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mattieandG 10-07-2008 01:33 PM

We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
Hi. This is almost embarrassing to write, it is an "after the fact" situation. Wish we would have found this forum before.

My husband built a pizza oven (long cylinder type) on our patio as a project, using a book as a guide. Original idea was that it would be portable (we rent).(life lesson #1)

We have an enclosed patio (I know, ouch) with about 1-1/2 foot gap between the fence and light plastic (60's type) panel covering. It's a fairly large patio... His book was saying that if the opening was 64% (or something like that) of the height, you could do without a chimney. (life lesson #2).

He spent many weekends and it was finally complete. He was very excited about it. He bought olive wood at Cal Charcoal and starting the curing process. That's when it became very apparent there would be SMOKE and a lot of it. (This is where I wish we found this site before).

He's very sad :( After reading a few posts about smoke, I'm wondering if the wood we bought might not be dry enough. It's end of summer here (Calif) and I can't imagine it is wet, but anyway. Is it just because during curing the fire isn't hot enough? (or will we always be smoked out).

We are unsure what to do... Is this a lost cause? Lots of $$ spent and the thought of it being a waste is making him very blue.

Is there anything we could do with maybe an exhaust fan to pull smoke out of the patio? We were thinking a chimney added to the front with an exhaust to get the smoke out through the gap between fence/overhang; but no idea if that would work and not wanting to spend even more if this is all a lost cause.

Our neighbor ran to the fence last night all freaked out that we were on fire. :(

krosskraft 10-07-2008 03:07 PM

Re: We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
I don't know what to tell you.....I am sorry at your report. If you don't get an adequate anwser on the forum you may go talk to a local fireplace store "guy". He may be able to help you. All I know is, I have a chimney with added height, and I never have a smoke problem. good luck

dusty 10-07-2008 03:31 PM

Re: We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
Could you possibly install a chimney at the front of the oven that went up through the patio cover roof? Like a wood-burning stove pipe?

Just a thought. Maybe you could cut a hole that could be easily repaired in case you someday move.

All fires are going to have some smoke, especially at first - even with the finest, most seasoned wood.


mattieandG 10-07-2008 03:41 PM

Re: We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
That's what we were talking about last night Dusty. These panels on the patio are inexpensive, how can I describe? almost corrugated plastic? One could easily be replaced if we move. There is one on the far end of the patio that is actually loose that we could switch out if we move.

So now it seems we need to learn about installing a chimney after-the-fact. I found an article (can't post I'm too new) that was called "Log Cabin Chronicles Bread Oven Building" and they had a chimneyless oven with a large "hood".

I hope something can save this.... nothing is worse than a sad husband.

egalecki 10-07-2008 04:10 PM

Re: We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
If you could post some pictures we might be able to see a solution better. I'm not sure what your oven looks like..

Where was the chimney supposed to go if it wasn't 64%? Front or back?

dusty 10-07-2008 04:11 PM

Re: We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
I happen to have two 6 foot lengths of dual-wall, 8" diameter dura vent pipe. So if you figure out a way to attach a chimney, and you are ever in Sacto.,...
I happen to know for a fact that a chimney top/spark arrester thing for this pipe will cost $92.75 plus tax. Pipe is free.

Small price for a happy husband!


egalecki 10-07-2008 04:13 PM

Re: We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
I hate it when I push submit early.

Most ovens smoke a lot when you first cure them, by the way. They can still have a lot of moisture in them even when it's been a while since you used the wet stuff. Mine smokes a lot less now than it did at first. So maybe it'll get better anyway.

dmun 10-07-2008 04:22 PM

Re: We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
Those "plastic" panels are fiberglass, and I don't think they make them any more. I'd be hesitant to bust one out on the idea of replacing it with something that matched.

You absolutely need a chimney. You can legally slant your chimney thirty degrees off vertical, and have two turns, if that will get you outside the patio enclosure. You need to think about clearance to combustibles: two feet with uninsulated stove pipe, two inches if you use the insulated chimney systems. Your chimney needs to be two feet above anything within ten feet.

You have to be careful here: your landlord's insurance in unlikely to pay for damage from any installation that isn't to code.

mattieandG 10-07-2008 05:22 PM

Re: We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
For elizabeth, this is a pic of it last week in the early cure stage:

mattieandG 10-07-2008 05:26 PM

Re: We need help; new WFO, smoke and troubles
Just out of curiosity, are there some woods that smoke less than others? (not that it solves the problem, but just wondering)

...and thanks very much for the offer Dusty. Not sure what we will do (chimney or use it as a door stop?)

EDITED to add: Dmun, we just went through Part 1 & 2 of your geodesic oven, and needless to say we are, um, awestruck.

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