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Oven opening shapes, true arch or rectangular? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Oven opening shapes, true arch or rectangular?

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  • Oven opening shapes, true arch or rectangular?

    The stand is done, saw purchased, FB board has arrived, bricks are on site, I'm ready to go, but.
    I am struggling with a decision about oven opening shape. I like the look of the true arch opening. The height and width given in the oven plans are for a rectangular opening or one with a slightly arched top. If I make a true arch for the opening, using the recommended height and width, it does not have the same sq.in. opening as a rectangular opening would. It is significantly smaller in area 209 sq.in. for the rectangular opening and 170 sq.in. for a true arch opening. Does this even matter?
    Would those of you who made a true arch opening please chime in here. Did you use the height width dimensions for the rectangular opening, or did you modify them?
    Now for the big question: Am I over thinking this?
    Ok, I know the answer to that last question, but will you give me some input on my first question. Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Oven opening shapes, true arch or rectangular?


    other will weigh in here I am sure, but I think it is in large part a matter of preference and in my case was determined by the size of my oven.

    My oven is small (32 inches) so I went for the rectangular opening as you can see. Mostly I did this because I wanted as much room as possible to get food in and out.

    Others with bigger ovens like KB (sorry for stealing one of your pictures KB!) have used a true arch.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Re: Oven opening shapes, true arch or rectangular?

      I went with a full semi-circular arch. The key is to keep the entry height to 60-66% of the dome height (supposedly 63% is ideal). I didn't worry about the width, and went with the width implied by the arch design I was best able to wrap my head around. That is, I decided I wanted a full arch boosted up by 1 brick. Since my dome would be ~19", the arch needed to be ~12.25 inches, so the semicircle needed to be 10" radius.

      Short version: get the height right. Don't worry about the size of the cross-section. Within reason, the width can be determined by what makes the math easy.
      My build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/3...-dc-18213.html


      • #4
        Re: Oven opening shapes, true arch or rectangular?

        The wider the door is the greater the area which means easier access to the oven. The downside is that a wider doorway also means greater heat loss.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


        • #5
          Re: Oven opening shapes, true arch or rectangular?

          Originally posted by bobmurphy View Post
          Now for the big question: Am I over thinking this?

          An arched opening off a raised spring ( what you described as a rectangular door) isn't any easier or harder to build than any other type of arch when building.

          IMO, a semi arch is better than one that springs off a side wall for one simple fact. You will not need to buttress it at all. There are ways to avoid buttressing even if you build the arch with a high spring..it has been discussed if you search.

          My current oven is a 32" and I built a modified equilateral arched oven opening, the vent and outer arches are semi-circular (Roman). As noted, you will lose sq inches, but it's not enough to worry about.

          You should build whatever is in your comfort zone.
          Last edited by stonecutter; 09-18-2013, 06:39 PM.
          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


          • #6
            Re: Oven opening shapes, true arch or rectangular?

            Thank you all for the replies. I have decided to go with a true arch. It will be raised up by one brick to get the dimensions I want. I'm looking forward to this weekends building. The stand was not that exciting to build, but this brick work looks like something that will hold my interest.

            I have asked several questions on this forum and gotten very good replies to them all. Thank you everyone.