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Tricky clay oven door construction

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  • Tricky clay oven door construction

    Hi all,

    Fairly recently i built a clay oven which at the time was primarily for cooking pizzas. The over works brilliantly for this however, now i'm going to fully embrace the power of the oven and to do this i need a door. This is where my problem lies.

    I built my oven on a reasonable budget and reused items i had wherever i could. As you can see from the couple of photos i've attached i constructed my arch from a series of thin stones with a larger key stone. This is aesthetically pleasing however it now means i can't create a concentric door. The different shape, size and thickness of stone used means if i create a door which sits in my arch heat will escape. In short i'm after some advice how to overcome this. I've had a couple of ideas but wondered if others have come up against this problem before.

    1. Create a smooth door which sits neatly inside my arch, extend this slightly and use fire rope to close the gaps.
    2. Extend the first idea further, build the inner door then extend a larger door which covers the front of the oven (roughly half the width of the stoned arch) attached somehow to the inner door.

    I also bounced around the idea of making a mould of some sort to sit atop a door but thought this would be extremely difficult to achieve.

    Any door advice, ideas, photos would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Most ovens have a rebate so the door can isolate the oven chamber from the flue. As yours doesn’t have this feature with your flue inside the oven chamber heat from your oven will escape up the flue. So in addition to a door you will have to cap the flue at the top. An upturned terracotta flowerpot saucer is an ideal lid for this purpose. The door sealing is a separate problem and the expansion of the heated arch and is contraction on cooling can cause the door to jam. An angle grinder fitted with a diamond blade can tidy up irregularities well. Italians used to use damp newspaper or excess bread dough to seal around their oven doors. This method worked well for a few thousand years.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.