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Hearth Oven Log

Here you will find my thoughts and ramblings about building and using a wood fired hearth oven.

Other Dome Ovens
Here are sites for three other people that have built Italian style ovens.
  • colonelcorn76's Photo Blog is a collection of photos in the complete building process of raising a dome oven.
  • Robert Musa's Oven Blog is Robert and family's story of building their oven. Robert currently has two video clips (Windows Media format) on baking chicken in his oven.
  • Forno Bravo's Pompeii Oven plans has plans for building an Italian style domed oven. colonelcorn76's photos are used on this site and Robert Musa used this site's plans to build his oven.
Plans for 2005
It has been a long time since I have updated this journal. My goal for 2005 is to build a pizza / bread oven on a trailer. Since I do not know much about welding, I have signed up for a basic welding class that is being taught through the local technical college. That class begins in January. That gives me a few weeks to draw up my plans for the trailer. The one thing that I like from the Tastebud Farm trailer is the sheetmetal shell. I think that I will use that idea as part of my design.

Another design choice that I have made is to build a round Italian style oven rather than the rectangular Alan Scott design. Because of the type of baking that I see myself doing, an oven that is quicker to heat will be more advantagous than an oven with a large thermal mass. I am not interested in baking multiple loads of bread per oven firing, but rather a single load of bread and pizza and other oven favorites.

Renewed Oven Plans
I have changed my mind back and forth between building an oven on a trailer and on a fixed base. Other projects have kept the oven from becoming a reality. Lately on the Hearth-Oven list on Yahoo Groups there has been more talk about the experiences of builders that have put ovens on trailers. The trailer at Tastebud Farm has been motavating. I see that there can be advantages to having a mobile oven.

This week I will need to set some specifications for the trailer and then take that to Walton Trailers for a bid. I don't feel comfortable in the skills needed to build a safe and towable trailer. Many of the other tasks to be done don't bother me, but the trailer construction does.

Refinement on Weight Estimate
I wanted to see if I could begin to refine my weight estimate for my oven, so I went back into the book The Bread Builders. Here are some of my guesstaments of what weighs what.
  • 210 bricks for hearth and oven - 1,470 lbs.
  • Hearth Slab - 550 lbs.
  • Oven cladding - 900 lbs
  • Mortar - 500 lbs
This puts the weight at nearly 3,500 lbs, and this is without insulation, chimmey and outer hearth.

I am beginning to think that the trailer will need to be more specifically designed for this project rather than just a general purpose design.

Parts and Pieces
I found that I can get fire brick from the local masonry supply (Castalite Masonry Supply) at $0.98 per brick. Each brick is 9" x 4.5" x 2.5" and weighs 7 lbs each.

I also checked the owner's manual for my truck. The trucks tow rating is a maximum of 5,200 lbs. I need to make sure that the entire weight of the oven and trailer and potential other cargo is below 5,000 lbs.

Just some quick "back of the envelope" calculations would lead me to believe that the oven can be built under 3,000 lbs. If that is truely the case, then I can have a mobile oven.

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© 2003-2008, Dirk Howard
Smithfield, UT 84335