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  #11  
Old 01-22-2014, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

If you didn't mortar the hearth brick, you could pull up the majority of them. From there, you could add 2" of insulation, then use splits, since your brick are orientated as rowlocks. At least then you will have a more balanced oven.
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  #12  
Old 01-22-2014, 07:52 PM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecutter View Post
If you didn't mortar the hearth brick, you could pull up the majority of them. From there, you could add 2" of insulation, then use splits, since your brick are orientated as rowlocks. At least then you will have a more balanced oven.
The hearth bricks aren't mortared in, just held with a thin layer of sand / fireclay. Putting insulation in underneath will raise them to around the top of the soldier course and drop the height of the dome by 2". Neither a big deal really.

Can I ask what you meant by a more balanced oven? If all the thermal mass (relatively) is under the hearth, and only insulation over the outside of the dome, will this affect the performance of the oven other than taking longer to heat up?

At present my choice seems to be between the time/hassle spent frigging around with the hearth bricks now, v's more time spent firing it up each time. Or is there more to it?

Andrew
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2014, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

Gudday Andrew
A pretty standard forno type oven has a 50 mm split tile floor And a 100 mm dome shell insulated top and bottom. As Davids has pointed out it takes an hour roughly for the heat to penetrate 25 mm of mass. Heat goes up so the dome heats faster but you can generally say that in two hours of brisk fire in a forno oven the heat has arrived at the insulation layers. The oven is now at saturation point. Maintain an active fire in the corner and that will supply enough heat the replenish the oven as you cook pizza at 450 to 500C over any number of hours.
Close that oven off with an insulated door and its possible to cook in the retained heat over a weekend. This is what makes the forno oven a great weekender and all round oven.
In your current configuration you have a floor of brick set on 115 mm side with another 100 mm of concrete before your insulation. That's 200 mm of floor mass. I'll let you of the math. The mass of the floor is not balance with the size of the oven. You would be hard pressed to get enough fire to heat it much less maintain pizza heat. The mass of your floor is more suited to a much larger oven
You did invite comment, but still I am truly sorry to be so blunt.
You can still change things now. Floor brick set on the 70 mm side on a 100 mm of pearlite cement. I know you are fairly advanced but the experience you have gained would make a rebuild so much faster and easy.
Regards dave
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2014, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

I'm no expert, but is it also possible to just add a layer of firebrick or even a layer of splits to what is already in place? I'm just trying to look at it as yet another choice. I realize nothing can make it as good as tearing it down and starting over, the right way, but weighing all possible "compromises" is a good idea.
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2014, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

Nothing need to be torn down.

His floor brick can easily be removed ( the ones not supporting the dome) insulation can be installed, then splits on top of the insulation. Laying splits on top of the existing floor only creates more mass, and adds no value. Because the floor brick are oriented as a rowlock, he should have 4-4.5" between the slab and the top of the existing floor.... Assuming he has standard 9"x4.5"x2.5" firebrick. Splits are 1.25" thick.

Take out what you can, insulate, then lay the splits level with the remaining brick that couldn't be removed... Which will be most perimeter brick, not the cooking surface, where you don't want a bunch of heat sucking mass.
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2014, 10:09 PM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

Hi All,

Thanks everyone for your inputs.
Dave I didn't find your post too blunt, and if I did it would be fine, so no worries there. I confess I was feeling a bit down about it all this morning. That light at the end of the tunnel I thought I could see was looking more and more like the proverbial oncoming train! I went for a long bike ride to mull it over (cycling for me is like meditation. Its where I do my best thinking). There are a couple of other variables which must influence my next course of action.

1) My family and I are moving to the US at the beginning of July, and the oven really needs to be finished before then. To rip it down and start again would cost me three weekends at best, probably two if I only ripped up the floor as stonecutter has suggested. I reckon I'm looking at three weekends just to cure the thing. I don't have many left up my sleeve.

2) My kids are only 6 and 8yrs, and have spent most of the summer down there. I've said 'no' to them so often now they have stopped asking me to play cricket, soccer & go to the beach with them. There is a fair amount of guilt invested in this thing already. To start ripping things up now would be associated with much wailing, thrashing of arms and general histrionics. There'd probably be some from the wife and kids too….

3) My mate's oven (the original catalyst for this build, the early design and now this thread) has another 2" of concrete over the dome aswell. His internal dimensions are very similar to mine, and he does get it hot enough (with time) to cook pizza. From experience I know the pizzas that come out of his oven are 1st class. Surely mine in its current form would eventually get hot enough?

At present I am inclined to push on, and "suck it and see". If all goes to plan we will be back from the US at the end of next year, and if the oven is a complete dud I can always knock it down and rebuild it then. By that time my batteries will be recharged, and I am hoping my work/life balance will be quite different to what it is currently and more in favour of spending time with my kids, my wife, and on projects such as this.

Having said that I am also very loathe to come here, ask for advice, and then disregard it! You all know a lot more about this than I do and I have to consider all that I have been told with the utmost of respect. I am off down there now and I will think on it some more before I make a decision.

Isn't it a shame that the best experience comes from buggering things up?!

Have a good weekend all,

Andrew
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2014, 01:57 AM
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Lightbulb Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

Gudday Andrew
My boys aren't boys any more they are men .... Seems you don't have them for long and they go out in the world.
My suggestion, forget the insulation and cook in a bare dome. Use the extra time with the kids. Yes you can diffinitley cook in a bare dome, my first pizza was done that way. But it will get hot on the outside after a few hours watch the kids.
Sort out the oven on your return.
Regards Dave
PS forget the chimney as well you'll only have a few cooks anyway, just watch your eyebrows
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  #18  
Old 01-24-2014, 03:36 AM
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Default Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

There are tasty treats to be had before 'practical completion'. Hook in and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

The food from the bare oven are as tasty as that from the tastefully finished version.

Enjoy.
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  #19  
Old 01-24-2014, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

I'm not trying to push this, especially after reading #2. But, your only issue is the floor.... You don't need to demolish your dome. Doing what I suggest will only set you back 1 day, 2 if you use vermcrete or perlcrete. The payoff is later, when you don't have to manage a temperamental oven longer, allowing you to get baking and interacting sooner.

If you ush on and leave it as is, you can always do the floor mod later.
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  #20  
Old 01-25-2014, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: 40" brick oven on Tasman Peninsula

HI Blunttool

I would follow the advice given here before you proceed much further, Even though you will lose height a Neapolitan oven has a lower dome height, so not a biggy if you lift the floor and put in some calsil. Then re-lay the floor.

Neapolitan ovens apparently do pizza better from what I have read on here and other sites.

My WFO oven has a lower dome height about 1.5" lower than hemissperical. This came about mainly by fluke as I used arch bricks throughout giving me this result by default.

I have also found the floor is the hardest to heat, so I definitely would follow this advice given here by stonecutter and dave.

I actually got a tip from a bloke who supplies Pizza oven wood [yes pizza oven wood] for most commercial restaurants in Melbourne. He suggested that when firing the oven i.e. in the entry then in the middle, when roaring move it over to the side you cook on for an hour prior to pusing it over to the other side, cooking surface is then ready after cleaning.

Now why didnt I think of that. And guess what it works a treat. Floor is always at temp quickly and you use less wood.
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