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Propane pre-heating in WFO??? Possible or crazy?

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  • Propane pre-heating in WFO??? Possible or crazy?

    Good morning everyone,

    I built my WFO and have completed the curing stages, now it’s time to begin enjoying all of the hard work to this point. I have a question for all those here on the forum. My problem in attempting to use the oven in the evening is preheating it for the number of hours required to get to the proper cooking temperature. I simply don’t have the time in life to sit and slowly build temperature prior to cooking, so I began thinking how I could expedite the process or at least set it on “cruise control” for a couple of hours. I came up with using some sort of propane burner to begin “ heat soaking” the interior. I’m sure others have done it, but before I begin building something, I just wanted to put it out there and get your opinions.

    Here’s my idea. Build a black pipe square burner out of 1/2” pipe and a bunch of 90* elbows. Drilling holes both on top and bottom and standing it off the floor 2-3”. Smaller holes directed at the floor and slightly larger on top to heat the interior of the oven. An extension pipe out the oven opening to a 90 pointing down to a connection on a variable regulator hooked to a 20# propane tank. I got the idea looking at how people build DIY fire pit burners and figured it would work in a WFO. I could set it at a certain flame height to begin and slowly increase the flame/temp up every hour or so until I reach a given temp. At that point, remove the burner and throw in my wood to achieve the final cooking temperature and get the flavor of the particular wood I will be cooking with.

    Crazy or possible? -lease give me your thoughts or point me toward a build where someone has already done this so I don’t have to do all of the experimenting.

    Thanks as always, Dan

  • #2
    Nobody? Really? I would have thought this has been done over and over again. Regardless, I ran it through in my head and it should work, so I built one this afternoon. Made from 1/2” black pipe and lots of fittings. Tomorrow I will drag a 20# propane cylinder with me down to the shop, grab a regulator/hose assembly and an adjustable valve. I have 1/16” holes drilled in the bottom of the pipes to heat the floor and 1/8” holes on top to heat the chamber and dome. I will report back tomorrow night with either good news or photos of burnt hair on my arms.Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      Typically the forum does not comment on DIY gas or propane oven heating devices that have not been UL approved for safety reasons.
      Russell
      Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

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      • #4
        Originally posted by w650gb500 View Post
        Nobody? Really? I would have thought this has been done over and over again. Regardless, I ran it through in my head and it should work, so I built one this afternoon. Made from 1/2” black pipe and lots of fittings. Tomorrow I will drag a 20# propane cylinder with me down to the shop, grab a regulator/hose assembly and an adjustable valve. I have 1/16” holes drilled in the bottom of the pipes to heat the floor and 1/8” holes on top to heat the chamber and dome. I will report back tomorrow night with either good news or photos of burnt hair on my arms.Click image for larger version  Name:	0C62C314-0AF2-4C13-9E4A-81D01575DA8A.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	130.4 KB ID:	440744
        As Russell has said, DIY gas is not recommended. Having said that, I'd be keen to see it fired up. :-)
        My 42" build: https://community.fornobravo.com/for...ld-new-zealand
        My oven drawings: My oven drawings - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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        • #5
          Originally posted by UtahBeehiver View Post
          Typically the forum does not comment on DIY gas or propane oven heating devices that have not been UL approved for safety reasons.

          I understand that a forum may not want to have an open discussion but I am a bit confused. This is a DIY forum as is most of the Internet and social sites nowadays. Most of the WFO construction done here by members is “loosely based” on what others have found to work and adapted to their own use based on their individual building experience, available building materials, space constraints and mostly budget. I would bet that most(80% or more) are not built with permits if applicable, not built to local building code or IBC, not built by a bonded/insured and licensed contractor and don’t have any type of UL approved spark arrestor on the chimney. I was in the insurance industry for nearly 12 years from an agent to a broker, then as an adjuster, an appraiser and a BI(bodily injury) negotiator. I haven’t looked into it, but I would guess that our WFO’s, if they caused a fire to our homes or an adjacent property, would be scrutinized very closely by an insurance adjuster to see whether a claim would be paid by your homeowners coverage or denied due to the reasons I listed above.

          We all take a chance when building these ovens and I gladly jumped-in with both feet. I don’t believe the propane pre-heater will be an issue and accept the liability in building it. If it is against the forum rules to discuss its use, that’s fine. If this thread can stay here, I can link a YouTube video of it in use, that would be great. No need for comments, just whether it works or not for informational purposes.

          Thanks again for all this forum has done in getting my oven built and performing properly. The last thing I want to do is cause anything I might post here to be of questionable content.

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          • #6
            What you do is up to you , I just merely stated why you have not received much comment. As for YouTube, there are good ones and bad ones.
            Russell
            Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

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            • #7
              Russell,

              I appreciate all your posts to help us. I want to make sure I do it right (and once) when I finally pull the trigger.

              Giovanni

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              • #8
                OK, so here is a link to my initial lighting of the pre-heater. If this link or discussion is against forum rules, please have a moderator delete it. I don’t want to do anything that the community might deem as dangerous.



                I will be happy to answer any questions either here on the public forum of privately via messenger. I will be trying it in the oven on Saturday afternoon/evening and will report back.

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