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DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones?

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  • DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones?

    Wondering if anyone ever had any luck improvising a stone for a commercial oven. Either casting one yourself or using a thinner low duty firebricks or maybe even Terra Cotta/unglazed quarry tiles? If so did you notice any performance difference between that and the factory Corderite or Rokite or Ultra-Rokite or Flavor of the Week Please Don't Sue Me-ite that manufacturers may be using nowadays?

    Bought a used Blodgett 961P Natural Gas oven that was made in 77. The deck is cracked and if it is the original one (not sure) it very likely contains asbestos (mmmmm asbestosy). I can order a new one(s) easily enough but as usual in Canada by the time it gets here it's an arm and a leg and another leg. For a person who has built two wood-burning ovens it kind of rubs me the wrong way to have to order the deck when in the past I just built it - it's the duct tape way!

  • #2
    Re: DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones?

    I found refractory "shelves" used in pottery kilns on eBay for next to nothing. They are usually 12"x12" tiles.


    • #3
      Re: DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones?

      Kiln shelves come in all sizes. I'd be suspicious of used ones: There's a whole history of lead fluxed glazes in the pottery industry.

      It might be that refractory "tiles", the oversized firebricks from the refractory dealers, might be more advantageously priced than kiln shelves.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


      • #4
        Re: DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones?

        The kiln shelves I worked with in the distant past were quite soft and were easily broken. I doubt they would have enough abrasion resistance to survive sliding peels, pots, and pans or having firewood logs tossed in.

        However, used kiln shelves that were used solely in high-fire kilns, i.e. for stoneware, would not have lead contamination issues. Lead is/was used in lower temperature pottery glazes - it acts as a flux to make the glaze melt at lower temps.


        • #6
          Re: DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones?

          Asbestos...Lead...heck why don't these manufacturers throw in some concrete tiles from a nuke-u-lar reactor while they are at it lol. I guess physics come into play thus why they have to use these harsh ingredients to stand up to the heat but sometimes I wonder if they don't over think it. I think I'm just gonna fill it full of sand

          I'm gonna check into the kiln tiles though - good idea - thanks for that.

          I still am thinking the old fashioned terra cotta tiles may work - might not stand up to the thermal cycling though I don't know. Right now I've got safety valve problems with the oven so depending on how much that costs to fix this all may be moot (one key advantage of the old school wood ovens for sure - no expensive parts to break down)


          • #7
            Re: DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones?

            I am looking for a qualified ( experience with wood fired ovens ) mason to repair commercial pizza oven decks in our restaurants throughout the southern California area. I presently have 2 jobs for masons to bid in San Diego. Any recommendations ?


            • #8
              Re: DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones?

              Oh sure hijack my thread I'm not the guy to fix 'em but reading it I'm not sure if you have a completely wood-fired oven as in a brick oven or a gas-fired "wood-assisted" oven? What specifically is wrong with your oven decks...cracked or uneven firebricks or is it one solid deck? Just snoopy.


              • #9
                Re: DIY Gas Pizza Oven Stones?

                Our oven are traditional wood fired ovens no electrical or gas assistance. The stones in our older ovens have been significantly eroded by heat and the seams of the stones are becoming irregular. Because of this surface irregularities we are at less that 50% capacity. I have sourced the new deck stones just looking for a installer. That being said the older Italian ovens we operate have a small opening which all of the work has to be done through. Very difficult repair job.