#1  
Old 01-21-2007, 10:13 AM
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Default How much soot?

How much soot is normal on the front of your oven?

I get a pretty good draw of smoke up my chimney, but some comes out the front while the fire is young. I'm burning slightly damp wood and haven't been able to achieve pizza hot temperatures yet, so those may be factors.

What do you think, given these pictures after curing fires?
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: How much soot?

Mark, that's certainly more soot than I see with my oven, even with damp wood. Your chimney draws better when hot, so be sure to start your initial kindling fire right under the chimney - usually for about 10 minutes. Once I start a fire in the dome a lot of smoke accumulates in the dome, but by preheating the chimney this is rapidly drawn up the flu rather than leaking out the front of the oven. I think the dome fire is also easier to get started once the oven is breathing well.
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: How much soot?

Thanks. With the artigiano oven, the vent is out in front of the oven opening. To build directly under the chimney, I'd be building the fire out on the stone landing at first. Does this seem wise? I'm going to try today with the fire as far forward in the oven as possible, then pushing it back.
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: How much soot?

I think the problem would be alleviated if not elimated by the use of a draft door. A friend of mine, Lloyd Johnston, a highly qualified if not famous blacksmith, is working with me to build a combination draft and oven door. The Alpha version is finished, and the Beta version will incorporate a few tweaks to make it function better. I'll post pics when I have them. Also shot some video of Lloyd at his forge. When I figure out how to handle the footage, I'll post that, too, if it would be of interest. Lloyd also made me a forged rake, and he's thinking about how to go about making me a shovel long enough (and light enough) to reach the back of my oven.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: How much soot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgraban View Post
To build directly under the chimney, I'd be building the fire out on the stone landing at first. Does this seem wise?
Well, my landing is firebrick, but that's how I do it. The brick on my landing has become a bit discolored, but more from raking ash out of the oven than from building a fire on it. The landing brick also never gets hot enough to burn clean like the hearth does. I agree with Jim that a draft door may also help, but it would have to seal pretty well.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: How much soot?

I will jump in with this.

Mark, you mentioned that your wood is a little damp, and that you are chopping your own kindling. A slightly damp and more smokey fire will also create more soot. If you build a drier fire in the center of the floor, and let that catch nicely before adding wood, your fire will combust better and put out less smoke and result in less soot.

Give that a try as well.
James
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Last edited by james; 01-22-2007 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: How much soot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
I will jump in with this.

Mark, you mentioned that your wood is a little damp, and that you are chopping your own kindling. A slightly damp and more smokey fire will also create more soot. If you build a drier fire in the center of the floor, and let that catch nicely before adding wood, your fire will combust better and put out less smoke and result in less soot.

Give that a try as well.
James
I'm going to wait until I have really dry wood before I fire it up again. Kindling has been a bigger problem, trying to get enough good kindling.

I've also been having to research how to clean soot off of stone! :-)
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Last edited by james; 01-22-2007 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: How much soot?

Mark,
How did your last fire work? Have you hit good pizza heat yet?
James
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: How much soot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by james View Post
Mark,
How did your last fire work? Have you hit good pizza heat yet?
James
No, still wasn't burning hot enough. It stopped raining after a week, so I've left my half-cord uncovered to dry out.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: How much soot?

I think you should just go longer and longer with your burn until you get there. When your oven is up to heat and fully cured, you can add some pretty damp wood and it will still do a good job of combusting.
You have the pleasure of curing an oven in a weird, wet and cold winter.
James
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