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Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

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  • Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

    So I built a brickwood oven. Just got it finished, then I came to the forum and found that there are many here who are not fans of the Brickwood and with good reason. But I am a poorish pastor whose already got my spending money for the year tied up in the thing, so building something else isn't going to happen.
    I've noticed that many of the complaints from earlier threads have been addressed. I used insulation below the oven floor, I used only one level of firebrick for the ceiling and covered that with two layers of ceramic fiber blanket and stucco.
    My question is what would you do in my situation to make it the best it's going to be. I'm not interested in people telling me to tear it down and start over, but tips on how to close off the front, adjust the chimney, etc.

  • #2
    Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

    Brother Ryan,
    The first thing that comes to mind is an insulated damper like Brickie installed on his build. Or maybe, some type of insulated cap that could be just placed over the chimney to keep the heat from form escaping. For the entrance I am, I am trying to get an idea of the dimensions of your oven. Did you use 4.5" X 9 " fire brick? Or you could just post the inside dimensions of your oven.

    You have the insulation underneath and above, so there is no reason that you can't make this oven perform very well .
    Last edited by Gulf; 07-27-2013, 07:59 PM.
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    • #3
      Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

      The interior is 32" x 22". I did use standard size firebrick.
      I was contemplating trying to make an insulated double door. (A door that covers the whole thing with a door inside of it that opens 60% of the front.) but I don't know if I'll be able to swing it.
      I'll look into the insulated damper thing.


      • #4
        Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

        I would think that it would be pretty straight forward to fabricate a stepped (insulated) plug for the vent and do the same for the entry. I assume you are thinking of using the heat for baking.
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        • #5
          Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

          Close the vent off and make an entry arch 63% and you will be OK.


          • #6
            Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

            You have plenty of room out the front of the oven to build an entry arch at the golden mean of 63%, that may help keep the thing hot, but I doubt it.

            The perimeter of the hearth bricks are sitting directly on that HUGE concrete slab and will suck every last kilojoule of heat right out of the sucker.

            You know you want to.......so...........pull it down and do it properly.

            Unfortunately that same bad design has made its way over here too.

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            Last edited by brickie in oz; 07-28-2013, 12:22 AM.
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            • #7
              Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

              Here are four ideas.

              1- Add two more courses to the top of your chimney, the first course would have the bricks cut to accept an insulated plug. You may need to fabtocare a small lintel support at the front from a piece of steel angle. This could be used in conjunction with the other ideas.

              2- Create an insulated plug door with a panel that extends over the flue.

              3- build another arch just inside your flue that creates a reveal and lowers the entry to 63% and build a door with a flange that seats on the reveal. This would provide the best fire and heat retention but would reduce the oven floor space.

              4- tear off the current chimney, Plug the current flue, build a new flue arch outside the current oven with 63% height and reveal, and a new chimney. This would also require the building of a door.
              Last edited by mrchipster; 07-28-2013, 07:54 AM.


              • #8
                Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

                I could be wrong, but I don't think my hearth bricks go right to the concrete. There are two different types of bricks there, and underneath the hearth bricks there is insulation. The mortared bricks are just a border on top of the concrete.
                (You aren't kidding about it being huge though. It took six guys to get it mounted in place and I think we all got hernias.)

                Mr Chipster,
                Thank you so much for the ideas. What I think I'm going to do is extend the chimney like #1.
                I really liked the idea of adding a door inside of the flue, but I looked at my oven and that would make it absolutely tiny in there. So that's not happening.
                I'm probably going to add a 63% arch either right inside or right outside of the oven and then build a door with a large flange and add a removable insulated plug insert to the chimney.
                Thanks again.


                • #9
                  Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

                  I would extend the front of the oven as Chip suggests in #4. If you go with # 1 and plug the chimney to bake, I think the oven is going to make a mess smoking out the door when you first put the oven out.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

                    Hi Pastor,

                    What is the hearth insulation, and what thickness is it? If its the separation between the slab and the bricks, that not enough.


                    • #11
                      Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

                      I'm seriously contemplating knocking down the chimney, plugging the hole, and putting a flue in a 63% entry arch.
                      So the 63% entry arch. Is that 63% of height, or 63% of the area of the opening? Does it matter what size flue I use.
                      I'm sure these questions are answered elsewhere. If you just want to point me to the right thread, I'd appreciate it.

                      I used about 3.5inches of perlite mixed with portland cement under the hearth bricks.


                      • #12
                        Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

                        Flue height should be 60-65% of oven height, both measured on the inside. Doesn't have to be exactly 63%

                        If you choose this path, I'd use an "axed-arch" design for the entry in order to make sure you leave enough width at the bottom to work. Vertical sides that are slightly wider than your existing arch as to leave a reveal, and then a fairly flat arch across the top.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

                          Something like this? (only centered)
                          Last edited by pastorryanhayden; 08-01-2013, 06:31 AM.


                          • #14
                            Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

                            Careful here...my understanding is that the 63% ratio is the height of oven opening to internal oven height--not the flue entry height. Your oven's flue, being at the same height as oven's internal height, means you have a 100% ratio using either the flue or oven opening/entry heights...terms are equivalent in your current oven...if you modify and add an internal arch for the reveal then you need to design the new arch to conform to the ratio range.

                            For example, if your oven is 40 cm (inside height), you'd want to have your reveal's inside height (the actual opening height) to be just a bit over 25 cm. (That's about 20" inside height to 12.5" opening height.)

                            That being said, the 60-65% range just gives you the best performance...it doesn't mean it won't work at all (as noted above, the original design is way out of the range and it does still work...just not as well as it "could").

                            I do think you're going to be happier with the oven going with a "chimney move" and entry rework...
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                            • #15
                              Re: Built a Brickwood Oven, Now what?

                              In the above drawing the oven inside height is 17in. The reveal height is 11. 64%.
                              I'm confused about the flue dimensions though. Could you clarify?