Making a Insulated Wood Fired Oven Door.




Introduction: Making a Insulated Wood Fired Oven Door.

About: Self employed Stonemason.

Here is an easy way of making an insulated wood fired oven door.
This is made from 100% recycled materials... the screws are second hand (from a car boot sale) but new (count as recycled?)

Materials used to make this:

1x Night store heater, $1 from my local auction site. (provides sheet metal and crematic blanket insulation)
1x single bed head, again $1 from my local auction site. (Provides solid timber for front of door and handles)
+ screws $2 from local car boot sale.

Total price $4

Basic DIY tools required, tin snips, drill, jig saw etc.

Step 1: Cutting and Lining Front Wood Bit.

When you made the front arch of your oven you would have already made the cutout template for the door, this should be almost perfect... but may need a little adjusting, in this case it was good as i used a 3mm layer of MDF over the curve which will leave me with 3mm of a gap around this template.

As we only have 3mm of room to play with and want to make a snug fit, once you have drawn your template onto your wood you want to remove the line when you cut... not leave it... that's about 1mm or more extra if you leave it.

Once you have cut it though, pop it in your oven gap and check and adjust in any spots if you need too.

You also want to cut the breather hole here,
As my flue is 100mm diameter i want to cut the hole the same area so it is ___x___

Next use your new piece of wood as the new template and cut your piece of sheet metal to line the rear of the wood.
Then pop some screws in, as many as you feel necessary.

Step 2: Rear Steel Sheet/ Insulation Casing

Again use your wood for your template, work out how thick you want your insulation to be.
In this case I am using 3 layers of 25mm crematic blanket. The front wood is 20mm thick so I made the gap 75mm making it so the crematic blanket is packed down 20mm (so it is solid).

Once measuring around 75mm I used my ruler as a spacer to make tabs to fold up on the curved side, if you put your ruler at the same measurement at each side on the line of the curve it will leave you with the correct amount to cut out for a 90deg bend.

Once it is all cut out fold them all up, its good to put something on the line where you want to fold it so it bends in the right spot and makes a sharp bend.

Once they are all bent up put your wood in and use a rubber mallet and shape the curve to get them all perfect and following the right shape.

Best to pop it back in to your oven to make sure it's all still going to fit... you will still need about 2mm of clearance around the curve.

Step 3: Putting on Handles

Again using the parts from the bed head, have chopped the wood turned pieces off at the length I want.
Then drilled holes where I want them, also pre-drilled the handles so not to split the wood.
Have used some pretty sturdy large screws laying around for this job.
Whack the screws through and pop some PVA glue on the screw and the bottom of the handles and screw them down till they are snug.

Step 4: Adding Insulation

Again use your wood as a template to cut your crematic blanket.
Then layer it in your casing.

Step 5:

Now its time to screw it all together.
I have cut a sheet of the galvanized sheet metal 75mm wide and started at one end putting it on like a sticker putting a screw in every 2nd tab, then gone back around putting a screw in every tab.
You will need to use counter sink self tapper screws for this and pre-drill for the screw and then the counter sink... you want to get them as flush as possible without drilling to far with the counter sink... the sheet is only 1mm thick so it takes a bit of precision drilling.
Best to have them sticking out a little rather than drilling too far , once they are all in grab your angle grinder and grind off any bits of the screws that are sticking out flush with the metal.

Step 6: Finishing Breather Hole.

Now you want to line the breather hole, you don't want any of the crematic blanket dust getting into the oven and on your food!

I have used some of the pre-bent steel from the heater and just cut it to size and popped them in and screwed them down.

Also on the rear have used some of the steel mesh to stop any sparks for safety.

You could add a damper on the front but i will be making a 2nd thicker door for baking, this is more intended for a firing door.

Step 7: Finishing Your Door.

On the front have given it a final sand to remove fingerprints and any original varnish from the wood,  then given it generous coats of a pine nut oil.

For the rear have given it 2 coats of high temp black paint.

Now leave it to dry over night and then get cooking!

Thanks for viewing my instructable,  constructive criticism welcomed : )

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    Question 2 years ago

    What guage is the metal? I don't have a heater to use.
    Also, how did you make the inner door for baking? Thanks


    10 years ago on Step 5

    galvanized metal around fire is deadly maybe an aluminium strip or just blackmetal strapping is what I would look for instead of trying for Zinc poisonoing


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    if you build a fire(HOT HOT FIRE) and "cook" the galvanized steel in the fire, you will burn off any galvanized coating(after about 1 - 2 hours) and then it will be safe to use around food.

    Experience has taught me this...I used to work in a foundry.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, thanks for that, good to know... it's not a cooking surface and not in place when cooking so i was not worried.
    Burning the galve in the fire like you are saying would make it rust really quick would it not?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    when heating or burning off galvanizeed metal it releases zinc oxide gas which can poison and/or kill you

    Dream Dragon
    Dream Dragon

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Full marks for recycling, and a very nice looking project. This may seem unkind and I don't intend to pick holes, it's turned into a bit of a long post so please read all of it before becoming too unhappy. You have produced a very elegant looking door for your oven, and I'm really glad you chose to share this project. Can you point us to more details of the oven construction and use?

    As I understand the operation of this kind of oven you "fire" it, get it all nice and hot and then clean out the fire and use the residual heat in the structure to cook the food. In a traditional oven, the door is SEALED with dough, clay, or any other convenient method, the idea being to retain the heat in the chamber for as long as possible. The ART of this kind of cooking lies in knowing when to break the seal, and how to schedule your cooking. Large loaves in the first batch, rolls or smaller loaves might be possible in a second batch, and if you're really good you might even manage pastries, in a final load as the oven cools.

    In your case I suspect a hole in the door would prevent your oven from retaining heat effectively. The insulation IS an EXCELLENT plan and getting it out of an old storage heater is a good idea too, but are you using your oven with a fire inside AS YOU COOK?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, great questions, you probably know more than me about this subject reading that comment : )

    Yes this is my firing door, i will build another exact replica but with a second recess protruding further into the oven making it around 100-120mm overall thickness... this door will be for baking with no breathing holes.
    The baking door will be for heat retention for long periods, i will also be using a flue damper to stop that rising heat escaping.

    This door will be used when firing and between cooking pizzas, BBQ food etc yes while the coals are still inside.
    Also will most likely add a damper to the front of this door to control air flow as i am building a smoking chamber above my oven, will update when i have done this.

    With this firing door, it will heat the oven much faster than without a door, its best to burn the oven for a bit to preheat so it does not suffer from thermal shock but once you put the door in place its like someone blowing on the fire... it really cranks it!

    If this rain ever stops i will shoot a short video to show how it works.
    Please view my other projects for the oven construction... still not finished yet... hope to get it done after xmas.

    Cheers for your questions