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jcg31 09-29-2008 03:56 PM

Glass door for the view
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I wanted my oven to come up to temp quickly (well, quicker) so I have always used my insulated door offset to the opening to act as a draft door. As a result I missed a good bit of the spectacle attached to the inferno created during the first hour. So, I decided to take the plunge and construct a glass door.

The design is fairly simple but not cheap (all in the glass). The frame is (2) 4 lengths of square tubing (at $4.25 per), a channel to hold the glass was cut into the tubing with an HFT grinder. Another 2 ($2.50) piece was cut in quarters lengthwise with two pieces used for the top and bottom draft slide guides, The feet are 2x6x 1/8 steel I had laying around (probably $1.5 as a portion of the original piece purchased) I rounded the ends with a grider. The handles are welded to the feet and are two handles from welder brushes from Harbor Freight Tools ($3.49 per) cut with grinder. The removable draft slides are 1.5x11 strips cut from a piece of rolled steel I had (again probably $1.50 of the original piece). And the knobs for the slides were $4.50 per - - yup kinda stupid expensive for those, but worth it to get the quasi coordination to the handles and win the wifes buy in. Can of black stove spray paint ($4.75)

Here is where it gets a bit pricey; the glass is 3/16 Neoceram rated for continuous use of up to 1470F that was $115! (with shipping). So, all accounted for $149 and change.

So far it is performing like a champ providing the great visual I was looking for and the blast furnace-type flow and heat up - - far better than my offset door approach. The handles were a bit of concern so close to the glass but work fairly well. At the height of the firing you could hold them for a few Mississippis (move the door quickly , throw in the log, move it back, shake off the pain) I usually wear gloves, to adjust stuff anyway so that wont be a problem. This morning, with the center of brick at 585F the handles were barely warm so from a cooking and baking perspective they should work great.


dmun 09-29-2008 05:08 PM

Re: Glass door for the view
Did the supplier cut the neo-ceram glass to your pattern? Got a link to the supplier? Is that like borosilicate (pyrex) glass?

It looks good. Does it tilt back to channel the smoke up the chimney, or do you just place it back from the opening?

Les 09-29-2008 05:13 PM

Re: Glass door for the view

Very nice and Very clever!

jcg31 09-29-2008 06:33 PM

Re: Glass door for the view
Thanks Les and Dmun,

The supplier for the glass was Custom Glass Replacement & Cutting Services - One Day Glass. They can work with many vector formats, I sent them a dxf file (they cut with waterjet). My need was for a piece of glass with both sides square at the bottom but 1/8" longer on the right side toward the arch, they nailed it. One caution if you order online, the crew there never received the electronic file that I attached to the order online. I followed up to make sure they had received it and they had not, but they were all over themselves to get the order done right. Great service!

It is like Pyrex in that it is highly resistent to thermal shock but from what I read can be sustained at higher temperatures for longer periods of time.

The fit is tight enough to the wall to not allow any option for the smoke but to head up the chimney. Eliminates all flaws in my draw.


dbhansen 09-29-2008 07:43 PM

Re: Glass door for the view
Wow, that's some nice engineering, Jim!

mfiore 09-29-2008 08:08 PM

Re: Glass door for the view
Ditto! Very slick door.

berryst 09-30-2008 06:51 AM

Re: Glass door for the view
very nice!

Dino_Pizza 09-30-2008 01:57 PM

Re: Glass door for the view
Hey Jim, I'm a little dense on oven door use and why the sliding door at the bottom for ventilation and when do you want/need to use it. Is there a time when you would have the door against the oven inner-arch opening and a different time to have the door at the outer arch for smoke to go up the chimney but allow air in the bottom to feed the fire?
Thanks, Dino

dmun 09-30-2008 07:13 PM

Re: Glass door for the view
Since Jim hasn't answered: A draft door traps the suction of the flue, and channels the air flow through a narrow opening at the bottom of the door, creating a blast of air directly at the fire. This speeds up firestarting, reduces the smoke on start up, and is particularly useful in cold weather when fires start slowly and with difficulty. By having a sliding vent, it could double as an oven door for retained heat baking. All in all, a very slick design if your oven opening is the same width at front as at back.

jcg31 09-30-2008 07:55 PM

Re: Glass door for the view
Hey Dino,
Well actually you are correct.
To be clear, in what follows I call the space between the vent and the dome "behind the vent" and the space between the vent and the human "in front of the vent".

I cheat on fire starting, I use one of those monster propane torches to get the fire going (usually 5 minutes on a relative low setting). Once the fire is burning pretty well on its own is when most put the draft door in place. Prior to the new door, I would position the door in front of the vent leaving about a one inch gap between door and the wall for air to work its way through - - my improvised draft door. The new door works much better fitting against all sides of entry (in front of the vent). With just one draft slide open it has the effect of a constant bellow that increases in intensity as the fire grows . At the "plasma" stage it is quite the show. The fire is hotter and more efficient. It has a dramatic effect on the time it takes to bring the oven up to temp.

When baking, just about anything but pizza, the door goes up against the lip of the entrance (behind the vent) to retain the heat. When smoking items (which I have yet to do) I will put it infront of the vent with both slides closed. When the oven is not in use it goes back against the lip, again to retain the heat. To that, my insulated door loses about 5-6 degrees center of brick per hour. The new glass door loses 6-7 degrees per hour - - not bad for the much lighter, less clumbsy door.


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