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blacknoir 11-10-2009 05:34 PM

Firing Photos Needed
I just can't get the fire right. I either have too much wood or not enough... It takes me well over 2 hours to get the oven heated and sometimes it's still not right..

Could someone post a pic of their wood stacked and ready to light? Maybe I'm putting to much in or the bottom pieces are too big?

If someone who gets theirs fired up in an hour could take a pic every 15 minutes or every time they add wood, with a timeframe of when they add it, that would be awesome..


splatgirl 11-10-2009 06:24 PM

Re: Firing Photos Needed
Maybe don't try to stack the whole fire all at once. I start small and add sticks increasing in size until it's going good, then start throwing on full size pieces...several of them. At that point you don't have to worry at all about getting them arranged or placed nicely because they'll catch fire immediately. The bigger the better. As others here taught me, it's big enough when flames are shooting out the front. Scary big, like the whole oven should be filled with fire. If I can keep it roaring like that for an hour and a half, I read about 950F. on the ir thermometer and the whole dome is white. I usually stand the door in front of outside arch to block the air intake a bit and that seems to really soak the dome fast.

Most of what I've burned this season came from an old oak that had been standing dead for 5-6 years or more. We just took it down this year, and having stood there for so long it varied quite a bit in how dry it was. I can say for certain that inadequately seasoned wood will result in a HUGE difference in heat output. IME, it never really gets hot enough to get that super hot, huge fire you want.

Les 11-10-2009 06:42 PM

Re: Firing Photos Needed
James has a video - go to link #2. 2 hours doesn't seem out of line for heat up time. There are many varibles.


blacknoir 11-10-2009 07:52 PM

Re: Firing Photos Needed
Yeah, I've seen James video and tried to recreate but I'm still doing something wrong. The oven James is using seems quite a bit smaller too. The bottom pieces almost look like they go all the way from front to back.

I also don't stack the whole thing at once. I start with a top down until it's going well and when the bottom layer is burning and the top is ash I start adding more wood in. I usually try to go with a teepee type stack after that because if I just throw them in they don't seem to catch.. my guess is it's just not hot enough at that point..

Maybe it's a draw issue? I get tons of smoke out the chimney but sometimes it seems like I'm not getting enough air to get the flames.. at times I'll have a bunch of hot coals and some charred logs but no flame..

I guess I'll just keep trying.. gonna have to get more wood.. :)

RTflorida 11-10-2009 08:09 PM

Re: Firing Photos Needed
Sounds like green/wet wood and/or the pieces you are adding are too big, too soon. You should not be putting anything in there over 1 1/2"-2" for at least the first 20 minutes or so (2" may even be pushing it).....the oven just isn't hot enough regardless of the flame size.
Patience is the key for that first 20 - 30 minutes or so, after that I just start tossing in log after log. Did I mention to use dry/seasoned wood...even the small stuff?


blacknoir 11-10-2009 08:39 PM

Re: Firing Photos Needed
After looking at some local firewood delivery websites I'm starting to think the stuff I got in the beginning of Fall wasn't dry/seasoned and might be the problem.. I'm going to get some new stuff delivered ASAP and try again.

splatgirl 11-10-2009 09:00 PM

Re: Firing Photos Needed
Yes, I agree that it sounds like you have wet or unseasoned wood. I've experienced exactly that using wood that is too green. One thing that might mitigate that a bit for the time being is to load your still warm oven up with fresh wood once you're done with your active fire so it can dry out a bit in the residual heat. That way at least you've got some dry-ish stuff for your next firing.

If you haven't done so already, take a minute and read up on what properly seasoned hardwood should look and feel like. I think more often than not, people are selling it super green and/or trying to scam you on volume just because your average fireplace buyer has no clue. Or at least that's the case around here (lk mtka area) where the cracker population earns their winter beer money and trailer rent by doing summer tree work and then selling the "firewood" to ignorant rich people.
IME with the red oak we have, it shrinks 20+% from freshly split to seasoned and super burnable, so it's no wonder they want to sell it green.

splatgirl 11-10-2009 09:04 PM

Re: Firing Photos Needed
p.s. DO NOT let them sell you ash. Illegal to transport because of emerald ash borer but the aforementioned crackers could care less. More dead trees due to spread of infestation=more beer money for them.

blacknoir 11-10-2009 09:43 PM

Re: Firing Photos Needed
hehehe.. that made me laugh.. where do you get your wood from?

james 11-10-2009 09:57 PM

Re: Firing Photos Needed
Hey Blacknoir,

When you put a 3-4" thick piece of wood on top of a burning fire in a hot oven, it starts to burn immediately. No question. Poof!

If you aren't getting that "holy %^#$%" feeling, either your oven isn't fully cured, or your wood is damp. I think it's one of the -- you'll know it when you see it things. Besides, two hours is way too long. Think sub one hour.

I need to make another oven firing video in a bigger oven. It's really something to behold. :-)

On a slightly related topic, we are fully moved into our new facilities in Monterey, and I have the space to start making more videos. Ovens, ovens everywhere!

More to come on that.

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