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Old 07-01-2014, 12:13 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Woodside, CA
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Default To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

Seems like quite a few of the more recent builds (come'oon class of 2012!), went with thermal breaks between their oven openings and vent arches (throat and oven). I was just wondering what kind of results/benefits you feel you're getting from this mod. How'd you do it (steel tube, gasket rope, air)? Was it worth it? Maybe you didn't bother with thermal breaks, do ya wish you had?

I think this is something we can all learn from if some finished builder will weigh in. Thanks!

-Jonathan
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

It's good practice, expansion and isolating heat being the two primary reasons. Having said that, I notice no perceivable improvement in heat retention comparing my current oven, which has breaks...and all the others I have built that do not.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

I put one in, an would do it again. Its not a difficult to add one to your build, so why not? What is the downside other than time/material (which is not substantial)?

As far as heat retention goes, I like to think it retains more heat - but I don't have an identical oven against which to compare it to really know. I do know that there is a big drop off in temp between my inner and entry arches - indicating heat is not transferring from the oven to the entryway. That has to count for something, but there are too many other variables (insulation, door, ambient temp, etc) to really know how much.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

I also have nothing to compare my oven to others but the heat difference between one side of the thermal break and the other is significant enough to convince me that it is a good thing. The difference is quite significant so I would use it if i built another oven.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

Like Greenman, I put one in (I stuffed gasket rope in the gap), and with my IR thermometer I can measure a big difference between the two sides of the gap. This makes me feel like it is doing something. But honestly my gut tells my that my oven would perform just as well if it wasn't there.

If there is one "Pro" for NOT having a thermal gap, it would be that it is probably structurally stronger to tie the outer and inner arches together with no gap.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boerwarrior View Post

If there is one "Pro" for NOT having a thermal gap, it would be that it is probably structurally stronger to tie the outer and inner arches together with no gap.
I'm not trying to be contrary, but tying the vent arch into the oven opening does nothing to enhance or benefit it structurally. If anything, it's better that the vent arch is independent of the dome and oven opening, either with or without a thermal break.
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Last edited by stonecutter; 07-02-2014 at 11:37 AM. Reason: Sp
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:30 PM
Laborer
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Default Re: To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

What about the floor? If a door is in place the floor is still ventilating out a fair amount of heat. What (hygienic) material could that crevice be filled with?
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

Thin wall stainless steel tubing or channel.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:16 PM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Wisconsin
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Default Re: To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

I went with the stainless steel, but used it as a flashing pan in the vent area. At the back edge, between oven floor and vent floor I am thinking of putting ceramic blanket 1 inch thick and covering it some homebrew mortar with sodium silicate added to make it super hard with repeated fires.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: To Thermal Break or not to Thermal Break? That is the question.

I used stainless square tubing with a soapstone landing. The stainless is only half a brick deep, and sits on some IFB splits. So really it's a combo of stainless/IFB - but the stainless makes a nice and sturdy break between the soapstone and the firebrick - which is sort of fragile.
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