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Buy oven or make it myself? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Buy oven or make it myself?

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  • Buy oven or make it myself?

    For my restaurant, should I buy the kit and put the oven together or should I have a construction company build it all from scratch with firebricks as outlined in forno bravo's free oven making plan? I have priced each out and looks like it will roughly cost the same either way I go....

  • #2
    Re: Buy oven or make it myself?

    In a commercial setting, I would encourage you to have the oven professionally built by an experienced oven construction company. You or a mason can easily build a dome. The challenge is will the dome, arch, and chimney have the right dimensions? Will the dome construction hold up to daily use? Will the type and quantity of insulation be enough to ensure that the oven will be able to get to temp 900+ F and maintain the high temperatures? Running a small business is hard enough. Worrying about whether the oven will work properly is definitely not one of the stresses that you want to add to your day! I run a small mobile wood fired pizza business. Standardpizzaco.com. I thank my stars every day that I spent the extra money to have the oven professionally built.


    • #3
      Re: Buy oven or make it myself?

      Buck - just curious. What are your plans for the oven? Pizza, breads, meat? There is also a timeline to consider - the FB kit would be faster to bring on line.
      Check out my pictures here:

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


      • #4
        Re: Buy oven or make it myself?

        It will be strictly for pizzas. I will have roughly 1-2 months time to do the work, whichever route i choose...


        • #5
          Re: Buy oven or make it myself?

          Not to knock the mason trade. I know we have a few here and I would hire them in a NY minute to build my ovens. Problem is not all masons are the brightest bulb in the pack. Be sure to get a mason that has built MANY WFO's for a commercial setting. Go and visit the ovens and talk to the owners. If you can't find that then I would get the kit or build it yourself and ask lots of questions here and show lots of pictures.

          That's my 2 cents.


          • #6
            Re: Buy oven or make it myself?

            By watching several videos of other masons builds and reading "bread building", I worked up the courage to build my 81" oven and have been baking full time for 3 years now.
            I had laid block before and being a carpenter, understood cutting angles. It's not impossible, and with the right help, can be done. Though tedious, it's not rocket science. There are ratios that need to be adhered to and recipies for mortar to learn. But overall, the WFO is a very forgiving technology. Time may be your biggest constraint. It took me 6 months, part time, to build the largest WFO on the continent, but it was my first one.
            Trying to learn what I can about flours, fermentation and flames...

            My 81 inch first build; http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f37/...ost-11354.html

            My 52 inch mobile; http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f37/...ing-20874.html

            our FB page; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Artys...20079718042660


            • #7
              Re: Buy oven or make it myself?

              If you feel the prices work out roughly the same, I'd go with the kit, take advantage of the experience that went in to putting it together. Then the main portion of the oven should be sound and your local help can concentrate on following the directions and for the esthetics.

              If you can find a local company that has a lot of experience with wood fired ovens, then that is certainly an option but I think the benefits of a kit are worth considering.

              PS- I have no commercial experience but just finished building a FB kit without any previous experience.


              • #8
                Re: Buy oven or make it myself?

                True that it's not rocket science, but amazingly, there is plenty to screw up. And building one in a commercial setting or for a client with a tight deadline is NOTHING like building one for yourself in the backyard.

                And as a professional mason that builds ovens, I will say, being a mason doesn't automatically mean you CAN build one. Also, just because you are a capable person, doesn't mean you SHOULD build one for your business.

                Unless you can get a mason that knows and understands ovens, and can build them to function in your setting, I recommend ordering a kit or pre-assembled oven.
                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


                • #9
                  Re: Buy oven or make it myself?

                  Originally posted by Faith In Virginia View Post
                  .......Problem is not all masons are the brightest bulb in the pack..........
                  You could say the same for almost every occupation on the face of the earth.

                  Originally posted by windage View Post
                  ....to build the largest WFO on the continent.....
                  You're joking right?

                  You might want to look at Lui-Lui in Nashua, NH before claiming that ...they have an 8' or 96"
                  Last edited by stonecutter; 11-07-2013, 05:17 AM.
                  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