Old 01-27-2007, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: california
Posts: 32
Default Curing/Firing Further Explained

james, just wanted to understand your curing schedule a little better and thought i would start a new thread as the other one took a big turn into the properties of concrete. here is what you posted:


To be safe, here is a good curing schedule.

1. Let the oven sit for a week or so after you have finished the dome.
2. Run a series of seven fires, starting with a small, newspaper-only fire.
3. Increase the size of the fire each day by about 100F
4. Let the oven fall back to cool as soon as you reach the temperature you want. It is important to bring the oven up to heat gently, then back down to cold, each time.
5. If you don't have an infrared thermometer, try this schedule:
Newspaper only
Newspaper and a little kindling
1 stick of 2"x3"X16" wood
2 sticks of wood
3 sticks of wood
4 sticks of wood
5 sticks of wood



my questions:

let's say it's day one (the first fire) and i'm trying to achieve 200f per your schedule.

1. using an ir thermometer, what part of the oven do i use to get my 200f reading from - the dome top, walls, floor? assuming it is the first fire and i use the top of the dome, the walls and floor will be much, much cooler, no?

2. once the first fire reaches 200f and i let it naturally burn/cool down, am i done for the day or do i repeat the process throughout the day, i.e., start another small fire, let it reach 200f and let it burn/cool down again?

3. during the 7 day curing process do i use the oven door at the end of each day (or fire) to maintain whatever heat the oven has absorbed?

4. as the days progress and i incrementally increase the heat of the oven per your schedule, is it important that i try to evenly distribute the embers so that i am exposing as many areas of the oven to the heat as possible? does it make a difference if i start each fire at the same floor location, say front/center of the oven, for each daily firing - or would i be better served starting each new fire at different locations on the floor?

5. once i am up and running i will maintain my fires on the left side of my oven while reserving the middle and right for cooking. should this be taken into consideration during the curing/firing process? in other words, would it be better to expose the left side of my oven to the majority of heat during the curing process by building the fires on that side?

i very much look forward to any responses!
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: california
Posts: 32
Default Re: Curing/Firing Further Explained

if points 1-5 have been addressed in another thread, could someone be kind enough to provide a link (as i couldn't find this info) - it would be very much appreciated.
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Old 07-21-2007, 02:00 AM
redbricknick's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 271
Default Re: Curing/Firing Further Explained

This guy had some good points i think.. I just built a pretty hot fire in place of my 6 or 700 degreeer, and as much as you tell yourself, she'll crack.. I expect cracks.. Cracks are normal, natural, expected, welcome.. It's still scary to see cracks in the oven you built..
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Old 07-21-2007, 12:35 PM
Unofornaio's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Central, California
Posts: 323
Default Re: Curing/Firing Further Explained

Relax you are over thinking this rather simple process.

Some basic elements that are important are
1. Start the fires small
2. Try to keep heat even, using the door certainly will not hurt and I think a good idea.
3. Ideally the masonry should dry as evenly as possible.

You can also use a small forced air space heater (on low) and let it run continually over several days. This in my opinion is the ideal curing method nice even slow heat.

James-The "NECESSITY" of cooling down between fires is not something I have heard can you explain...
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Old 07-21-2007, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 257
Default Re: Curing/Firing Further Explained

Yes, I too am puzzling over the cycling approach, especially given my refractory mortar manufacturer's recommendations - see my post at http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/16/o...ramp#post12790 (Oven Curing) for details.

I like the idea of a small fan heater to dry things out initially - I used such a heater to dry the Cal Sil sheets after they got a bit damp due to condensation dripping off the plastic sheet. Worked well but it did take a long time, I recall.

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