CJ....winter heat management thoughts
I was reading about your oven in the snow post and wondered if you have ever put up a secondary screen around your oven. Your pictures show you have a roof and corner posts. (That was 2 years ago, maybe it's different now) Have you ever considered a windbreak. I have the impression of you cooking almost daily and would think even a tarp would help conserve heat in the winter and obviously anything more substantial would improve insulation value. Some insulation board sealed with foam could be very effective at cutting down the wind and holding a warm air envelope outside the masonary.
I have put up very thin barriers indoors and they can make a huge difference in heat retention for individual living areas. Plastic sheeting or fabric has been used in garages or indoors. It has almost no insulating value but it is very effective at keeping the warmer air in one area.
If I was going to have an oven in the snow, particularly if I wanted to use it a lot, I would probably put some kind of secondary structure around it.
I wonder if any cold weather bakers might have experience with such a before and after experience.
Re: CJ....winter heat management thoughts
The appearance of my oven hasn't changed substantially since those early pics were taken. I don't think the wall bricks need further covering because of the thickness of the insulation inside the enclosure. The major heat loss issue still to address is the underneath of the hearth slab. Although I did use a six inch vermic/cement layer under the slab, it's just not sufficiently effective for cold weather baking. I have panels of SuperIsol that I'm going to attach to the bottom of the vermic layer when the weather improves enough that my old frostbitten fingers won't freeze up. My oven mouth faces to the south, away from the prevailing (bitter) northwest winter wind. My plan has always been to build a half wall of fielded rail and stile panels between the walls and corner posts, and also on the front, with double panelled doors. Above them, I plan multi-small pane window panels that can be removed in summer. I completely agree with what you suggest and have no doubt whatsoever that breaking the (bitter) wind that whips across the front of the oven would improve heat retention as well as making winter baking easier on the baker.
In really poor weather, I have used a tarp, but in really poor weather chasing it down the street is a drag.
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