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  #101  
Old 07-31-2012, 03:06 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Mesa, Arizona
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Default Re: Barrel Vault in So. Cal.

Looking good! I really like the way you handed the roof design over the barrel portion. It's neat and simple. I keep questioning how I'm going to do it. I originally submitted a plan to the HOA that was approved and now I'm wondering if something less massive - sort of like the way you handled it - might be a better way to go.
Anyway, I just wanted to say it has been great watching your build go up. You've done a nice job and I'm sure will enjoy it for many, many years.
-Russ
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  #102  
Old 07-31-2012, 09:55 PM
WJW WJW is offline
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Location: Camarillo, CA
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Default Re: Barrel Vault in So. Cal.

Thanks Russ.

I like the look of the arched vault exterior so I always wanted to keep that. To me it screams "oven", and I like that. That being said, I am a bit concerned about water getting through that stucco with no roof to cover it.

On the other hand, we have a very dry climate here with only about 13 inches of rain a year and virtually all of that falling between December and March. I figure if I put a couple of good coats of elastomeric paint on it and tarp it once or twice a year when a multi-day, super gully-washer is forecast, I should be good.

I also constructed the concrete shingles so that the drip line in front is well forward of the landing, and in back the drip line is well behind the point where the chimney penetrates the stucco. I also like the way the shingles tie the oven in with the other structures on the property.

Hopefully it will stay dry.

Bill
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  #103  
Old 09-19-2012, 07:43 PM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Almost done...couple of near-final pics

A good friend of mine who does a lot of ceramic work was kind enough to make me a large slice of pizza made from ceramic and then "toppings" which were all then fused together in her kiln.

We she brought it over it was apparent that it was too big so she took it back and cut it into two slices with her band saw.

So here are some pics of them epoxied to the front. I also mounted a tool rack on the side of the oven. (It's on the side facing away from the pool so it doesn't really show.) Now I just need to put some type of permanent surface on the counter, and afix some type of box to hold the readout for the thermocouples.




The pic is crooked here...not the oven.


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  #104  
Old 09-20-2012, 11:41 AM
Gary Mots's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Valley Center, Ca. San Diego County, USA
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Default Re: Barrel Vault in So. Cal.

Looking good Bill, thats a good friend indeed.
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  #105  
Old 10-13-2012, 06:01 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: colorado
Posts: 49
Default Re: Barrel Vault in So. Cal.

Bill , a couple questions for you . One is why did you decide to go with the lower mass ? What are there advantages to this ? Also what are you venting in the back ? Thanks and its been fun watching your build . nice job!!!!
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  #106  
Old 10-13-2012, 06:58 PM
Laurentius's Avatar
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Default Re: Barrel Vault in So. Cal.

Hi WJW,

Darn, too much beer can ever make an WFO, tipsy.
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  #107  
Old 10-14-2012, 05:03 PM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: Barrel Vault in So. Cal.

Jim:

Thanks for the nice words. As for your questions...

Mass:
I was focused (probablly too focused) on keeping mass down in order to reduce the time needed to bring the oven up to pizza cooking temp. Now that I've built the thing, and now that I've cooked with it a lot I think I have a better picture of what is important than I did when doing the pre-build research. I've now done approx. fifteen-twenty bread bake days (coming up on 250 pounds of flour.), an equal number of pizza parties for in excess of twenty people, and twenty or so slow cook events, such as pork shoulder, osso bucco, etc. So I think I've got a pretty good understanding of how it works now.

The hearth of my oven is currently 2.5 inches of firebrick. The walls are 4.5 inches thick. The roof is 4.5 inches thick. For cooking pizzas, doing bread bakes of up to 20-25 loaves, and doing slow cooks on day two and day three....this is plenty. Nothing more is needed. Period. The floor has enough mass that, even when cooking pizza for thirty to forty people, I have never run into a situation where the floor had cooled to the point that it wasn't cooking properly. I typically have some type of pizza disater once or twice during a forty minute cook, that I have to use coals to burn the hearth clean. And even if I don't, there's enough burned flour cheese scraps etc, that I will rake coals onto the hearth after twenty pizzas no matter what anyway. So hearth heat is a non-issue for me. This is probablly also due to the fact that I have quite a bit of area to work with so even when doing three pizzas at once (my max) , there are areas that are "resting".

I think the most important factor in maintaining heat over time (for next day bakes and slow cooks) is insulation. My oven is well-insulated so it stays hot a long time. That being said, mass is obviously important too. And while I think the low mass model I have built is great for anything but using it for comercial bread-baking purposes, I also have my doubts about how much extra burn time would really be needed if my oven had an extra few inches of mass.

And what I have learned is that the way I use my oven, there really is no need whatsoever to have an oven that I can heat up and cook pizzas in on short notice. The reality is that most of my cooking (whether it is pizza or bread) is on weekends. So if I'm going to have a party with guests arriving at seven, it makes no difference to me whether I light the fire at three or four or five. It's just a non-issue. And with pizza for just a few people, the demands placed upon the oven are so minimal that you have enough saturation after ninety minutes of fire anyway. And even if cooking for forty, two and a half hours is more than enough time to saturate my oven. But who has a party for forty on less than three hours notice??? So I think all of my focus on reducing mass to reduce heating times was, while technically correct, not a very big concern in real world use.

And with bread, I'm finding that a fire lit the late the night before a morning bake and allowed to burn out on its own in the middle of the night actually does the best job in fully saturating the oven so that I light second small fire the next morning to quickly bring up the surface temps. That goes out after an hour or so, I seal it up to equalize as the dough is proofing, and all is good. So once again...quick heating isn't a significant benefit.


With the amount of bread baking and slow cooking I'm doing, the low mass model is fine. But I'm thinking about changing to a quasi-commercial scale. My daughter is a foodie who has always wanted to do some kind of food-based business. We're sort of kicking around the idea of selling sourdough at Farmer's market as a possible long term transition into some kind of larger food based business for her. So...I am seriously considering putting an extra layer of firebrick on the floor to increase mass by 2.5 inches.

Right now, with the mass I have I can do four bakes on a single firing. (Temps are starting in the 580 range...last bake starts in the 460 range). Four bakes equals approximately thirty to forty loaves of bread assuming loaves of 1.25 to 2.0 pounds each. If I really do decide to bake sourdough to sell, I'd want to do no less than 100 loaves on a bake day and ideally closer to 150. To do that efficiently, I'd need to add some mass. It won't be hard to do as I can simply lay the bricks in there, so I'm considering it.

The Vent:
The vent in the back is to vent moisture should some ever get in there. It seems likely to me that moisture will eventually work its way in. I figured there is no down side to a vent so long as I put a proper hood over it.

Bill
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  #108  
Old 10-14-2012, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Barrel Vault in So. Cal.

Hi WJW,

When you say, Vent. Are you talking an actual vent within the dome itself, or within the enclosure? Sorry your oven is not enclosed. I'm somewhat like you, I use my oven for baking and cooking and very little for pizza. The only time I have a moisture problem is after cooking pizza and having a clean oven, I fill it up with unseasoned wood to dry. If I leave it sealed in the oven the next day I will find condensation under the door. All I have to do is open the door to allow air to circulate and problem solved. Even if you use it on a commercial level, moisture is not going to be a concern from the oven. You know already that if you don't have enough bread in the oven, that you have to induce it get "Spring". The oven is dry saturated heat and in the 40-60 minutes of bread baking, your oven is as dry as Death Valley, in a drought at high summer.
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  #109  
Old 10-15-2012, 09:02 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: colorado
Posts: 49
Default Re: Barrel Vault in So. Cal.

Bill , thanks so much for the insight . The more i read and study here the more i am changing my opinions .
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  #110  
Old 10-16-2012, 01:49 AM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: Barrel Vault in So. Cal.

By vent, I mean this.



The oven is enclosed in that there is a brick oven, completely encased in a layer of ridgid insulation. Then I built a framework around the top portion which had a four inch high void above the roof arch. There were also some voids on the side, but for the most part the sides and rear are just encased in concrete block which surrounds the three to four inch layer of ceramc insulation. Whatever voids were present were filled with perlite. Then the whole thing was enclosed in stucco.

My concern about moisture is the possibility of water either migrating through cracks in the stucco, or falling on the slab and then migrating below the insulation. With that in mind, it made sense to me to vent it so that if it does get water in there, I can then heat the oven and the moisture will have some place to go.

Bill
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