Reflector Oven

Joined
Nov 22, 2019
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358
To follow up on post #57; the skewers came in a few days ago. They have the advertised fancy pants washer thingies to push the food off and there is a flattened spot on the skewer to keep them from coming off. It seems an altogether ingenious solution to a non existent problem. And although they are advertised as 17.3" that is the overall length and not the actual usable length of around 14-1/2" with the washer.

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I ground the flattened parts off and removed the washers which makes the usable length 15" and they look like they'll work fine as pan supports. But the original 14-1/2" oven width leaves very little of them out the other side and experimental movement of the oven such one would do cooking made me think that it would only be a matter of time before the cobbler was in the fire so.....


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There's more than enough room in the oven to knock a half inch off and still have adequate airflow around a 1/4 size 9x13" sheet pan so that's the plan going forward, at least for the next few ovens. I like the idea of being able to use the pan supports as skewers in camp. Wieners and s'mores anyone?


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As things come and go online I think I'll order another box or two of the skewers while they are around so I have them for future ovens. I have the parts roughed out for Sweetfancymoses' oven and a grandson is getting one in June for his b-day. Enough play time for now. It's time to cut the lawn. And the widow's lawn across the road. And....

Best regards to all,


Lance
 

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Kinda wishing I’d won that reflector oven now. Then all I would need is a fire, the fixin’s, and a sheet pan or muffin tin.

And a willing bakery companion to tend the fire and deliver me hot buttered biscuits or Cranberry orange scones, likely some time after I consumed another quick boiling water breakfast of Via coffee and oat meal with dried fruit.

ALSG, I want the unburned muffins, but not if they are still too doughy in the middle. Extra butter please, or a smear of Nutella if you brought any. More coffee too, while you’re up.

I remember fondly the day Doug D unveiled the Campmor Reflector Oven. He cooked nothing more than store-bought frozen bread dough, but Oh, it was the tastiest thing to ever enjoy around the campfire.

Wait, DougD cooked something? How long did it take him to assemble all the constituent parts and pieces to the oven, and to find where he put the roll of Pillsbury Crescent rolls?

Doug brought steaks to grill as a group meal one trip. He couldn’t find them, and in Doug’s telling they became short loin Porterhouse. Doug searched longer, and they became grass fed Black Angus filet mignon.

We all looked, searching very cooler and food bin to no avail, even frisking Doug’s Pockets, which he seemed to oddly enjoy. They became Wagu and later, after 6 guys searched for a good hour, full Kobe; cows lovingly massaged every day by nubile, sake bearing Geishas.

We, or actually Doug, found the steaks hours after dinner. In the very bottom of a cooler, under a layer of blue ice packs no one had lifted.

They were good as a late night snack. Except the ones Doug dropped on the ground. Which, IRCC, was all of them; finally cooked and all piled on one plate.

I did not know Kobe was that gritty, or that it came with a pine needle garnish.
 
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[ALSG, I want the unburned muffins, but not if they are still too doughy in the middle. Extra butter please, or a smear of Nutella if you brought any. More coffee too, while you’re up.

I'm hurt, Mike. You only want me for my muffin(s).

Or did you think I'd forget this cold, cold rejection from a few weeks back:


Alan, we could try a socially distanced paddle. But this time, I insist, no bro hugs or slobbery kissyface greetings ;-)


https://www.canoetripping.net/forum...nder-test-paddle-day-trip?p=123185#post123185
 
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And just to make Mike eat his heart out a bit more, here is the revised muffin-maker, er, I mean reflector oven.

It's going to Allagash Lake very soon and the menu includes Blueberry Muffins, Cinnamon Rolls and of course rosemary and garlic "Fauxaccia" bread.
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Joined
Nov 22, 2019
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Kinda wishing I’d won that reflector oven now.


Hey, I don't know about ever making them commercially but I am making a template for the end panels and one for the top and bottom panels (which are identical, too) so i can zip them out with "fine cut" consumables on the plasma cutter I have on back order. The kerf with that setup is almost exactly the .04" thickness of the aluminum so the tab and slot joints should be much snugger than the prototype's joints.

Then drill eight holes for the rear door hinges and rivet them on, drill four more holes for the take-down pins and the holes for the pan supports and "Voila", a reflector oven. It would be a nice change from the 1/4" steel I've been spending most of my time puttering with.

Of course initial deposits and final payment might be due in ice cold craft beer....delivered at the far end of someplace with a name like "Hell's Gate Portage".

Best regards to all,


Lance
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
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358
I like the way you cut out the shelf. When you aid you had removed the full shelf I wondered how you would do it.

Lance
 
Joined
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I like the way you cut out the shelf. When you aid you had removed the full shelf I wondered how you would do it.

Lance

I drilled out every rivet, which was quite easy. Then, using an old carbide table saw blade cut the body of the oven down by 5 inches (even 2.5" off each end). Recommend a face shield for that job. Then took the shelf itself and cut each end off at about 1.5" inches. The shelf ends became the new supports and everything went back together with rivets. Not hard at all.
 
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I wear my long tunic length leather welding cost that is normally reserved for overhead welding when I cut non-ferrous metal on the table saw. And safety goggles. And a face mask.
 
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In addition to shrinking the oven, I hope that removing the shelf will help things bake/cook faster. That solid shelf effectively created a double thickness cookie sheet and absorbed a lot of heat. I was following Gil's design, but I think, in retrospect, a solid shelf is not as efficient for baking/cooking as the current arrangement is (or a wire grate like the one you've designed, Lance). I mean, you look in a regular oven and you see wire grates not solid shelves.
 
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The revised reflector oven (shrunk and shelf removed) was great on Allagash Lake earlier this month. Cheated and brought premade chocolate chip cookie dough (Toll House brand break-off squares) and Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls. Damn they were good!!

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Good looking eats. We aren't ever in a rush to cover lots of miles and I really enjoy camp cookery so I find myself reaching for a reflector oven, camp style Dutch oven of one of my old Bakepacker steam ovens more and more. I'd gotten away from all of them for years.

We'll be home at the end of the month after most of 5 weeks on the road so I'll finally get back to the shop and get a couple of ovens made including the one for Sweetfancymoses.

I was hoping that the plasma cutter I have on order would be here for cutting out the pieces but we'll see. It would be a lot easier to cut the slots for the tabs with that than with a hand held angle grinder and a thin cut-off wheel.

Best regards,


Lance
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
358
OK, I have to confess that I've been a bad, bad boy. I should have finished the reflector oven months ago for Oliver (AKA sweetfancymoses) but I finally finished it this week. As stated way back in the thread we decided to knock roughly an inch off the length of my original oven. The only other change was to go to four shelf support rods instead of three rods and to use extra long skewers for the rods so they could do double duty around the campfire.

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And since I've been learning how to sew and picked up a couple of industrial sewing machines I made a bag for the oven which was the least I could do after he's been waiting so long. A little while ago I was about to order six yards of canvas for $45 plus shipping online when I spotted "Dyer Seconds" at Marsidian, one of my suppliers. The #8/18 ounce cotton duck canvas that I wanted for canoe bags was only $37 for 25 yards or $50 for 50 yards, albeit only in black or dark navy blue. So....with shipping I got 50 yards of 18 ounce canvas delivered for a grand total of $136 or $2.70 a yard. Dyer seconds are often blotchy or streaked but this stuff is perfect so I can only guess that it's not the correct shade of black.

And to rip off Henry Ford's comment about car colors, I can make any color bag I want to. As long as it's black.

After a bit of discussion, Oliver opted for a bag that would hold the oven and a 1/4 size sheet pan like the ones seen in the photos. Last night I cut some canvas I had already washed and ironed and made up a simple envelope style bag. One challenge was to figure out how to keep the skewers from falling out or poking holes in the bag. I', a part time climbing instructor and have a 50 yard roll of 2" Climb Spec tubular nylon so I cut a hunk, folded the end over and stitched it shut to form a long skinny pouch. Then after some playing around to find the best fit (the skewers are longer by 3-4" than any other part) I sewed down the edges of the pouch. Other wise it was a straightforward job with 3/4" straps, Fastex buckles and a few strips of webbing to provide a way to tie down or hang the bag.

Fiddling with the oven and a pan to figure out the final layout:

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And the bits and pieces:

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And a bit of time at a sewing machine and:

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Hey Oliver, I'm sorry it took so long and I hope that you get a lot of use out of this. Target carries the Nordic Ware quarter sheet pan (very nice indeed) at a pretty reasonable price it there's one near you. Or the Vollrath pan is pretty reasonable, too and is widely available. I also have two nesting pot sets with deep lids that double as pan that fit in one of these oven, too. The deep sides work great for cakes, muffin mixes, cobblers, casseroles etc so don't forget about pans like that when planning menus.

Best regards to all,


Lance
 
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Joined
Nov 22, 2019
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https://flic.kr/p/2mnVky4 https://www.flickr.com/photos/133956285@N05/

LanceR's reflector oven in action tonight. Very nice work. Worked like a charm. Thank you very much. This is alsg's Fauxcaccia with some caraway and fennel seed mixed in.

I'm glad it finally got there, Oliver and I hope you get a lot of opportunity to use it. That bread looks darn good! And it looks like there's room in there for another small pan.

I'm jealous of your fire pit. About the time I finished building our fire pit this spring (complete with my custom 3/16" steel insert from which I deleted the cooking rack) I realized that being fully circular, a foot high and only 30" across it wasn't going to be much good for tinkering with camp style Dutch ovens or a reflector oven. Nancy wanted a round fire pit so I should have gone to at least 40". I'm debating on whether I should make a second one with an open side like yours has..... which will necessitate convincing the bride that two fire pits in the side yard won't look too goofy.


Lance
 
Joined
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162
Location
Northern NH
Too many campsites have fire rings that look like cairns for above treeline travel and are pretty much useless for cooking in, neve rmind using a reflector.
 
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
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358
And most of the ones with steel fire rings are pretty near to useless, too.

Surprisingly after I showed Nancy the pictures from sweetfancymoses she commented on the usefulness of a dry laid fire pit. Hmmm...... I suspect that a load of stone from one of the local granite quarries is in order....... Better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Lance
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
233
Location
Williston, Vermont
Really nice looking reflector oven and fire pit! We purchased a made in Maine " Sproul Baker" reflector oven several years ago and use it a lot. The pan and muffin tin included with it were painted flat black on the exterior, with instructions saying it improved function, and to maintain the paint over time. I've never seen that detail elsewhere, and don't know if it's necessary, but our oven does work very well.
 
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