Have any suggestions for filling the cracks? I was thinking, after removing all the loose material I would apply a modified mortar and apply a bonding agent, cover the oven with a fiber mesh and a fresh Finnish coat. I plan to rebuild the hood with fire brick to eliminate the steel.
I would like to fire the oven a few times to see how it hold up before replacing tile. Let me know what ya think!
Using mesh and a fiber reinforced mix sounds like a good idea to me. What's the melting point of the fiber mesh you're using? There isn't a whole lot you can do to stop cracking unless you strip the cladding off to the brick entirely. But what you are planning to do sounds like a big improvement.
Btw, chicken wire is a poor reinforcement for the cladding. It's a bit like using a chain link fence in a concrete slab. Welded wire mesh or metal lath won't flex like chicken wire, which is just twisted together. I know you're not using it here but it's worth a mention.