Old 01-25-2010, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Houston
Posts: 192
Default Ash Slot

Ok first of all I want to thank all that have answered my questions in the past. Just to keep eveyone informed, you all convinced me to go with the dome oven and not the barrel oven style. I guess I will have to wait a few more years before I start my bakery business. Now I have a few more questions!

1. I have seen a number of the dome builds and none have incorporated a ash slot like one ones for the barrel ovens. Is there a good reason for this?

2. The Indispensible tool- Does this need to stay in place for each brick waiting on the morter to dry?

3. Just to confirm, there is a keystone in each row of the dome?
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Cary NC
Posts: 46
Default Re: Ash Slot

I too would like to know if anyone has built a dome shaped WFO and used a ash slot. I eliminated it from my original plans, just sticking with Fornos oven plan. I have been focused on the build not the use of the oven.
Thanks for any comments
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:33 PM
dmun's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 4,216
Default Re: Ash Slot

No need for an ash slot. It's easy to shovel out the fire from an outdoor oven for baking, and even easier to shovel out the little bit of ash left over from a pizza fire. Besides leaving a big hole in your work area, it takes a heap of work for an ash chute not to interfere with your wood storage area.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:27 PM
Dino_Pizza's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Northridge, CA
Posts: 1,017
Default Re: Ash Slot

Of all the little detailed bits I put time and muscle into my wfo, I don't regret leaving out the ash slot at all. A few things pop up in my 6 months of usage as something I might have considered or done different, but ash slot...not so much. Especially when you consider the logistics of making it.

Indispensable tool: I LOVE and am secretly jealous of others who used the indispensable tool. I DID NOT. My dome rings dipped 2/3's the way up and yet I easily straitened it out but needlessly panicked over it none the less. You'll see in my pics I put a stick mounted to a swivel door jamb bracket just for keeping the dome round, imperfectly round, but no one can tell.

Yes, TECHNICALLY, there is a keystone in each ring. I gather you're asking because you want to cut your bricks in half and that at some point in the ring, a half brick might not fit perfect and you need to cut a smaller "keystone" or tight fitting brick? Well, yes that will happen. But it's only 1 or 2 bricks per row so you should be able to cut that with whatever method or saw you are using.

Really good questions, keep them coming. I'm glad you settled on the dome vs the barrel. Take a look at peoples pics and you'll notice the beautifully cut and tapered domes and some rough-and-tumble domes as well that I find just as beautiful and bring as much cooking fun and joy as the others.

Good luck and I look foreword to seeing your build!, Dino
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:43 PM
Jed Jed is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bend, Oregon; West Coast USA
Posts: 428
Default Re: Ash Slot


I chose not to install an ash slot. I am still a bit hard pressed to see the advantage of including the ash slot. I use the space below the vent area of the oven for storage. I like the storage area. It includes a metal bucket I shovel the ash into, but it is off to one side and out of the way most of the time, so I can still easily access the rest of the area under the oven. And I don't have to work around a hole in the floor of the primary and only access to the oven. And I can 'place' the ash into the bucket instead of dropping it from above, giving the full measure of ash an opportunity to be air born and float all around the place.

I built the oven without the use of the indispensable tool. The fit and finish of my brick work in the dome is a bunch less consistent than the ovens built with the indispensable tool, and I'm sure I used more mortar to fill in the spaces between the fire brick. It still makes great pizza, bread, and what ever else needs a good cookin'. And it required less time to assemble than if I was working to that higher level of fit and finish. I built a cardboard template to use while erecting the dome and confirm I was installing each chain in the correct position to end up with a correct 'dome' shape. My finished dome ceiling height missed my target by one half inch. - close enough. Many of the other guys and gal's on this forum do use the 'indispensable tool' and love everything about the work it does. It's a personal choice, neither is right or wrong, just different ways to get the thing built. Since I didn't use the tool, I can only guess that on every brick up through the sixth chain of brick, you will use the tool only to place each brick in it's spot, then remove the tool and place the next brick. By about the seventh chain, you will want to use some technique to help keep the brick in place until the mortar starts to set up or until you get the keystone for that chain in place, and the brick will have a tendency to 'fall' out of place.

And yes, each chain, or row of brick in the dome, the last brick you install functions like a keystone, locking that row of brick in place. There is a final 'keystone' in the very top of the dome that ties the shape of the dome together, locking all of the brick in place.

Good luck with your build.

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Old 01-26-2010, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Houston
Posts: 192
Default Re: Ash Slot

Thanks for all the comments! I hope that I don't think this thing to death! As for the ash slot, I do appreciate the comment about the airbone problem, but I was really thinking of putting the wood storage opening on the side of the base and just have a small hole in the front just large enough to house a bucket, thus keeping any airbone ash inside the base. And yes I would have a "fire wall" barrier to protect the wood stored from any hot coals.

My biggest concern is the time factor. Once I start on the actual oven is there any problems of leaving everthing exposed to the elements waiting to be completed? Remember I get home every other weekend.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:01 PM
BurntFingers's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ocean County New Jersey
Posts: 137
Default Re: Ash Slot

As far as the ash slot goes. I put one in my oven. Granted it is a barrel vault shaped oven. Under the slot I placed an empty large metal G.I. surplus ammunition box. So when I dump the hot coals into the slot all I need to do is put the lid on the box and lock down the latches and move it away wearing welders gloves. Zero impact on my wood storage surrounding the box. It offers a clean place to store that dusty mess. When it cools down the next day I have a load of lump charcoal for the barbeque and a ph adjuster for my lawn.
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