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paulages 10-31-2005 10:58 AM

firing a wet oven
i fired my oven up yesterday (sorry, no beer yeast dough) for the first time in a few weeks. though i've kept it covered with a tarp, rain was bouncing in the opening off of the shelf in front. i fired it a couple of times just to try and keep it dry, but it inevitably had moisture in the floor bricks.

you could actually see moisture evaporating from the floor bricks in the intake path at the entrance. vapor was rising off of the bricks and sucking into the fire. i couldn't get the floor above 450 F, despite a roaring fire. it's at about 120F now, 15-16 hours later, which has kept the torrential rain all night long from wetting the floor where it came in through the chimney.

i'll post how many fires it takes to get up to proper temp. once it gets there.

james 10-31-2005 01:17 PM

Paul, do you have door? Also, looking at your chimney, I didn't see your cap/spark arrestor. Having those will help a lot. In a perfect world, the inside of your oven won't see moisture, other than what it wikes out of the air.

Whadya think?


vitoduke 10-31-2005 01:44 PM

We fired our oven on Saturday after 2 days of light rain. I built the fire slowly over 3 hours and did not notice any steam on the inside or outside. This was our first fire after a rain, and maybe our waterproof stucco actually works. The oven had no trouble getting up to temperature. ---Mel

paulages 10-31-2005 02:48 PM

you're right james. i have no chimney cap yet. i was keeping a piece of tarpaper over it, but i added the other piece of chimney pipe yesterday to cook, and then left for the evening. i didn't expect last night's downpour, but like i said, retained heat seemed to keep that bit of rain coming down the chimneyfrom soaking in.

no, i have no door yet, but the biggest problem was having no overhang above the door. i now have rain cover from my back door to the front of the oven (about 8' distance), so it shoudn't be an issue, once i get a cap/spark arrestor on the chimney.

binkchad 10-31-2005 07:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Gents -- Being new to the forum experience, please excuse my ignorance of where you are in your oven building. Are there picture links somewhere? I'd love to see what you're talking about. My husband & I put the insulating castable on our "Superior" oven Sunday (with help from the neighbor's 5-year-old son.) How do you know when it is dry? Can you point me to more info on this here?

Thank you,

paulages 10-31-2005 09:00 PM

here's the link to the thread showing my pompeii in progress:

dmun 11-01-2005 05:00 AM

Superior entrance
Tell us more about your "superior" oven. Is that Superior Clay Co, that make the rumford fireplace throats?

I ask because it doesn't look like one of theirs. It looks like your oven entrance is made of a section of refractory clay tile, which I think is really clever. Oven builders here have been fighting the dome/entrance interface issue, and this seems like a simple, solid, strong solution.


binkchad 11-01-2005 06:52 PM

Yes, we have a 24" Superior Clay Bake Oven. This is our first oven plus we don't know anyone who has built an oven, so I can't tell you too much about it other than it has come together very easily and has been a blast to build. Their website has detailed pix that show the dome/entrance pretty clearly. The 36" oven is completely different.

It's quite humbling to see the masterpieces that folks on this site have built.

Here's our series of photos ... so far.
(Click on View Slideshow & then with the slide on the bottom right you can speed up the show.)

binkchad 11-01-2005 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by paulages
here's the link to the thread showing my pompeii in progress:

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do next. We plan to build the box around our oven very similar to yours. Same roof line. I'm visualizing "Florida Cracker Shack" with wood siding (Hardieplank) on the bottom, brick on the top & a tin roof.

paulages 11-02-2005 01:31 AM

i thought about using cedar shingles on the three sides away from the door, to match the building behind it, but decided that i prefer the all masonry look instead. i would have prefered a gabled roof, but i really wanted a "living" roof, which seemed easier to do as a shed style roof. i also like the style of a stone shed structure. the living roof means less water runoff (what isn't a building or garden on our little 100' x 50' city plot is paved or flagstone), which is important in my rainy climate.

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