

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Keywords:
This Old House, Ask This Old House, DIY, Home Improvement, DIY Ideas, Renovation, Renovation Ideas, How To Fix, How To Install, How To Build, Mark McCullough, masonry, fireplaces, beehive oven, brick, repair

Watch the full episode:
https://www.thisoldhouse.com/watch/beehive-oven-jimmy-diresta-ask-toh

How to Restore a Colonial-Era Beehive Oven | Ask This Old House
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