Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Dragonfly Den in Retrospect, June 2009-May 2012

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    I have a neighbor who's a fabulous tile setter in town. He dropped by one evening to see how the oven had turned out and immediately decided that it needed some tile over the block stand and a better facing/surface on the top slab. Better yet, he had enough surplus materials, some spare time, and interest to do the job for us...never underestimate the power of giving bread away to your neighbors.

    He came over on his next available day and started to work. He suggested that we use square terra cotta tiles on the stand base and some travertine pieces on the top slab. He thought it would look pretty sharp and give the oven sort of a “floating on top of the darker tiles” look. It sounded terrific to me and since those materials were basically surplus “scraps” in his garage–how could I say no?

    He got the tiles laid out and set in place in a couple of hours. I have to say that watching a professional tile layer work is truly humbling. I rebuilt our bathroom a couple years later and was pretty surprised how much I had learned by watching him...and reminded how far I was from someone who could make a living at tile work.

    The tiles set for a couple days and then he came back and did the grout for us. I was amazed at how great the oven looks now with the stand and top slab finished.
    Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
    Roseburg, Oregon

    FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
    Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
    Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • #32
      Now that the tiles have been grouted in, it’s time to return the carts from garage. I measured the height of the cart tops a little too close and forgot that my foundation slab is sloped for drainage. No problem...the carts still rolled in OK, just no room to leave more than a towel on top when pushed into place. The powder coating on the carts looks great and should hold up pretty well.

      Originally, I had envisioned the carts rolling into the bays via a track to keep them in line (and not scrape the walls). Unfortunately, again I had measured a bit too close and it was almost impossible to avoid the bay’s side walls as I pushed or pulled the carts. The only solution I could come up with was to glue some thin pieces of wood molding along the inside of the bays to act as a bumper/barrier between the cart metal and the bay cement block.

      At least both carts are now working exactly as I hoped. Storage for cooking utensils, serving pieces, glasses, entertaining items, etc. on the left side cart lower shelf. On the right side, wood storage for about three firings of the oven. Expanded steel on the lower (fire wood) shelf makes sure there is good air circulation and keeps the bark/wood crap from building up under the stored wood. Obviously that bark/wood crap falls on the floor beneath the wood, but I push the cart into the bay and simply use the shop vac to clean it up.

      Note on the sides of the oven facade I inserted L-screws into a lateral mortar seam. I use these L-screws on the left side to rest my working peel, while on the right side my copper blowpipe and bubble popper lay across the screws. The third picture in the post above shows the peel resting on the L-screws even more clearly. Also you can see that I attached a battery powered light with a long flexible metal neck on the upper right side. I clearly remember the first time I was working the oven for a batch of bread at dusk and looked inside to see nothing but blackness...never thought about how dark it could be in the oven without a fire
      Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
      Roseburg, Oregon

      FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
      Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
      Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #33
        My friend the tile-setter also liked to dabble in metal work so we talked about some basic design concepts for an ash bin mounted underneath my oven's ash slot. He took some measurements and my proposed galvanized ash bin and returned a week later with those mounting ideas turned into a working system. My concept is the schematic below. The red lines represent the mounted support rails and the black represent the ash bin and side flanges that would slide onto the support rails.

        First he riveted strips of 90 degree metal angle trim stock along the sides of the bin to create a top support flange. Next he had welded some tabs on angle iron and drilled holes in the tabs. A piece of the tabbed angle iron was attached to the stand underneath and to each side of the ash slot. The angle iron pieces were set just wide enough so the bin flanges would slide onto the (when mounted) horizontal ledges of the angle iron. He also had added a handle on each side of the bin for easy removal and insertion onto the rack/rails.

        As a cover for the bin, a section of sheet metal was cut, narrow pieces of angle trim attached on three sides. The left and right angle trim pieces were notched so when the cover was slid into place, it dropped down over the bin side flanges and created a fairly tight lid for the bin. The third piece of narrow angle trim was attached on the den side of the cover which simply kept the cover from being pushed too far in -- past the bin opening.

        The bin holds the ash from several bread bakes and is coated with high-temp black BBQ paint. When the bin gets full, I grab it by the side handles and slide it out of the rack. Since the cover's pretty tight, I carry the bin down to my compost at my leisure without ash blowing all over. I really like not having to deal with hot coals and ashes when company is here and I feel much safer that when I dump the collected ash several days after a bake, it is absolutely dead cold.
        Last edited by SableSprings; 10-25-2017, 10:03 PM.
        Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
        Roseburg, Oregon

        FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
        Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
        Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #34
          I tried to make a series of pictures that would better illustrate my ash bin and the hanging rack.

          Hopefully these pics with the previous post diatribe will make better sense. Let me know if I can make this more clear.
          Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
          Roseburg, Oregon

          FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
          Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
          Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #35
            I wasn't real happy with the initial draw of the chimney and decided to extend it up another section. When I built the faux chimney and double flue pipe system, my intentions were to;

            1) make the inside chimney look impressively bricked,

            2) provide a moisture escape mechanism by connecting the insulation layer of the dome/barrel facade to the open passage between the inner and the outer flue pipe and

            3) keep the inner flue pipe somewhat isolated from outside weather conditions so it would stay dry and warm up more quickly to achieve maximum draft and draw.

            I must’ve been brain dead when I purchased the initial clay flue pipe...I knew I needed an 8" diameter (actually rectangle) for my 39" diameter oven (actually short beavertail shaped), so I bought 8" and 12" for the nesting flue. I never measured the actual opening size...just assumed 8" meant the inside opening...WRONG! When adding the sections of flue to extend the chimney, I finally measured it and found that it’s just a little over 6" x 6" inside – it needs to get pretty hot before it really draws adequately. Certainly explains why I'’ve got smoke longer than others during firing.

            The added length did help a bit and keeping the chimney clean of creosote is fairly effective to keep smoke escape to a minimum. Fortunately I had installed screened soffits along the high side of the den, so the little smoke I do get flows up along the joists and out through the screen.

            The pictures show how I embedded flashing in my chimney brick joints the first year with the temporary enclosure/cover. I used the same basic techniques with the final roof to keep the rain out of the den. The third picture shows the 8" flue pipe nested inside the 12" flue pipe. The 12" flue is not used by the exiting hot gases & smoke, only the 8" flue. The gap between these two clay chimney inserts acts as my moisture venting from the dome & the insulation between it and the barrel facade. The last two pictures show the before and after of the chimney extension.
            Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
            Roseburg, Oregon

            FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
            Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
            Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #36
              I was a little disappointed by the heat retention of my oven. I know that I am bleeding heat through the hearth because I only used a little less than 4" of 5:1 perlcrete for my hearth insulation. Even with my heat loss, I am able to cook with and use the oven for a couple of days on one firing. After my oven was cured and had been used for several months I decided to graph its heat retention. I took IR gun surface readings from the hearth and dome from the initial burn through my bake and into the evening so I had a temperature profile on the heat character of my oven. I did this several times and found the results were quite consistent. Below is attached one of those graphs I created (in Excel) of my oven'ís temp profile. I highly recommend creating a temp profile like this for your oven if you intend to use it for things other than pizza

              Reading about the temperature retention in newer builds here on the forum that have used ceramic board or glass fiber insulation under the hearth, it's obvious to me how true the FB forum's mantra of "You can't have too much insulation" is to an oven build.

              The one thing I would do differently for my next build would be to use 2" of glass fiber board (FoamGlas) under 2" of ceramic board for my hearth insulation instead of perlcrete. The lower level of FoamGlas board would act as the moisture barrier between the concrete slab and the ceramic board (which has a tendency to wick and hold moisture). The additional benefit of a much shorter drying period for this type of hearth insulation layer (vs the perlcrete or vermicrete version) would be significant to the build's timetable.
              Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
              Roseburg, Oregon

              FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
              Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
              Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #37
                Once I started to bake 15-20 loaves of bread on Friday "bake day", I realized I would need to have more cooling racks than I could fit on my cart. I bought a NSF stainless steel shelving unit to put in the den. The unit is pretty solid, with six shelves and wheels so you can move it fairly easily. We love the extra space it's given us in addition to the extra cooling areas for bread fresh out of the oven. Pretty nice to have beer & wine glasses as well as silverware and lap blankets right by the table.
                Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                Roseburg, Oregon

                FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                Comment


                • #38
                  At the front of the den enclosure trusses, I had installed screening to allow any smoke to escape out along the roof line instead of pooling in the den. Truss line venting works pretty well although using a burning pine cone (held with a pair of tongs) to pre-heat the flue works even better to start the draw up the chimney and keep initial smoke from "escaping" into the den.

                  Being able to entertain in the den without having the flies, mosquitoes, or yellow jackets "bug" us has been great. The screened openings in the den walls allow plenty of air flow, although the space does heat up more in the afternoon, summer sun than I would have expected. We added Coolaroo shades on several of the windows and although they do cut down the late afternoon sun coming into the den, they also reduce the air flow and temps start rising again. One suggestion has been to put some poles in at an angle to hold the Coolaroos out from the building. The shades being out at an angle would probably block the sun even better and reduce the air flow even less...food for thought and future experiments
                  Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                  Roseburg, Oregon

                  FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                  Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                  Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    It didn't take long to figure out that I wanted to keep the rain water a little farther away than the current drip line. I thought the easiest thing to do was to buy and install a plastic gutter system for the roof line. After all, it was less than 20' of straight gutter. Not only was I amazed at how difficult it was for me to try and put a slight downward angle on the gutter by myself but how much water can drip back under the roof line if you haven't installed flashing on a low angle roof. After retroactively installing flashing, I reinstalled the gutter. Things went well through the winter but again I was amazed--this time at how much the plastic gutter sections expanded during hot weather.

                    I only have a single joint that connected two gutter sections, but the friction/ridge snap system couldnít keep the sections together in the summer heat. Unfortunately, the two sections met over the back door of the den and would just pour water down here during any showers we would have after hot weather. I ended up using some small stainless steel screws to keep everything together during our frequent temperature fluxes. The plastic "heat expansion" would also pop the end cap off the end (that leads to the down spout piece). The down spout (once secured ) simply feeds out along the fence line and into the vacant lot next door. At least now the gutter system does not work itself apart with a warm stretch of weather and the drip line in the back of the den has been pretty much eliminated.
                    Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                    Roseburg, Oregon

                    FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                    Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                    Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Back in post #32, I admitted to being shocked at how dark it was in the oven while baking late in the evening and that the flexible neck, battery powered, BBQ light was the answer. Well, it also became quickly apparent that when a party went past sunset, having a fire in the oven just didn't provide enough light to tell the tomato sauce from the Gochujang (Korean hot red pepper paste).

                      We didn't want to light up the county but clearly needed a higher lumen count than we had. The solution was to add some white rope lights and some multi-color rope lights (widely and cheaply available during Christmas). The combo gives a nice ambiance to the den and enough light that nobody stumbles or chooses the wrong pizza topping during an evening get together. I also added a remotely controlled electrical plugin. I run an extension cord from the garage to the plug and then with the remote I can turn the power on or off for my lights and/or fans in the den if it gets too hot outside.

                      Later, my brother in law and his wife got us the beer sign so I wrapped it with a solar rope light, hung it outside the door and voila! If I only could find something to make the beer letters reflect/shine the lights enough to show at night...well, maybe that's what the beer is for...
                      Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                      Roseburg, Oregon

                      FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                      Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                      Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        This summer (2017), some friends gave us a solar light set of dragonflies. I mounted them along the front top outside edge of the den. I also had gotten tired of getting dripped on when I stopped to open the door into the den and decided since I was mounting a set of solar lights that I could also extend my front roof line. I bought some sheets of TufStuf polycarbonate clear roof panels and set them in place to give us a little over 2 feet of overhang on the entry side of the den. I now have a nice, drip free zone as we enter the den and the dragonfly lights shine off the under surface of the overhang and add to the color show.
                        Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                        Roseburg, Oregon

                        FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                        Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                        Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Since the winter of 2009 I've baked 3,395 loaves of my bread and spent $1,931 on ingredients--for an average loaf cost of $0.57 (as of this post 25 October 2017). I can still fit into my pants because I've given away almost 71% of my breads to my friends and neighbors .

                          My baking friends and I have put 5,008 pounds of dough through this oven (pizza, bread, biscotti, cookies, etc.) not to mention a wide variety of other meal items, i.e. Turkeys, chickens, roasts, ribs, beans, corn, stews, roasted veggies, (and even souffles). Here's the rundown of costs for this retirement project (also as of 25 October 2017).

                          $ 9,937.09 Total WFO, Dragonfly Den, prep room, and wood shed
                          1,161.41 Baking cost (hardware)
                          1,683.36 Baking cost (ingredients)
                          -------------
                          $12,781.86 Investment to date (9 years)
                          154.00 Donations and sales
                          -------------
                          $12,627.86 Total cost of Dragonfly Den Operation to date

                          $ 3.22 Hardware overhead/loaf
                          0.57 Ingredient cost/loaf
                          -------------
                          $ 3.79 Cost per loaf of Dragonfly Den Bread

                          So now you know I don't do this for the money...it's for the smiles from my friends and neighbors as we share the treasures from the oven and my love of baking


                          Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                          Roseburg, Oregon

                          FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                          Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                          Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            We don't get much snow in our area during the winter, but I was set to bake 16 loaves of Bill's Pugliese (using my sourdough/levain named Bill) when we had an annoying amount of snow. I gave my wife a great big hug & kiss for pushing me to get the den built around the oven.

                            I was practicing doing bread stenciling on the Pugliese...so I attached some pictures of them as well. I bought a stencil with the dragonfly and used an X-acto knife to cut the joined hearts stencil from a transparency sheet (for overhead projectors). The blue tape was to hold the two stencil pieces together and a little extra to provide a decent "oops" zone for the cocoa powder drop.
                            Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                            Roseburg, Oregon

                            FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                            Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                            Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Mike,

                              I heard the big O was getting some snow (my daughter lives in Wilsonville now). Pretty cool bread stencil. I have yet to get into bread making yet, only using left over pizza dough as attempts. I still need to get up there an see the oven.
                              Russell
                              Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                When my wife decided that the den needed French Doors, I got to decide which way they were hinged. Contrary to most folk's experience, I set the doors to swing inside. The reasoning behind this was totally for my convenience entering the den with a full board of bread dough headed for the oven. I wanted to simply be able to push the door frame to get den access...no hands needed. This arrangement has worked out great since the den was completed. Two issues however, have come up over the last several years, 1) the door frames were made of 1" x 2" wood and warp a bit with the seasons and 2) a moderate gust of wind would blow the doors open. I fixed the warping problem by adding some wire tensions to the door corners...and of course AFTER I installed them several people pointed out that I should have installed the outer frame bolts higher than I did. (but they work OK). For the wind issue, I spent several years simply using a plastic coated wire tie twisted to the door handles while the den was not being used. I also put in a couple of magnetic holds at the door top frames to keep the doors closed while we were baking. That sort of worked, but was a bit of a pain because the magnets weren't strong enough to hold the door securely by themselves and the plastic on the wire was getting pretty gross looking. Finally I went to the hardware store and bought a set of self adjusting slide latches. I installed them and found that the bolts were too short - just a light push on the doors and they opened easily with the swing-in door hinging.

                                I walked away from my longer visit to the hardware store with two, sleeve bolts. I hoped that by installing them on the doors and having the longer sleeve bolts slide into the upper door frame header, I'd be able to easily secure the doors shut when we were not using the den. In the two pictures below you can see these installs. The blue circled hardware are the self adjusting slide latches and the yellow circle is around the final sleeve bolt location. The second picture hopefully shows them both a bit better. The longer sleeve bolts work great (although, I found them a bit difficult to install). I have also found some stronger magnets (not pictured) and put them on each side of the sleeve bolts. Finally, the doors can be closed so the wind won't blow them open when we're not using the den and the magnets keep the doors shut (and flying critters out) when we are working the oven area.

                                Has anybody else noted that we WFO builders use the words final and finished a lot even when knowing some new tweak/fix/improvement/repair is always just around the corner?

                                p.s. Chef Bill (my sourdough/Levain) is fed and bubbling and I've got 21 loaves on my dough bill for Friday...yahoo!
                                Last edited by SableSprings; 03-06-2019, 12:27 AM.
                                Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                                Roseburg, Oregon

                                FB Forum: The Dragonfly Den build thread
                                Available only if you're logged in = FB Photo Albums-Select media tab on profile
                                Blog: http://thetravelingloafer.blogspot.com/

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X