September 22, 2014

wood-fired oven progress...

A few weeks ago, Nate was the "Special Feature" at our local farmers market. It's a really big market with lots of people coming through each week. It was a great way to spread the word about our bakery coming to town and to educate folks about sourdough. He baked a few loaves for samples and even gave out some of his starter to a lucky few. People were really excited about it and we got a nice mailing list going so we can update everyone on our progress.

Here's the progression of the oven, up until yesterday.

A pre-trailer pile of steel.

A lot of cutting and welding later... 

Springs under the oven platform for extra cushion. 

(2) custom made 5200# torsion axles. 

The trailer is finished. Now, for the bricks.

Insulation and refractory tiles.

A nifty mortar gun.

The hearth!

The hearth - nice and flat.

The side walls begin.

Cutting the wedge bricks.

Wedge bricks in place. Now it's starting to look like an oven!

In this oven design, there is what is called a "reduction arch" which is basically a lower arch than the larger ceiling arch. The role of the reduction arch is to create a bowl for smoke that burns (secondary combustion) when the oven reaches a higher temperature. When this happens, very little smoke should exit the chimney.

Walls are finished. Now, it's time for the arch.

This is a mock-up of the 49 inch arch span. It's a fairly flat arch. This is supposed to distribute the heat from the ceiling more evenly and keep steam closer to the skin of the baking dough.

I'm ever grateful that Nate is willing to spend most of his time building the foundation for our new business. And even more grateful that he's such an excellent builder/engineer/stonemason. It's not easy doing it all alone. It's a lot of pressure, and working long hours away from home can be lonely. Some nights he doesn't get home until after Zander's in bed, which is saying something because he's a tough one to get to sleep, that one. Anyway, I'm sure I don't say it nearly enough - Thank you, Nate! 

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