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Lots of questions - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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  • Lots of questions

    I'm new here and have some questions. I have wanted a outdoor brick pizza oven for many years - and I REALLY wanted one after experiencing New York pizza in NY made in a brick oven! I have since made it at home - but on the grill or in the oven. It's just not the same.

    We are going to be building a new home - second time around for this - but this time I want to put in an outdoor brick oven from the start. Does everyone buy the oven 'kit' and build the base/stand themselves and the surround part? Or do you also build the oven yourself by getting the necessary pieces locally? My son's friend's dad has built one himself and its wonderful. However he is an engineer and I'm guessing he's on this forum somewhere! He told me he has recently learned of a relatively local company (driving distance from me) that makes a one piece oven - just the cement part. I guess the smaller one can be moved/lifted by 4 strong men, but the bigger one has to be moved and put in place using a fork lift. This is doable - but just not sure which way to go. Get the one piece unit and buy the rest of the things needed or buy the whole thing from Forno bravo? Shipping alone will be over $700. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Lots of questions

    Half the fun is building the oven. I am proof positive that you do not need to be an engineer. I am a liberal arts major with absolutely no mechanical aptitude. I had never done any masonry work before. In a short three years, I was able to build an oven. I used the Forno Bravo how-to guide along with a lot of time spent at the University of YouTube. I sourced all of my supplies locally. If you have money but not the time, buy the modular oven. Otherwise, enjoy the journey of building your dream oven.

    The end product can be seen here:

    STANDARD PIZZA COMPANY - OUR STORY
    Last edited by tusr18a; 07-08-2013, 03:36 PM. Reason: wanted to add photo

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Lots of questions

      Welcome! you landed in the right place.

      You should get the heavy stuff that you need locally - fire bricks, mortar, concrete, rebar. Go to your local concrete supply shop or landscaping hardscape supplier.

      Mail order the insulation for the floor and oven wrap from our hosts or do some looking around the forum for other sources - or use vermiculite which you can get locally.

      The shipping costs make the cost of buying a a kit ridiculous. I think they should have an "everything but the bricks" kit, but they don't. Seems like a missed business opportunity.

      Careful with pre-cast ovens. Not all of them have a well-tested design. If you are considering one, you might posts links here and ask for comments. There are plenty of knowledgeable folks on the forum
      My build progress
      My WFO Journal on Facebook
      My dome spreadsheet calculator

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Lots of questions

        Hello Lipstick,

        Welcome to the Forum, I would dare say more people build theirs from local materials than from a kit. As for Engineers, I am one but it does not make one a good oven builder. Us Engineers or tech people have a way of over thinking the problem. First, start with downloading the free Pompeli plans available by our Forum host Forno Bravo, second, check out Forno Bravo Treasure archives in the Newbie section by Lburou, and lastly, ask away, for the most part everyone is here to help. Good Luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Lots of questions

          Hello Lipstick

          My experience is similar, no experience with bricks and mortar and I am very happy with my oven. I made it from local materials and that made it quite reasonable, cost wise. For me it was well worth the time and effort and brings me a little happiness each time I walk by it and much more each time I cook in it.

          Enjoy your WFO adventure. There are many good people on this forum who are happy to share the benefit gained from experience.
          Cheers ......... Steve

          Build Thread http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f3/n...erg-19151.html

          Build Pics http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...1&l=1626b3f4f4

          Forno Food Pics https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=1d5ce2a275

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Lots of questions

            Lipstick,

            The oven you refer to, I think is Artesian Ovens. I have seen this design and believe you can build a much better basic oven yourself for less than the $2400+ that they want for their shell, insulation and box, See photo attached.

            Their oven does have one, ( I believe) critical flaw in the design. The flue hole is set to far back into the oven and there is no place for an insulated door to seal, called the reveal. This can be overcome partialy with some creative design of the insulated door and a well designed flue damper.

            It cannot be solved with a standard rotating baffle damper. IMO

            This oven would work well for pizza or high temp grilling/baking but heat retention for bread or other lower temp items would be problematic.

            Fargo is not that far from Minneapolis so if you are planning a trip here at some point, send me a note, I would be glad to show you my oven and discuss yours.

            Good food will come out of the oven on your visit if you give me enough of a heads up.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by mrchipster; 07-09-2013, 05:18 AM.
            Chip

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Lots of questions

              I'll echo the others here that you do not need to be an engineer to build a brick oven; I'd never laid a brick in my life before starting my oven, and it came out fine. A lot of the value of the advice in the free Pompeii oven plans, as well as the many additional tricks and tips to be found on this forum, is that they make it feasible for amateur, weekend-warrior masons like ourselves to successfully build a great oven.

              If you do decide to go for a cast oven, consider one of the modular ovens from our hosts, especially if you'd be paying $700 for delivery from the local guys. I did a quick check in the FB store, and it seems that the shipping would be about the same for, e.g. the 40" Premio, which is a mighty fine looking oven.
              My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Lots of questions

                Ovens are simple things, and if you built a barrel vault, it's even easier. The areas that trip-up new builders the most seems to be the arches and transitions by the oven opening. Plenty of different ways to get the same result too, so take any advice with a grain of salt...compare everything you read and look for consistency. Being that you are in Fargo, I would suggest a full enclosure to keep the weather out!
                Old World Stone & Garden

                Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
                John Ruskin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Lots of questions

                  Originally posted by Bec1208 View Post
                  Just to recap my experience in this:

                  Number of bricks cut: 1 to test used saw from Craig's list.
                  Number of bricks laid: 0
                  Number of ovens built: 0

                  And just to add to the the degree of difficulty, I am trying to do this by myself working from a wheelchair. Hence, I gladly accept all the advice and sharing of experience I can get.
                  Okay, my oven isn't ready to fire yet, but I am getting close. Frankly, if I can do this (given my skill and experience), just about anyone can if they take the time to read through the forno plans and use the resources on this site. So far I have been able to do the build entirely on my own (with the exception of the foundation). I"ll attach a recent pic just because I'm proud of my "baby" and it is this part of the DIY that makes it worthwhile.
                  Attached Files
                  Link to my build here:
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/3...lly-19181.html

                  Check out my pictures here:

                  Selected pictures of the build.

                  https://picasaweb.google.com/1168565...g&noredirect=1





                  sigpic “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.” ― Albert Einstein

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Lots of questions

                    Wow - you are all so helpful with all your information! I can't thank you enough! And all your pictures are awesome!
                    Mrchipster - Minneapolis?! We actually get there quite often! I would love to see your oven! Thank you for the invite! I will be sure to give you a heads up next time we make it down there. Thank you!

                    Rsandler - it's over $700 for shipping a kit from FB - not for a local delivery. So sorry I wasn't clearer in my description.

                    Bec1208 - wow! I'm impressed! That's quite an accomplishment! You did an awesome job - good for you!

                    Tusr18a - amazing oven! I love it and would love if ours will look half as good!

                    Ok now for another question for all of you nid really value your opinion. Have any of you had anything to do with or heard anything about Chicago Brick Oven the best outdoor wood fired brick ovens Thank you all for everything!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Lots of questions

                      Wow - you are all so helpful with all your information! I can't thank you enough! And all your pictures are awesome!
                      Mrchipster - Minneapolis?! We actually get there quite often! I would love to see your oven! Thank you for the invite! I will be sure to give you a heads up next time we make it down there. Thank you!

                      Rsandler - it's over $700 for shipping a kit from FB - not for a local delivery. So sorry I wasn't clearer in my description.

                      Bec1208 - wow! I'm impressed! That's quite an accomplishment! You did an awesome job - good for you!

                      Tusr18a - amazing oven! I love it and would love if ours will look half as good!

                      Ok now for another question for all of you. I really value your opinion. Have any of you had anything to do with or heard anything about Chicago Brick Oven the best outdoor wood fired brick ovens

                      Thank you all for everything!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Lots of questions

                        Originally posted by Lipstick View Post
                        Ok now for another question for all of you nid really value your opinion. Have any of you had anything to do with or heard anything about Chicago Brick Oven the best outdoor wood fired brick ovens Thank you all for everything!
                        that oven looks to have the same issue as the one that Chip referenced. Probably fine for Pizza, but there is no way to mount a door behind the flue, which means heat escapes out the flue that you want to keep for baking after you fire for pizza. I cook three days in my oven after I fire for pizza. Bread the next morning, roast meats the next night, and drying stuff the third day. Oven design like that will be cold the next day.
                        My build progress
                        My WFO Journal on Facebook
                        My dome spreadsheet calculator

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Lots of questions

                          Does everyone have it so the door is behind the flue? On all the pictures I see it appears all of the flues are just behind the door but maybe I'm not understanding something.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Lots of questions

                            Yes, the door is behind the flue on the Pompeii design. The flue is in the entry arch, and the door butts up against the "reveal" on the inner arch. That way the oven can be sealed up without losing all its heat up the flue.

                            Most of the commercial designs don't seem to be built this way - probably costs more to do it, I am not certain. The forno bravo ovens are built this way
                            My build progress
                            My WFO Journal on Facebook
                            My dome spreadsheet calculator

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Lots of questions

                              Originally posted by Lipstick View Post
                              Does everyone have it so the door is behind the flue? On all the pictures I see it appears all of the flues are just behind the door but maybe I'm not understanding something.
                              The order of how things work.

                              1) Oven chamber - where the fire is built and cooking ocours
                              2) Inner arch - actually part of the dome - gives access to oven chamber
                              3) Insulated door - fits into the inner arch and seals on the reveal -when the insulated door is in place it keeps heat inside the oven chamber
                              4) Outer arch - supports flue and captures smoke
                              5) Flue - resides at the top of the outer arch and when insulated door is in the oven this outer arch area is completely exposed to outside air
                              6) Decorative arch - for finish purposes only

                              The ovens you have referred to seem to be placing their doors at the decorative arch and only provide weather from entering the oven. But do nothing to keep heat from escaping the oven.

                              To clarify the prior post, FB ovens are built with a reveal and retain heat in the oven chamber when the door is sealed, because it is sealing the oven at the inner arch and not the decorative arch.

                              See my very crude sketch attached.
                              Attached Files
                              Last edited by mrchipster; 07-10-2013, 09:29 AM. Reason: Clarification and numbers added
                              Chip

                              Comment

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