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Old 12-24-2009, 04:12 AM
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Smile There's concrete in the ground

Hooray!! There's concrete in the ground and even a few block laid. My build will be an 36"x48" AS barrel design - more utilitarian than most I've seen here. I almost hesitate to post pictures because you all have done some beautiful work and mine will be covered with sheet metal. So far we really have no plans for any large scale baking, but no doubt more than the typical home bread baker. maybe 50 loaves/week. With that in mind there will be a little more thermal mass and insulation incorporated to keep everything hot over the long haul.

I posted a few pics. The "kitchen" is actually taking over my 10'x12' tool shed so the oven build also requires construction of a new place to throw all my junk, so I posted a couple of pics of that too just to chronicle the process. PhotoPlog - Error
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: There's concrete in the ground

I'm curious why you chose a barrel design over a dome. That's what I had intended before I found this site. It didn't take long reading the posts (as well as the free download of the Pompeii plans) for me to change my mind.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: There's concrete in the ground

I think the Alan Scott plans still call for insulating under your support slab. There's also some idea of "floating" this slab on bare rebar, as if steel didn't create a thermal bridge. There's nothing wrong with a barrel vault oven, particularly at fifty loaves a week, but do download our plans for the current thinking on insulation of ovens.

Our motto around here: Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: There's concrete in the ground

Why the barrel over the dome? I don't know exactly. As I look in the front of my copy of The Bread Builders I see the date written December 1, 1999. We've been thinking about this for a long time. It just seems counterintuitive to force a square peg (in this case, ganged rectangular loaf pans) into a round hole. The dome ovens are beautiful and I'm certain they cook well, but for our particular use that just didn't seem to be the way to go.

I also like the concept of minimal-to-no exposed mortar inside the baking chamber in contact with the flame. Building a dome with that kind of joinery would require more skill than I possess—I might be able to manage the straight lines of the vault since I'm sort of a straight-line person anyhow. I really do admire dmun's geodesic work—WOW! Thats amazing!! I don't have the patience for that.

In a recent newspaper article there was featured a "fairly local" (120 miles away) artisan baker who had built a vault WFO, so we took a little road trip to see how his oven actually worked. The day we were there he was firing the oven for a baking run the following day. His oven was a good bit larger (84" deep) than my plans call for (48"), but he was currently producing 350 loaves/week (nice round boules — as I recall about 1˝ pounds each) baking only two days/week and thought he could easily go to 500/week.

As far as the baking characteristics of the various oven designs, the key seems to be balanced mass (and enough of it) and, like is said above, "insulate, insulate, insulate" — and then put another layer on for good measure.

I enjoy reading all the building adventures here and have read many, many threads. The information contained in the "sticky's" is invaluable for the amature mason. Keep pouring concrete.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: There's concrete in the ground

The AS ovens are great. But I don't agree with the part of the plan that shows insulation under the structural slab. I am also not convinced of the necessity of floating the slab on pins.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: There's concrete in the ground

Well, even the dome ovens insulate under the hearth in an effort to keep the thermal mass tempered. I too have wondered about the suspended slab - except for the natural movement that occurs when firing — just trying to minimize cracks and potential structural failures I suppose.
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