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Adhoc 36" Oven in Lake District, UK - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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  • #31
    Hi Micky, hats off to you for doing all that with just a hammer and chisel! I'm in Newcastle, at about the same stage with my oven. Just finished the front arch and thinking about what to do for a chimney. I've been cutting my bricks with a hand angle grinder with a diamond blade. Works well but creates shit loads of dust.

    Chris

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    • #32
      Originally posted by mazzazza View Post
      Hi Micky, hats off to you for doing all that with just a hammer and chisel! I'm in Newcastle, at about the same stage with my oven. Just finished the front arch and thinking about what to do for a chimney. I've been cutting my bricks with a hand angle grinder with a diamond blade. Works well but creates shit loads of dust.

      Chris
      Nice one Geordie. Photo? Way I was thinking was - they never used power tools 200 years ago. Similarly if I make a Thai green curry - I bash the hell out of the ingredients in a mortar and pestle as them little Thai old wifeys wont be using a Magimix in their humble shanty town dwelling. But as with BOTH situations, boy its hard work Ive made for myself!!!

      I read somewhere that the crowning moment is STANDING on your completed dome, I dont actually trust mine structurally, bit like Martin Dubravka in goal for the Toon....what a sickener it was tonight

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      • #33
        Hi Micky, Sorry for late response - I don't get notifications from here and I'm only on every few days. Yeah that's true - and Thai curry paste is way better in a pestle and mortar.

        I'm scared of even leaning on my dome - I'm sure it's fine but don't want to put it to the test!

        Ha ha - I didn't see it - in the past I used to try and blag that I knew what people were talking about when they mentioned football but I'll admit now I don't have a clue.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESVjzf4FzyU



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        • #34
          Originally posted by mazzazza View Post
          Hi Micky, Sorry for late response - I don't get notifications from here and I'm only on every few days. Yeah that's true - and Thai curry paste is way better in a pestle and mortar.

          I'm scared of even leaning on my dome - I'm sure it's fine but don't want to put it to the test!
          Looks good Chris. Not entirely dissimilar to mine, but I bet your upper courses are far neater. You gonna cover it all with a layer of home brew to seal it all up? Cant see how you are gonna do a chimney mind. I lit my first fires yesterday

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          • #35
            FIRE!!! Got the first fire done - newspaper only.
            I couldn't locate THIS post - https://community.fornobravo.com/for...33-oven-curing (have done now) so only took it to around 170F Was burning for around an hour with lots and lots of paper continuously burned through. Will do another today with a bit of kindling and aim for just over 200F (what it SHOULD have been yesterday) and aim for 300 tomorrow. EXCITING!!!

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            • #36
              Looking good! Looks very similar to mine inside actually. Yeah I'm planning on covering it with a layer of ceramic blanket then vermicrete. You can't really see from my photo but there's a gap left in the top of the outer arch for the chimney. The front arch is deeper than it looks in the photo.

              How are the fires working out? Any cracks?

              Chris

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              • #37
                Originally posted by mazzazza View Post
                Looking good! Looks very similar to mine inside actually. Yeah I'm planning on covering it with a layer of ceramic blanket then vermicrete. You can't really see from my photo but there's a gap left in the top of the outer arch for the chimney. The front arch is deeper than it looks in the photo.

                How are the fires working out? Any cracks?

                Chris
                Up to heat now Chris...mashooosive cracks on outside. But inside looks OK... read on....

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                • #38
                  First chance to update. I have worked SOLIDLY for nigh on 6 weeks. Every single day (I have three jobs mind) and have went leaps and bounds in my progress.

                  I started on the slate entrance. I thought that if I tied in firebricks with slate rather than two seperate arches (one for front, one mini one for vent) then it would hold strength better. The Arch for vent was incredibly tricky and bricks seperated once. I mortared in some reinforcements to add more bind to them. I also used the time to light my drying out fires whilst working which served to help my new work set quite fast too
                  I really battered in that slate keystone until the whole arch felt like it wouldnt budge. Its weird working like this - it realy is a leap of faith that these arches wont collapse when you haven't done them before!

                  I created a facade (hollow) which, when the vermiculite concrete layer, then finally cement render goes on, you wont see the rear of it, just front and sides. I filled the hollow gaps in with vermiculite just for a bit of a laugh.

                  I got temps up to 500F or so. I stepped up slow, but these were only fires of max of 1-2 hrs. No door placed over or anything. I was really struggling to get over 500F... So I ended up with lots of regular 'medium fires'

                  Some cracks appeared but nothing major. Then I thought - because outside was drying nice, time for the blanket and maybe with THAT on, the extra insulation would increase internal dome temps...

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                  • #39
                    She's looking good... had to get MORE slate again. I got some kiln dried hardwood and managed to increase temps. But STILL not up to 700-800F . But you know what? I was just being impatient. !!! I rang my mate Tim who has a mobile oven and has now opened a Pizzeria in Inverness (Cheese & Tomatin) and he said (regarding the outdoor mobile one he has) It took 90 mins to 2 hrs to get to temperature!!!!! I kept adding more wood and mixing it with soft wood etc and temps went over 700F for the first time. Woop woop!!! But... I got impatient.....
                    I couldn't help but throw in my first pizza!! Took about 3 or 4 mins to cook...but it was a great moment.
                    In the end temps hit 811 F!!

                    And then.....the cracks appeared. Big dirty ones, all over the outside.

                    Some points...
                    I decided on leaving blanket loose for this reason, so I could check if any repair work was needed - it IS!!
                    When hitting temps of 500F or so, the blanket on outside was cool, but If I put my hand up her skirt so to speak, then the dome itself was quite warm. Which said two things - one, it works! And two - maybe I only needed the ONE roll of blanket on there (14.64M - 610 x 13mm (Density 96kg)

                    It was quite damp though even though it had been stored in the house.

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                    • #40
                      I crawled inside yesterday and brushed up the offending area. On quite close inspection and given the shee size of the external cracks, nothing to be worried about INSIDE. With the blanket lifted up to photo the cracks the other day there WAS steam coming up through out of them though. Maybe moisture from the external mortar joint and bearing in mind I'm hammer and chisel jobbing it - my mortar gaps are bigger than most folks on here...
                      I scraped the extrnal cracks out and smeared in some heat mortar to repair it. On inspection of my photos though, the second pic perhaps shows a crack my eyes never picked up on (top right)
                      Its nice to see my upper higgedly piggedly courses looking good to go though. Rained all yesterday so created a template for a door. Getting a local blacksmith to forge one for me. No rain today. Heat mortar to be plastered over the cracks today. Then will chicken wire the blanket in place for good!!

                      When I hit top temps, even with all them blanket layers on - it WAS quite warm on top so Im adding some, but not all, of blanket 2 on today.

                      Question.... (maybe for UtahBeehiver r SableSprings ) The blanket has been outside, covered by tarps etc. But - its damp. What do I do? Do I keep lighting fire after fire after fire, till it all dries out before adding the vermiculite/concrete layer. OR can I just light a fire, get the worst of the moisture out and continue on adding the insulating concrete without concern? Thanks guys..

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                      • #41
                        These new structures contain a lot of internal moisture. Remember that the oven expands as it's heated. When you put perlcrete/vermicrete directly on the dome, it will always crack simply because the oven expands and the "shell" doesn't expand as much. Most of us now recommend putting ceramic batting on the dome, do the curing and when the moisture is all driven off and out, the final hard shell is added. The fact that your blanket layers are hot is an indication that you are still driving off moisture from your build. Ceramic batting will also pick up moisture in humid/wet conditions just like the ceramic board. You just need to have patience and continue to fire the oven...it will gradually improve heat retention and reduce heating times as it becomes fully cured. Looking at your pictures in post #40, I'd assume the areas that are still black have not been fully cured. The top areas tend to cure more quickly than the lower levels (and cooking floor). A fully cured oven will start to clear at the top and move down the sides as everything comes up to > ~650F. If moisture is still in the mortar, bricks, or insulation that area will stay cooler until the moisture is fully removed.

                        It will be easier for the oven to cure without the vermicrete/perlcrete outer layer. Be patient and continue reasonable fires as long as things remain damp. A great tip from David S is to lay a piece of clear plastic over the oven and if moisture is still being driven out, it collects on the inside of the plastic and you know that you need to continue the curing process. The cooking floor is always the last to be cured with the moisture tending to be more "trapped" in the base insulation board and bricks...BE PATIENT!

                        Relax, you've done a good job and have a working oven...you are now into the finesse part ...enjoy an adult beverage with your items hot and tasty from the WFO.
                        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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                        • #42
                          For efficiency the higher quality insulation should be facing the hotter surface. The usual method is to place the blanket over the dome and then do a layer of vermicrete over that. This has a few advantages in that the blanket acts as an expansion joint as well as being dry. The blanket being a bit springy is difficult but not impossible to render against, whereas the vermicrete is firm enough to press the render hard against. The lumpiness of the blanket can also be evened out by the layer of vermicrete over it. Anyway you have what you have, it will still work and some cracking of the vermicrete won't really matter. It is the steam that makes it swell that creates the cracks. If they really bother you then you can fill them with more vermicrete, but as you have blanket over them that should be sufficient. A cheap garden moisture meter plunged into the vermicrete layer is another option to tell when the stuff is dry.
                          Last edited by david s; 03-04-2019, 07:21 PM.
                          Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                          • #43
                            Thanks guys. SableSprings david s I think there may have been a little misunderstaning though - this is a standard build. Firebrick, (with homebrew mix smeared all over the exterior) then two ceramic blankets - chicken wired in place. Then it will be a thickish layer of vermicrete. Finished off with a cement rendering, into which I am pushing bits of slate into it to give it a 'slate look' on the outside.
                            I hear what you are saying about the black parts of the oven though - never associated that with it being uncured there. Will keep on with the fires. I got to 811F the other day. I have a blacksmith making me a door and I have yet to figure what to do as regards a chimney, but I have a 6inch+ vent hole there.

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                            • #44
                              That is looking fantastic now Micky, the slate arch tying in nicely with the rest of the slate around it! spot on!

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                              • #45
                                Micky, make sure that you extend your vermicrete down and over the cooking floor bricks that extend out of the dome perimeter. At least be aware that those exposed firebricks will conduct some of your heat away from the oven. Probably won't make a huge difference in the loss of retained heat, but they will get hot and may expand enough to affect the outer finish or create some cracks for water entry into the base insulation. The 10:1 vermicrete will give you a bit of "expansion protection" as it's fairly soft. Just something to be aware of...

                                The oven itself is just fabulous looking. I don't think it can be said too often that you've done a terrific job!
                                Last edited by SableSprings; 03-08-2019, 10:14 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/

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