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36 inch homebrew oven in SoCal

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  • 36 inch homebrew oven in SoCal

    Hey there fellow pizza aficionados. First and foremost i want to thank everyone here for the vast amounts of knowledge and inspiration. I don't even know how i got the bug to build a pizza oven, but i'm glad i did and i'm glad to have found this wonderful community.
    So after lurking for some time i finally decided to cast my oven . It will be a 36" I.D . Although most would advice against using the yoga ball method i opted for that because i worked on it little by little (having small kids it's difficult to get much free time). I built a frame around the ball so that i would get 4 sections. That would not only help the problem with cracking but also make it a hell of a lot easier when it comes time to move it to its final spot.
    Soon we will begin construction on our outoor kitchen.
    To keep costs down and make it simpler i was thinking of placing the oven on top of the 3/4 inch granite slab we will be using for our countertops. I know everyone recomends a 4 inch reinforced concrete slab but i read somewhere that granite can support up to 1,000 lbs. I'm still not sure what course of action i will take so any advice is welcome.
    For the yoga ball platform all i did was cut the hole out of the plywood and placed that ontop of my saw horses
    ( nothing fancy) i then cut out 2 pieces of plywood and locked them in a half lap joint to make the quadrants and act as thickness guides.
    She came out a little thicker at the bottom
    ( its ok that's how i like em ) and she aint all that pretty but once i insulate and render you wont be able to tell. Now all i have left to cast is the flue gallery and decorative arch.
    Still trying to figure how to attach a double walled flue pipe without the use of an anchor plate. I dont know if DavidS 3 tab method would work. Either that or a single wall to a double wall but just have to find the right pipes. Any way thanks for stopping by and im looking forward to finishing this project with all of you.
    Last edited by Warhorn6; 01-23-2023, 06:59 PM.

  • #2
    A granite slab is not really a good choice as it does not like heat. I've done repairs on two ovens that both had cracks right through the granite slabs they were mounted on, despite the fact that both had insulation between the oven floor and the granite slab. Short of a total tear down I couldn't see any way to replace the granite. Once it has cracked it also can provide a pathway for water intrusion to the underfloor insulation. It would be far safer IMO to save your nice granite fro your countertops only.

    Regarding the dome sections, any large refractory section can be vulnerable to cracking. The larger the section the greater the risk. Because heat rises by convection the tops of your 4 sections will get way hotter and have more thermal expansion than the bottoms of each section. This condition can lead to uneven expansion, stress and possible cracking. Don't be too alarmed as my own oven at home which is a one piece cast dome, around 15 years old, is still firing fine and in good condition, although it has a hairline crack running around the dome in almost exactly the same position as the revised multi section casts I now make. My own solution is explained in the pic. The lid section (not shown) can expand without placing stress on the other oven parts.

    Out of interest, what mix did you use to create the castings?

    Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_0096.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	35.9 KB ID:	451672
    Last edited by david s; 01-23-2023, 09:46 PM.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply David, i figured about the granite. Only reason i considered it is because the contractor is making a fuss about the framing being lower for the concrete hearth than the rest of the kitchen , I was going to build a block stand myself but then the wife talked me into a whole outdoor kitchen. Do you think your method of attaching the flue pipe will work for a double walled pipe?
      Thanks again.

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      • #4
        Click image for larger version

Name:	image_98581.jpg
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ID:	451687 Yes certainly. The inner pipe can be fitted using the tab method and then the larger outer pipe slid over it. I did one like that recently because the flue is attached and supported by the timber of a pergola (see pic).in this case, because my ovens are small , two lengths each of stainless 5" inner and a 6" outer were used with some blanket stuffed between them to maintain an even space between the two.

        Last edited by david s; 01-24-2023, 12:26 PM.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by david s View Post
          Click image for larger version

Name:	image_98581.jpg
Views:	53
Size:	38.4 KB
ID:	451687 Yes certainly. The inner pipe can be fitted using the tab method and then the larger outer pipe slid over it. I did one like that recently because the flue is attached and supported by the timber of a pergola (see pic).in this case, because my ovens are small , two lengths each of stainless 5" inner and a 6" outer were used with some blanket stuffed between them to maintain an even space between the two.
          Awesome, i was just a little concerned because all the pictures online of double walled pipes look like they are welded together at the ends.
          I decided to demould today, there is some voids and even some valleys caused by the newspaper . The 2 newer sections are still fairly damp so i will fill those asap. The 2 older sections are dryer, don't know if i should try and fill those voids too. I'm afraid the homebrew won't bond and fall off on food. Could it have come out better? Yes of course, but still happy with the result . After all i'm not building this thing to look at it.
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          • #6
            That’s looking great. Once you’ve tidied the voids you should throw some wet hessian bags over the oven and cover it up to hold in the moisture for at least a week to enhance strength.
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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            • #7
              Noooooo ! My leg broke! I knew I should of gone with a 16 inch opening instead of 18 inches. It would of given me a little more meat in that corner. I just wanted better access, guess i'm going to have to recast my entrance. So bummed now, i was so excited too.
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