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First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

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  • First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

    I have finally started the first small fires in my nightmare build.

    My oven is part of my new house build, a Premio2G 110. I was out of town when they did build 1.0 in August so I have no idea what the dome insulation is.

    The mason contractor had not built a FB kit before, but has claimed to have built pizza ovens before. His masons did not read the instructions which resulted in (among other things):

    -A platform too small for the oven (first picture).
    -The fire brick and insulation sitting on plywood floor
    -Only partially replacing the plywood floor (in front) and then replacing it on the last rebuild
    -Not having the oven square on the platform.
    - Additionally I was told by the mason FB did not sending the correct floor causing the door not to fit.

    The dome has been moved and slid around at least 3 times. I am concerned that the mortar lost its integrity as well as the dome itself. The mason has now said he has done everything to FB specs and has documented it with pictures (I do not have them). The oven has been done for a month.

    All of that as background, I have fired the first two fires and see potentially trouble brewing. I kept the fires low (I think I attached a picture of the fire), and the oven thermometer I have next to the fire never went above 320 degrees although the flames would lick up and get where it would touch to 400-500 with a laser thermometer, but I knocked the fire down and the heat would quickly go back down. I spread the coals out to try and get an even heat. I kept it up for 4 hours each day. I did not try and bump up to 350 but tried for 2 300 degree fires.

    Here are my questions:

    At 337 degrees inner dome temp, the outside stucco was 120 degrees. Is this normal or is there insufficient insulation on the dome? At full heat, it would seem the outside would be over 600 degrees.

    I see some what looks like hairline cracks on the inside of the oven dome (lower part, not at the peak) that developed today (today's was even a lower heat than yesterday). People say don't worry about cracks, is that inside or outside cracks or both?

    I see major water spots on the stucco. I cannot say if the insulation was installed dry or wet. The insulation was exposed to the elements. Is this a dome issue or potentially an insulation issue. I have attached pictures .

    I lost faith in the mason long ago and wish my builder would use a different mason and start from scratch, but as always it is a money thing (not for me, I have paid for an installed oven). In the end, I don't care who builds it, I just want it right and somewhat soon, I closed on the house in July.

    Thanks

    B
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

    "Here are my questions:

    At 337 degrees inner dome temp, the outside stucco was 120 degrees. Is this normal or is there insufficient insulation on the dome? At full heat, it would seem the outside would be over 600 degrees.

    I see some what looks like hairline cracks on the inside of the oven dome (lower part, not at the peak) that developed today (today's was even a lower heat than yesterday). People say don't worry about cracks, is that inside or outside cracks or both?

    I see major water spots on the stucco. I cannot say if the insulation was installed dry or wet. The insulation was exposed to the elements. Is this a dome issue or potentially an insulation issue. I have attached pictures ."

    First, let me say that I am a novice builder & will let the experts chime in on this as well. I do however own a Professionale 120 (48" hearth) that I attached to a trailer so I have some minimal build experience.

    I can tell you that after my curing fires, and having my oven up to 900F-1000F my outside dome on a hot Florida day (90F) registers around 98F which is mostly from the sun heating the dome up and not the fire inside. My belief is that either your insulation under the stucco may be compromised or the mortar joints are defective which has allowed moisture up through the stucco in the one picture.

    As far as cracks (inside or outside), my rig which has traveled on the road to at least 10 events with around 100 miles of travel all with a hot oven, show very little to zero hairline cracking externally and minimal cracking internally.

    Another area or possible issue could be the stucco as well.

    Hope this helps. If you are having issues at low temps then my suggestion before major damage is done is to contact FB and see what they say. You might have to deconstruct your build and start over with new mortar on your joints & fresh insulation & stucco. It really is hard to find not "good" help these days but competent help these days.

    Sorry to hear about the shoddy workmanship.

    Best,

    Kenny

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

      My builder said keep up the firing to dry it out. If it turns into a disaster, it was a crap build and we will start all over from scratch. That made me feel a lot better

      Third fire went well until the end. I had no weeping of the stucco until the flames went out and was allowing the fire to die. My handy analog thermometer next to the fire was at 350 and the weeping began and the dome was 121 on the outside.

      I plan to call FB today about the top heat today

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

        Originally posted by Bubbalotski View Post
        My builder said keep up the firing to dry it out. If it turns into a disaster, it was a crap build and we will start all over from scratch. That made me feel a lot better.
        No offense, but he should have said it IS a crap build and we'll start over when they realized the base was too small for the oven.

        When things go like this from the start, expect to always have problems with your project. They should make it right, not hope for the best....until you are standing there watching their taillights going down the driveway.
        Old World Stone & Garden

        Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

        When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
        John Ruskin

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

          so sorry to hear of your troubles!!

          My oven is built from scratch using firebrick, but like Kenny, when I am at 1000 degrees inside the oven I have never seen above 100 degrees on the roof above the insulation, so I tend to agree that there is likely an insulation problem.

          Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

            Generally, if someone builds something wrong, I will try and help them figure out how to make it work.

            However, when money changes hands to build something, it should be done right. Make them take it down and do it right, including a properly sized base. The FB instructions are simple, as is the general construction of a pre-cast dome oven.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

              The floor looks to have rather wide mortar gaps between the sections. If so that would be incorrect, and would explain why the mason thought the floor was wrong.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

                Originally posted by Bubbalotski View Post
                I have no idea what the dome insulation is.
                The kit FB supplies uses a blanket - more is always better but it's probably adequate.

                The mason contractor had not built a FB kit before, but has claimed to have built pizza ovens before. His masons did not read the instructions which resulted in (among other things):

                -A platform too small for the oven (first picture).
                -The fire brick and insulation sitting on plywood floor
                -Only partially replacing the plywood floor (in front) and then replacing it on the last rebuild
                -Not having the oven square on the platform.
                - Additionally I was told by the mason FB did not sending the correct floor causing the door not to fit.
                This is wrong on so many levels. Anyone running a job should have at least monitored the progress. In regard to the floor, if you have them rebuild it, have them place the tiles close together and throw the gap to the edge.



                At 337 degrees inner dome temp, the outside stucco was 120 degrees. Is this normal or is there insufficient insulation on the dome? At full heat, it would seem the outside would be over 600 degrees.
                If the insulation is wet this could explain the temp. After a full cure you should not see the outside climb much more than ambient.


                I see some what looks like hairline cracks on the inside of the oven dome (lower part, not at the peak) that developed today (today's was even a lower heat than yesterday). People say don't worry about cracks, is that inside or outside cracks or both?
                Both - we have seen chips pop off of the interior of the pre-cast ovens. Doesn't appear to be a big deal, just cosmetic.

                I see major water spots on the stucco. I cannot say if the insulation was installed dry or wet. The insulation was exposed to the elements. Is this a dome issue or potentially an insulation issue.
                Pretty sure it's the result of wet insulation.


                I lost faith in the mason long ago and wish my builder would use a different mason and start from scratch, but as always it is a money thing (not for me, I have paid for an installed oven). In the end, I don't care who builds it, I just want it right and somewhat soon, I closed on the house in July.
                Good luck w/ this. Usually after they have the cash in hand it becomes incredibly hard to get the results you want. Been there, learned that. Good luck and keep us posted.
                Thanks
                Last edited by Les; 12-18-2013, 12:30 PM.
                Check out my pictures here:
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

                If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

                  I agree Les, once they have the cash, they are off!
                  Where can I find logs? I need more!
                  Finishing the WFO will come after the barn is completed http://flinthousebarn.co.uk/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

                    Not to sound cliche'....but....if you want something done right....you have to do it yourself!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

                      Originally posted by jeeppiper View Post
                      Not to sound cliche'....but....if you want something done right....you have to do it yourself!!!
                      As a contractor that takes pride in knowing their craft, I beg to differ. As a homeowner, I agree completely.
                      Old World Stone & Garden

                      Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                      When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
                      John Ruskin

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

                        Aftert talking to Forno Bravo and emailing them pictures of the build, and then talking to their production engineer(Sam, I believe), he and Maria told me to stop curing the oven. Sam's words were "bad build". No kidding

                        Insufficient insulation blanket, bad cap on the dome were the two things he mentioned. I called the builder and told him that don't take my word, take the manufacturers. Allegedly all photos of the build have now been sent to the production manager by the mason and they will have a teleconference tomorrow morning that I have been invited to attend. I will be thereto make sure the conversation covers ALL design concerns.

                        I am not worried about being left in the lurch. My wife sleeps with a trial lawyer with 25 years of experience. I am most concerned that when/if this goes final bad, I have ensured he has had every opportunity to cure his failures. After being a trial judge, I have learned the art of patience and allowing one to hang themselves.

                        In the end, if the current guy can do it, great. If he can't? I have a contract, a warranty, and a trial lawyer with far too much time on his hands and who is rabid on the issue. : ). I will have the oven I bargained for at the price I bargained for. The rest of the guys work is wonderful according to another mason who did some unrelated work on the house. This? We shall see.

                        B

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: First Fires in the Nightmare Build - long

                          After the teleconference with Forno Bravo, the oven will be stripped down to the base, top cap reset, exterior inspected and remortared, and at least 4 inches of insulation blanket installed over the dome.

                          Additional photos wil be sent of the hidden portion of the build so they can inspect the concrete base and foam board under the floor.

                          Will the mason be able to pull it off? We shall see. He has a large financial incentive from the builder.

                          I am at 5 months of the build. My last house took less time. That was only a 1900 sqft brick ranch - nothing as complicated as a kit pizza oven with available video instructions.

                          B

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