I kind of enjoy tinkering with things, and I saw from Chau's posts that the bracket that holds the right side of the heat shield is right in the line of fire so to speak. On mine, it glowed quite red. Since it has a flat side, my concern was that it would force some of the flame and heat over the heat shield, instead of going under the heat shield and up to the bottom of the top stone. The first photo is when I got it. I tested it this morning and with the flame at a medium setting, the side just above the hand bracket was 570 after a 4 minute preheat, and the top of the oven was 300 F. I then took everything out, cut out the bracket , then reassembled and redid the test. This time the side was only 486 F after 4 minutes, the top was 285. I can't be all that sure about either of the top numbers, because there is not much there to be sure you are aiming at the same place. but I am pretty confident about the side numbers, which means I may have cut down on misdirected heat. The heat shield is fine without the part I took out, since it really only needs to rest on 3 pieces. I can't say it will help anyone else, and hadn't done enough pies on it to know whether there is much difference in cooking, but I think it wouldn't hurt to cut out that bracket. I will be putting on a extension piece to bring the shield even lower to make sure all the heat goes up and in. I still need to fashion the heat deflector that Chau did, which is a more important mod - BTW, sorry about the photos, but it is hard to get a good image of the flame at midday.