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ceramic heaters for first firing? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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ceramic heaters for first firing?

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  • ceramic heaters for first firing?

    Has anyone tried to use the small electric ceramic space heaters for the first firing of your oven? I am wondering if the unit could withstand the 200 degree temperature of the first firing. I figure if its placed in the landing it could at least be used as a preliminary drying out before the first fire.

    Gino

  • #2
    Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

    A number of builders have reported success in initial drying, if not actual curing of their ovens using heaters and high-wattage work lights. Your ceramic heater should work well.

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    • #3
      Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

      Originally posted by gtofani View Post
      Has anyone tried to use the small electric ceramic space heaters for the first firing of your oven? I am wondering if the unit could withstand the 200 degree temperature of the first firing. I figure if its placed in the landing it could at least be used as a preliminary drying out before the first fire.

      John,

      I tried it for a few days and found that I could not get it to stay on very much, They are set for safety and do not stay on much over 85 degrees. I found that the High watt work light with a small fan to blow the air around worked much better. I put the light in near the internal arch and put the fan inside the oven about 2 ft.

      Chip
      Chip

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      • #4
        Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

        Burning small wood fires to cure your wood-fired oven works quite well.
        Ken H. - Kentucky
        42" Pompeii

        Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

        Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
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        • #5
          Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

          I like the worklight, it's what I used. In my opinion, a slow steady increase in heating, during curing is desirable. I like long controlled burns that saturate the bricks evenly throughout the structure. The long even heat helps to get the water moving out of the dome and keep it moving. I also believe that insulating early, after running the worklight and allowing air to move humidity out of the oven structure, helps to minimize cracking later because the oven unit will heat more evenly.
          Again this is only my opinion.

          Chris

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          • #6
            Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

            How about a heat lamp bulb for keeping young chickens warm?
            I am not talking about my first firing, just a way to slowly remove moisture prior to my fire curing.
            Gino

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            • #7
              Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

              Give it a go and see where it takes you. Ideally this passive curing will take you up to and past 150F. I don't think you'll get there with a brooding lamp. The 212F 100C mark is a big deal. One part water takes up 1000 times more space as steam. If you can bring the whole oven up slowly to this point then you have less chance of cracking due to the remaining water.

              The other part that plays into cracking is the stress due to the uneven expansion of the oven. When you have one part of the oven dry and another still holding a bit of water, the dry part will get hotter faster than the wet part. Water soaks up the calories until it changes into steam.

              Back to your question, as long as you have enough power to soak the bricks well over the ambient air temps of your area, and you're circulating air, you’ll be drying the structure much faster than you would otherwise.

              Chris
              Last edited by SCChris; 10-28-2011, 11:47 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

                I learned a lot from drseward's build thread about this very idea. I have yet to figure out how to bypass the thermometer but I have some friends who might help me with that. Anyway, check out his build thread (post #13) and see if that helps. It gave me a good idea.

                Good luck!

                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/8/co...en-7630-2.html

                Nate
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...two-21068.html

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                • #9
                  Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

                  If the heater can bring the oven up into the mid hundereds and hold it there, you're yards ahead.

                  Chris

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                  • #10
                    Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

                    yes it's okay with wood...
                    "Everything in the world is temporary" table linen

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                    • #11
                      Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

                      So would using 2 ceramic heaters work if just one doesn't quite make it to the higher temps?
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...two-21068.html

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                      • #12
                        Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

                        Originally posted by Pompeii Nate View Post
                        So would using 2 ceramic heaters work if just one doesn't quite make it to the higher temps?
                        I think its the thermal safety switch the is the problem, so no it wont work.
                        The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                        My Build.

                        Books.

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                        • #13
                          Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

                          Since the temperatures have dropped in Western PA this past week, I have been using the ceramic heater while working on the dome.
                          The heat doesnt stay in the dome but it keeps my hands warm. It really did not affect the mortar other then helping it stiffen up a little. I did not leave the heater running too long as I was concerned about too much heat. With the heat exiting the top, I probably should not have been concerned.
                          Gino

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                          • #14
                            Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

                            Till you get the dome finished I wouldn't make and effort to cure. Finish the dome and give it a week or so and then start the heater.. I don't know your weather but out here in SoCal we have dry warm winds, ideal for the passive work light or ceramic heater curing. You must have these sorts of "high pressure" events.

                            Chris

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                            • #15
                              Re: ceramic heaters for first firing?

                              I am only using the heater to keep my hands warm while working right now.
                              In Western PA there is no such thing as a warm wind, we have wet wind, cold wind, snowy wind, north, south, west, and east winds, (all damp or wet), and this fall has been especially wet and windy. I am not worried about the heater curing anything while I am working.

                              Like Forrest Gump says(I think he was talking about Western PA)

                              Forrest Gump: One day it started raining, and it didn't quit for four months. We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stinging rain... and big od' fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it even rained at night.
                              Gino

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