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  #41  
Old 06-28-2010, 06:45 PM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cochrane, Alberta
Posts: 104
Default Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

Interestingly enough, I was up in Dawson City, in the Yukon Territory recently.
Across the river from Dawson City is a "Paddle Wheeler Graveyard", a place where they parked all the old paddle wheelers and left them to rot after the road came in and river travel was no longer needed.
They burnt wood for making steam to drive the boats and would stop frequently along the river between Whitehorse and Dawson city to resupply. The wood structures are well rotting away but the old boilers are still intact. I looked inside a couple of them and they were lined with old standard red brick.
Last winter in Mexico, I found a forno that some construction workers built to cook their meals in. Red brick coated with clay and straw. Bottom line, you can use red brick but it does not last as long although it may last a lifetime if you are only cooking with it a couple times a week....
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  #42  
Old 07-05-2010, 09:12 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Tanja
Posts: 25
Default Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

Hi Spunkoid,

I agree that it is not uncommon to find old red [terra cotta] bricks starting to disintergrate but they are usually soft fired [under 1000 degrees centigrade] and are often subject to corrosive water.
Modern bricks are usually hard fired and will last much longer.
Oddly, I am presently in Red Deer, Alberta, on my first visit to Canada, running a wood fired oven workshop.
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  #43  
Old 07-05-2010, 09:29 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cochrane, Alberta
Posts: 104
Default Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

Excellent clarification.

Thanks,

Rick
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  #44  
Old 09-07-2010, 02:42 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Wilton, CA (Near Sacramento)
Posts: 69
Default Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

I guess I am at a bit of a loss.....I read that dry stacking bricks without mortar is good, and that ovens should be round.

However, aside from the "purist viewpoint" of using only masonary materials, what is wrong with just drystacking bricks to form the walls and door, and then using a piece of heavy steel plate with bricks just laid on top to form the top of the oven and the top of the door.

Once insulated and covered, the stacked bricks won't go anywhere, and the the steel will last a long, long time.

So the oven will be a little higher around the outside walls, but so what?
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  #45  
Old 09-07-2010, 06:09 PM
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Location: Cochrane, Alberta
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Default Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

So what...? A low dome makes a big difference.
Keep the dome low... a big part of the cooking process comes from heat that radiates down from the hot bricks. My dome is 1 meter in diameter, I added a 1/2 brick soldier course when I built the dome. When I cook, I have lots of room in the dome but sometimes feel that it is a little high and would have gotten better heat if the dome were lower. It is not really a problem as I keep a nice little fire burning on the side that keeps the heat up. But with hindsight, I would forgo the soldier course, kept the dome a little lower, and still would have had lots of height.
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  #46  
Old 09-07-2010, 06:15 PM
sacwoodpusher's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Wilton, CA (Near Sacramento)
Posts: 69
Default Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

I guess my point was, why go to the trouble of making the pizza oven domed....Can't I just built the round walls to a height of, say 16 inches, and then lay a flat piece of steell across, stack bricks on top of it, and then insulate?
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  #47  
Old 09-07-2010, 06:27 PM
Master Builder
 
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Location: Los Angeles
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Default Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

Domed walls will give you better convection.
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  #48  
Old 09-07-2010, 06:31 PM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Cochrane, Alberta
Posts: 104
Default Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

You may find that the steel warps over time with the high heat. Back in the day, they used cast material for stove tops to avoid that. The shape of the dome makes it more efficient than a rectangle or other shaped oven.
On the other hand, there are lots of rectangle shaped ovens out there. My grandfather had built a clay oven for my Grandmother on their homestead. It was made in part from an old 1/2 culvert that was covered with mud and straw and vented out the back at the top of the oven. It had a clay floor and a wooden door that they put in place once the oven was fired and they had scraped the coals to the back of the oven.. It may not have been the most efficient design but she knew how to fire that oven to the right temperature to cook what ever she wanted.

Rick
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  #49  
Old 10-06-2010, 11:29 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Boston
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Default Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

Wow I had no idea! Very interesting
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  #50  
Old 12-03-2010, 05:09 AM
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Location: Pearland,Texas
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Cool Re: Why Italian Wood-Fired Ovens are Round

Thank you for this post, I was set to build a barrel vault mainly because it looked easier. I read this post just in time and was able to modify my plans to a round oven. THANKS !
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