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  • New to forum

    Hello everyone!

    I was first introduced to wood-fired ovens (somewhat passively) at a local restaurant that makes some really good pizza. Pizza is not their specialty, but the wood-fired oven really makes what they do something special.

    Fast-forward a couple years, and I find myself spending a few days firing a very large oven (very briskly!) at the San Francisco baking institute for my work. I was engaged in a lot of conversation about the oven of course, but also baking and the "art of fire"... Well, I decided then I wanted one, and my wife totally agreed that it would be a welcome addition to our home. I've been involved with another (unrelated) project that has taken most of my time over the last couple of years, but we have finally started!

    We have only just begun...We have the site excavated, the form for the slab is made, set, and leveled. I have the gravel in and in the next few eves I will rebar and mesh the form. I have most of the concrete (bags) on-site, and next weekend I should be able to mix and pour.

    I found this forum a couple of years ago, but just last night did I re-find it and I feel really blessed. What a wealth of information and experience! I am going to read, read, read, and read some more and then keep reading... I only hope I can adequately contribute in some little way through my (upcoming) experiences to somehow repay this forum with all my current taking.

    Anyway, I'm a newby and that's my story.


  • #2
    Re: New to forum

    Hi Ken, welcome to the forum!

    I can think of one way you could repay us... post lots of pictures of your build. Starting with site of your future oven and the excavation for the foundation.

    Because for some of us with finished ovens, watching someone else's oven take shape is the closest we'll ever get to building another one. Your oven doesn't have to be new or revolutionary or anything, every oven is a bit different anyway and its just fun to watch one come together... So go for it, and enjoy your build!
    "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)



    • #3
      Re: New to forum


      I agree with Francis. Don't skimp on the fun of the research, design and enjoyment of the build process.

      Yes, and take plenty of pictures!!!

      Have fun.

      My oven progress -


      • #4
        Re: New to forum

        Welcome Ken,
        It sounds like you will have a leg up on most of us with your cooking/baking experience. The build is very fun, but I am starting to find that using it is just as fun. When your done I'm sure you'll be able to share some good advice on the cooking aspect.
        Know that any question you may have during your build will be answered by one of the great people on the forum.
        I was thinking about what Frances said about all the ovens be a little different. The majority of us are following the same plan yet there are very few ovens that look alike. Have fun with it!



        • #5
          Re: New to forum

          Welcome Ken,

          Did you download the free plans from the Forno Bravo store? People sometimes miss those even after reading the forums...

          My Oven Thread:


          • #6
            Re: New to forum

            Thanks for the warm reception guys!

            I'm not a baker/cook, not yet anyway. My experience with that oven in San Francisco had to do with testing it. I work for a laboratory that tests hearth products and we were hired to do some safety testing on it.

            I was going to build a barrel-vault type oven, but now I'm thinking about a Tuscan style Pompeii oven. I'm sure pizza would taste just fine in the barrel vault oven, and I do want to cook other things just as much. The Pompeii style seems more challenging, but in the scheme of things, a little more effort is all that is really required. I think the real reason I'm being drawn more toward the Pompeii design is that I have been reading how they are faster to heat and much more fuel efficient. The parabolic shape has to be the most effective way to utilize an oven for sure.

            I'm a ways out on any actual firebrick work, but I will be sure to post some photos of my little mile-stone progress points as I acheive them.

            Thanks again for the welcome. There is really some nice work being shared here!



            • #7
              Re: New to forum

              Welcome! By 'safety testing' do you mean safety related to inhalation, rupture, what? Sounds intriguing.
              Picasa web album
              Oven-building thread


              • #8
                Re: New to forum

                Hey Ken,

                Welcome to the forum,

                If you make it to the dry side of the mountains, give me a call (or send a PM - private message through this forum...), you're welcome to stop by and see my interpretation of the Pompeii plans!

                And do get the pictures posted here so we can follow your build!



                • #9
                  Re: New to forum

                  I hardly ever get over that way Jed, but thanks. If I do head that way, I'll look you up!

                  dbhansen - No, nothing like that. There are actual testing standards for ensuring safe clearances to combustibles and door hazard tests. It's not that romantic, but it does expose one to a lot of different things.

                  I hope to have my foundation slab finished this weekend. I've been beginning my search for a local source of firebrick in the Portland area and it's a little discouraging so far. Does anyone know of a supplier in the Portland area?



                  • #10
                    Re: New to forum

                    "The Pompeii style seems more challenging"

                    I've built both. Once you get into it you will find the Pompeii oven about the same "degree of difficulty" as a barrel vault type.

                    Make your decision based on what your major use will be.


                    • #11
                      Re: New to forum

                      Congratulations Ken, if you get the foundation done this weekend your on you way!
                      Welcome to the forum. It's wierd about fire brick, you have to do a lot of calling around then suddenly it seems like it's everywhere and the price goes all over the place. What size oven are you planning on? I bought 280 Muddox brand and I think I've got 6 left to finish my oven. I trimmed and tapered so there was lots of waste. I guess you don't need to worry about that now. Tell us what size your oven will be and you then have to figure out the block base. Everyone's seems to be in the 5 to 6 16" block range lately (length and width depending on your oven floor diameter). Every part of the process is exciting and you seem knowledgeable (and I sense I slight passion) about ovens and their form and use.
                      Don't hesitate to ask about anything or just post your progress.
                      Cheers, Dino
                      "Life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death." -Auntie Mame

                      View My Picasa Web Album UPDATED oct

                      My Oven Costs Spreadsheet

                      My Oven Thread


                      • #12
                        Re: New to forum

                        You guys have very good, sound advice. I can tell right now that this forum is going to be an extremely valuable tool while doing this project. Thanks!

                        Now that introductions are done, and I have actually started on the project, I started a new thread to document my project...


                        Once again, thanks for the warm welcome.