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Newbie, first question. - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Newbie, first question.

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  • Newbie, first question.

    Hey there, newbie from Salt Lake City.
    I have been lurking for the past few days, reading the Pompeii instructions and planning for a fall project. Let me tell you, this site is goldmine, there is more information available here for the DIYer than all the other sites I could find. I have a TON of projects in the works; digging up and readying planting beds, a new fence all the way around and of course, a new deck. Being a carpenter by trade, I like to show of my skills on my home projects, they become detailed and complicated, so I will be lucky if i get to pour my foundation this fall. Thats ok, as I like to plan everything, every cut, every nail or screw, everything gets built in my head a dozen times before I begin, I should have plenty of time to prepare, and lots of questions.
    Here is my first question, I have found the chart for door height and width, but is there an ideal length? Most of the pictures I found show two full length bricks, which means sixteen inches(assuming two 8" bricks). Will a shorter(shallower?) door work? Or does a longer tunnel hold heat bettter, allowing for a wider opening?
    Thank you for a great resource...

  • #2
    Re: Newbie, first question.

    What are you planning to cook in this oven most of all? Pizza or bread/roasts? Where will the oven be open, in an enclosure or semi enclosed? Longer tunnel also leaves more room for a wider throat for your flue? if you are planning one which means less chance for gases to excape past door.
    "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
    "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch


    • #3
      Re: Newbie, first question.

      I will mostly be cooking Pizza, with some bread and casseroles. My design incorcorates a seperate grill and wood smoker, so roasts will be done elswhere. The oven will be more than twenty feet from the house(but will back up to a wood fence; counting on lots of insulation).
      Also, is it possible to go to big with the flu? Will a larger flu draw too much air and heat?
      Space is not really an issue, so I can plan a longer tunnel if that is in fact more efficient.


      • #4
        Re: Newbie, first question.

        Welcomee aboard CS,

        This is interesting -- and I think I see your question on the door dimensions. In general, the oven opening (door size) doesn't have any depth. The oven entry is just the height and width of the opening; which is covered (when you want) by the door. The walls, the vent and the arch in front of the oven opening are considered the vent area, and are a separate design decision from the oven chamber itself.

        The vent area works equally well with or without walls. You can attach the vent to the enclosure above the opening, and have a completely open vent landing area. Or, you can build vent walls with support the vent. And the vent walls can be tighter or more narrow, and won't have any impact on how the oven cooks or vents. The vent area has more to do with how you want to use the vent landing area, how you want to get food in and out of the oven, and whether you have counters nearby.

        Hope that makes sense. There are photos of both the open and enclosed vent area in the FB Photos section.

        A long chimney does not cause a problem, and it just aids in making a better draw for the vent. There are tons of brick ovens installed indoors with 20-30' + chimney runs, and they work great.

        So, you are in good shape on how you want to set it all up -- and you can work on the design and how the whole outdoor cooking area will work together.

        Last edited by james; 05-28-2007, 05:36 AM.
        Pizza Ovens
        Outdoor Fireplaces


        • #5
          Re: Newbie, first question.

          that was helpful yes.
          let me say again what a great resource this site is, all other sources for DIY ovens charged for the download. the Pompeii plans and especially the photos of other builds are incredibly helpful.
          thank you again.


          • #6
            Re: Newbie, first question.

            Welcome aboard CSWolffe,
            I am about to make some casting patterns for 2 doors for my 40" pompeii oven. Construction finished, will fold the vent tomorrow and also start the curing fires. Then it is onto finishing the patterns. Plenty of info on recommended door sizes but my openning is 280mmh at the sides and 340mmh in the centre and 480mm wide. Seems to be around the formula within this forum.The bigger the openning, the more heat loss!
            I went to Russel Jeavon's wood fire pizza restaurant last month and was very interested to see that they cooked pizzas all night without using a door, only had coals and no flames in there to maintain the heat which cooked the larger pizzas in 2-3 minutes. I plan on only using the doors for baking breads and roasts.

            Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

            The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

            Neillís Pompeiii #1
            Neillís kitchen underway