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kgmfq3 12-15-2008 03:19 PM

second post, lots of reading
Hi, My name is Jay. I've been reading for a while and started looking into the costs involved with building my own WFO. I live in Massachusetts so I can't even begin for a few months with the frost line as it is. I read more than once that a red clay oven is better than no oven at all and with the cost of fire brick quoted to me at 1.44 a piece, I decided to go cheap. I also referrenced a book suggested by NissanNeil where the builder/cook used free red clay bricks for his commercial oven. So I told a friend of mine in the construction business what I was going to do and asked him for the best place he knew of to buy the brick. He came up with a great idea, have a brick party in the spring. Make up fliers with what I'm building have our friends and family bring one "specified" fire brick to the party for every member of their household. Everyone of the people invited will someday enjoy what's cooked in the oven. I though this was a great idea. Has anyone ever done this before and how did it turn out? Jay

Breven 12-15-2008 04:22 PM

Re: second post, lots of reading
Hey Jay-

Welcome to the forum. By the time winter is over, you should have all the info you need to get started on your WFO. I look forward to seeing pics!
The brick party is an interesting idea. I have to say, $1.44 for firebrick is not a bad price. You'll need a couple hundred. You looking at less than $300 for proper firebrick....what's the point in cutting this corner? Firebrick will hold heat much longer than a red clay brick and you only build an oven once- I would do my best to cut corners when it really makes a difference. For example, I built a outdoor kitchen combo (still building it)- I saved a couple thousand dollars by not buying a new grill insert and simply rolling the grill I already have into place. Looks great, and saved me a bunch of $. Save your pennies all winter so you don't have to cut any corners with the dome itself. Proper bricks and insulation will save you $ and time in the long run.

thebadger 12-15-2008 06:13 PM

Re: second post, lots of reading

I agree. I think there are a number of places to cut costs. I wouldn't skimp on the firebrick or insulation!

Good luck.

kgmfq3 12-15-2008 07:11 PM

Re: second post, lots of reading
I think your right. I would like to build this only once, and the right way is the best way. I do like the brick party idea. If there is anyone in the New England area that knows of a better source for fire brick, please let me know.
The pictures I see of other's WFO's are truly inspirational. I read about different foods cooked in WFO's last night for about an hour. WoW! I cannot wait to try experimenting. Is it true that you find yourself using the WFO more than your grill?
Best regards,

Frances 12-16-2008 01:24 AM

Re: second post, lots of reading
What grill? ;)

I think the brick party sounds like a great idea. Make sure to tell us about it, if/when you hold it.

kgmfq3 12-24-2008 08:04 AM

Re: second post, lots of reading
Merry Christmas everyone! My wife delivered twins on Monday! A boy and a girl, healthy, vibrant, cute as anything you'll ever see anywhere on this planet!
Planning continues on the oven, it'll be covered, red brick faced, and worked into a stone patio that doesn't exist yet. The only issue I have is the prevailing wind. On days that it is windy, the wind will be directed past the entrance, not directly into but past the front. If I make the entrance deeper, could that possibly alleviate any wind blown charcoal issues? This one issue could change the whole placement of the oven. How much of a factor could it be? Jay in Blackstone MA

RTflorida 12-24-2008 08:32 AM

Re: second post, lots of reading
Jay, unless you oven is located in a totally wide open area, I don't see any issues unless the entry is facing directly into the wind on a VERY windy day. Here in FL it is windy every day within 25 miles of the coast, always a sea breeze of at least 10-15 mph coming from the E/SE or W/SW. Today it is blowing about 15 mph with gusts of 25-30mph. I'm having a small pizza party this worries just a typical day. I faced my oven due south out of convenience, didn't think much of the wind factor at the time, has worked out great. For the most part I'm dealing with a crosswind and it has little or no effect. As for coals or ash blowing in my NEVER has happened.


SpringJim 12-24-2008 10:06 AM

Re: second post, lots of reading
Yeah, I don't recall blowing ashes being a problem during firing. I have had problems when I've been too lazy to put the door on the oven when I'm done though (red wine disease) and having to clean up ash in the corners the patio area. Now, smoke in my face, that's another matter.

SpringJim 12-24-2008 10:09 AM

Re: second post, lots of reading

Originally Posted by kgmfq3 (Post 47769)
Merry Christmas everyone! My wife delivered twins on Monday! A boy and a girl, healthy, vibrant, cute as anything you'll ever see anywhere on this planet!

and by the a friend of ours with twin grandchildren said...."I never say this but your grandkids are almost as cute as mine!"

What a holiday gift eh?

egalecki 12-24-2008 10:58 AM

Re: second post, lots of reading
Congratulations! Twins are lots of fun and lots of work and lots of love. Mine are 18 1/2 now- but I remember vividly how they were when they were small. Enjoy them at all stages, it goes by faster than you can possibly imagine.

I never have ashes coming out of my oven- and it's sort of a cross-wind situation for me. I've never had sparks, either.

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