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Design stage - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Design stage

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  • Design stage

    Hi Everyone, Well I've caught the bug and must have a wood burning stove in my garden. I am at the stage of designing my Pizza oven but have a couple of questions. I dont really like the look of a chimney/vent, I would like to keep the design simple like the oven shown on the Forno Bravo home page and James, Administrator responce items. Is it really necessary? Second, refractory bricks (for the dome) in the UK are expensive, I have read on another site that ordinary clay house bricks can be used, anyone got any comments?

  • #2

    Hi, Guy, and welcome to FB.

    The flue is really important. For one thing it gets the smoke up out of your face while you are cooking. For another, it creates a draft, or flow of air, that makes the oven work. For pizza, really hot wood fires are used, and the air needed to keep the fire going is drawn in from the bottom of the front door, and out the top. The flue keeps this air flow going, by the temperature differential between the hot bottom and the cooler top. I think you will find that the oven in James' avatar, is a publicity shot, with electric lighting. If that were lit by a wood fire, there would be a big smoke stain up the front of the oven.

    The hot fires involved in pizza cooking make fire brick a good investment. Common brick is porous and soft, and when heated unevenly, has a tendency to crack and flake, called spalling. You wouldn't want one of those brick flakes in your pizza. Fire brick (and refractory mortar) have a high alumina content and are designed to withstand thermal shock. If cost is an issue, you might try architectural salvage yards. Demolition of industrial boilers often produce surplus fire brick.

    Good luck with your project.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Hi Dmun,
      Many thanks for your reply. To be honest I wasnt sure how effective the forum was going to be but your reply has proven this to be a great area for assistance. Looks like I will now have to go back to the forum and look up some vent designs. Any suggestions that you have seen?


      • #4
        You have your reading assignment set up for you.

        (M) At the top of this page, click on Search

        (M) Enter "vent" in the drop down menu.

        (M) When I did that, 84 postings had the word "vent" included.

        (M) The mid-term is scheduled for the 4th of July. Bring your own Blue Book.


        Last edited by Marcel; 06-27-2006, 08:22 AM. Reason: Carriage Returns were not anticipated.
        "Everything should be made as simple as possible, ...
        but no simpler!" (Albert Einstein)


        • #5
          Clay brick vs. firebrick

          Hello Guy (my father-in-law is also Guy),

          I have a Scott oven at my house that I built with clay brick, so I have some experience with this. I think that ovens built with firebrick cook better (and recharge faster) so they heat up better and hold high heat better. So if budget isn't an issue, firebrick is better. If budget is an issue, having an oven with clay brick is a LOT better than not having an oven at all. You should still use firebrick for the cooking floor. Either way you can use clay brick for the vent, and arch.

          We have a brick oven brick primer in the set of plans here:


          Pizza Ovens
          Outdoor Fireplaces