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Door/flue strategy - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Door/flue strategy

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  • Door/flue strategy

    Hi all:

    I am new, and have just finished with my very janky Pompeii in Austin, TX. I will post photo's soon, but essentially it is a 30" dia oven with the flue positioned right in front of the door, as spec'd in the FB plans. I don't have a "facade" or "approach" arch, just the door - flue- dome. I am wondering about the necessity of having a flue damper AND a door. I don't have the reveal to make a clean door frame and was just going to build an insulated door, with an angled support and handle, that I could slide from the outside front (flue wide open) to inside front (flue completely closed). Doesn't this do the same thing as having a flue damper? I haven't tested this hypothesis out yet, but wanted to check with the crew. Seems like if I added a "draft door" (hole where a pipe could be inserted to back of oven) in the bottom of this door that could open/close, I would have all the controls I needed for burning/maintaining heat.


  • #2
    Re: Door/flue strategy

    Hi Mateo,

    Welcome to the forum!

    Forget the flue damper. It provides no value to an oven / fire that is exposed to the outside. The function of the vent and flue on your oven is to move the smoke away from the oven operator (you), but it does not have any effect on the fire (if the vent / flue is to small, or blocked off, the smoke will simply spill out the front of the vent / flue).

    Build a door that:

    A) will completely block all air in or out from your oven fire / cooking chamber so you can snuff the fire and retain heat in the oven for baking tasks, and

    B ) you can adjust to allow a bit of air into the oven. (as in hold out from the oven to provide a small space around the door to let just a bit of air in). You don't need to vent combustion air to the back of the oven. Just open the door a bit and the fire will pull as much air as it can use.

    Keep us posted on your progress with pictures!



    • #3
      Re: Door/flue strategy

      I have two doors. One to maintain fire, it insulates and only allows combustion air in thru the ash clean out and smoke up thru chimney. The other fits in deeper to the hearth and it prevents any combustion air in or smoke out. It is very heavy and it holds the heat in for baking bread with no live fire. So far that system has worked for me. It took a while for me to realize exactly what and how to do it. I don't think a damper would help. It would force all the smoke out the doorway.


      • #4
        Re: Door/flue strategy


        Thanks so much, your reply's were exactly what I needed. No damper and either a movable door (to allow some air-passage if I need it) or two doors. Sweet. I hope to be roasting a goose by Christmas Eve!



        • #5
          Re: Door/flue strategy

          oven door - My Wood Oven This is a picture of the inner door my cousin made for me.
          Bill/AKA Burntfingers


          • #6
            Re: Door/flue strategy

            welcome aboard.
            It sounds like you have been on the side of this forum for some time, absorbing the information for your Pompeii oven. Glad to see that you got some real benefit.
            When you can, post a few pics so that we can share your efforts and see how we can best advise you on tour door build.
            I envisage that without a reveal, you will need to place a flange on the outside of your snugly fitting door in your oven entrance to seal the heat in when baking breads or roasting. You will need to use a rope seal to ensure a good seal of your door to oven, see:


            You could also incorporate some small sliders or ventilated wheel type vents into it (or as Burnt fingers suggests 2 doors), to control the air into and out of at the door top. There are several illustrations of these but are a couple of years ago now.

            Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

            The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

            Neillís Pompeiii #1
            Neillís kitchen underway


            • #7
              Re: Door/flue strategy

              Burntfingers, You mention that your inner door is heavy.
              How much does you door weigh? Is it insulated? It looks like it's thick steel, is this correct?


              Last edited by SCChris; 12-21-2009, 10:27 AM.


              • #8
                Re: Door/flue strategy

                It is 1/4 inch thick steel with 1 1/2" angle iron (also 1/4" thick) surround. I plan on finding some light weight castable material to fill it. Right now it is just filled with air. It is heavy, that is why two bent rebar handles. Using it saves going to the gym that day.


                • #9
                  Re: Door/flue strategy

                  29 lbs. is the weight without any filler.