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What is a scary fire? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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What is a scary fire?

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  • What is a scary fire?

    I have tried to burn my oven to get the dome white, but I haven't got close yet. Should the flames be reaching into every corner of the oven? including the top of the dome? And if so, do I continue that rate of flames until I see the dome change colour? The height is my main concern, its about 22 inches above the floor. Does this sound too high?

    Photo attached.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: What is a scary fire?

    Hi enzo and welcome,
    I just picked you up as a fairly newbie and like to keep a list of the participating Aussies on board.
    It looks to me like you have built a vault type oven. The wall thickness will govern how much heat it will absorb and hold - thermal mass, (together with the material/brick type, thickness), type of wood, dryness, density, fire intensity and time alight.
    From your picture, you have what I would normally would call a 'scary fire' as it is coming out of the front arch. My fires are a little intense and my dome starts to change colour after about an hour. I use hardwood, usually dries river red gum and also some eucalypt cut down less than a years ago, so the fuel shouldn't be much of an issue.
    I can't see how a 22" oven height is a problem as the heat generated within your oven will rise and it is close to all of the Pompeii's built.
    How long do you keep this ferocity fire going? It needs to last around 1 to 2 hours to change the dome colour.
    Do you have a laser infa red thermometer to measure the oven temperatures, wall, top and hearth?
    How thick is your oven wall?
    How have you dried out the moisture from within your build? My oven got rather wet back a while ago and it took considerably longer to drive out that moisture and the dome only turned white at the very top of the dome, no matter how fierce I got my fire. Hell, I also use a leaf blower sometimes to really get it going if it is reluctant to burn properly and you can almost melt steel in the oven. have bought some rather dry expensive red gum ($300 / ton) which didn't want to burn very well in the oven but when I put in some greener gum, it took off and performed as expected.
    What sort of timber are you burning? Softwood will burn almost as hot but not for as long as good hardwoods. Larger/thicker split timber (around 3-4" in diameter and a couple of foot long) is better once your fire is well established rather than smaller lighter timbers.
    You are not far away from it so keep up with the fires, ensure tht your oven is dry and good luck.

    Neill.

    PS. Where abouts in Australia are you located?
    Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

    The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


    Neill’s Pompeiii #1
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
    Neill’s kitchen underway
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What is a scary fire?

      Enzo - the height of mine is a little less than 21 for a 42 inch oven. I have my flames licking the top of the dome for a couple of hours before it starts to burn off. The flames in your pic look like it should do the trick - they are coming out the front. If thats not enough fire I don't know what is.

      Les...
      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


      • #4
        Re: What is a scary fire?

        It is not that it turns white but rather that the black soot and tars that turn it black burn off. Once your oven is reasonably dry that should happen in about 45 minutes to an hour with a good fire. The flames don't have to fill the oven to get there but it does speed things up.

        Good Luck!
        Jay

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What is a scary fire?

          Thanks for the replies.

          Yes I'm a newbie, the oven is a barrel vault and was built around a wooden template which is being burned out, in the pic I posted. I haven't burned it that ferociously since, all of my fires have been kept well inside the oven and by the sounds of things nowhere near scary enough! As far as other details go the oven was supplied in kit form from a commercial supplier, the photos show some of the construction. There are a number of insulation barriers on top of the bricks including 20-30mm of ShiraLite, then Thermal wool blankets and about 50mm of normal mortar render.

          I'll keep persisting with nastier, longer fires. I have read somewhere on the site that barrel vaults are a poor choice for cooking pizza's, perhaps I've made a bad choice in ovens.

          BTW Neill, I'm from Melbourne.

          Thanks for your reply, it's very appreciated and helpful.
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What is a scary fire?

            It looks offhand like your oven has no insulation over the dome yet. Adding the insulation will help a lot in getting your oven above carbon burning temperatures. We have seen barrel vault pizza, by canuk jim and others, it can be done. It takes lots of wood and lots of insulation over and under.
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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            • #7
              Re: What is a scary fire?

              enzo
              Thanks for your location, I've just updated my list of participating Aussies on this forum and you add to the growing Melbournites!.

              Neill
              Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

              The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


              Neill’s Pompeiii #1
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
              Neill’s kitchen underway
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What is a scary fire?

                Barrel vaults make great pizza.
                -------------------------------------------
                My 2nd Build:
                Is here

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What is a scary fire?

                  Enzo,
                  Mine is a concrete dome, but I lit my first full on fire on Sunday. It was wet and cold and it took a bit for the fire to get enthusiastic but once it was up and roaring it seemed like no time and my dome was turning white. Mine is really well insulated so I guess that helps, but it also has less mass than yours so should take a shorter time.
                  Good luck, stick with it, you'll get the hang of it.
                  Paul

                  ps. Melbourne WFO builders/owners rock!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What is a scary fire?

                    Originally posted by Mitchamus View Post
                    Barrel vaults make great pizza.
                    Hi Mitchamus, I'd like to hear more from you about this!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What is a scary fire?

                      Well - I'll try and be diplomatic about it, but just remember this forum belongs to a site that sells awesome igloo ovens - they are fantastic, and maximum credit and respect to James for providing the Pompeii plans and this forum for free.

                      but - you don't go to a Ford dealer to get advice on your Holden (Chevy)
                      ...if you know what I mean.

                      I'll PM you.
                      -------------------------------------------
                      My 2nd Build:
                      Is here

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What is a scary fire?

                        Sorry Mitch, I'm pretty new around here, what's a PM?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What is a scary fire?

                          PM = Private Message - have a look on the screen where is says 'Welcome Enzo'

                          It will now say:

                          'Private Messages: Unread 1'

                          Before you get disheartened with your oven - give it a good long burn for about 6 hours.

                          No need to create Mt Doom In there, just keep a nice fire ticking over for half a day, this will drive out any latent moisture still in the oven.

                          And don't trying to cook a pizza unless the roof & walls have burned white!

                          Did you insulate the oven?

                          Did you build it from a kit?

                          If so which one? It looks like a Woody
                          -------------------------------------------
                          My 2nd Build:
                          Is here

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What is a scary fire?

                            I'm just re-reading this - and the advice from Neil is spot on.

                            a few other questions:

                            Is the coating on the outside Perlcrete? or straight mortar?

                            did you lay an insulation blanket underneath the outside coating?

                            cheers,
                            Mitch.
                            -------------------------------------------
                            My 2nd Build:
                            Is here

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What is a scary fire?

                              What is the height of the inside of the dome ? What is the height of the door ?

                              Comment

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