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Advice on Installing Door - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Advice on Installing Door

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  • Advice on Installing Door


    I'm looking for some tutorials on installing doors in wood fire ovens. Can't seem to find any on this site or via Google.

    Are doors in wood fire ovens usually without hinges?

    If I have a door with hinges, would I put the hinges in the refractory cement in between refractory bricks?

    Many, many thanks for your time!


  • #2
    Re: Advice on Installing Door

    Are doors in wood fire ovens usually without hinges?
    Yes. You might want two or three different kinds of doors for your oven. You might want a plain metal lightweight door for ease of use, and an insulated door for retained heat baking. You might also want a "draft door" which goes outside the vent with a air inlet at the bottom for increasing the draft when starting your fire.
    If I have a door with hinges, would I put the hinges in the refractory cement in between refractory bricks?
    The door mostly goes on the inside of your entry, past the flue, and any hinged door, unless you built a recess for it to go into on the side of the entry, would get in the way of your fire tending and cooking.

    Now I could see a decorative cast iron door with decorative hinges on the outside of your enclosure. That might look cool, but it wouldn't have much use other than keeping critters out of your oven if it's outside (or keeping heat in the inside of the house, if it's an indoor oven).

    In any event, I wouldn't plan on drilling between your firebricks and putting screw anchors there. We have enough problems with cracking mortar as it is.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Re: Advice on Installing Door

      Because of the significant expansion and contraction of the oven, a door with hinges becomes problematic. A local wood fired oven restaurant here has an oven with a large steel door frame which expands first, before the outer shell has time to catch up to it and consequently has a huge crack right through the middle at the top. Not that it really matters, because his oven is indoors, he's just left it as he says "most ovens have cracks"
      The common failure of most potters kilns is the doors. Hinges rust, doors drop, don't seal etc. This is caused by the expansion and the accelerated corrosion of metal parts because of the heat.
      I think the best doors are ones that fit against the front of the entry and are a loose fit at the sides.
      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


      • #4
        Re: Advice on Installing Door

        Hi Leao,
        I made a cast aluminium set of doors and hinged them with adjustable brass bushes to allow a close contact with a carbon fibre heat seal and have had no problems. As Dmun says, I use it to keep the oven closed but they are not insulated and I only use them to close the oven. See


        permalink #17

        I very carefully set the steel frame into a slot cut into the firebricks so that the thermal coefficient difference does not cause any problems.

        I also made up an insulated door that is held in place with a couple of bricks and holds the heat in the oven well. See


        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


        • #5
          Re: Advice on Installing Door

          As dmun noted you can have different kinds of doors for their intended purposes.
          I like to use my wfo as a smoker (using charcoal briquettes as heat source and wood chunks for smoke) so I also have a simple non-insulated door made entirely of a piece of plywood with vent openings at the top for exhaust and also at the bottom for fresh air intake.
          Last edited by fxpose; 05-13-2011, 11:14 AM.

          My 34" WFO build

          Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO


          • #6
            Re: Advice on Installing Door

            There are four traditional ways for framing your door opening, though we recommend the first, and easiest method. The easiest, fastest and least costly way of framing the oven opening is to use standard size bricks to frame the side of the opening, and a length of 2"x 2" x 3/16" angle iron to support the top of the opening.
            From Formo Bravo's Starting the Oven Dome

            Could someone explain how the angle iron is supposed to rest at the top of the opening to my dome?

            Angle iron, like the image below, is not just a flat piece of metal but rather 2 flat pieces of metal joined together at a right angle. How can my bricks rest easily on it? Would I need to fill in the dip with refractory (v. expensive) cement?

            Thanks for your time!


            • #7
              Re: Advice on Installing Door

              Hi, I am going to get a simple iron door made. It is effectively a rectangular metal box. I have some Rockwool left over (good stuff - it goes up to 700C). Would it be a wise move to fill the metal box with this in the same way one would use fire board for insulation?