#1  
Old 03-11-2012, 12:24 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Praha, Czech Republic
Posts: 19
Default Proximity to tree; ash slot? Newbie questions

Hi,

We are planning to build a WFO at our cottage near Prague in the Czech Republic. The location that works for the oven is right next to an apple tree. In fact, we will likely need to trim the side branches in order to make room for the housing of the WFO. I read that "you should choose a spot away from trees or plants that could be damaged by the heat." Does anyone have direct experience with ovens right next to trees?

My second question is a design question about the oven itself. I have seen several designs that have a slot where you can sweep ashes down into container below the oven (in the wood storage area). Intuitively, that doesn't seem that great an idea, since it would introduce a lip to catch the edge of a peel. Is scooping out the ashes and spent coals with a shovel such a problem?

Thanks in advance. I look forward to hearing from the experts
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2012, 02:41 PM
Serf
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Praha, Czech Republic
Posts: 19
Default Re: Proximity to tree; ash slot? Newbie questions

Bump. Have to make the call on the location relative to the tree tomorrow. Hoping the tree will survive being next to the oven. Thanks for any feedback.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2012, 04:59 PM
DrakeRemoray's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 1,211
Default Re: Proximity to tree; ash slot? Newbie questions

If you keep the branches of the tree away from the chimney I don't think you will have a problem. The chimney and the front are the only places that should leak heat. It is important to insulate the oven so that no major heat escapes elsewhere. I have grapes growing all over mine and they are not effected by the heat of the oven at all.

As far as the ash slot goes, most of us do not have an ash slot. It is pretty easy to remove ashes and coals with a shovel or pizza peel.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:06 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 1,374
Default Re: Proximity to tree; ash slot? Newbie questions

"it would introduce a lip to catch the edge of a peel."

I have a 1 inch by the width of the door ash slot at the transition between the hearth and counter top. My counter top is polished coloured concrete. This slot funnels down to a 4 inch hole thru the suspended slab. It does not catch the peel. Pots and pans slide in and out with out any problems.

An ash slot like this very convenient for cleaning out the oven and also acts as a thermal break.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:51 AM
OzOvenBuilder's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Western District, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 79
Default Re: Proximity to tree; ash slot? Newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil2 View Post
"it would introduce a lip to catch the edge of a peel."

I have a 1 inch by the width of the door ash slot at the transition between the hearth and counter top. My counter top is polished coloured concrete. This slot funnels down to a 4 inch hole thru the suspended slab. It does not catch the peel. Pots and pans slide in and out with out any problems.

An ash slot like this very convenient for cleaning out the oven and also acts as a thermal break.
The ash slots are very handy, and doesn't catch my peel either!
If anything, the only issue I have, as slight as it might be, is when slow roasting etc, the coals removed can still have alot of heat in them. I've found they can heat up the handles of the oven door quite fast just from the heat rising up from the ash deposit. I could probably reduce this problem by cleaning out the ash deposit more often, or maybe I could cut a piece of refractory as a plug?!
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Proximity to tree; ash slot? Newbie questions

My ash slot is about 3.5" deep x 20" wide (9.5 cm x 50 cm) and has not posed a problem catching peels or pots in the last +2 years. The ash container that sits below the slot has a sliding cover so I pull the cover back, sweep the ashes/coals into the slot and they drop into the ash bin through the slab. I slide the cover back over the container and the coals die out fairly quickly...and little if any smoke or heat escape from the bin as I continue to work with the oven.

It seems to me that people that do primarily pizza, tend to not build an ash slot into their oven design and those that do more bread than pizza--like the ash slot. All forms of the oven seem to work just fine for any type of cooking...the ash slot (or not) doesn't affect the bake. I personally just didn't want to deal with ashes while I was entertaining & baking and chose to put in the slot/container combo.

As several folks have already noted, if you insulate your oven properly you won't have issues with heat on the back and sides.
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