Old 10-24-2006, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: chicago
Posts: 8
Question Looking For Winterizing Advice

I am hoping to finish closing up the dome of my 36" oven this weekend. Unfortunately, the weather is becoming very winter-like very quickly here in Illinois. I am confident that I'll be able to complete the oven and cure it within a couple weeks, but am resigned to the fact that the final enclosure will have to wait until spring. My question is, will the oven be ok through the winter if it is simply cured and not covered? Or perhaps it might be better to do a rough stucco and enclose it later? I assume I would be able to cook in it even in it's raw state. I have the insulating blanket and materials for the enclosure, but have simply run out of time in my race against the weather. I could probably brave the elements and finish the enclosure sometime in December if the experts think it is the only sensiblecourse of action, but am trying to avoid rushing it. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by wvachuska; 10-24-2006 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:39 AM
dmun's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 4,216

I think a new tarp, held down with a mover's web strap around the base will keep enough water off, and will come off fairly easily if you get a good winter day where you want to use the oven.

I will have to deal with the same issue: We have a couple of extra weeks of fall on the east coast, but winter is coming
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:06 AM
DrakeRemoray's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Littleton, CO
Posts: 1,211

I see one problem with using the oven before it is properly enclosed...If you use it and then the snow starts to fly, you can't really pop a plastic tarp on top of a hot oven...

You might consider a pop up shelter like one of these.

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Old 10-25-2006, 12:27 PM
james's Avatar
Brick Oven Merchant
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pebble Beach, CA
Posts: 4,648

Are you thinking of curing it before the snow really hits to have a little fun cooking with it, or just to finish it off.

If you are not planning on doing any cooking, one option might be to never fire it, and just cover it with a tarp (or even let it just sit out all winter). Come spring, the mortars will be fully set, and you will just have the moisture from the winter. At that point you could do a long and slow cure to drive out the moisture and get to some serious cooking. I'm not sure I see an advantage of doing the curing now, if you are not going to be able to do some cooking.

What do our masons and building material experts think about that?

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Old 10-25-2006, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: chicago
Posts: 8

James- I am definitely hoping to do some cooking intermittently in the winter. I am also eager to cure the oven because the refractory mortar I am using seems to really deteriorate when rehydrated, so I am a bit paranoid about leaving it uncured all winter.. Given these factors, I plan to go ahead and cure unless the consensus would be to wait until spring. But you have valid points and I appreciate the reply.
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:24 PM
maver's Avatar
Master Builder
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Puyallup, WA
Posts: 571
Default tarpon

The only argument against curing is if it will be getting wet through the winter. If you plan a final enclosure that is not stucco I cannot see any logic in stucco now and then some other enclosure later - use a tarp, pull it back to cook. If you set it up right you can even wrap the vent while still leaving opening for the chimney and door and continue to cook through the winter. Use some bungees or ratcheting straps. If you are concerned about heat affecting the tarp tuck some fiberglass insulation between the tarp and the hot bits.
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