Door width = 1/2 hearth width?
A general enough question I thought it merited its own thread, as opposed to continuing off my other thread. Mods, I deign to your judgment, of course.
So, in the interest of just getting going, I plan on putting together a mud oven, hearth dimensions tbd.
In the book Build Your Own Hearth Oven, they give a suggested door width of 1/2*hearth width; if the hearth is 22.5" wide, that would mean a door of 10.5"
That seems really small to me. I intend on bread baking almost entirely, with the occasional pizza. The peel I use to off-load boules is itself 12" wide - wider than the above door.
FWIW, this is just an entry-level oven, to get one up and running. I only intend on a loaf or two, and if all goes well, will plan for a larger oven. Just to learn the build and baking dynamics. Likely, as suggested in the book, 22.5 wide or 10 bricks side-by-side (i.e., 2.25", or 10 bricks side by side for the width, and 2.5 bricks @ 9" end-to-end for the hearth length).
If I go by the books' suggestion on the door width, I would need a bigger oven. But I don't want a larger oven with just a loaf or two, as I know a full oven is a better oven.
So - how do you guys calculate the door width?
Edit: While here, might as well ask on firebrick sources. With overage, I'll be looking at only 30-35 bricks. I plan on medium duty, with layer underneath TBD. Can anyone recommend their good source for direct purchase, and what specific bricks they went with?
Many thanks for your thoughts.
give a suggested door width of 1/2*hearth width; if the hearth is 22.5" wide, that would mean a door of 10.5"
actually, 22.5 / 2 = 11.25.
I take it your fire bricks are 2.25 x 2.5" ?
They do come in varying sizes, as far as I know.
And the door width does not have to be an integral number of bricks. You're allowed to cut them, AFAIK.
Sorry, yeah, my mistake. Bricks also come standard 2.25, not 2.5". So, 10 across.
The question on the door goes to how narrow one would be, if doing 1/2 the hearth width - can't fit my peel through the door, for one. I presume the 1/2 dimension goes to draft dynamics, etc.? I'd really like to know what it would do to keep a 22.5" x 22.5" oven, with a 16" door width, and 10" door height (.63*16", interior dome height). I presume that messes up the proper draft?
Trying to save on building a large oven, as I don't expect to be baking more than a couple loaves at a time (and this first build is just a pilot build).
What country are you in? Your profile says Wisconsin.
Lowe's has this:
You can also put high temp mortar between the hearth bricks, no? Or do you lay them up without mortar?
If this is a temporary oven, lay them so the thickness top/bottom is 2.5", so you have 4.5 x 9" surface area.
Or am I picturing it wrong?
Thanks Dave. Yep, WI. Thanks too on Lowe's. In the past, not available to me, but will try (currently OOS).
The hearth bricks are laid w/o mortar, which is why you need crisp-edged bricks. IIRC.
It's a temporary oven, but at least going by Allen Scott, he suggests 4" hearth thickness (and I've seen the same around the web). That said, plenty of plans I've seen (incl. the earth oven book itself) indicate lining up edge-to-edge, so the faces are on top. Probably overthinking this.
If you are going to disassemble this oven after a year, and re-use the fire bricks, and build the same size or bigger "permanent" oven, then I suppose it would not hurt to over-engineer or over-specify the fire bricks, since they will be recovered and re-used.
It sounds like a cool project.
Please take and share as many "in process" photos as you can. The rest of us duffers can share your adventure vicariously.
I also suppose a new smaller peel would be cheaper than another row and column of brick.
(ok, I finally "see" the dimensions of the bricks you plan on using.)
True there! I use the peel not so much for pizzas but for boules, with my largest going to a miche at 2 kgs and 14" in diameter - so would need a larger door to begin with, just to get my boules through. Just wondering what the reasoning is on this "1/2 hearth width" figure for the door width, and if there's something one could do to broaden the door big enough, without having to build a way-oversized oven (interestingly, it's how a cheese cave works best, too - loaded fully).
Just to make it easy, 10x3 bricks for 22.5" wide x 27" long hearth. How does this sound, if not baking dozens of loaves daily? A reasonable hearth plan, or too big (or small!)?
I think if I was going to the trouble of building I’d build the full size. I built the Allen oven 32x42 and there are days I wish I build a bit bigger. But I also run 9-10 loaves at a shot so maybe it’s good :D
Get Miscovich’s book, there are tons of hints in the back I wish I’d followed!
Good to know - thanks for the data points. Been wondering about the Miscovich book but grabbed it - I've seen others also say it has some ideas to improve on the Allen. Great advice. Thanks.
By full size, are you talking about his 36x48" plan? I've got both that and the 32x36 marked off on the floor...and have to say, I like the look of that hearth, the larger of the two!
Yep the 36x48 which ended up with a slightly larger interior. If you don’t see Allen’s plans here let me know and I’ll track down the pdf. But to be honest they are less plans and more guidelines. Especially when it comes to the chimney etc. I think the miscovich book had a better throat then his, and mine ended up being a mix of the two (only by accident since I got that book after building things lol) If you are going to build the Allen drop me a line and we can chat about all the lessons I learned. I pretty much build the oven by myself. And that’s a damn lot of concrete.
Also I’d look at the Rado plans there are lots of improvements and changes you may like. So before you build drop me a line.
Thanks for all the help and great suggestions, and for your generosity of spirit. Yep, I do have the Scott plans (hear you....can't help thinking of the Pirates of the Caribbean line...."more like guidelines"...lol). Plenty to work from, grateful to the late builder. I also have the Rado plans and agree with you - a ton there. Haven't looked closely enough as we're nowhere near building but so far, haven't clearly understood the differences among the 3G_MTo, the original MTo, and the Swishy. Did you incorporate some of his ideas?
I'm laughing to myself because I know ahead of time, won't be able to call it a "thing of beauty." "Thing of function, if ugly as hell" will have to do, lol.
I really just stuck to Scott’s plan. Mainly because I had no experience with anything like this and all the skills needed, Now I would definitely redo the base using some of Rado’s ideas skipping the ash slot or at least not putting a front arch - just a concrete place to drop ash and sweep out from the side. I’d line the bottom with 2” ceramic board (that I’ll still add I think), change and extend the back for wood storage , pour a lintel in a shape, although I think I would form out and pour the front transition and back corners. I’d also add a light and a copper steam pipe. Plus drop the money on a fold down door like a pro oven has,
All this from baking and cooking in it for the last 7 months. :D
I think if. You can find local builds (I didn’t find any here) go look especially when they fire and bake, For quick and easy but not cheap look at California pizza ovens (now located in florida). Simple and semi movable!
Sorry, spaced, cod. Thanks for some great, specific considerations. I do look forward to going through Rado's stuff, particularly for some of the "mods" you mention, seems really interesting.
Don't know offhand anyone local with a masonry oven. Interestingly, there is a woman locally well-known for her cob designs and builds (and a lot of other things). She's a friend of my close friends. Currently she is in Guatemala helping a community with a build (!), bit when she gets back my friends will put us in touch.
Thanks on the California pizza oven folks. To be truthful, I'm pretty geeked by Daniel Wing's rig!