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waterskier 08-06-2013 07:17 PM

black soot on veneer
I am new to the pizza oven. I installed a fire rock oven kit and have used it twice now. I am getting black soot forming on the exterior of the oven (front side).

Is their a reason this is happening? I do not want to place veneer on the exterior of the kit until I figure out how to prevent the veneer from getting covered. I am burning oak and other hardwoods.

Thanks for your help.

tusr18a 08-07-2013 06:38 PM

Re: black soot on veneer
If you add a photo, the experts are more likely to chime in. Soot above the door opening is common. Less soot will build up there if your chimney is high enough to create a strong enough draw to move smoke up and out. Some of the cob ovens have no chimney at all. All the smoke rolls out the door. With those ovens you always see soot above the oven door.

When the fire first starts, there is usually a lot of smoke. As the oven comes up to temperature, the fire burns more efficiently resulting in virtually no smoke coming from the oven.

My oven has a copper veneer. If soot builds up on the copper above the door, a little metal polish can remove it.

Tscarborough 08-07-2013 07:07 PM

Re: black soot on veneer
Fire rock is not a real good material to build an oven. I have spoken to their engineers about some technical questions and they had no idea. If it is smoking though, you are either putting too much wood/too green wood on the fire too quickly. Light a small fire, get it burning well to heat up the flue and add wood slowly until you get a full fledged fire going.

To remove the soot, there are commercial cleaners available, or you can mix laundry detergent and bleach to do the same thing. Be careful, dangerous chemicals, soak the area first and use plenty of water to dilute when finished, but in reality you do not want water around the oven.

cobblerdave 08-07-2013 07:23 PM

Re: black soot on veneer
A seasoned oven with seasoned wood doesn't usually produce smoke.
Smoke at start up is the usual culprit. Also the curing cycle whilst the oven still has a bit of water in it can cause this. 1/2 seasoned wood will also smoke.
Investigate the "top down method " of fire lighting it will minimize the amount of smoke at start up. Also a hot air gun or air stream aimed at the base of the fire can help I have read.
Hope something here will help
Regards Dave

GrahamG 12-19-2013 02:28 AM

Re: black soot on veneer
We had the exact same issue and we have a Veloriani oven and people told us that the venting was not sufficient, but it does not matter, I found a way to get the soot off the front.

All I use is warm water with a mild detergent and newspaper, use the wet newspaper to dampen the soot and remove with dry newspaper, it cleans up every spring like new.

david s 12-19-2013 12:29 PM

Re: black soot on veneer
If you do some tiling on the front then use glossy tiles so any soot will wipe clean easily with some damp newspaper. Bricks, unglazed or mat tiles are really hard or virtually impossible to get clean. Also use black grouting between the tiles, if you use a light coloured grout it will stain from the smoke and you'll never get it clean. Ovens with smoke staining on the front have generally been designed with inadequate flues IMO.

GrahamG 12-19-2013 01:25 PM

Re: black soot on veneer
Our WFO is by Valliorani and has a stone front opening, but it still wipes down with a bit of English elbow grease. :D

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