#21  
Old 04-23-2011, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

You guys are talking as if he was bestowed a "name" by the queen or something. His "name", or better put his reputation, was built by the performance of his ovens. Top pizzerias around the world use them and swear by them. Places that have installed one of his ovens to replace everything from poorly built modular ovens to hand built ovens from other families rave about the difference. They always say it burns hotter longer on less wood. It cooks more even. His techniques might not impress someone who feels every brick needs to be cut to a perfect fit and 1/8" mortar gap, but I bet his oven out performs most is not all that were built that way when it comes to cooking pizza in under a minute. And that is all that really matters.
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  #22  
Old 04-23-2011, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

^^^ You've got a point there too. Having good, positive reputation does make a difference. You know you'll end up with something that will perform 100%.
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  #23  
Old 04-23-2011, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

I did not say his ovens do not perform well, quite the opposite. I said anyone can build one that performs just as well without paying his price. There is nothing unique in his design or his construction techniques, quite the opposite, really. He doesn't even have to build an entry arch by using the cast iron fitting. I am not hating on him, I say good for him!
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  #24  
Old 04-23-2011, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

Quote:
His techniques might not impress someone who feels every brick needs to be cut to a perfect fit and 1/8" mortar gap, but I bet his oven out performs most is not all that were built that way when it comes to cooking pizza in under a minute
Shuboyje, The performance of SF ovens was not in question. It is common knowledge that a nearly flat low-dome oven creates the favorable broiler-like heat distribution prized by commercial operations in order to minimize cook-time and maximize profitability. Also, a thicker-walled dome retains more heat than a thinner one does.

The purpose of this site is to support and encourage home-builders who don't need a 60-second pizza nor the expense of replicating a commercial oven, albeit a premium-priced product that comes with a reputation. My guess is that any builder who copies a SF oven with buttressed full-length soldiers, a thick-walled low-dome ceiling and one-piece cast-iron entryway will end up with an oven that cooks exactly like a SF oven.

The rub comes from unconventional masonry practices and vault-design that come with a boutique price tag. Like the 'ultra-elegant' hair-style, the exquisitely 'seen' photograph, or the designer SF oven with purported magical properties (One-of-a-kind Campania-fired Santa Maria firebricks and mortar made with genuine volcanic ash taken directly from Mt Vesuvius), if you pay an exorbitant price for it, then it must be good.
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  #25  
Old 04-24-2011, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

I am a neophyte and want to avoid the debate between those who want to create an oven that is aesthetically perfect and those who want an oven that is replete with the flaws of its creator. However, I am curious at this artisan's use of a castable slurry to fill the voids between the firebricks on the top tiers of his domes. I am not looking for any short cuts, but I have to say that this is an intriguing technique that seems to reduce the labor of mortaring the upper layers of the oven. It also seems to make some sense that a properly mixed slurry would fill any voids and if it did not shrink when it dried, would strengthen the apex.

This is a good point for a reality check. I am not unaware, that Mr. Napoli has a lifetime of experience designing ovens and refractory mortars, etc. It is easy for the rookie builder to say, "I'll just do what my buddy Stefanno is doing!" What I don't know about this art could and does fill volumes.

So the question that arises is whether this is something anybody on this forum is doing? My inclination is to just continue with what I am doing and not become seduced into trying something that might jeopardize my effort up to this point. Many have heard the sirens song and steered a perfectly good boat into the rocks. Does anyone here have similar thoughts?
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

And since this is a wfo forum and most of us have or in the process of building wfo's we sometimes tend to be critical of these things at times. This goes for any hobby or trade forums. ....happens all the time.
A restauranteur with loads of cash but with very little knowledge of wfo's will naturally go with a proven name brand builder in many cases, regardless of the building process.
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  #27  
Old 04-24-2011, 03:31 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

fxpose, your remarks are well considered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapir Force View Post
...snip.... However, I am curious at this artisan's use of a castable slurry to fill the voids between the firebricks on the top tiers of his domes. I am not looking for any short cuts, but I have to say that this is an intriguing technique that seems to reduce the labor of mortaring the upper layers of the oven. It also seems to make some sense that a properly mixed slurry would fill any voids and if it did not shrink when it dried, would strengthen the apex....snip....

So the question that arises is whether this is something anybody on this forum is doing? My inclination is to just continue with what I am doing and not become seduced into trying something that might jeopardize my effort up to this point. Many have heard the sirens song and steered a perfectly good boat into the rocks. Does anyone here have similar thoughts?
Robert,

I'm not well experienced at this vocation either. I did just close my dome placing the final few pieces with just enough mortar to hold them in place, then, mixing a loose mixture of home brew, filled those voids within 20 minutes.

I feel it worked well. If you look at Karangi Dude's build, he seems to have done something similar at the end of each work session, all the way up the dome.

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  #28  
Old 04-24-2011, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

Tapir, I don't think anybody is advocating the Ferera design here or questioning artistic prowis. Ferera basic design seams to be the same as what is being advocated here, he just gets there a little differently. Many people here have constructed their dome using and removable form, sand casting, styro-foam, etc, etc. Just the slurry is different. The floor made of tufa doesn't add anything, it's just what is plentiful where he comes from. The question not to use Ferera's methods or not, it is how you want to construct your dome. Follow the FB plans......because it works.... and construct your dome however you like. Actually the slurry looks likes a great idea.
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  #29  
Old 04-24-2011, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

The problem with slurry's is that they crack. A slurry is designed for thin application; lime slurry on a wall, portland slurry on a foundation, they are thin. There is too much water in a slurry for it to dry without cracking, unless it is applied to a porous surface in a very thin coat. The method of filling the open joints is good, but the less water you add to the mix the better. The simple fact that he uses his unprotected hands to spread the slurry tells me he is a mechanic, not a craftsman. A craftsman would never abuse his tools in that fashion.
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  #30  
Old 04-24-2011, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Stefanno Ferara Napoli Oven Constuction

Look - his ovens are in constant heavy duty commercial use. If his ovens failed or didn't perform well - I suspect folks wouldn't use him.

Everything I can find about his ovens are positive - and it looks like lots of "real" pizzerias use them.

The ovens have stood the test of time - so who I am to dis what he's doing?
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