This cold alaska winter has got me wanting to tinker in order to avoid cabin fever. I'm buckling down and making some adjustments to my LBE.
Firstly, that saw blade I used on top really didn't do much for me, but I wasn't able to find a medium sized stone or aluminum disks (as villa uses) locally, so I instead mounted the lower grate from my LBE to the dome with 4 bolts and slid firebricks inside.
The results from that had been okay, I'm making good pie. However, aesthetically it looked terrible, the grate just wouldn't level, and I'm feeling the need to experiment.
Here's what I'm looking at now;
Using the standard lid I have taken a chapter out of Essen's book and purchased some fiber blanket insulation. I was unable to get high temperature spray adhesive locally but one of the employees at home depot assured me I would be able to do what I needed using Rutland Furnace Cement;http://www.rutland.com/productinfo.php?product_id=24
It is supposed to be able to withstand temperatures over 2000 degrees F. I'm hoping he was right. I was able to complete the task with a $2.00 10.3 fl. oz container that operated with a caulking gun. It was hard to feather it and spread it thin and even as the directions indicated, but so far all the fiberblanket seems to be sticking, I just hope it holds.
The next step that I will deal with tonight is to give the fiberblanket a coating of ITC 100 HT Ceramic Coating as I believe Essen did.
I'm in the hopes that this will conserve fuel for me. However, this may blow up in my face. I have the fear that by installing the 1" thick fiber blanket that I may be restricting the flow of air too much. Only time shall tell how well I'm able to cook with such a lowered dome.
Also, since I was kinda disgusted the look of my firebrick splits at the top of the dome I have opted to remove those and for the time being I will replace them with a 14" metal pizza pan. Ideally I'm wanting to get a stone to have mounted from the dome, but Villa has great success without one.
I still really haven't been able to address my stones getting too hot around the edges. I think I'm giving an appropriate warm-up time to the egg, and I've got two OSO stones, which seem to be regarded well enough, its probably a simple thing and I'm just unable to see the forest through the trees. If I could get the heat more uniform throughout the stones though I'd be much happier.
I'll keep you guys posted on how things turn out.