John's Brick Oven Folly

July-August 2011

July 2011
Well it is starting to take shape and things are going along slowly to say the least! Now the work begins on the vent area, outer arch, chimney, etc.. Now I know that this is all running together, but so is this stage of the build. Besides the heat and aches in my back, my stomach is GROWLING for PIZZA!
Here is my rendition of a terracotta funnel flue thingy.  I guess the principal is to funnel the smoke and gases into the flue. I used some homebrew high heat mortar for "gluing" the two pieces together. 

Here is the outer arch area assembled, almost. Notice the arch bricks in the center do not have any mortar. They are self supporting, which is the theory behind the entire dome. Theoretically speaking it does not need mortar to stand. I used plenty of mortar btw! Now I need to make a flat, level platform for my flue and chimney to rest upon.






Well things are moving along on this blog way faster then they did in real life. It is now the end of July, and with the flue going up I can almost smell the pizza. Now as the mortar cures on the firebrick I need to add a thermal break for the chimney. 



I am thinking of using the foamglas for this but am worried about it supporting all the weight of the cement block, flue and bricks. So I did a test, as crude as it maybe, it gave me piece of mind. Notice the column to the right, it is on foamglas and I kept a keen eye on the level and height until I was satisfied it would hold the weight!

Here is the foamglas on top of the vent and around the flue. Now back to the facade and pavers.





Here are the design changes and seat of the pants plans for the front bricks!






August 2011 
So another month has gone by without pizza! My wife is starting a WFOwidow.org web site or is it the wood fired oven lost husband club? Not quite sure but her patience is being tested for sure!  Over a year and NO PIZZA!  oh well back to the grindstone.... Things are taking shape so to speak, although I feel like I solve one hurdle and create two more to jump. I am getting anxious for a fire and pizza but I have to do two things first, finish the flue and manufacture an insulated fireproof door. Here is my attempt at the door-



 
The door is made up of steel plate which I will paint with heat resistant paint (BBQ grill black) a two inch piece of foamglas is sandwiched in between the steel and an outer shell of Ipe wood from the left over decking wood. I will add a handle and thermometer later on as I have time. (right)




An update on the door - I did add a handle in the middle and a thermometer from forno bravo store which gives me the air temp of the oven. I have several thermocouple for brick temps.







Oh Boy! I think it is time for 
FIRE!
















Yahoo! We have smoke and fire and it is all staying inside the oven/chimney!
Happy Dance Time!


 

Well that was one short happy dance I'll tell you! As I finished the second curing fire I noticed a crack in the rear soldier bricks! OMG! Well it wasn't too big and with consults from the wfo group I pressed on with the third fire, thinking this was just my poor mortar job in the beginning. WRONG!!!!! Here is a pic, that is worth a thousand cusses!
To be Continued.....

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