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Moisture ingress, and heavy smoke?

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  • Moisture ingress, and heavy smoke?

    Good morning all,

    I designed and built this unit in August/September 2022; internal temps get to 500c+. Location: Texel, Netherlands. Climate is generally 3-25c, with a few days below freezing every year. Or at least, it used to be so. In any case, I have two problems.

    1) Moisture ingress via mortar and brickwork. After sustained rain (months), the oven is quite damp and generates steam for hours after lit. Some of the moisture comes from where the base meets the wall, but some comes in directly through the mortar, bricks, and chimney. I don't know there's much to do about the chimney, but what sealant if any should I apply to the bricks/mortar work?

    2) Heavy smoke until enough heat is generated that a proper draft exists. So heavy that I feel a bit guilty when I fire it, and therefore rig an electric weed torch to blow hot air at it for 30 minutes. I am considering drilling some holes in the side of the oven and running some thin metal pipes through so it can suck air in from the sides as well, since clearly the front does not provide enough flow until the draft is strong enough. What do you reckon?

    This is the first time I've ever worked with bricks - many mistakes were made. The link attached is the step-by-step if you want to see exactly how badly I bollocksed things in the construction. All advice is welcome.

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    Last edited by jd22; 02-06-2024, 12:34 AM.