Author Topic: My Mini 26" WFO In Process  (Read 6507 times)

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Offline nkozak

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My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« on: May 08, 2012, 06:09:24 PM »
I'm attempting to make a quasi-pizza forge, but more tasteful and probably less portable.

I started with a 26" generic Weber knockoff. I made the oven floor out of firebrick and the horseshoe side walls are halved red clay brick. The oven opening is 15 inches and I intend to make a cast of the lid with refractory cement and chicken-wire.

I'm no mason, so I'm hoping this holds up. I have to slowly cure this cement before I move on to the lid.
So far, it weighs about 100 lbs, so I need to keep the dome fairly light so the grill base doesn't collapse.

Let me know what you think so far. I'll post more pics as I make more progress.

Nick


buceriasdon

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 06:21:03 PM »
Question, So you will have fire inside the dome, correct?
Don

Offline nkozak

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 06:49:56 PM »
Yes. I'll have the fire inside. I'm debating a small chimney near the opening, but not sure about that.
Nick

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 07:38:52 PM »
I wouldn't mess with a chimney, just let it vent out the door.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 08:22:57 PM »
What do you mean by cast the lid ?  Are you going to fortify it with stone and bring the height down a bit?  Or, just make a casting and get rid of the steel part?

Follow our resident mason' suggestions on no vent.

Just my .02
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 08:24:36 PM by Jet_deck »
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Offline nkozak

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 08:47:21 PM »
I am going to line the lid with plastic so the cement doesn't bond to the metal. The metal lid will not be a part of the finished oven.

Then I'm going to shape chicken wire to the lid and mold a half inch layer of casting refractory cement to it.

Once this cures, I am going to apply a half inch of a more insulative mix to the outside of the casted cement lid (possibly a lighter, 50/50 perlite mix. I'm open to opinions since I have never laid a brick or used cement before.

Since the weight is already getting up there, I want to make a strong dome, but light-weight and able to retain heat and reflect it back.

Think pizza hacker with a stucco finish haha. I would build a full oven, but I'm keeping things under $100 the wife wants something I can wheel out of the way if needed.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Nick
Nick

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 10:29:28 PM »
Then I'm going to shape chicken wire to the lid and mold a half inch layer of casting refractory cement to it.

Once this cures, I am going to apply a half inch of a more insulative mix to the outside of the casted cement lid (possibly a lighter, 50/50 perlite mix. I'm open to opinions since I have never laid a brick or used cement before.

Since the weight is already getting up there, I want to make a strong dome, but light-weight and able to retain heat and reflect it back.

Think pizza hacker with a stucco finish haha. I would build a full oven, but I'm keeping things under $100 the wife wants something I can wheel out of the way if needed.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Nick


Hi Nick,

That is a very creative and cool project. I like how you think outside the box.

A couple of things:
- metal and refractory materials expend at different rates when heated. therefore I would suggest not using the chicken wire in the refractory cement or you will quickly get some serious cracking.
- retaining heat has to do with thermal mass (material weights) and insulation. If you want heat being retained and returned when cooking you will need mass or weight. If you don't want the weight then just go for a dome made of insulation.  make a nice dome of perlite and cement mix, 2 or 3 " thick. You can put some chicken wire in that as the perlite will allow some dilatation of the metal. Use the dome as is or, as an option, coat the inside of your dome with 1/2" or so of refractory cement. Then set the dome in to place over your base.
Where do you get your perlite from? If you have not sourced it yet, try to get vermiculite. Shipping supply company such as ULINE have it for $30 a bag of 4 qft.

Antoine
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline nkozak

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 11:28:18 AM »
Thanks Antoine.

They have perlite pretty cheap in the local garden center. I did look into vermiculate, but it has a tendency to retain moisture, so I think perlite is a better choice. I can't adhere the cement to the metal lid, because as the lid gets hot and cools, the cement will break away, so the dome has to be all cement I think. I am very tempted to get an XL green egg lid and put it on. It's about $200 and 40 lbs., but I really want to stay cost effective for now.

Would it be better to have the perlite mix on the interior and solid refractory cement on the outside layer or vice versa for heat retention?
Nick

buceriasdon

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 11:34:58 AM »
If you read through the green egg posts you will find the tall shape is not optimum for pizza, all the better pizzas coming out of them have the stone raised up in the dome. I'd stick with your present plan. I'd put the perlite on the outside.
Don
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 01:36:50 PM by buceriasdon »

Offline nkozak

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 12:22:37 PM »
Thanks. I guess I'm sticking with my original plan, but I will take away the chicken wire in between the two layers.

Nick
Nick


Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 01:08:19 PM »
Would it be better to have the perlite mix on the interior and solid refractory cement on the outside layer or vice versa for heat retention?
My pleasure,

Keep the solid refractory inside and the perlite mix outside. The refractory cements will retain to redistribute the heat as well as reflect the heat from the fire on to the pizza, the perlite mix will insulate your oven and prevent heat loss.

Good luck,

Antoine
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline nkozak

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2012, 07:22:30 PM »
I finished the dome and bulk of the mortar work. I'm going to give it 2 days to air cure before I start building up the heat. The dome is an inch of solid refractory mortar on the inside and another inch of refractory/perlite blend (about 3:1 mix) on the outside, so the dome is about 2 to 3 inches thick. I also put a 20 inch double half-circle kiln shelf on the floor to keep things level and clean.

I think this is going to be better than franken-weber.

Nick

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2012, 10:29:15 AM »
Wow, :o you did a great job. I look forward to seeing some pie coming out of that oven.

Antoine
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2012, 10:32:56 AM »
Awesome work Nkozak.  Looks really nice.  I bet it will work great.  Please keep us posted.

parallei

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2012, 11:35:57 AM »
That is one handsome beast you've created there Nick!



Offline nkozak

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2012, 11:54:30 AM »
I'm considering covering it with an inch of ceramic blanket and then giving it a coat of stucco. Any thoughts on this? Will I gain much more efficiency or is it not worth the extra 20 lbs.? I've been maintaining curing temps so far with hot coals and the outside gets hot to touch, but not burning hot. I'm worried that when I finally get it up to full temp, the outside will be 4-500 degrees.
Nick

Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2012, 02:46:31 PM »
It is always a good idea to get more insulation on an oven. In your case unless you already have the ceramic fiber, I would try without it. If it gets too hot on the outside then you may want to consider it.

Antoine
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline Mmmph

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2012, 03:53:01 PM »
Cool...What's it weigh??
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Offline breadstoneovens

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2012, 04:32:43 PM »
Cool...What's it weigh??
The ceramic fiber is 6 to 8 lb per ft3. You need to calculate what area you cover and what thickness you want to use. I recommend the 1" blanket, it is the easiest to use in relation to the thickness.
You can easily find it by rolls of 24" wide by 25' or 50' long. It could be a lot more than what you need and the shipping is expensive as it is considered hazardous material. If you have a hard time finding some, let me know, I am sure I have some left over form some instal and I could possibly send it to you.

Antoine
WFO cooking is about passion.

Offline nkozak

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Re: My Mini 26" WFO In Process
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2012, 07:44:17 PM »
I ended up just putting a layer of hvac fiberglass on it and podging on a layer of stucco. I would say this thing probably weighs about 250 lbs. Not very portable, but at least I can wheel it around a little bit. I'm thinking about putting two poles on it, like a stretcher, to carry it with another person like an emperor.

I know the fiberglass is far from ideal, but if it can save 100 degrees, than its better than nothing. This started out portable and cheap and was starting to get crazy. Including the grill, it probably cost me $200.

I think it will be ready to rip a full fire in and test it out on Sunday. Hope to have some new pics after this weekend.
Nick