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second post, lots of reading

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  • second post, lots of reading

    Hi, My name is Jay. I've been reading for a while and started looking into the costs involved with building my own WFO. I live in Massachusetts so I can't even begin for a few months with the frost line as it is. I read more than once that a red clay oven is better than no oven at all and with the cost of fire brick quoted to me at 1.44 a piece, I decided to go cheap. I also referrenced a book suggested by NissanNeil where the builder/cook used free red clay bricks for his commercial oven. So I told a friend of mine in the construction business what I was going to do and asked him for the best place he knew of to buy the brick. He came up with a great idea, have a brick party in the spring. Make up fliers with what I'm building have our friends and family bring one "specified" fire brick to the party for every member of their household. Everyone of the people invited will someday enjoy what's cooked in the oven. I though this was a great idea. Has anyone ever done this before and how did it turn out? Jay

  • #2
    Re: second post, lots of reading

    Hey Jay-

    Welcome to the forum. By the time winter is over, you should have all the info you need to get started on your WFO. I look forward to seeing pics!
    The brick party is an interesting idea. I have to say, $1.44 for firebrick is not a bad price. You'll need a couple hundred. You looking at less than $300 for proper firebrick....what's the point in cutting this corner? Firebrick will hold heat much longer than a red clay brick and you only build an oven once- I would do my best to cut corners when it really makes a difference. For example, I built a outdoor kitchen combo (still building it)- I saved a couple thousand dollars by not buying a new grill insert and simply rolling the grill I already have into place. Looks great, and saved me a bunch of $. Save your pennies all winter so you don't have to cut any corners with the dome itself. Proper bricks and insulation will save you $ and time in the long run.
    Check out my oven progress here: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/phot...dex.php?u=4147

    See ALL of my pictures here:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/Brevenc/...OutdoorKitchen

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: second post, lots of reading

      Jay,

      I agree. I think there are a number of places to cut costs. I wouldn't skimp on the firebrick or insulation!

      Good luck.
      Dick

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: second post, lots of reading

        I think your right. I would like to build this only once, and the right way is the best way. I do like the brick party idea. If there is anyone in the New England area that knows of a better source for fire brick, please let me know.
        The pictures I see of other's WFO's are truly inspirational. I read about different foods cooked in WFO's last night for about an hour. WoW! I cannot wait to try experimenting. Is it true that you find yourself using the WFO more than your grill?
        Best regards,
        Jay

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: second post, lots of reading

          What grill?

          I think the brick party sounds like a great idea. Make sure to tell us about it, if/when you hold it.
          "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: second post, lots of reading

            Merry Christmas everyone! My wife delivered twins on Monday! A boy and a girl, healthy, vibrant, cute as anything you'll ever see anywhere on this planet!
            Planning continues on the oven, it'll be covered, red brick faced, and worked into a stone patio that doesn't exist yet. The only issue I have is the prevailing wind. On days that it is windy, the wind will be directed past the entrance, not directly into but past the front. If I make the entrance deeper, could that possibly alleviate any wind blown charcoal issues? This one issue could change the whole placement of the oven. How much of a factor could it be? Jay in Blackstone MA

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: second post, lots of reading

              Jay, unless you oven is located in a totally wide open area, I don't see any issues unless the entry is facing directly into the wind on a VERY windy day. Here in FL it is windy every day within 25 miles of the coast, always a sea breeze of at least 10-15 mph coming from the E/SE or W/SW. Today it is blowing about 15 mph with gusts of 25-30mph. I'm having a small pizza party this evening...no worries just a typical day. I faced my oven due south out of convenience, didn't think much of the wind factor at the time, has worked out great. For the most part I'm dealing with a crosswind and it has little or no effect. As for coals or ash blowing in my face.....it NEVER has happened.

              RT

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: second post, lots of reading

                Yeah, I don't recall blowing ashes being a problem during firing. I have had problems when I've been too lazy to put the door on the oven when I'm done though (red wine disease) and having to clean up ash in the corners the patio area. Now, smoke in my face, that's another matter.
                Sharing life's positives and loving the slow food lane

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: second post, lots of reading

                  Originally posted by kgmfq3 View Post
                  Merry Christmas everyone! My wife delivered twins on Monday! A boy and a girl, healthy, vibrant, cute as anything you'll ever see anywhere on this planet!
                  and by the way...as a friend of ours with twin grandchildren said...."I never say this but your grandkids are almost as cute as mine!"

                  What a holiday gift eh?
                  Sharing life's positives and loving the slow food lane

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: second post, lots of reading

                    Congratulations! Twins are lots of fun and lots of work and lots of love. Mine are 18 1/2 now- but I remember vividly how they were when they were small. Enjoy them at all stages, it goes by faster than you can possibly imagine.

                    I never have ashes coming out of my oven- and it's sort of a cross-wind situation for me. I've never had sparks, either.
                    Elizabeth

                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: second post, lots of reading

                      Elizabeth,

                      Just looked through your WFO pictures. You did an amazing job. I hope I get mine completed this summer. Merry Christmas Elizabeth, SpringJim, and RTflorida! Thank you for the responses.

                      Jay

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: second post, lots of reading

                        HI kgmfq3 (Jay),
                        I'm glad to have inspired you to build an oven, and to build it as economically as possible.
                        You might like to check out Tim's oven:

                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...days-5283.html

                        He used second hand red fired clay bricks in his dome. Contact him for advice.
                        Be aware that there are many types and grades for brick. The types available here in Adelaide from 60+ year old houses which are obviously not in a crumbly condition are fine. We also have1200˚C fired 4" solid clay pavers being used consistently for dome ovens without problems, but firebricks in Australia are between $3.50 to $5 each.
                        Anyway, do your research, ask your questions, make your decisions and enjoy your build and using the oven.

                        Merry Christmas.

                        Neill

                        PS. Congratulations on your new twins arrival. My twin daughters are 29 years old and have bought us nothing but the greatest of pleasure. Now they are excelling themselves with grandchildren, we found out that the one who has an 18 month old (our first grandchild) is 8 weeks pregnant! The other twin is due in 3 weeks.
                        Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

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


                        Neill’s Pompeiii #1
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                        Neill’s kitchen underway
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: second post, lots of reading

                          I have only fired my oven 8-10 times yet, but I'm fairly happy with it. I'm thinking of retrofitting with some thermocouples to get a better idea of whether I'm really getting my bricks properly hot all the way through - but with a 1 hour firing I can start to cook pizza, and this week I've fired it for 1.5 to 2 hours twice and have been able to cook a batch of pizzas, a decent load of bread, and a roast chook, and then some roast some vegetables and nuts, and the next morning, having left the door off overnight, it was still 60-70C. So while firebricks may well be better, I can't see how much better I really need it to perform. Of course this may change down the track as I get more experience!

                          I posted a picture and description of the bricks I used here, if it's any use.
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/c...icks-5177.html
                          Last edited by Tim F; 12-25-2008, 06:19 AM.
                          My oven: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/21/t...html#post46599
                          My blog: Live For Pizza

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: second post, lots of reading

                            Tim, thanks for chiming in here.

                            Jay,

                            Brevan quotes

                            "Firebrick will hold heat much longer than a red clay brick"
                            but I disagree with his beliefs. Holding the heat is relative to your insulation, not necessarily the material from which it is made. A red brick will absorb the heat quicker than a paler brick, whether house or firebrick (the darker the car, the hotter it gets, it's a simple scientific fact). A house with a silver or white roof is considerably cooler than one with a dark roof. So the red brick will absorb the heat readily and only laboritory tests will determine the difference.
                            Yes I agree that a firebrick is designed to be heated and cooled whereas a household brick is designed for construction and not necessarily to be heated to oven temps BUT THEY WORK FINE and they DO NOT SPALL (well at least the ones out here that I have observed don't, even in commercially used ovens.
                            If you can't afford the more expensive bricks, or want to economise to use that money elsewhere, then carefully select the bricks that you want to use, set them up in a fire and burn them, get them so hot in the red coals and see what they do. Many red bricks are fired at over 1200˚C which is DOUBLE your maximum oven temperatures so they are going to perform fine.
                            Look, do your homework, ask questions and choose your preference.
                            I have no vested interest in firebricks and from some of the postings here on brick supplies on this forum, some of the suppliers of the firebrick don't know themselves. So how are we to decide?

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

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


                            Neill’s Pompeiii #1
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                            Neill’s kitchen underway
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: second post, lots of reading

                              Neil makes an intersting point, but the absorbtion of heat has nothing to do with the color of the brick- you're not heating it with the sun. It has to do with the material the brick is made from. If firebricks don't hold heat any better than a red clay brick, then why are the Forno Bravo instructions very specific about using fire brick- not to mention 99% of the members here have all used a firebrick of some sort. Are we mis-informed? Are there any benefits at all to using the more expensive firebrick?
                              Check out my oven progress here: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/phot...dex.php?u=4147

                              See ALL of my pictures here:
                              http://picasaweb.google.com/Brevenc/...OutdoorKitchen

                              Comment

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