The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Nebraska WFO Build

Roo's picture

Nebraska WFO Build

We started our wood fired oven back in May and have taken some pictures along the way.  I had thought I had downloaded more from my camera, but obviously not.  At this point we have the oven walls and dome completed and are working on the insulating layer.  With the help of CunukJim (THANK YOU!) and the local refractory supplier we have an oven that works.  We fired it up over the 4th of July weekend and I was very pleased with the way it drew.  You could really see (and feel) the cool air coming in below and the hot air drafting out the top,  VERY COOL.  Had it up to 700 degrees F, did 7 pizza's and as we only have a metal door at this time covered it for the night (this was around 9 P.M.).  The hearth was at 625 F by this time.  The next morning at 6:30 a.m.  the hearth was at 465 f and the concrete slab was 375 f the dome had cooled to around 275 f.  When I came home from work that night at 6:00 P.M. the dome was at 171 f, the hearth and concrete slab had equalized to 260 f.  This was without any insulation whatsoever.

Here are some pictures taken during the build up to the concrete slab. 

Laying out the base

Dry Layout

First Block down (Me on the right, neighbor on left)

Base completed


 To be continued . . . . .

Roo's picture

As promised continued.

plywood down, board insullation installed, rebar set and framing being prepared.

Concrete slab poured


Only issue to this point is the ash dump framing, it should have been made flush with the rest of the framing.  Made it very difficult to screed the surface.

I will post the rest of the photos once I get them off my camera.

Like I said we are placing the 5-6 inches of top insulation in the form of a castable refractoy insulation this week (if we can get the rain to stop long enough).

My wife originally wnated to hire this out, but we are both glad the plans confused every construction guy we knew enough that we finally just dove in and did it.  Great sense of accomplishment know we built this thing.  We will leave the "pretty" brick work to a mason so as to have a nice looking oven outside.

SylviaH's picture

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your wfo photos...great job! 


CJtheDeuce's picture

Allen Scott would be proud.


Trishinomaha's picture

Where in Nebraska are you? I live in Omaha and have been a member of TFL for a couple of years. It's always fun to see other Nebraskans are enjoying this blog too!

Roo's picture

We live north of Northwest of Omaha between Arlington and Fontenelle.  About 7 miles east of Fremont.

I found this site a year ago and it is great.  Unfortunetly I have not made bread since starting this WFO build back in May.  Going to have to relearn everything.

Roo's picture

Finally remembered the camera and downloaded the rest of the photos.

Hearth Laid

Walls laid up

First Fire

Oven Foiled, chicken wired and first part of the insulation on

The insulation is a refractory insulation as was the concrete used on the firebricks.  The way these types of materials are cured is a lot different than portland and other concretes and mortars.  First 24 hours is the first stage, and that is allowing the material to set and some moisture push out.  The next curing stage doesn't happen until the materials are fired to 800 degrees F.  So I was able to heat it up as hot as I wanted to almost immediately.  Had to heat it up by increasing temps by 100 degrees per hour on the first firing.

Realized on the downloads that I did not get a single picture of the dome construction.  I am bummed abou that.

Had a last minute pizza party last night and was able to fire the oven up again.   Still not getting it to the traditional pizza temp of 750, but am hoping it is because the oven is still pushing out moisture.

I know I need to work on temperature management over all, but that is part of the fun of these ovens playing with fire.

More pictures to come as we continue the build.  Thanks for looking.

Roo's picture

We finally got to the final stage of building the oven.  Took sometime working around volunteer labor's time but it has been worth it.

Here is the base bricked and the top started with insulation

All brick finished and roof in place

Roo's picture

And fired up

As was promised by CunuckJim it performed much better with it fully insulated.  However this was at lower temperatures, if 400 is a low temperature.  We are still pushing out moisture and that was really noticable in the upper temps and the time it took to get there.  Over all though we are pleased with how it all came out.

Only things left to do is muratic acis the brick and paint the boards of the roof.  Oh and enjoy some great food coming out of the oven.

CanuckJim's picture


You've done a fine, classic job on your oven; well done.  It will give you years of great baking.  In my experience, it takes about a month of firings and baking/cooking before the oven comes into its own and works predictably.  As we discussed via email, just make sure all that moisture is driven off before getting it REALLY hot.



polo's picture

Your oven turned out very well Roo. The brick work is impressive and I like the idea for the roof. I am currently curing/drying my oven and will soon be completing my enclosure. I am always interested in seeing other ovens for ideas. Thanks for posting.