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Newbie needs an advise - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Newbie needs an advise

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  • Newbie needs an advise

    Hello,

    I've just finished building my first oven, 32" inside 3" insulation on the dome.
    Yesterday, it was first day I was attempting to cook pizza. I purchased some firewood, which seem to be dry to me and started fire.
    I got a lot of smoke and was not able to heat it up to temperature I could cook a pizza.

    What can use instead of firewood?
    Thanks a lot

  • #2
    Re: Newbie needs an advise

    Originally posted by tjb77494 View Post
    Hello,

    I've just finished building my first oven, 32" inside 3" insulation on the dome.
    Yesterday, it was first day I was attempting to cook pizza. I purchased some firewood, which seem to be dry to me and started fire.
    I got a lot of smoke and was not able to heat it up to temperature I could cook a pizza.

    What can use instead of firewood?
    Thanks a lot
    What type insulation do you have "on the dome"?
    What type and how much insulation do you have under the floor and dome?
    What type of firewood? and, did they tell you it was seasoned?

    Your oven may have not be dry.

    There are a lot of variables. But we need more info from you on how your oven is constructed to give much advice.

    Try to include some pics .
    I don't care what folks say behind my back........They are either braggin' or.......lyin'

    joe watson

    My Build
    My Picasa Web Album

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    • #3
      Re: Newbie needs an advise

      It sounds like you may need to cure a bit, or a bit longer. If the bricks of the oven are not dried thoroughly by curing, they will hold the fire back and you'll have a fire that smokes. If you haven't taken the time to methodically cure your oven and you push the temps up too fast you chance cracking the oven and spaling bricks. What have you done with regards to curing so far?

      Chris

      PS Gulf brings a good point regarding your floor insulation.
      Last edited by SCChris; 03-25-2013, 04:57 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Newbie needs an advise

        I have built it using split fire brick and covered with 3" high temp insulation,
        floor is just brick on the top of the concrete slab siting on .5 inch of the sand
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Re: Newbie needs an advise

          I have not cure it at all, just fired few times.
          What is the best way to cure it?

          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Newbie needs an advise

            Your choice to place the oven floor bricks directly on the slab is going to really hurt you with regard to heat. Ideally your brick floor should sit on some insulation. Some use a non-structural layer of blended vermiculite and concrete, some use a ceramic insulator board, some use an underlayment of insulating firebrick. Before we go further about curing, did you place your dome directly on the floor bricks or is the floor of the oven independent?

            Chris

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            • #7
              Re: Newbie needs an advise

              If the fire is just smoking, I don't think the issue is insulation.

              Questions I would ask:
              What kind of wood are you using?
              Are you certain it is dry? (you can get a moisture meter for $12.99 at Harbor Freight)
              How are you starting/managing your fire?

              The oven may not stay hot because of lack of insulation, but with a good fire in there any oven will get hot enough to cook pizza. If the oven isn't cured, that may be part of the issue - but I don't know that it would account for the smoke.
              My build progress
              My WFO Journal on Facebook
              My dome spreadsheet calculator

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              • #8
                Re: Newbie needs an advise

                Originally posted by SCChris View Post
                Your choice to place the oven floor bricks directly on the slab is going to really hurt you with regard to heat. Ideally your brick floor should sit on some insulation. Some use a non-structural layer of blended vermiculite and concrete, some use a ceramic insulator board, some use an underlayment of insulating firebrick. Before we go further about curing, did you place your dome directly on the floor bricks or is the floor of the oven independent?

                Chris
                Well, I built this oven not knowing this great site exists, found a video on youtube of oven and built it.
                I placed my dome on top of the fire bricks which are on the top of aluminum foil and 1/4 inch of sand to fit bricks properly.
                The top is made with half split brick covered with high heat refractory cement then 3" of high heat insulation and 1" of stucco.

                Do you think I need additional insulation on my floor?
                How can I fix this issue?

                Thanks Tom

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Newbie needs an advise

                  DeeJayOh, is correct that you'll be able to get to Pizza temps with your oven so if your don't mind burning more wood you'll get the pizza you want.

                  I was hoping that your floor was independent and that you could pull the floor in the oven area and put a bit of insulation under the floor.

                  This early in the life of your oven every burn will be using calories to push water out of the oven. The bricks, mortar, stucco and even the slab under the brick floor has moisture that remains from the build. In my oven it took 15 pizza burns to break the oven in. During these burns the oven got better and better. The oven used less firewood to get to temp and building a fire got easier.

                  Curing your oven will take time and although the first attempt to get to pizza temps wasn't what you hoped for don't worry it'll get there.

                  Here is a thread on curing to read through, if you haven't already.

                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f16/...ing-17586.html

                  Chris

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                  • #10
                    Re: Newbie needs an advise

                    Without a doubt! If its finished? What is your (3" of high heat insulation")?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Newbie needs an advise

                      New ovens are always smoky. Keep firing.
                      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Newbie needs an advise

                        I cured it for a week with propane burner and same time I dried my wood.
                        Yesterday it was a first time I fired my oven after curing and was able to get good result not much smoke. Oven temperature was 900F dome and close to 700F at the floor.
                        I removed the coals after sides of the oven cleared, put the oven door for about an hour for my temp (550F floor - 110 outside at the dom top) to equals, after that time I put my first loafs (4 for test).

                        Unfortunately, once I did that huge storm with lots of rain came in, 45 minutes later I pulled my bread which came really good consider rain, but the floor of the oven came down to 370F really to quick, I think.

                        Newbie mistakes, I think, I need more insulation on the dome and the floor.
                        Can I put additional layer of brick or tiles on the floor?
                        In advance I appreciate your advise.

                        Thanks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Newbie needs an advise

                          Anything you can do to insulate will help. For the dome, ceramic blanket is recommended. It's costly but your dome isn't big so your cost shouldn't be high. $100 to $200. Your alternatives are the vermiculite and concrete blend but it's not as insulative and more work.

                          Under the floor, if you can get any insulation under the floor of the oven you'll greatly benifit. If you add more bricks to the floor you're adding mass not insulation and it'll take you more wood to get to temp. If you're careful, and you can remove the floor of the oven and then add an inch of calcium silicate rigid insulation or insulating firebrick and then replace the floor with your firebrick, you'll find that the oven does better heating and retaining heat.

                          If pulling your floor is not an option then you might find some advantage getting insulation on the bottom of the support slab. I don't know how hot this area gets but assuming it gets over 200F you might use something like fiberglass insulation. You'd need to frame up someway to hold this insulation place against this area and it's not ideal, but it's better than nothing. If I were you, I'd start at the top and work down. Wrap the dome and weatherproof it, stucco over the insulating layer. Then take stock of how your oven is working and decide on the next move.

                          Chris
                          Last edited by SCChris; 04-01-2013, 08:31 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Newbie needs an advise

                            Thanks a lot Chris for your advise!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Newbie needs an advise

                              Newbie, you mentioned in a older post that you have 3" of insulation on the dome. Is this vermicrete? or??

                              Chris

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