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

13January 2020


HEPA vacuum []
Brick hammer []
Chisel []
Pry bar []
Pointer []
Trowel []
Sponge []
Brush []

Shopping List:
Restoration or fire rated brick []
Type N mortar []

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 [].

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 []. For the replacement bricks, Mark chose Boston City Hall pavers, which are manufactured by the Stiles and Hart Brick Company ( 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 (

About This Old House TV:
This Old House is the No. 1 multimedia home enthusiast brand, offering trusted information and expert advice through award-winning television, a highly regarded magazine, and an information-driven website. This Old House and Ask This Old House are produced by This Old House Ventures, LLC and are presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.

Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House:

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House:

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:

How to Restore a Colonial-Era Beehive Oven | Ask This Old House” subscribe=”UCUtWNBWbFL9We-cdXkiAuJA”]

See Your Business Here!

For more information on our listings, advertising, coupons, and mailers, please contact us today!