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Ash pit usage and design - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Ash pit usage and design

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  • Ash pit usage and design

    I would like some advice on ash pit design. I am making a Scott-style oven with the ash pit slot in front of the door. But every photo I see of ovens shows wood storage under the pit with wood in the doorway. What do people typically use to receive the ashes and how, if the wood is there? I would like to design a laundry shoot type of thing that takes the ashes to a holding area with access for clean out via an ash pit door on the side. Has anyone done this or anything similar? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Ash pit usage and design

    Paul,

    I think the general opinion on this forum is that the ash slot is not worth the hassle. It's very easy to shovel it out. In my case, I built a pan and I rake the ash into it and dump it. It's no big deal and I would rather have that area for wood storage.
    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.

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    • #3
      Re: Ash pit usage and design

      I think the ash slot kind of went the way of the old 'auxilliary door', which allowed for sneak peeks and incidental additions of wood to the oven. Just not employed anymore.

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      • #4
        Re: Ash pit usage and design

        I have seen a pic where they made the ash pit in front of the oven and a storage for wood on the side

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        • #5
          Re: Ash pit usage and design

          An ash slot becomes a bit of an engineering problem, when you consider that you will be shoveling a live fire down there. It has to be fireproof, and airtight, or the fire will just smolder and smoke. Most of the ash doors, both those designed for fireplace floors, and for clean-out are far from airtight. It doesn't matter in that application because they are just for ash storage, not for fire dousing. You have to find a way to seal it, and still have access top and bottom. You may also want some sort of grate to sort re-usable charcoal from ash.

          If you're just making pizza and rarely using your oven for retained heat baking there's no earthly reason to have one. Two shovelfuls of ash out the next day, and you're good to go.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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          • #6
            Re: Ash pit usage and design

            Thanks. All the comments have convinced me to skip the ash dump slot.

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            • #7
              Re: Ash pit usage and design

              A smart move IMO, Paul. You will most likely be amazed at how little ash you make - especially once you learn your oven. You will, however, make more ash than a pizza oven for you will take far longer to heat load the oven - probably at least an hour and a half for pizza vs. 45 min to an hour, and 3 to 3 1/2 hours for bread, vs. an hour and a half. So you will have to deal with more ash but the ash slot is not a great solution IMO.

              I originally planned to build a Scott design and was going to do an ash slot but researched it and decided against it. I eventually decided to build a pizza oven with extra cladding and I am pleased with the result and I can do bake two batches if I want to. Unless you plan to routinely bake at least two batches of bread (and preferably more) on each firing, you will probably no see little or no benefit to having a Scott oven vs a Pompeii or other FB oven.

              Good Luck!
              Jay

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