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New to ovens here/some ideas/what about a bellows?

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  • New to ovens here/some ideas/what about a bellows?

    Hello all,
    First let me say you've got a great forum here, nearly as exemplary as any good forum should be! I'm in the process of buying my first home and dreaming of all the things I might do with the house/back yard and naturally a nice semi-do-it-yourself built-in grill would be great. But I would also like the idea of being able to do charcoal & woodfire grilling (along with all my favorite campfire foods) and wood-fired pizzas. Hence started my journey through cyber space looking at myriads of backyard masonry creations, ending me here where I've been stuck reading up on construction and other useful information for the past day.

    I didn't really know pizza ovens were such a science! On one hand, it is some bricks and mortar, but a quick parousal of individual people's construction threads shows a nicely thought-out and good-performing completely dyi oven takes some time! I unfortunately don't really have enough time to do a pompeii from the ground up, but I could really get behind the firenze concept oven, maybe put in at an angle so you'd have more hearth space. The open box below (normally storage) would, imo, really make a great place for the charcoal/woodfire grilling location if you could make a nice flue. The few threads that mentioned having a dual-purpose fire below/oven above intrigued me with the ideas about a shared chimney system, but what about two seperate chimneys? If the oven were mounted in a corner configuration I'd imagine you'd have room next to it to run a second chimney up from the space below. If you really wanted to connect the chimneys I suppose you could.

    Also, has anyone added a bellows system at all? I'm imagining a small fire-brick or other refractory material tunnel/tube leading to the back of the oven and a small foot-bellows placed to the side on the ground. I guess it would leave another way for heat to escape and if going with a Casa90 you'd have to chip or cut the oven wall, but I can imagine it'd be useful to get the initial fire going more quickly and be a good way to increase heat output on the fly. It could even be probably be routed/switched to force feed air below when getting charcoal/wood fires going in the space beneath.

    BTW, can anyone give short little primer on fire hazard/their experience with spark/cinder ejection? I live in Tucson and there's lots of very flammable desert right behind my backyard wall and other than Robert's trellice directly above his oven, I haven't read anyone particularly addressing this issue. There's enough wildfires every year without me adding to them.

    Now all I have to do is save up for a year to afford a Casa90! I guess that gives me more time to plan and read up on other's mistakes!

  • #2

    First of all, welcome, and enjoy.

    The idea of a fireplace or grill as an adjunct to the outdoor pizza oven is one that is often discussed. I think the consensus is that having a fireplace under the pizza oven, where, for example, you could transfer your fire while you use your oven for retained heat cooking, is going to put a hot fire at your ankles while you are trying to cook. Most of the examples of dual fireplace oven instalations have the fireplace well removed from the work area. If you want one chimney (with two flues, flue sharing is a big code no-no) how about putting the square oven on the diagonal, with the oven and work area on one side, and the sitting-fireplace area on the other?

    As far as a bellows, you don't need it if you have any kind of decent chimney. You can use a fire door, with a vent at the bottom, and tilts backwards toward the flue. This can be as simple as a piece of sheet metal, and the constricted air opening shoots air into the fire, and gets it started fast.

    Check with your local fireplace store about spark arresters for desert conditions. There must be especially effective models for dry places.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2