Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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mfiore 03-12-2008 11:52 AM

WFO Location
Still in the planning stages. It's taken some time to convince my wife to give up a chunk of her yard/landscaping for the oven. I may have understated it's size slightly. I'm sure I'll hear about it once I pour the foundation.

Her main concerns (legitimately so) are that it looks nice and that I don't burn the house down. There were plenty of attractive ovens on the forum to help with the first concern. As far as the house burning, my construction skills are too primitive to alleviate those concerns.

If properly insulated as described, how warm do these ovens get on the outside? How close to a house with vinyl siding would you place one (could the back end of the oven be up near the house?) How about proximity to a wooden deck? Do the ovens shoot out sparks or flames that I need to be concerned about?

Thanks in advance.

CanuckJim 03-12-2008 12:36 PM

Re: WFO Location
Properly insulated, the outside of the oven will not even get warm to the touch. Assuming you'll be burning properly cured hard wood for the most part (except for kindling), you won't get any sparks coming out the oven mouth. You won't get much if any smoke from the chimney, either, because these ovens burn very hot and efficiently once they've been cured. Even so, I wouldn't place the back wall closer that three feet to vinyl siding. If the front of the oven butts up to a wooden deck, you'd need to install something like tile or flagstone over it in the front, because you will be cleaning out the oven, and dropped coals are inevitable.

There are lots of experienced and very handy people on this forum, but many successful builders were neither. That's why this forum works so well.


mfiore 03-12-2008 07:17 PM

Re: WFO Location
Thanks, Jim. Very helpful info.

While I'm at it, I have a question about the insulation. These have probably been addressed elsewhere in the forum, but It still isn't clear to me.

The plans call for vermiculite in the hearth as well as an insulating coat. I now see that FB sells an insulation board (which I see many are using), as well as the blankets for over the dome. From the discussions I've read, can these replace vermiculite and provide adequate insulation? For example, can I pour a standard concrete hearth, without vermiculite, if I use an insulating board?

Dutchoven 03-12-2008 07:40 PM

Re: WFO Location
The FB insulation board will be a much better insulator than vermiculite concrete so you could certainly do so...and probably should do so if you want a really efficient could also use the FB insualting blanket and then a coat of vermiculite concrete and then finish coats of stucco on that if that is how you would like to finish your oven...lots of options on the final finish...
Best to you!

dmun 03-12-2008 07:43 PM

Re: WFO Location
Yes, the insulating board is better than the vermiculite. Two inches of cal-sil board equals four inches of vermiculite concrete. It also provides a smooth surface for laying your firebrick floor. Cal-Sil is a little pricey: I used 2.5 inch insblock19 boards successfully.

The exterior blanket vs. vermiculte concrete is a similar cost tradeoff. Many use one layer of blanket covered by vermiculite or perlite concrete to form a smooth base for a dome. If using a house style enclosure, you can just pour loose ver/perl into the opening.

CanuckJim 03-13-2008 05:31 AM

Re: WFO Location
The amount of insulation affects oven performance, very true. But, climate is also a consideration if the oven is to be used year round. Don't know what part of Michigan you're in, but you might want to consider what I recommend here in Ontario: concrete pad, either in a steel stand or on a block base, at least two inches of cal sil board on top of that to insulate the oven floor; at least two inches of cal sil batt over the dome; then at least three inches of vermiculite/cement over that, with more like five inches at the apex of the dome. In moderate climates, this might be considered overkill, but not so in northern regions. Besides, the cost factor is not that great, and it is darned difficult to retrofit more insulation down the road. Suggest you have a look through the Photo Gallery for insulation pics.


mfiore 03-13-2008 07:18 AM

Re: WFO Location
I don't think it matters what part of Michigan you're in, it all seems cold!

Are the FB insulation board and blankets the same as the cal sil products you are referring to?

CanuckJim 03-13-2008 08:05 AM

Re: WFO Location

The FB store has the right products for the job if you can't find them locally; often quite difficult.


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