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Forge insulation


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#1 MnT

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 07:57 PM

II have an old propane smoker that is no good as a smoker. (I have since built a new, much better non-propane smoker) and I am working on turning may old cabinet type propane smoker into a pizza oven. My thought is to build a shell around the existing one, and insulate it. Help to keep some of the heat inside. With no insulation I got the internal temps up to 650 degrees. Pretty darn low for a forge. But getting to be acceptable for cooking pizza.

My question is about what kind of insulation to put between around the existing cabinet? I thought of Kaowool, but that seems to be a bit pricy and probably overkill. I would hope to get the internal temps in the 700 to 800 degrees F.

Does anyone know of a relatively inexpensive type of insulation I could put around this thing, keep the outside so it could be touched without getting burned, and keep lots of heat inside to cook with.

I plan on having "racks" of firebrick to cook the pizzas on. Maybe 2 or three levels. I also have the smoker box that came with the smoker, this would be filled with soaked wood chips to give the pizzas a bit of the good wood smoke flavor.

Any thoughts and or suggestions are appreciated. And yes, I will start posting up pics as I get started.

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#2 saign charlestein

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:50 PM

If you make a sleeve you could use a castable refractory, or firebrick. I don't know if it'll necessarily be cheaper than kaowool

#3 PTsideshow

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:39 PM

The new generation of rock wool insulation new gen rock wool This is what is being used among the smoker and outdoor oven cooking crowds some with it between sheet metal walls. Son is thinking about building a smoker with the rock wool insul between the walls.
The old country style outdoor brick dome ovens, and bee hive stone type ovens are the in thing currently. Google outdoor pizza ovens and you will get some ideas of what is available in ready to cook metal ones
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#4 MnT

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:19 AM

That looks like it has some promise. Both sites are interesting reading. I think I need to talk to the manufacturer. But if I am reading things right, if the melting point of an insulation is 2150 deg F, then a wrapped around an oven that is maybe 700 deg F shouldn't be an issue. Even it was 1000 deg. F for an hour or so (to preheat pizza stones) should be ok.

At any rate, I will gather some technical info before proceeding.

On a separate note if your son is into smokers have him do a search for Ugly Drum Smokers. I built one, and it is so easy to maintain a good smoking heat for a long time.

Thanks for the info PT.

Saign, thanks also. I was thinking along similar lines after I saw the price of Kaowool. Almost a rack around the outside to stack the firebrick in. Would make it less portable, but well insulated.

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#5 PTsideshow

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:51 PM

Here is current ugly tank smoker, he has done about 225pounds of meat along with the beans and spuds for the annual veterans feed at the vet home on the west side of the state. The people that put it on and him end up eating a a burger joint. The guys eat everything and sop up the grease with thew bread Posted Image
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#6 MnT

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:24 PM

Ok, I think I have my insulation figured out. Has anyone used Perlite insulation in anyhting? I chatted with a manufacturer and pizza ovens among a slew of other thing is ehat this is used for. Light weight and inexpensive.

I am planning on building the "shell" about 4 inches on each side, closed in except for a smallish hole in the top to pour in the Perlite. Close the hole and it is done.

Time to start gathering parts.

I am thinking of extending the vents as well, so they go the the outside. 1 vent on top, and one either side down toward the bottom.

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#7 Rich Waugh

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:44 PM

Keep in mind that Perlite will settle - it is, after all, small "pebbles" about the size of a pea or smaller, and it is not overwhelmingly strong. If this is a smoker/oven that will traveling, you might want to consider something else that isn't so likely to settle as much. If it is stationary, I'd still suggest that you make provisions in the construction for an easy way to "drain" the Perlite out and replace it as it crumbles and settles with age. Otherwise, it will become less effective and leave a large void at the top of the insulation chamber, I think.
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#8 MnT

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:00 PM

Great point. I will definitely make a "drain hole" It will only be traveling around the yard, so it shouldn't be too bad. But I would like it to be able to get out of the way when I am not using it. I am planning another smaller one that will be more portable, I may go with something else on it, or do the easy add / drain route on that as well.

Thanks, I would not have thought of that.

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#9 knots43

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:05 PM

Perlite is also accompanied by tiny grains basically glassy dust. If perlite is used make sure there are no, that is zero, openings of any size connecting the insulation cavity to the oven interior otherwise the perlite dust will get into the oven. Perlite is principally used as a lightweight concrete aggregate and sometimes soil addative. It is a good insulator but very difficult to contain unless mixed as a grout.

I to have an uninsulated sheet metal smoker. It is inferior to yours because it is charcoal fired. Smoking heat can be maintained only during the summer months. I considered insulating it and had settled on using salvaged sheet and insulation from a defunct water heater. However my move has put a stop to that project. I am currently considering other build options. Good luck with your project.

#10 MnT

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:33 AM

knots 43 - The water heater blanket is a good idea, but I don't think they are made to be in contact with the 700 or so degrees I am hoping to get. If they were, I would go that route just due to the simplicity factor.

The way the cabinet is set up there are intak vents on each side and one on the top. Each vent will be extended with the same diamater pipe or tubing (whichever I have in the right size) and welded all the way around. The shell going around the outside will most likely be 16 guage sheet, and also fully welded with the exception of the drain hole wich will be threaded and the fill hole which will also be threaded.

I plane on doing the door the same way.

Great point on the dust. I don't think a pepperoni, sausage, and perlite dust pizza would be all that healthy

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#11 trez

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 04:38 PM

you could use unglazed terracotta tiles real good base for the shelf bake the pizza right on the tile
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#12 saign charlestein

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:14 PM

You could also do a castable refractory cut with perlite to lighten it, and spread the refreactory so you wouldn't need as much




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