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  #201  
Old 09-23-2012, 01:09 PM
david s's Avatar
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Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

That's about the size wood I generally burn because I'm always on the lookout for wood. If I see a fallen branch around the base of a tree(hardwood) I throw it into the back of my ute.The beauty of this small stuff is that you only need stomp on it to break it up into short lengths. Thicker stuff I break by using the fork in a tree. It is not as good as heart wood, but when it"s free and doesn't need cutting and splitting it's better than paying for it.
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  #202  
Old 09-24-2012, 02:06 AM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Hi David

Thanks for your reply

My 3rd curing fire just died a few minute ago. I don't have a thermometre so I can't say how good or bad the results are but here's what I've done and noticed.

I added about 8 pieces of wood of the size I mentioned in my previous post. The wood was layered between some cardboard and a few twigs. The starting was a bit difficult to get everything to light but eventually I had the fire going after a lot of fanning in the oven everytime I found the coals just lit red without a flame. The fire lasted about an hour and 15 minutes.

During the firing and at this very time after its dead, the oven inside is warm but not hot like how I would expect a 300 farenheit oven to be. The floor, the inner right, left and upper walls were not hot at all - infact I could leave my hand on any parts of the inner oven (except that which was very close to the fire) and the heat didn't even prompt me once to move it away. The outside was cold all round - the only part that held heat was the flue which I couldn't touch for more that 5 seconds. I really don't know if I'm on the right track or not - maybe I'm just panicking for nothing but do I have reason to panick?

N.B. The weather here is quite warm, maybe around 25 Degrees Celcius but very windy. I had to block atleast half the entrance of the oven because the wind kept putting the fire out.

Hope to hear from you soon
Thanks
OM

Last edited by Oven_Man; 09-24-2012 at 02:12 AM.
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  #203  
Old 09-24-2012, 04:31 AM
david s's Avatar
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

You're on the right track, keep those fires small. Try a length of pipe about two feet long to help get it going, blow don't suck. You can't ramp up the temp too slow, but you certainly can ramp it up too fast.
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  #204  
Old 09-24-2012, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Thanks David for the reassurance - I'm happy I'm in the right direction.

I did my 4th curing fire a little while back with about 16 pieces of wood but this time I stacked them differently in the oven and I found it burned much better - all the wood went up in 1 nice big flame and stayed like that till the flame died and there were red embers but short while later it died as well. The fire lasted about an hour or so.

This time the oven was a little more hotter than the previous firing but everything was still cool for as long as I wanted to touch - both inside and out but now I'm not concerned - let nature do its thing. I'm sure once the oven stabalizes it'll be much better.

Chat soon
Thanks
OM
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  #205  
Old 10-01-2012, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Hi David

Today i picked up my Wooden Handle for the Spade. I bought 44mm square balou wood and just realized i went a tad bit too big, well actually quite a lot bigger than i should have. That stuff is so solid and heavy, it would be like doing body building everytime I want to lift a pizza out the oven

Anyways i called the timber yard and asked if they could cut it - thankfully they agreed so now i'm taking it back. I was thinking of splitting it into 4 equal quarters, thus making each pice 22mm square. Would this be a good thickness to work with. The wood is 1.2M in length.

The next questions is this stuff is really sharp especially on the edges. Whats the best way to smoothen the edges without investing in expensive equipment?

Thanks
Regards
OM
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  #206  
Old 10-01-2012, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

If you get the 44mm cut into 4 it will probably end up more like 20 mm square because you'll end up losing some from the thickness of the blade. It should be OK because your oven is smal you don't need huge long handles. If you cut the 1.2 in half you'll end up with 600 mm handles. Mine are only 500mm x 25 mm, but my oven is probably smaller then yours and it has a really shallow entry.
Regarding finishing the handles, just rasp the corners a little and then hand sand the handles using course, medium and fine sandpaper, then varnish them.
How's the firing going?
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  #207  
Old 10-01-2012, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Hi David

Thanks for your reply - I bought 2 pieces of 44mm wood so I'll have them cut only 1 for now and see how it goes - if all's well, I'll split the second piece into 4.

You beat me to the draw regarding the firing, i was going to report back about my 6th firing I just did and I was very happy. My small pieces of wood ran out so this time I got some nice well seasoned logs, the exact size that James reccomends in his Curing post. Lighting the larger logs was bit difficult that the smaller wood chips I had but eventually lit it and the oven inside was blazing. A flame was visible for atleast 2 hours after which the coals were just lit bright red afterwards. That lasted probably another 3 to 4 hours before everything went off. This time I could feel the heat. Just putting my hand even a centimetre or 2 in the entrance was a no no, I couldn't keep it there for more than 2 seconds, the floor was scorching hot and the outside vermiculite was just slightly warm which was good for me because I know my insulation is doing the job. I checked the oven the next morn, probably was around 12 hours after the coals died and it was still warm inside.
I should also mention the wood was completely ash, no chunks of unburned wood left behind unlike the previous firings so I know for sure this was a good bundle of wood.

I was hoping to finish the last firing today but I guess it's going to have to wait for a week or 2 as I'm away till then but I can't wait. Then its the stucco and I'm all done.

A quick question. When I initially did the oven, I surrounded the oven floor with vermiculite upon which the dome sat but I didn't take into account the oven opening and now at the opening, I have this patch of vermiculite exposed.
1) Is it safe just to leave it and use the oven like that?
2) If not, what can I do there since this stuff is very hard.

Thanks
Regards
OM
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  #208  
Old 10-04-2012, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Hi David

Today I went to pickup my Stainless Steel Plate for the pizza spade.

I asked them to make it 300mm X 330mm X 1.2mm. The reason I asked for 30mm extra on the 1 end is because the company I bought from did bending as well so I asked them if they could bend the 30mm upwards by 90 degrees and they did so - came out perfect. I didn't know stainless is so heavy - is it normally or did the bending cause that?

I'm going to attach the wooden stick to the stainless steel head by screwing the stick onto the 30mm lip i asked them to bend upwards for me. I wanted to check if any off the shelf wood screw would suffice or do i need to get special heat resistant screws?

Thanks
Regards
OM

Last edited by Oven_Man; 10-04-2012 at 02:23 AM.
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  #209  
Old 10-04-2012, 04:43 AM
david s's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

First up screws are not a good idea because the front of the handle gets really hot and the threads in the timber don't hold so well, you are better with bolts or rivets. Secondly screwing into the end grain of the wood is not so good the screws don't hold so well, they hold better across the grain. There is no way that bending the stainless could increase it weight. Check to make sure it is only 1.2 mm as ordered. It does help to sharpen the leading edge of the peel so you can slide it under the dough without catching.
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  #210  
Old 10-04-2012, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: FINALLY!!! - Start Of Building My Oven

Hi David

Thanks for your reply. Rivets sound good although now I'm concerned that I shouldn't attach the rivets or screws through the front but rather on the top across the grain.

I have attached a picture of the Stainless Plate showing the 30mm lip i created. Any advice how I can attach the wooden handle to this?

Just another question ... or 2

When I initially did the oven, I surrounded the oven floor with vermiculite, and then i placed the dome on the vermiculite but I didn't take into account the oven opening and now at the opening, I have this patch of vermiculite exposed.
1) Is it safe just to leave it and use the oven like that?
2) If not, what can I do there since this stuff is very hard.

Thanks
OM
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