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Firing up & fixing up an old WFO in Mozambique - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Firing up & fixing up an old WFO in Mozambique

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  • Firing up & fixing up an old WFO in Mozambique

    Living at a children's centre in Mozambiqe, starting to make pizza in an old WFO on the base. It has a 68.5" diameter, 33" height, 19.25" door height (58%). It has a number of problems, but I don't want to bash whoever made it, I'm sure they didn't have access to the resources we have like this forum or WFO books etc. (All photos here: https://picasaweb.google.com/1174835...eat=directlink)

    I just want to know how best to use/improve it. In the meantime we are building another one, but that might be a few months away.

    The dome is pretty good - bricks + insulating layer, though it has a large hole. I can get this filled in.

    The floor seems to be concrete, with no insulation.

    I lit a fire and had a go cooking some pizzas. The floor retains no heat at all, using a hand test (no IR therm. I'm afraid - or much else - using bamboo sticks to turn the pizzas!) But the dome is super hot. I used metal pans as the floor isn't smooth either. They actually came out ok, but took 10 mins. At least the cheese looked nice on top. I'm not aiming for 90 seconds here, but I'd like to see what could be done.

    My second experiment was to put in some brick tiles that have been bought by the guy building the new oven. I covered about 1/2 the surface area of the floor, but to one side. They are quite big - about 2" thick and about 6"x12". I don't think you can exactly buy firebricks out here.

    (Sorry, don't have photo of bricks in oven)

    Lit fire on top of the bricks then moved to side. Cooked pizzas directly on top of them. Didn't work at all - the bricks were not at all hot. I have a few ideas why - fire not long or big enough (prob. was about 1.5 hours & wasn'y as big as the first one we'd made), coals not radiating heat through the brick floor because they were sitting on the concrete to the side of the bricks, obstructed air flow, lack of insulation under bricks meaning heat can just travel downwards?

    So the big question for now is whether the brick tiles are a help or a hindrance? Any other ideas also welcome.


  • #2
    Re: Firing up & fixing up an old WFO in Mozambique

    Hey Nick
    Welcome. That is quite a project you are taking on. The floor looks rather scary in the pics. Dont let the kids play underneath that! Especially loaded with heavy floor tiles. From what i can tell, the lack of floor insulation and floor mass is the problem to begin with, besides the obvious hole. You have to have a material for the floor that will hold heat and an insulating layer to keep it from escaping. None of that matters if the floor will not support the weight necessary. Not sure of the budget, but i wouldn't spend a great deal of time or money on that oven since you are building another one. Get a pizza stone for the indoor kitchen to get by maybe if that is available. It would be fun to tinker with the oven by making some decent support for the floor and covering the inside oven floor with some regular brick covered by the tiles, and patch the hole.
    i don't know for sure. Good luck and thanks for trying to save an old oven.
    Texman Kitchen