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Finally getting to building WFO in Calgary, Canada - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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  • shanxk8
    started a topic Finally getting to building WFO in Calgary, Canada

    Finally getting to building WFO in Calgary, Canada

    After years of patiently waiting to build a pizza oven, I have finally begun my journey. It has been a long while since I first found the plans on this website, and I've been anxiously awaiting ever since.

    I've had a plan that has been adapted into what i am beginning to build, which i plan to be a 36" oven. I've attached a simple mockup I created in Sketchup. The side with the oven opening faces an existing raised patio, thus why there are 6 courses on concrete blocks.

    I've been able to source quite a lot of my materials (locally) already, which is a pleasant surprise. I've recently been reading up on this forum about techniques and tools (planning to build an "indispensible tool").

    So far i have poured my slap, and setup a test of my concrete block structure. Perhaps tomorrow will allow me to cement it into place.
    I have a couple of questions so far:
    1. How long (days of work) should i expect to build the dome and front arch? (I still need to cut bricks... hoping to source a wet saw)
    2. To ensure i have enough for errors & spares, i purchased 200 firebricks (based on pompeii plans indicating 60 for floor and 120 for dome) All this brick stacked next to the house looks like WAAAY too much. Does a 36" oven really require 180 firebricks?
    3. The firebricks seem surprisingly soft, in that granules rub off from them easier that i would expect. Is there something needing to be done to them so that they stop losing granules? (i.e. so they don't end up in the food) These are what i've purchased https://www.brockwhite.com/catalog/m...rick/1-0455043 (only US link has product info sheet)

    I'm really excited about my journey ahead, and hope the fun of building my own oven lives up to my expectations. Here are some photos of the initial work.

    Thanks for reading,
    David in Calgary
    Starting Design in Sketchup (will sit next to 16" tall existing patio) Where we started, removing old landscaped bed Digging is complete
    Last edited by shanxk8; 06-01-2017, 06:23 AM. Reason: Created photo album & added better pics

  • shanxk8
    replied
    Here is the oven this weekend after applying 2 layers of water proofing (flex crete). It seems to be a cement/mortar/stucco with polymer instead of water, and seems to have made a nice hard layer on the outside of the dome My technique improved and was able to make the final layer fairly even and smooth.
    It was quite a lot of effort to scrape the remnants (mostly polymer i think) off the countertop, so I'm hopeful that it will stand up well as waterproofing, at least for this winter.

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    Here's some pictures of the 3rd layer of stucco that was finished last week.
    Bonus picture of the delicious sourdough bread we backed as well.

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    Sable, regarding silicon, i only used a very little bit on the vertical joint. The horizontal joints were kinda double folded back on each other. (I hoped that will be sufficient but timewill tell)

    (I forgot to take pictures of that part)

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    There is a metal double wall insulated chimney inside the brick facade. It is mounted to a chimney mounting plate sandwiched between bricks. My only concern is that the flashing is a little to flat & I need to put something inside to provide a little slope so melting snow (or rain) don't puddle & flow to the middle and go into cavity between insulted metal chimney pipe and the brick facade.

    Future problem to solve, it should keep the majority of the snow out for now.

    Can't seem to get the forum to bring-up already posted photos well, but here is the post that show's what chimney looks like inside the brick.
    https://community.fornobravo.com/for...685#post405685
    Last edited by shanxk8; 10-18-2018, 12:16 PM. Reason: link

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  • SableSprings
    replied
    Nice flashing construction David! Did you just seal the overlay seam/fold with silicon? Also, in looking at your cap, I'm a little concerned that the middle band inside might constrict the upward air flow. I don't think I've seen one of those chimney caps with that much screen area blocked off. Just something to watch over time when you are firing...as long as there is no constriction it's great, but...

    I had used a 1/4" (5-6 mm) hardware cloth on the inside of a chimney cap in a BC Canada Casa 2G90 and found that the mesh would actually plug up with black ash to the point that it would not draw properly. We changed it out to 3/8" (~10 mm) hardware cloth and never had the problem again. (In all fairness, the soot buildup could have been because we are burning fairly pitchy pine wood there since hardwood is not available.)

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    Whole is waiting for good weather, I also made myself a metal flashing top to go around the edges of the brick chimney up to the metal chimney and cap.

    Made a form from a scrap of 2x6 to pull the flat roll of flashing thru into a bend length that I then had to make angle cuts to get a square topper. (The pictures below will hopefully explain better)
    Last edited by shanxk8; 10-17-2018, 07:48 AM. Reason: spelling

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    Have been in a holding pattern until the last few days, and I've finally gotten started with stucco over our dome. We had an unusually cold and rainy September and early snow in October.
    with overnight temps getting above freezing again I've gotten 2 coats of stucco on.

    The first coat I had #20/30 silica sand which was much too coarse. Second purchase was #70, and made for much nicer to work with stucco.
    Finished the second coat in the disk this evening, so I only have lifted off the first , coarse coat.

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    Our son (3 1/2) also got in on the bread shaping and baking. He was very happy to join in and pleased with his end result.
    (a happy dad here)
    Last edited by shanxk8; 09-10-2018, 08:37 AM.

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    I also spent my morning with friends whom are much more experienced bread bakers getting a lesson and all learning a but more about baking bread in a WFO. We made what we thought would be an oven full of bread , but ended up having to cook it in to batches.

    We started off a little later than we should do the oven was colder than needed, around 405 to 410F on the floor (wanted 450).
    I also did not realize how much the oven would cool off upon putting in the loaves. It was already down to 380 almost right after putting in the first 5 loaves. We ended up putting fire back into the oven to try and get the second batch to brown as desired.

    Either way, the end result (of those we've tasted so far) was excellent. First 5 were pain ordinaire and next 4 were sourdough.

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    In the last little while, I've been working to finish assembling the granite countertop. I've now finished with that part and pan to next tackle stucco over the ddome One picture with the "finished" granite. It still needs some polishing at the joints and all the edges.

    I've also completed a basic insulated door. It still requires some finishing with rustic hardware, but it is more functional than a straight wood door to retain heat. It is 22G plain steel, bent, and attached with machine screws.
    Last edited by shanxk8; 09-09-2018, 07:52 PM.

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  • JRPizza
    replied
    Now that's one heck of a heat break

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    However, the vacation was kinda interesting from the WFO front as we were in Italy, and we got to visit Pompeii. (Not only is it the namesake for the oven plans I followed, it's also the ancient City that was buried by erruption of Mount Vesuvius)
    It was really cool to see how most everything was so well preserved from nearly 2000 years ago. That included an ancient bakery with a wood fired oven!

    Here are a few pictures of the outside and inside of the oven. the last photo was described by our guide as the mill used to grind grains into flour. A wooden bar was inserted and the apparatus pushed around to do the grinding.
    Last edited by shanxk8; 08-24-2018, 07:43 AM. Reason: spelling

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    Hello all, was away for a while on vacation, so haven't had much progress of late. I've only had time to slowly work at cutting granite into pieces to hack into a countertop. Here's a couple pictures on the layout of the granite in progress but not attached yet.

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  • shanxk8
    replied
    After pizza the other night, we made our first attempt at bread the day after using residual heat. I woke up early and couldn't fall asleep, so decided to check the oven temp and attempt to bake the bread.

    The oven was at 450F done and 390F floor temp . Was colder that the recipe called for 450F (which wasn't achieved in the floor). I decide to go ahead and that I would just bake longer if needed .

    The bread (NY Times no knead bread, let sit for 18 hours) turned out quite good, better than what I've made before in the regular oven. I suspect the longer rise time helped.

    Decided I need to make a larger batch the next time, that single loaf looks really lonely.

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