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Feedback on hairbrained idea? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Feedback on hairbrained idea?

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  • Feedback on hairbrained idea?

    Hi all.

    first post here, and it's based around what might be a wacky idea.

    I was thinking of making a WFO from half a 44 gallon drum, and insulating it on the outside with one or two layers of ceramic blanket. Not like house insulation or anything, but stuff for forges and foundries etc.

    The same stuff, on the inside of my forge, allows it to get hot enough to weld damascus steel billets.

    I was thinking that outside the blanket I'd put a layer of chicken wire, then render it, perhaps with a pigment in it to make it look more earthy.

    Might this work, or is it more important to have a lot of mass to absorb and re-radiate heat than it is to insulate the air inside?



  • #2
    Re: Feedback on hairbrained idea?

    Mass is important for good performance I think. Perhaps most important for the floor so that the crust will cook properly, but also important for the dome. I'd also worry about the rust and degradation of the steel at these temperatures - wouldn't take too long to burn through and expose insulation to the food. Some relatives in the country burn garbage in old steel drums, they get holes pretty quick (which doesn't matter for burning garbage, but does matter for keeping ceramic fibers out of pizza).

    For a quick temporary oven it could work though -- just don't expect to cook lots of pizza at a time or be able to cook later on residual heat.


    • #3
      Re: Feedback on hairbrained idea?

      also be careful with 'foundry' or 'forge' insulation -- I'm under the impression that much of that stuff could have some nasty chemicals in it, used or not. Hence even more of a problem with drum burn-through.


      • #4
        Re: Feedback on hairbrained idea?

        check through the forums. There are ovens that have been made out of steel - mostly old decommissioned tanks that have a dome shape if I recall correctly. They seem to perform quite well. Assuming the steel will hold up, I don't see why you couldn't build a barrel oven the same way - taking into account all caveats about material safety previously pointed out.
        My build progress
        My WFO Journal on Facebook
        My dome spreadsheet calculator