Monday, June 23, 2008

oven ready to light

Here's a fire laid and ready to light: sticks stacked log-cabin style, w/lots of open space and air around them for good combustion, and a small teepee of fine kindling at the front, waiting for a match. Another reason I like oven-dried wood is that I don't need paper to start a fire -- just fine slivers of wood and, poof! a bright fire. In the bottom photo, you can see the clear path that inflowing air takes down the center-right side of the hearth floor, where there are no obstructions to create turbulence. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

new commercial oven at CSA farm

Here's a new commercial oven at Gathering Together Farm, a small farm/CSA restaurant in Philomath, Oregon, with cooks JC and Lisa posing with tools. This is a super-insulated design, with an external basket frame covered w/clay-slip-soaked burlap and insulating (sawdust-clay) plaster. When dry, the open cavity was filled w/loose perlite for insulation. The thermal layer is the standard clay/sand mix, covered with a cardboard expansion gap/thermal break (see the oven-fuel-firing-times-and-insulation post), and a layer of sawdust-clay insulation. Then about a 6" space, and the final covered frame. The base is a stout metal box. Less well insulated ovens are typically barely warm on the outside after hours of firing, so I'm expecting this one to hold its heat really well. But so far it's only had drying and test fires, and doesn't even have a baking door! Mason Trevor Norland is going to fashion stone feet and skin for the lower portion of the base.