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Trying to save a poorly made oven! - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Trying to save a poorly made oven!

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  • Trying to save a poorly made oven!

    Yesterday was the third time I've made pizzas in a wood oven at craft shows held at a historical farm nearby. It is loads of fun. I need some help from you all on what can be done for this poor oven, though.

    The oven is not terribly well built. Single layer of firebrick, and then what looks like about 4" of cement. Outside of the oven can get to 350+ when firing. Cement is cracked. Natural stone base. Large stone across the front the spans the ashdump has cracked badly. Red brick chimney and where it meets cement is cracked very badly. The oven is not sheltered so the cracks let water in. Oven is only used a few times a year, but is something that people really enjoy seeing and I enjoy baking pizzas in.

    Obviously, some sort of roof sounds like a good idea. What else can be done to help the oven keep holding on for another few years at least?

    I should have got some pictues, but got busy and forgot. I drive by the farm quite a bit, so I'll try and get some soon.

  • #2
    Re: Trying to save a poorly made oven!

    It sounds like you have a flair for cooking in that oven, and it sounds like fun!

    How old is the oven? Is it just cracked, or is it crumbling too?

    Without seeing it, it is premature to respond, but, not having all the facts hasn't stopped me from voting or giving my opinion on many topics

    You need to patch the cracks, insulate, and take steps to keep it dry (I'm assuming the oven is worth the effort it will take to proceed).
    • Patch with a mixture of three parts sand, one part lime, one part Portland cement and one part fireclay (with water of course).
    • Insulate with a ceramic insulation and cover with an enclosure or a stucco layer according to the Pompeii oven plans, (Add to cart and checkout for free).
    • Be sure the oven is very dry before you start the process, it will increase your chances of success.
    The basic design and construction process to keep an oven dry are explained in Fornobravo's Pompeii oven plans, you can adapt them to your situation, I'm sure.

    Good luck
    Lee B.
    DFW area, Texas, USA

    If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
    Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
    An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.


    • #3
      Re: Trying to save a poorly made oven!


      "The oven is not terribly well built. Single layer of firebrick, and then what looks like about 4" of cement. Outside of the oven can get to 350+ when firing."

      Sound s like there is no insulation around the dome.A roof would help too. Also a fire in it the day before, (to drive off retained moisture), you want to cook would help.
      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.