Author Topic: Want to build a gas fired deck oven. Any plans available and suggestions?  (Read 20160 times)

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Offline Sqid

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Hi, I've started a couple of threads dealing with dough and now I find myself in another quandary.  I am looking for a good pizza oven, I have a deck oven that I've added a stone slab to but the back up service is non existent and the design is not the best.
I would like to investigate the possibility of making my own.  I've searched the web but can't find any details of designs (probably trade secretes) but I'm sure the info is available somewhere.
Any ideas?


buceriasdon

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Richard, The biggest obstacle to your plan will be procuring a burner system which is efficient and safe and will pass local safety codes. I believe you will money ahead to just buy a new oven.
Don
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 08:58:10 AM by buceriasdon »

Offline Jet_deck

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Any ideas?


A guy did it here a few weeks ago, but I can't remember where.  The burner is a special one that can run safely in low oxygen environments.  Something like a Draggo ?  Very specialized.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

buceriasdon

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Gene, that burner was an Italian design for a brick oven, not a deck oven.
Don
This thread:   http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18460.0.html
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 11:49:17 AM by buceriasdon »

Offline Jet_deck

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Good eye, Donaldo.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Sqid

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Thanks for taking an interest   I read the thread that you referenced, it looks like he found a great solution to his problem.  Got to say that my intrigue was maintained by the by the revelations of passion shown on all sides!
Don, my biggest problem is that I don't have a clear idea of how a perfect gas deck oven should be constructed.  I live in Burma and I doubt that the Chinese oven that I own would pass stringent safety standards.  Fortunately we don't have problems with strict rules, regulations and the letter of the law, we still have to take the role of social responsibility upon ourselves.
The oven I own has a single line burner on the top with deflectors (but no visible means of storing heat) and I presume it has a single line burner underneath the 8 gauge built in steel deck.
When I open the the door, the upper temperature falls drastically and takes too long to climb back up.

Offline scott123

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Richard, it's pretty rare for deck oven ceilings to store heat.  Gas decks rarely even have top burners.  You'll find some gas decks with an option for a brick ceiling, and that goes a long way in maintaining good top heat/aiding recovery, but a brick ceiling isn't as good as a powerful ceiling burner.

How far is it from your top burner to the hearth?  If the vertical space is appropriate, you should theoretically be able to brown the top of the pizza with the top burner with the door open/with no stored heat. The vertical gap should really be no more than about 7 inches and less if you're only baking one row of pizzas and not going two deep.

Unless you have access to large scale manufacturing equipment, such as computerized plasma cutters and multi ton presses, along with thermal engineers with deck oven designing experience, I don't think you can make a deck oven yourself.  At least not a traditional aluminized steel one.  You can, though, probably make a brick oven that's deck oven-ish.  Once you start working with brick, though, you might as well go the WFO route, as wood is a lot easier to work with (and safer) than gas. Do you have access to wood?

How many pizzas are you selling in a day? If you're not selling more than 150 pies, then I might look into LBE(s).

Offline Sqid

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Hi Scott
We're selling 15-30 pies a day.  Our best day was 51 pies.  Not a great amount but a great difference from the 5 pie days of old.  We even had a 1 pie dayjavascript:void(0); I was not a happy camper!  What is an LBE?
Your bang on the nail with the height of the oven.  I've read that 8" or less is optimum for pizza.  We're using an oven designed for bread so even with the marble slab its still over 11".  I don't get how I could be going "2 deep" on a single deck oven.
The ceiling burner is I suspect not powerful enough to deal with the door being opened continuously.    I've thought about adding some slabs of metal to rest on the top baffles/deflectors to act as a heat sink. 
I certainly have access to multi ton presses, thermal engineers - I presume welders - plentiful.  I doubt computerized plasma cutters have arrived here yet.  We only got the internet about 7 years ago!  However there are some locally made ovens available.
Don't have access to wood.   For the oven, its either modifying what's available or making a new one.  Pizzaioio and oven manufacturer!!


Offline scott123

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Little Black Egg

Finding components to build this in Burma might get tricky, but this is the most tested, safest home grown gas (propane) oven.  It should be convertable to natural gas and will have no problems with up to 100 pies a day, although if you encounter especially busy times, you might want to build two.

You have access to multi-ton presses? How cool is that?  I'm envious.  Really envious  :) I guess you are sort of on the side of the planet where stuff gets made, huh?

When I was in college, minoring in ceramics, I built a kiln.  It was made out of regular clay bricks, arranged in a box. It had two openings- one in the bottom corner and the other in the top corner on the opposite side. I pointed a directional gas burner in the small hole, a smaller version of this burner:

http://www.sz-wholesaler.com/p/1068/1110-1/gas-burner-dlr34t-554361.html

It was a salt kiln.  The kiln was brought to temp over about a day, then the salt was tossed in the bottom hole, the burner was turned off and the kiln allowed to cool. The pieces turned out quite nicely.

I bring this up because, if I was building a gas fired oven for pizza, that's probably how I'd approach it- a single, powerful gas flame directed into an insulated weatherproofed, firebrick box.  It would most likely take a tremendous amount of tweaking to work well, but it would be a design that I would feel comfortable/safe with. Anything more complicated than a single flame burner is outside of my realm of expertise.

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the thermodynamics of gas deck ovens and, if you find plans, I'll give you my opinion, but choosing a burner, placing it and making sure proper combustion is maintained, I wouldn't feel comfortable with that.

I guess this is my really long way of recommending an LBE  ;D  If you can find a Weber(ish) (round) charcoal grill, that's the way to go for less than 100 pies a day.  Once you're doing more than 100 pies, then you should have plenty of money for a real gas deck.  This one from China looks pretty good:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18793.msg192392.html#msg192392

Marble, by the way- very bad for baking. It has very little resistance to thermal shock and most likely will fail- and possibly dangerously. The idea of a second stone on top of the steel is a good one, but you need to with something like firebrick or cordierite.

buceriasdon

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Richard, You presume there are lower burners but are not sure? I find that a rather confusing statement. Please clarify.
Don


Offline Sqid

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Yes Buc there is a lower burner: however, though unsure, I presume its a single straight line.

LBE - right, I looked at that before but I can't see that working in a commercial environment.  Often we get an order for delivery of 15 or more pies and I don't want to keep the customer waiting or send cold pizzas.

I liked the look of the Alibaba oven aand would have bought that if it had been available here when I started. Now I need something better.  Unfortunately, importing is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.  But it may be getting easier - times, they are a changing.

Looked at the burner and the specs mean nothing to me.  I was thinking more along the lines of employing the chaps who make ovens and having them put something together to my specs.  The oven I have cost $2800 but the seals have had to be replaced twice and its a bread oven.  There are a lot of reasons why it may make sense to make my own design.  Still looking for the perfect pizza!  BTW, my dough has got its oven spring back - I think the flour is now getting stored for about 4 weeks before we use it and my starter culture is also behaving well!

"Marble, by the way- very bad for baking. It has very little resistance to thermal shock and most likely will fail"

Ha!  Why didn't you tell me that earlier!  I put 2 slabs in and after the 2nd week took them out for cleaning and I had 6 pieces.  We got them back in and we don't really need to clean them anyway!!  What do you think of granite?  Corderite and ceramics are not easily available and a fire brick surface would be too uneven (at least the locally made ones would be).

What does a salt kiln do?  Melt the salt to form a single block?

buceriasdon

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Ok, More questions.1. Do you have two seperate controls for both the top and bottom burners? 2. Do you light the burners seperately? 3.Is there a pilot light for both burners? 4.Can you purchase more burners like the burners you have now?
Don

Offline Sqid

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1) Separate controls.  The oven is rated to go to 300 C but the thermostats go higher.  I've tried higher but this is part of the sellers excuse about the seals breaking off.  Anyway I get more consistent results with the top set at 300 and the bottom set at 211.

2)  No

3) Yes, I guess there must be.

4) Not the same ones but I should think similar are available.

I should add, that although 15-20 pies a day is small, we have had an order for 25 pies once.  Now is a quite period for us and I suspect, in one month's time, to get considerably busier.  Also I have in the back of my mind the idea to open another shop as most of our pies are for delivery.  For one reason or another I would like to increase our potential capacity.  Originally my idea was to improve my present oven however: 1) that would entail 2 days shut down and 2)we need another oven; therefore, I'm looking at other possibilities.

buceriasdon

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OK, Best of luck then.
Don

Offline Sqid

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Don - if you have any suggestions on how to improve my present oven I'm all ears.  Not sure what direction I'm heading in atm!

Offline scott123

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Yes Buc there is a lower burner: however, though unsure, I presume its a single straight line.

LBE - right, I looked at that before but I can't see that working in a commercial environment.  Often we get an order for delivery of 15 or more pies and I don't want to keep the customer waiting or send cold pizzas.

I liked the look of the Alibaba oven aand would have bought that if it had been available here when I started. Now I need something better.  Unfortunately, importing is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.  But it may be getting easier - times, they are a changing.

Looked at the burner and the specs mean nothing to me.  I was thinking more along the lines of employing the chaps who make ovens and having them put something together to my specs.  The oven I have cost $2800 but the seals have had to be replaced twice and its a bread oven.  There are a lot of reasons why it may make sense to make my own design.  Still looking for the perfect pizza!  BTW, my dough has got its oven spring back - I think the flour is now getting stored for about 4 weeks before we use it and my starter culture is also behaving well!

"Marble, by the way- very bad for baking. It has very little resistance to thermal shock and most likely will fail"

Ha!  Why didn't you tell me that earlier!  I put 2 slabs in and after the 2nd week took them out for cleaning and I had 6 pieces.  We got them back in and we don't really need to clean them anyway!!  What do you think of granite?  Corderite and ceramics are not easily available and a fire brick surface would be too uneven (at least the locally made ones would be).

What does a salt kiln do?  Melt the salt to form a single block?


A salt kiln is a regular kiln where you throw in packages of salt while the kiln is hot.  The salt melts and forms a glaze on the pottery. It's all tones of brown, gray and black, but it has a certain appeal.

Broken marble is structurally weakened marble.  It may no longer have any likelihood of exploding on you, but it could easily release a shard of rock into the pizza and, if you don't notice it, and someone eats it, goodbye tooth.

Granite- just as bad.

Burma has to have potters- where you have potters you have kilns/cordierite kiln shelves.

LBEs are frequently used commercially, although not in indoor environments. We have a member right now who I believe is doing 60 pizzas in a 5-6 hour window with an LBE at an outdoor market.  An LBE isn't the prettiest oven out there, but it gets the job done.

Here are my two recommendations regarding your oven situation:

1. Start shopping for a gas deck oven- get specs for everything you look at and post them here. With our help, you should be able to end up with a product that serves your needs.

2. Modify the existing oven.  Take photos- lots of photos.  Take a photo of the seals that keep failing. Take a photo of the top burner and the steel hearth. If you have them, get your hands on technical specs for this oven. Post everything here.

Edit: Gene and Don mentioned this before, but I think it's worth considering:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e24qiKTub_k&amp;feature=relmfu" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e24qiKTub_k&amp;feature=relmfu</a>


Build a brick oven and heat it with a gas burner. This is another variation on the single large flame concept I was talking about before.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 03:42:32 AM by scott123 »

Offline Jet_deck

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Scotty --- What about that oven at New Park?  It looked kinda home built to me.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Sqid

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Thanks for the input guys.

Salt kiln.  Ah!  Gave up pottery at school when the first one didn't work!  Changed my modus operandi since then   :D

Don't like the sound of broken teeth.  I'm sure I've read on here about people using marble and granite in their ovens.  I don't know what they use for the kilns here but I'm pretty sure it wont be cordierite - I'll find out.

There are only 2 imported machines available.  Pretty similar.  I wil try and get the specs tomorrow but if I remember last time they didn't even have information such as BTUs.   Both rated for 300C,  12" height.  I'm thinking that the easiest thing I can do is get one and take it apart at home and modify it.   

I'll keep you posted and learn how to put photos on the computer.

Offline scott123

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Both rated for 300C,  12" height


If there's no top burner, you can always add a lower ceiling, but that 300C doesn't cut it. You need 350C at least, and preferably 400.

Are you dealing with one oven seller?  Are there other companies that sell ovens?  I know that Burma is pretty isolated politically, but do they trade with India? Thailand?  You probably won't find the same selection of pizza ovens as China, but both countries should give you a few options.

The Drago burner that I posted the movie link for- that could run you up to $2K.  Last night I spend some time looking at weed torches. These are very inexpensive and throw out an obscene amount of BTUs.

I don't know... since you are so isolated in Burma, maybe it might be the best option to build your own gas deck oven. A deck oven is basically a box within a box within a box.  The smaller box is open at the top, open at the bottom (with a frame for resting stones) and has a door in the front (the cooking chamber), while that box is nestled in a larger box with the burner on the bottom (and a door to access the burner). The burners vary, but it's always a combination of smaller burners to distribute the heat evenly. You've got vents on the bottom (of the big box) and vents on the top.

This should give you an idea of how a deck oven is configured:

http://www.bakerspride.com/pdfs/Y-600%20Parts%20List%20OLD%20STYLE%207-05.pdf

This particular model has holes in the cooking chamber's side walls for the heat coming up from below to cook the top of the pizza, but I prefer models where the side walls of the cooking chamber only go about 2/3rds up. The gap at the top is where the heat comes in from below.

Anything exposed to heat is going to be aluminized steel, while the outer metal is stainless.

This is all contained within the biggest box of all- Between the second and third boxes is where the blanket insulation is.

Offline scott123

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Scotty --- What about that oven at New Park?  It looked kinda home built to me.

Gene, I didn't get that close of a look at New Park's ovens, but I'm almost positive they're just very old fashioned commercial gas deck ovens. Kelly would probably have a better idea of what they are.