This is a simple question with a somewhat complicated, but very interesting answer. The simple answer is that each pound of reasonably dry wood contains about 6,000 BTUs of heat, or energy. If you want the more complex answer, take a look at this article by from the Masonry Heater Association website. . . .
It's hard to talk to people about beauty and building. Last fall, a friend of a friend came by to see our house-in-progress. He looked appreciatively at our modest but well-built structure -- which I have been ornamenting by cutting curves in rafter tails and support brackets -- and said, "why are you spending all this time to cut fancy shapes when you have a house to build?" Before I could reply, he said, almost to himself, "Oh, you're an artist," as if that explained otherwise aberrant behavior, like a diagnosis of disease. For years I have taken offense at what felt to me . . .
Especially when building a larger oven, there are some clear earth oven building errors to avoid. (Building an oven is simple, but the truth is that nothing is quite as simple as it may first appear, especially when you build a fire in it.) Heather Coiner of Hat Creek Farm in Virginia (in photo) has generously documented some of the mistakes they made on a commercial-scale oven they built (and used successfully) on their farm -- and which they recently took down after building their next oven -- a full-scale brick oven built by Eric Moshier, of Solid Rock Masonry. Here's the link. It bears . . .