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Old 10-29-2013, 09:06 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: northern michigan
Posts: 9
Default Fire won't stay lit

Hi everyone, I just finished my first oven and I'm having trouble keeping the fire lit. I built it to the instructions, but I think I'm having an airflow issue. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2013, 09:44 AM
Master Builder
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State USA
Posts: 768
Default Re: Fire won't stay lit

Lifeofpie,

Here are a couple of possible answers: You say just finished the WFO, so is the oven dry? If the oven is still wet/water in bricks/not dried out it won't act properly. Another possibility is the wood: how dry is the wood you are using? The problem could be a combination of the two.

You might try a draft door to improve draw. I use such a door and it causes my WFO to draw like there was a fan blowing air into the WFO. Shortens time from match to first pizza significantly as well as lessening any smoke that may want to escape out the front. Lots of postings about draft doors, check the archives.

Hope these ideas help. I'm sure others will chime in with other possibilities.

Wiley
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:46 AM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: san jose ca
Posts: 104
Default Re: Fire won't stay lit

Are you using kindling? Make a nice kindling pile before adding more substantial wood.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 344
Default Re: Fire won't stay lit

can you post pictures? Are you starting your fire near the front and only pushing it back once you have a strong fire and draw going? It is very difficult to start the fire in the center of the oven. In my oven, the fire needs to be strong and the chimney hot before I can push everything into the middle and stoke it up!
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:06 PM
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Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: South Carolina,USA
Posts: 1,508
Default Re: Fire won't stay lit

Likely a wet oven as mentioned by the others. If smoke is choking out the fire, then the chimney opening is probably undersized. A small fire built close to the oven opening or a twist of newspaper to heat the flue is going to help get your draw going.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:37 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: northern michigan
Posts: 9
Default Re: Fire won't stay lit

I think I was doing a bunch of things wrong. I didn't have enough kindling, too big of a log to start with plus it had about 9.5% moisture according to the meter. Pretty dry, but could be drier. I'll look up a draft door and try everyone's suggestions in the meantime. Also, I'll get a few pics up. Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:45 PM
Serf
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: northern michigan
Posts: 9
Default Re: Fire won't stay lit

Oh I forgot to mention that I put in an 8" x 24" chimney so I hope that's not too small.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:30 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: northern michigan
Posts: 9
Default Re: Fire won't stay lit

Here's a pic of it basically done. I also rigged up an automatic door of sorts that uses an RTD in the middle of the floor to sense the temp and then will open or close to maintain the temp. I couldn't find any info on the forums and obviously I'm not sure if it works yet. Has anyone tried this? If so, results?
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:26 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: NW Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 166
Default Re: Fire won't stay lit

My 2 cents is your wood has to be wet. If your useing kindling and get that started in the front of the oven with bigger chunks and get those going you should never have a problem. Once its going well under your chimney push it into the center of the oven it will roar as long as your woods not wet. Seasoned wood is easy to identify by looking for cracks/checking in the grain at the end of the logs. If no cracks it's not dry. It takes at least 6 months stored indoors dry to season wood in NW Pennsylvania.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:58 PM
Serf
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: northern michigan
Posts: 9
Default Re: Fire won't stay lit

Makes sense, I'll try starting the fire under the chimney and go from there.

Not sure why my picture didn't show up? Did I do something wrong?
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