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  • Building The Dixie Darling

    And so it begins.

    First, I want to take a moment to thank all the forum members for the wealth of information that has been created here. I have read through most of the build threads and I'm just amazed at the craftsmanship. Its funny how I can start reading through the construction logs and it becomes obvious that the builder is feeling his/her way through the process. But as the build progresses, the builder becomes more confident in their abilities and with the help of those that came before them they begin to stretch the limits of their imaginations and skills to create in some instances a work of art but in all a functional appliance that they, their families and friends will enjoy for years to come. Everyone's willingness to help the newcomers such as myself through the various stages with ideas, advice and positive encouragement is what really drove me to take on this challenge. I hope one day I can give back to future builders the knowledge that I gain from each of you.

    Ok, enough of buttering everyone up. Its time to get to work. My plan is to construct a 45" oven. Why 45" you ask? Well, when I started laying the oven out in Sketchup, that was the dimension that did not give me a bunch of small pieces for the floor brick. My oven stand will be somewhat different. Because I am building my oven so it can be accessed from our elevated deck, the cooking floor will be about 82" off the ground. My plan is to build two block stands on top of one another which means pouring 3 slabs instead of the normal 2. I could eliminate the middle slab but that would create a lot of wasted space. I guess you could say that the oven will have a basement. I haven't decided whether I want an igloo style oven or an enclosed one. We're discussing that as a family but we have plenty of time to decide that. I hope to get the foundation poured this weekend. I have attached a drawing of the floor and vent area below. The basis for my design is Gulf's oven. I really liked the way Joe built his two vent arches. I did reduce the distance between the arches by about 4.5" in order to cut down on the distance from the landing to the oven entry. But now I'm concerned that the flue opening may not be big enough for a 45" oven. The oven opening is 22" wide and will be 15.5" high.

    Let me know if you see any flaws in my design or if I need to tweak anything. Thanks in advance for everyone's help.


    Dan

    Build Log
    Build Photo Album

  • #2
    Dan, congrats on getting started. Lots of great builds here and Gulf's Mississippi Queen is certainly among them. One thing that I wish I would have done was to start laying out the hearth bricks forward more. By doing that you eliminate the small triangle pieces right at the entry where you get the most "wear & tear". In essence you simply cut the full brick "points" off to make the entry instead of cutting small triangles to fit into place. Don't forget to plan a thermal break.

    So, as to your flue size, I'm thinking 8"-10" diameter would be a good range for that size oven. Also it seems that your landing is going to be quite a bit deeper than most...make sure you get a longer peel ...that's going to be a long reach to the back of the oven.

    Looking forward to watching your build. Maybe putting in a dumb waiter to deliver pizza to ground floor through your "slab stories" would be something to consider......it might also help bringing wood up to the oven.
    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/

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    • #3
      I like your idea of a basement on the pizza oven. I think that is a great idea and if I ever end up with a house with a deck it is something I would consider as well. I can't wait to see how it comes together.

      As to your design the only thing I see is you are about an inch to tall on your door height. The recommended 63-65%rule would say 14.5 area for the height. Otherwise I think it looks like a good plan. It will be a little larger than most here but that is your choice and nothing wrong it will just use a little more wood. I like enclosed ovens to help keep water off them, but if you do a igloo right it should be just fine too.

      Randy

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      • #4
        I eliminated the small triangles similar to what Mike was talking about in post #2 by shifting my pattern. If you considered doing this, you might be able to get your IT attached more in the "meat" of a brick like I copied from Gulf, not in between bricks like your layout appears to show. This allowed me to use what I called Gulf's "wooden brick" trick to anchor my IT.
        My build thread
        http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...h-corner-build

        Comment


        • #5
          Mike, I believe you are correct about the small triangles up front. Those ended up there because I chose to have the center of the floor land at the intersection of the 3 green bricks. I'm not sure what actual purpose doing that served other than it was an easy starting point for the drawing. I will make some adjustments and see if I can eliminate them without creating a lot of small cuts elsewhere. I did realize by building the vent floor the way I have it designed it would be a long reach but I do like the double vent arches and I'm not sure if I can get them any closer and still have a good draw. I'll make sure I lay the vent floor out before I start setting bricks in concrete so to speak and confirm that I understand the difficulties with the long reach.

          Randy, I thought the height of the opening was a little high also, but based on the spreadsheet that Dennis provided (See screenshot below) the interior dome height will be 24.7". Now, there are some assumptions I have made that may change once I get the IT made and attached to the floor. I do plan to have a soldier course setting outside the oven floor on the hearth insulation. All the design considerations I have made thus far can and probably will change to a degree based on the feedback and suggestions I get here.

          JR, I am going to adjust the center point to land on a full brick and hope that will also eliminate the small triangles up front. I'll play around with that sometime tomorrow.

          Thanks for all the help guys. I really appreciate you looking at the initial floor layout with a critical eye to keep me from building something I will regret later.


          Dan

          Build Log
          Build Photo Album

          Comment


          • #6
            Dan, I'd also recommend taking another look at the dimensions you are getting from the spread sheet. A hemispherical dome 45" in diameter would have a height of 22.5. Some folks make a lower dome to try to get better heating for pizza, but I don't see too many if any that purposefully make the dome taller than half the diameter. Some builders even shorten the IT as the build goes to compensate for pivot height above the floor, just to maintain the hemispherical shape. I talk a little about IT placement in post #36 of my build thread if you are interested.
            My build thread
            http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...h-corner-build

            Comment


            • #7
              Dan,

              Welcome to the journey. You pick a hot and humid time in Alabama to start a build. I will keep track of your build and may even pop by and take a look later this Oct.to see the Tiger play the Razorbacks. Gulf's wood brick idea is good since it places the IT pivot point right at the floor level minimizing hemi sphere shape issues. I would second shifting the floor so you only need to block out one brick for the IT.

              An old time member suggested to me, when I did my build, to install an inset lip on the front arch, like your design shows as a means to help channel the smoke up the vent stack. You just need to make sure the that your door will clear the outer arch. I made sure the outer OD of the door reveal was smaller than the ID of the outer arch. This is way down the road but wanted to bring it up.

              Are you doing an ingloo or an enclosure. If doing and enclosure, consider placing the dome on the floor bricks rather than inside, Then you do not need to do all the tedious round floor cuts, Save you labor resources for other parts of the build. You leave floor bricks long or whole just make sure all floor bricks have insulation under them. Once enclosed, they are never seen again. No small cuts needed either.

              Good luck.
              Russell
              Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

              Comment


              • #8
                JR, it appears the spreadsheet is calculating the hypotenuse of a right triangle formed by the pivot of the IT and the height soldier course above the oven floor and using that length for the dome height. I thought it was quite high based on all the other builds. I'll try to draw up a diagram this evening showing the actual calculations.

                Russell, although we haven't made a concrete decision on igloo or enclosure, I'm leaning toward enclosing it. If we do enclose it, I will certainly follow your suggestion and put the soldier course on the floor and not make all those small, round cuts. Thanks for that idea. It will save a lot of time and frustration. I could also reduce the diameter back down to 42" since I only went up to eliminate a lot of small cuts. You have an open invitation to come by when you are in town. We'll have a beer or twelve and hopefully cook something in the Dixie Darling.

                Guys, I really do appreciate the feedback. The way I see it, the more eyes I have looking at it, the better the end product.
                Dan

                Build Log
                Build Photo Album

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here's a stunning prefab oven build where the owner built up a tall stand up to a raised deck. I think not nearly as tall as what you're planning, but worth a look:
                  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/in...?topic=38832.0

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dan, my oven is an igloo, and I built on top of my floor, but wanted you to know that cutting the outside curves on the floor bricks are about an easy of a cut as you are going to make, other than cutting bricks in half (assuming you have a 10" or so wet saw). I followed the IT design that let me attach a marker to the end of the arm, and used it to sketch the outside diameter of the dome for cutting. If you decide to go with a igloo, a 1/4 inch or more mismatch isn't going to matter as you will be insulating and rendering over it all anyway. I was able to get two floor pieces from a single brick in many cases, so there was minimal waste. If you go this route, you can start your oven and make the igloo vs enclosure decision at a later date.
                    My build thread
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/community/...h-corner-build

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      JR'S idea may be a good alternative. I was going by my experience since I had super duty bricks any unnecessary cuts were slow and time consuming. If you bricks are medium or low duty then wet saw cuts are substantially quicker.
                      Russell
                      Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I’ve got a bone to pick!!

                        Who’s the genius that decided it was a good idea to dig a foundation in Alabama rock posing as clay when its 98 degrees and humid? Somebody ought to give that guy a medal or something. Oh …… I guess I’m that “genius”! Man was it hot today. But we accomplished what we set out to do. We got the foundation excavated, stone placed and forms constructed. Have I mentioned that the soil around my house thinks its rock? You know it’s going to be a long day when you swing a pick as hard as you can and it barely scratches the surface. Thank goodness for John Deere. I hope to place and tie steel in the morning and then pour the concrete.

                        Larry that is some outdoor living project. Based on courses of block, he is doing almost exactly what I am planning. The only real difference is I am pouring an intermediate slab so I can better utilize the space under the oven. Thanks for sharing.

                        JR & Russell, I have a 10” wet saw and low duty bricks so cutting the curves shouldn’t be a big deal. But I’ve got plenty of time to make that decision. Still have two and a half slabs to pour and almost 200 block to lay.

                        I’m going to get some sleep now. I’m tired.
                        Dan

                        Build Log
                        Build Photo Album

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is there a way to order the pictures when uploading them? I selected them in the proper order, but they are displaying differently. I've noticed this in other posts also.
                          Dan

                          Build Log
                          Build Photo Album

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No rest for the wicked. When you decide to start you go whole hog. Looks like good old "hard pan" soil. I see you have a BGE, unfortunately, the WFOs, for the most part cannot smoke meats like a BGE but do well with roasting. So keep the egg close by. Not sure on the pics why the order gets skeewompus. Will check into it.
                            Russell
                            Google Photo Album [https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...JneXVXc3hVNHd3/]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Count me as another member with BGE and WFO. I smoked some Copper River Sockeye yesterday, and was debating trying to use the oven. If it was in its cooling phase and around 200F I might have tried it, but decided to use the trusty BGE instead. I will, however, never use the BGE for pizza again. It's not nearly the pizza oven it's cracked up to be.

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