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Old 01-24-2011, 07:30 PM
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Default Varying the shape of the oven opening to retain heat

I noticed this image Variations in the Oven landing shape-img_0368-1-.jpg In an early thread about James' oven installation.

I see a variation in the width of the oven opening, with the opening at the oven floor -maybe 2-3 inches wider than the upper portion. Left as it appears, you could move a very wide pizza peel through that bottom opening while having a more narrow opening in the upper portion to hold the oven heat.

I realize two things here involving the seal of an oven door and increased difficulty in the arch construction to exaggerate a narrow upper arch. I want it both ways in terms of a wide and tall oven landing with good heat retention.

Has anyone tried an unconventional oven landing shape to mimic the picture above? What are your thoughts?
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Last edited by Lburou; 01-24-2011 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Varying the shape of the oven opening to retain heat

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Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
What are your thoughts?
I think they made a mistake and tried to grind the door opening to make it better.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Variations in the Oven landing shape

Actually I think you are possibly right, Lee.
I wouldn't be surprised if the widening was to fit a larger peel.

Easy versions of the Artigiano oven by Forno Bravo had a cast iron entrance which was wider at the bottom and necked in at the top. I really think the design is quite beautiful but apparently it is no longer available in that configuration.

Here's a photo:

As a roundabout: I liked that shape and that lead me to search out something that would work, which lead to the truck wheel rim which became the entrance to my WFO. Not exactly the same interior but a simple semi-circle for the outer arch. Here's a photo of my entrance:

Hope this helps,
Wiley
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:32 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Variations in the Oven landing shape

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
.....snip....
Here's a photo:

As a roundabout: I liked that shape and that lead me to search out something that would work, which lead to the truck wheel rim which became the entrance to my WFO. Not exactly the same interior but a simple semi-circle for the outer arch. Here's a photo of my entrance:

Hope this helps,
Wiley
Yes Wiley, it does help. You have my attention/curiosity stirred up now....Any real close ups of that unique and stylish installation entrance you have there? I'd like to see more. Sorry, I'm one of those guys that has to see everything to get it straight in my mind's eyes

It would not be that difficult to make a channel for a wide peel at the bottom of the landing and then make a real choke point at the top of the landing which would accommodate a good sized turkey or hunk of Lamb or a piglet carcase. (In a general way, it would be shaped like an old mantle clock). I'd have to build it with different reinforcement on the sides, but as long as I leave a rim for an insulating door, we could have it both ways.....Make any sense?

Thanks
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Variations in the Oven landing shape

Lee, the easiest closeups would be to go to my thread "Steel Dome Oven". There's lots of photos there.

One thing I couldn't achieve was the architectural focal point of the decreasing radius arcs of the entrance followed by the taper to the actual entrance of the oven. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me the Artigiano looked more architecturally akin to the Hollywood Bowl rather than the entrance to a train tunnel. Mine's a train tunnel.

And to my thinking there was some practicality from an engineering standpoint; the wider width at the outside allowed a greater movement of the peel (so that one had access to the whole interior) without having to have a wider opening into the interior (thru which the heat could more easily escape). Thus one could actually have more insulation on the outside without making the train tunnel longer or wider. And doors would be tapered plugs insuring a clean seal all around the edges. And one could see in without being directly in front of the oven.

Anyway, here's a photo of the Hollywood Bowl, so you can see what I mean.

Hope this helps,
Wiley
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:44 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Variations in the Oven landing shape

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....snip....And to my thinking there was some practicality from an engineering standpoint; the wider width at the outside allowed a greater movement of the peel (so that one had access to the whole interior) without having to have a wider opening into the interior (thru which the heat could more easily escape). ....snip....Anyway, here's a photo of the Hollywood Bowl, so you can see what I mean.

Hope this helps,
Wiley
I found your thread here (Steel Dome Oven). Thanks

Have you seen another oven entry made with this philosophy and done in firebrick. Is our thinking that far out of the norm?
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Variations in the Oven landing shape

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Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
I found your thread here (Steel Dome Oven). Thanks

Have you seen another oven entry made with this philosophy and done in firebrick. Is our thinking that far out of the norm?
I have not, to my recollection, seen one but I've only been here a couple of years. As for our thinking being out of the norm.... IMHO one builds as their time and capabilities (including pocketbook) permits. Most WFO's are variations on a theme that has proven it works. And there is nothing wrong with that, for most of us our WFOs represent a sizable chunk of our discretionary time.

A question one contemplating building a WFO might ask themselves: is the goal the oven or what one can produce from the oven? Is it the end, or simply the means to an end? Or is it both?

Bests,
Wiley
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Variations in the Oven landing shape

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Originally Posted by Wiley View Post

A question one contemplating building a WFO might ask themselves: is the goal the oven or what one can produce from the oven? Is it the end, or simply the means to an end? Or is it both?
Whoah thats deep man.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Variations in the Oven landing shape

I don't think that's so deep a question.

Some posters are building a WFO in a day, a bunch of common bricks stacked together and they are making pizza. I don't think one would be too far off in saying their goal would be enjoying pizza and a few beers with their mates. That is looks like a stack/pile of bricks is of little concern, their concern is the pizza.

Some are building "Taj Mahals" that they sit around discussing aspects of the high end wine they are drinking. Some have even paid big bucks for someone else to build their WFO because they don't have the XXX or XXX to do it themselves. They want to impress the neighbors/friends (although they most likely won't admit it). And they like quality pizza too.

Some do it for the personal satisfaction of doing it themselves. They do quality work because it means something to them. They are hardest on themselves regarding quality and judge the pizza probably more critically than the guys who paid to have the WFO built for them.

Some are like the couple who bought my parents place in California. He built high end homes for the "Recently Rich" people of Silicon Valley. They tore down my parents old home and built new. And new high end homes have a WFO in the kitchen (according to them) and that was in 1996! Not that they were all excited about a WFO, it was a necessity in the level home they were "creating". (My folks had a great view overlooking Montery Bay, one could see surfers at Santa Cruz with a telescope.)

Some would have better off buying a moveable WFO from James (and therefore could still be enjoying pizza) because the beast they built has developed a bad case of the cracked oven syndrome due to a host of factors. And now two years after construction it is as popular as the ski boat they have parked in the weeds next to the garage.

Or some would have been better off buying a ready to fire WFO from James and getting the job completed before they ran out of life (time) to complete it in. (Lots of reasons for buying one from James actually.)

Lots of reasons for building your own WFO (or not), these are just a few that went thru my head.

But honestly don't you think one should ponder why they are building their own WFO (hopefully before they start). Sorry this is changing the direction of this thread, but this is the chit chat section/forum and chit chat does tend to wander. Why did you build your WFO?

Bests,
Wiley
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Variations in the Oven landing shape

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Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
Why did you build your WFO?
To start with because I like doing projects and having a challenge.

Now onto my second oven because I have seen the errors of my ways with the first. And also because we love doing general cooking in the oven rather than just pizza.
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