Old 08-02-2012, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 5
Default new oven st augustine Fl

Hey everyone, My wife and I built our oven in two days, and man that was some work. I couldnt find type s lime so i got a some good chem burns building this one.

we used a single sheet of soap stone ontop of firebrick 40"X25"x2" cured it all over seven days etc.... and when we got that oven up to temp got a few long cracks in the sides but nothing too bad i think. I may make some fine fire motar and push in the cracks to repair dont know yet. biggest issue we had was when it reached 550 the soap stone cracked and cracked again with first pizza. dough was room temp so wasnt like a huge temp change. Company that cut the stone said they would cut me another piece so is there anything else i am missing here. we did 7 fires and started with small fire to bigger method.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:40 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Detroit
Posts: 405
Default Re: new oven st augustine Fl

Did you build based on this design?

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Unfortunately more and more of these ovens are popping up and everyone is having the same issue. The manufacturer has been contacted by multiple people with brick oven knowledge and informed of the many short comings of the design he is pushing, but he doesn't seem to care.

The long and short of it is this. Your oven lacks a door of any sort. The heat from the fire simply pours out the front. It also lacks insulation both under the cooking floor and above the dome. That means any heat you do get to stay in the oven will leave quickly. Lastly the oven has too much mass in the dome and the floor. Couple all these things you will see the problem. Many of them can be addressed with additional work to yield a handicapped but functional oven, but there are a few things that cannot be fixed without a complete knockdown and rebuild.

Sorry to be the one to bring the bad news. Those of us who give a darn have truly tried to stop the spread of this design.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 5
Default Re: new oven st augustine Fl

I plan on making a large steel door for it to combat the loss of heat. It did however cook pizzas just fine for what we want, but i dont know if it will work for bread. The floor is concrete, firebrick, and then the soapstone. I dont plan on knocking it down and rebuilding as its not worth it to me at all. what all do you think could be done to fix its shortcomings?

real question in the post is about the soap stone though, did i cure it incorrectly? how to keep it from cracking.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:32 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Carson City, NV
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Default Re: new oven st augustine Fl

Originally Posted by senile32nd View Post

real question in the post is about the soap stone though, did i cure it incorrectly? how to keep it from cracking.
Did you mortar the stone or allow it to float? In regard to the other issues, sounds like it will work for pizza / fast bakes. The missing door reveal is not a big deal because none of ours had it in the beginning either - it was an evolution. The lack of insulation is your problem. Doesn't sound like your oven was designed / built for more than the current fire. If you can get all the mass up to temp there is no reason you couldn't bake a few things.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 5
Default Re: new oven st augustine Fl

I let the soapstone float on the firebrick, and it has about a half to quarter inch on all sides to expand.

it does take a while to heat that guy up, about three - four hours, but gets to temp and holds pizza oven temp for a few hours with out much work at all. once i get the door made ill see what temps it holds over time and then try some bread or lamb.

thanks for the posts guys
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