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How do I know when my oven is cured I have had fires gradually getting larger for the last week
Read the thread on oven curing under oven management. When your oven interior has gone completely white it should be ready. To test whether your oven is still purging itself of water try throwing some plastic sheet over it and seeing if it condenses on the under side.
Is your oven insulated, both over the dome and under the floor? Or maybe your insulation is damp in which case it doesn't work too well. If your oven is an igloo type it should be barely warm on the outside. If it feels hot then your insulation is either lacking or it's wet.
If your oven is a dog kennel then it's harder to tell. Just keep firing and using it and you should find its performance improves.
You also need an insulated door to retain oven heat well.
300 F is barely warm
If your oven has a lot of thermal mass ie. the walls and floor are thick, then it will take longer for that heat to penetrate. If you only fire for about one hour then that heat will only have penetrated about an inch, so the oven will drop in temp faster. Thicker dome and floor requires longer firing and more fuel.
It an homeade one dog kennel sound about right I don't have 2 different type of lining the floor is paving slabs with 3 inch of my own concrete on(I'll explain ) and the dome is 12 inch of my own mix (well not exactly my own I work for a refractory company) it'd 30% vermiculite 35% hymod clay and 35% cement fondu plus other bonding agents
A dome that is 12" thick will take a very long time to heat up, particularly if you've added vermiculite to the mix as that makes it an insulator. How thick are your floor paving slabs? Are they concrete or clay? Is there any insulation under them?
The floors is the same mix as the ceiling .... I can cook pizza ok in it I think that I'll get this coming weekend out off the way ( got a pizza party) then rip it'd guts out and start again I thought it would be a good mix to use with the clay .would a 4 inch of denser material roof be better with a 4 inch of the mix o said as am insulation...or could it be that with it being that thick now there is a lot of vermicule to dry out so it may start to hold hest it future
It may just be taking longer than usuall to dry due to it bieng very cold wet and wind here in the north of england but thanks for all your input and advice i wish i had found this site before i built the thing ....i'll try and put some pics on so you can see my attempt at a wood oven with out any prior research other than the ones i have seen while on holiday or eating out
well here it is its only cost me £140 so far i have done just about every thing on it but make the bricks..I fabricated the door the flue pipe built it from the foundations up and made the refractories for the inners i dont think it too bad just hope it starts to hold heat then i can finish it off
You are getting quite a bit of smoke out the front because your flue is to small for the size of the oven. I see significant smoke staining on the outer brick, ideally you would have no staining. You are also losing heat via the flue because your door is outside the flue, much of your heat is escaping out the flue.
Is this a dome or barrel? It seems to be a barrel style. Do you have a baffle in the flue to try and reduce heat loss there?
It as 2 baffles in the flu the smoke was due to one of the baffles not been open fully due to a bit off broken weld (im not the best welder) and I did not notice till a week of curing it ..I have still got a larger pipe to put round the flu to insulate the top of the pipe.....the inside is shaped like the mirror part of a rectangle car head light so part barrel part dome