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Author Topic: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?  (Read 2265 times)

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Offline Chef Manardee

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What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« on: July 24, 2015, 01:05:22 PM »
I am highly considering making my own WFO with some cheap hardware that I can find. I was just wondering what are some things that are absolutely needed in a WFO?

I was going to incorporate these things:

- The overall shape would hopefully be a metal box. Maybe have it in a L shape (turned 90 degrees) with the wood being placed in the bottom so the heat would travel up the box and to the oven deck.
- At least a 20" platform to cook the pies on. Using tiles or stone for the base.
- A door or something similar in the back to open and load fire wood into.

If anyone has built something similar, do you have any tips/tricks?
:chef:

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2015, 05:33:52 PM »
Mass and insulation.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2015, 06:03:35 PM »
To expand on that:

A wood fired oven is a cavity surrounded by mass to store heat that you light a fire inside of.  Ideally it is insulated all around to keep the heat in the mass and flowing from the mass to the oven cavity.  Ideally it has openings only large enough to place food and fire inside and to allow enough air flow for combustion
-Jeff

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2015, 08:11:52 PM »
Another way to think of it is that the pizza does not cook from the temperature of the air in the oven, it cooks from conductivity (the floor) and from radiation (walls and ceiling). This is why straight metal ovens fail as WFOs.

Offline vtsteve

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2015, 11:45:24 PM »
You can dry-stack a working oven in a couple of hours. No hardware to speak of, just bricks and lengths of angle iron. Example:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=25656.0
In grams we trust.
My wood-fired NY thread: Pizza Thursday

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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2015, 12:16:24 AM »
Humanity has been working on this for about 5000 years, and it is safe to say that the domed brick WFO has been refined to the point of peak efficiency when burning wood.  Buy a Blackstone if you just want pizza.

Offline Simone

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2015, 03:33:17 AM »
i advice to look our product Pizzone wood fired oven, i think is good for your idea, and is ready to use
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remain aviable for more question
Simone

Offline Chef Manardee

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2015, 11:01:32 AM »
You can dry-stack a working oven in a couple of hours. No hardware to speak of, just bricks and lengths of angle iron. Example:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=25656.0

That is absolutely what I'm looking to do. A simple yet effecient oven.

A couple of questions... What kind of bricks are those, and where can I look for them?

Do you have any tips that you think are important?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 11:07:04 AM by Chef Manardee »
:chef:

Offline vtsteve

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2015, 11:14:31 AM »
Firebrick is best, hard-fired clay brick can work (but may pop/spall and leave particles on your food), and concrete 'bricks' are completely unacceptable (they'll crumble when the Portland cement burns out).

Firebrick can be found at almost any masonry supply or (upstate) building supply store. Where in NY are you?
My local Home Depot stocked firebrick as 'clay pavers' - the SKU matched Whitacre-Greer brick (one of the best) - but I can't find them online.

Anything you can do to insulate *under* the oven will help. It's worth investing in good insulation - calcium silicate board, or 'perlcrete/vermicrete' (lightweight concrete made with perlite or vermiculite and minimal Portland) are good. A cold floor is the biggest cause of pizza fail.

My oven sits on cal-sil and Foamglas.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 11:23:33 AM by vtsteve »
In grams we trust.
My wood-fired NY thread: Pizza Thursday

Offline Chef Manardee

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2015, 12:17:49 PM »
Firebrick is best, hard-fired clay brick can work (but may pop/spall and leave particles on your food), and concrete 'bricks' are completely unacceptable (they'll crumble when the Portland cement burns out).

Firebrick can be found at almost any masonry supply or (upstate) building supply store. Where in NY are you?
My local Home Depot stocked firebrick as 'clay pavers' - the SKU matched Whitacre-Greer brick (one of the best) - but I can't find them online.

I live in Upstate NY. Think Lowe's might have firebrick?

Quote
Anything you can do to insulate *under* the oven will help. It's worth investing in good insulation - calcium silicate board, or 'perlcrete/vermicrete' (lightweight concrete made with perlite or vermiculite and minimal Portland) are good. A cold floor is the biggest cause of pizza fail.

Whats the cheaper option of those two? 

Thanks for the awesome input steve, you're the man.
:chef:

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Offline vtsteve

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2015, 08:53:10 AM »
Your best bet is to find the large masonry supplier within driving distance. I bought most of my bricks in NH as 'seconds', with minor dings that disqualified them for use in a pretty fireplace or BBQ, but they were fine for the inside of an oven. A place that moves a lot of brick will probably have a rejects pile. Expect to pay $1-1.50 per.

I don't have any experience with the insulating 'cretes, but they're supposed to be cheaper. How much is your time worth?

Grab a phone book or google around, check craigslist, see what's in your area.
In grams we trust.
My wood-fired NY thread: Pizza Thursday

Offline Chef Manardee

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2015, 09:16:18 AM »
Your best bet is to find the large masonry supplier within driving distance. I bought most of my bricks in NH as 'seconds', with minor dings that disqualified them for use in a pretty fireplace or BBQ, but they were fine for the inside of an oven. A place that moves a lot of brick will probably have a rejects pile. Expect to pay $1-1.50 per.

I don't have any experience with the insulating 'cretes, but they're supposed to be cheaper. How much is your time worth?

Grab a phone book or google around, check craigslist, see what's in your area.

That's a good way to bring the costs down, I'll keep that in mind.

Also I'll start googling stuff and reading around. :)
:chef:

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: What are the absolute minimum requirements for a WFO?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2015, 02:59:10 PM »
They are very much cheaper, by a factor or 3 or 4.  Perlite or vermiculite, do not buy anything smaller than 4 CuFt bag or it will be expensive and the wrong kind.  Commercial nurseries or concrete block suppliers are your best bet.

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