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Old 05-17-2012, 10:34 AM
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Location: Poetry, Texas
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Default crack problem...

We're ALMOST finished with the oven!!! Yippee, it's been cured and we've cooked a few dinners in it with tremendous success!! Am absolutely loving my WFO. I need to put the last coat of stucco on and then the finish coat and paint it, but before I do that, I need your help. After about 7 fires, it developed a hairline crack from the arch, past the chimney and about 12 inches into the dome. It opens up a tinsy bit when the oven's hot, but shrinks once cool. I know that won't affect the operation of the oven, not worried there, however, in Texas we frequently get rains and freezes that could cause bigger cracks in the future. Here's the question, can I just stucco over the crack and if it cracks through that layer, can I put some caulk on it to seal it? I'm guessing that the chimney expanded (we probably messed up by putting some fire mortar around it to help anchor it in place) and that's the root of the issue. My husband is wondering if we should chip that part out and put in more perlcrete at the base of the pipe. I'm worried that will cause more problems. What do you think?

Anyway, so far, we've cooked a number of personal size pizza's, roasted a beer can chicken (Highly recommended!), ribs, pork tenderloin, and focaccia breads. Tonight I'm cooking a batch of bread, another chicken, more ribs and of course pizzas!!! It's our 26th anniversary and I would so rather do this than go out!!! Plus, the wine here's a little cheaper.! LOL. I covered plywood with sheets of copper to make the door(s) which is working well, but would love thoughts on making handles for it. It seems to only hold enough heat to cook in for about 24 hours, but then, we're also using mostly scrap wood and very little oak or hard woods. The experiment continues!!

Our backyard is really getting cool, my husband and I built the 10ft redwood table and are planning benches to go with it. (FYI, redwood is incredibly dense and ate lots of drill bits!). The grape arbor in the background is the ideal place for the hammock and the garden is loaded with tomatoes and basil!!! Now I need to work on making my own wine from the grapes (also have a terrific orchard with peaches, pears, apples, figs and plums). I may burst into song..."Faaarm living is the place for me!!!"

I'll post photos if and when I sculpt something cool to cover the chimney pipe...

Thanks for all your help! Looking forward to posting recipes! - Shelley (Poetryart).
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: crack problem...

Shelley,

Did you put the stucco over insulation? That should have isolated the crack from your vent.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: crack problem...

I think that's where the problem came from, I put the FB blanket on the dome, covered that with lots of perlcrete then the stucco. However, when I installed the chimney bracket, I set it on the arched doorway, but didn't insulate that from the dome. Should we chip out the stucco and add perlcrete, or maybe just put some perlcrete over the very thin layer of stucco (and heat stop that's actually around the chimney directly), or just not worry about it and continue with the next layer of stucco? It's a really small crack that shrinks back right after it cools. The entire dome stays wonderfully cool while we are cooking, except for the bricks on the arch and a small (3x3") area behind the chimney.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: crack problem...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetryart View Post
but then, we're also using mostly scrap wood and very little oak or hard woods. The experiment continues!!
Thanks for all your help! Looking forward to posting recipes! - Shelley (Poetryart).
Love your oven, your backyard and especially your enthusiasm
Just one consern "scrap wood...very little oak or hardwood" .

From your pics I see saw cut limbs (stove wood) no problem. When I hear or read the term scrap wood it conjurs up bad thoughts. I presume that you already know this from researching this site but: (just in case) I wouldn't use any painted, treated, used building materials and not a very large amount of soft woods. Research the trees and shrubs grown in your area and find out what is suitable for preheating and especially what is OK for smoking and direct heat like you do for the Budweiser Can Chicken .
Also, keep all trimmings or dead wood from your fruit trees for smoking .
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: crack problem...

By scrap, I'm referring to fallen trees on the fence line, AKA trash trees. We start the fire with those, but then move over to oak before cooking. All scrap 2x4's are saved for building things in the studio. I appreciate the warning, though,! And ya, I have all my friends with pecan groves, apple groves etc saving trimmings for me. My fruit trees prunings, too!

Tonight's experiment- "Tecate" chicken just came out of the oven, beef short ribs still in there, (a Rick Bayless recipe), 6 small loaves of bread earlier, 6 pizzas and one dessert "peach" pizza with ice cream. Everything worked great, except the pizza crusts were too thick...I'm considering getting a job at a pizza place with an oven for spy purposes... The thermometer in the door is showing about 300 degrees, but then, I don't know just how many pieces of hardwood he used this time. I do know that he no longer has any hairs on his right arm... thank goodness he had on welding gloves!

I like my backyard too! After dinner we got out the bb guns and shot at leaves on the stock pond in the front yard. Great life, huh?!
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: crack problem...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetryart View Post
Here's the question, can I just stucco over the crack and if it cracks through that layer, can I put some caulk on it to seal it?
Conventional thinking is that if you cover a crack - it will crack again. I posted earlier and now that I look a little closer, the crack in front does not run to the crack in the dome. That's good news. How thick was the first application? It may just be an issue of it being too thick and drying to fast that caused the crack. If that is the case, I would just cover it with a quality product like Dryvit and call it done.

In regard to your cooking, sounds like great fun.
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Last edited by Les; 05-17-2012 at 10:09 PM.
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