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OVM 10-04-2012 09:44 AM

Trying to Fabricate a Pizza Spade
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Hi Guys
Nice to meet everyone

I hope I'm in the right place but if not please can a Mod move it.

I am currently trying to make my Own Pizza Spade (Peel) to use in a Wood Fired Pizza Oven
I have a 300mm X 330mm X 1.2mm stainless steel plate. The reason for the 330mm is the extra 30mm has been bent upwards 90 degrees to create a lip (picture attached). I then want to attach a 20mm X 20mm X 1.2M balau wooden handle to the lip and voila! I have my spade - well i wish it was so easy to do just the way it's said.

Never the less, the idea was the push the front end of the stick flush against the outside of the lip and then insert a screw through the inside of the lip and into the wooden handle but now i've been cautioned against doing so for the reasons below.

1) A screw will heat up very quickly considering the blazing heat of the oven and this in turn will damage the inner of the wood which will eventually lead to the wood rotting.
2) Screwing into the front of the wood means it will go into the end grain of the wood which i've been advised against. I've been told to screw across the grain.

I've been getting odd advice here and there at hardware stores but you know these salesman - they wont give you full adice, just quick to get you out the way. Anyways, someone mentioned rather use Bolts instead of screws but this is a problem for me since bolting at the end of the handle means I wont be able to attach a Nut onto the other end of the bolt reason being the other end is 1.2M away (Thats the actual length of the stick)

Can you guys give me some alternatives to attaching the stick onto the steel plate?
Please bare in mind the heat of the oven and I've also got a problem finding stainless steel bolts, nuts, screws, brackets, etc? I dont want to use Galvanized Screws and bolts or similar stuff to galv. since galv melts at low temps. and gives of fumes. What other metals are advisable, maybe brass or something like that.

Thanks a million guys

Gissle 10-06-2012 05:03 AM

Interesting. Have you seen any other pizza spades, and how they are attached?

Stainless steel fixing should be readily available - have a look online.

I would have thought that curving a piece of steel attached to the spade into a circle and slotting the wooden shaft through this - then screwing it in would be fine.

Surely the spade wont be held in the over for long?

biggles 10-06-2012 11:09 AM

like mentioned it won't be in the oven that long sliding in... spinning the pie checking crust... and the pull out.looking on line you will see whay they make them on wood handle and all...maybe a pop rivet type to hold the handle...drill the holes and put it in a vise to crimp it up onto the handle....or get a piece of the metal tack weld that to the tray then install the handle on that.take a jigsaw and go down the end of the wooden handle 4" then slip it over the extended piece and bolt thru that

123pugsy 10-07-2012 08:21 AM

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A cup welded on the back bend would be nice.

notmrjohn 10-07-2012 09:33 AM

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Where are you that you can't find stainless? can you find heavy gauge aluminum brackets? Or aluminum to make your own?
Most metal , wood handled peels I've seen have handle attached like a hovel, similar to pugsy's drawing. You can remove zinc from galvanized metal by sanding, acid wash, and/or heat, (propane torch you seem to already be aware of gas produced) Painted metal can be stripped, would need to keep it lightly oiled to prevent rust. Eventually heat and oiling would "treat" it similar to cast iron.Screws, bolts will be fine, won't be in oven long enough to burn wood, any more than peel it self would. Just use plain steel screws and bolts. There are aluminum bolts and nuts, very soft easy to strip, dry storm door repair parts dept. for them.

Here's brass angles from HD, use long ones, longer the better, on each side of handle and back side of lip. Bolt them on, pan head bolt head on peel side of lip. Might even need an angled brace from handle out to ends of lip, similar to shelf bracket. Use long one bolted on top of handle , other leg cut short, over and down pizza side of lip, long screw into end of handle. Possibbly, long flat metal on bottom of handle, extend inch or so under bottom of peel. Lots of bolts and screws in handle so plan holes carefully.

Perhaps angle iron, cut along angle, heat and bend so you get legs along back of lip, short over/under lip and peel. uncut angle along handle, at least holes for handle bolts my line up. Also aluminum angles of about same thickness of peel. Gotta drill your own holes. Or make brackets from stainless steel, as you did peel.

I'll have a large galvanized pepperoni with extra zinc.

SPS-1 10-08-2012 07:02 AM

I don't like the one screw into the end of the wooden handle, only because I don't think it will be strong enough.
I like 123's idea. If you don't have welding equipment, you can bend that bracket up out of stainless and bolt it to the spade.

Jim F 10-08-2012 10:25 PM

I wonder if you couldn't take an aluminum snow shovel and hammer it flat the cut the corners with tin snips to get it to the round shape you want and sand the edges smooth.

notmrjohn 10-09-2012 09:15 AM

Jim I thought of that very same thing. It is good to know I am not alone im my insanity. i now see that I said "handle attached like a hovel" I've never actually seen a handle on a hovel, most of them don't even have doors. But that's what planted the idea in my mind, as many hovels have a grain scoop leaning against the wall.

OVM 10-09-2012 09:40 AM

Hi Guys

I first want to thank everyone for their input - it's greatly appreciated.
You all have given me such brilliant ideas that I'm now confused as to the best way forward.

I am leading towards the ideas given by 123pugsy & notmrjohn.
Just to answer notmrjohn's question, I am from South Africa and hardware stores don't keep stainless steel bolts. It seems like it's something very specialized.

I'll give you guys some feedback as soon as I see which idea is easiest for me to run with taking into consideration the limitations on the tools.

Another quick question if i may. The wood i have is balau hardwood which is 20mm square and quite sharp at the edges. I don't have a sander - would you call me crazy if i try to round the edges using sand paper. My friend has a bench grinder and i read i may be able to do this with the grinder. Would it be possible.

I also want to know what can i use on the wood to keep it in good condition. Someone mentioned Varnish but I'm not to sure about that. Is there any other house products like some sort of oil that i can use on this type of wood.

1 last question before I leave you. The reason I'm so cautios with Galv is I did the silly thing of buying a Galvd Flue pipe and I saw what happened to it after only 2 uses. It started to fume some of the galv when it got too hot. I'd like to strip the galv from this pipe. The pipe is 125mm diameter by 1.2M in length. How do i go about completed stripping the Galv from this pipe and then what can i use on the pipe to extend it's life a little before it starts to rust. Someone mentioned heat resistant paint but I'm sure that stuff is expensive - I want to use something that i can buy cheaply as I am eventually going to change to Stainless but just feel heart sore getting rid of the Galv after only 2 uses.

Thanks again for all the help Regards

bbo 10-09-2012 09:52 AM

mineral oil is the preferred and cheapest oil for use with wood that is used near or with food preparation.

notmrjohn 10-09-2012 10:48 AM

There is even food grade mineral oil, but then mineral oil from pharmacy ( chemist in SA?) is approved for ingestion for er, uh, internal lubrication. paint or varnish bad idea in oven. And flue, if zinc is gassing off, paint, even heat resistant will do it more so.
Sure sand corners down by hand. Start with coarse grades work op to finer. Even if i start with power I finish with a few hand strokes to get nice smooth curve. A few strokes across grain at start will remove more wood, knock off corners. Tear/cut sand paper into about 4" (10 cm) wide strips. Pull sand paper, smooth side down, over edge of bench or table, in "shoe shine" type motion, to break stiffness. Hold sand paper in cupped palm, few strokes across grain then some length wise.

If you put galvanized hardware in hot oven it will gas off most of zinc, not such good idea in house. You can burn it off with propane torch or in hot fire outside. Best bet is regular uncoated steel. Mineral oill it frequently at start eventually it will develop baked on coating, similar to old cook ware that hasn't always been cleaned thoroughly. Bit unattractive, but non rusting, and make peel look authentic.:wink:

Regarding your flue. If it is venting to outside, don't worry about zinc cooking off from inside. If it is cooking off from outside of pipe, inside house, replace it with zero clearance flue, a pipe inside a pipe. Air space keeps outer pipe cool(er). No gassing from outside, no rust on outside, safer inside house anyway.

You'd have to acid wash to remove all galvanized, that would rust it in itself, no paint can stand het as well as zinc. Heat resistant spray paint not much more than regular, real stove paint is more expensive.

Do not worry about rust too much, except for possible aesthetics. Rusty stove pipes last for generations. Just watch for complete rust thru. When/if it seems it may rust thru then replace, save your money for now.

Is it too late to ask for extra rust on that pizza? No mineral oil please.

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