Turtlerock Masonry Heat
About Us

Insulated counter-balanced doors.

Door Systems.

A good bake oven requires a door system that operates smoothly and efficiently. The doors must have the proper feel and be made to withstand the rigors of daily use. The doors should make the baker’s day easier, and not the other way around.
In general, door systems in the North American hand built wood fired bake oven scene have been somewhat low-tech, and for understandable reasons. It requires a lot of energy, means, and design savvy to come up with systems that work and work well. Not many small bakery operations or masons have extensive research and development budgets to “try ideas out”, so simple and effective systems have become the standard. For us, each oven build presents an opportunity to continue the progress we have made on developing better baking doors. The offerings improve over time, one version after another. Most of our design ideas have come from bakers themselves, who understand intimately what they are after. We take those ideas seriously and give them a functional shape. We strive for elegant, straight-forward solutions and build hardware so that it lasts.


Insulated plugs at EMB. Design idea by Andrew Heyn,
fabrication by Brad Robertson.
These are some of the basic concepts we have been working with. Custom designs are available upon request.

Three Panel Flap Doors with Insulated Plugs: This style uses two inter-changeable door systems inside a main door frame. The stainless steel insulated plugs are used for firing the oven, with the center plug out of a three door wide system, to allow for intake air and fuel loading. After firing, the center plug is inserted into the main frame and the front face of the oven becomes sealed and insulated. When the time comes for baking, the plugs are removed and the three panel flap door frame is inserted and friction fit into the main frame. Each of the panels is a spring hinged stainless steel plate which motions open and closed with the insertion and removal of the baking peel from the oven baking chamber. The action is smooth, efficient, and trouble free.

Three Panel Insulated Counterbalanced Doors: This style combines the insulated plugs and light flap door system into one. Heavy duty insulated stainless steel construction ensures years of rugged daily use. In this system the same door set is used for firing and baking. The center door can be pushed in and down for firing, where it (and all three doors) lay flush with the hearth level. While baking each door can be pushed in and down with the baking peel. The doors are then closed by tipping the counter-balanced bottom edge down to set the closing action into motion.

Automatic Loaders.

This is an essential tool to maximize efficiency in bread loading, where multiple loaves can be loaded into the baking chamber in one pass. On the deeper ovens thirty or more loaves can be set on the hearth at once. One pass into each of the three doors will fill the oven.
At the time of this writing (June, 2010) we have automatic loaders in the development process, and hope to have one completed in a few months. The goal is to make a loading system that interfaces with the existing oven designs and door widths, and to be able to offer the loaders to our bakers for sale and use.

Other Hardware.

I-Beam harness corner.


We utilize two different damper styles for our ovens based on baker preference and design details. Butterfly dampers allow for a minimal surface detail, with just a simple control knob on the oven face to rotate between open and closed positions. They make for an easy connection to the chimney pipe anchor plate, which can be installed directly to the damper body.
Sliding plate (guillotine style) dampers offer a more complete control of gas movement through the throat of the oven and an almost total blockage preventing steam escape during baking. The installation can be slightly more difficult than the butterfly system.

Ash Dumps.

Every oven should have an ash dump that is well positioned, of the proper size, and with a lid or internal damper to prevent or enable movement of gases. We build ours solid state from stainless steel sheet, then use one of several possible locations based on bakery design and baker preference.


Steel harnessing is used to resist the outward thrust of the vault, which allows the large ovens to be built without using restrictively thick masonry walls as buttressing. This also avoids the potential failures of designs using tied down cladding that have been common on many masonry ovens. The harness is the most important structural element of the oven- it’s failure means the collapse of the vault and the cease of baking operations. As such it must be built extra rugged with heavy I-beams on larger ovens, thick threaded rods for the ends, and cross braces for the center ties over the vault.

If you have any questions please contact me and I’ll be happy to chat with you.


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