Part 3: Getting the thing to work
Just sitting in the direction of the sun, the oven would heat up somewhere near, but never above 150F. I was sure we had contructed it properly and was unsure what to do to fix it. We had not made a reflector yet, but I was not confident the reflector alone was going to get us to the 225F needed to bake bread. Baking bread, I had decided, was the gold standard. Then we had a week of cloudy, overcast weather. We turned our attention other directions, but I did a little research.
The next week brought clear skies. From my research I decided the oven needed to be sealed better, so we got a sealant strip to put around the door, then we constructed the reflector. The oven also had to be propped up during the morning to angle towards the sun better. Then BINGO we did it. It has gotten as high as 270F and easily reaches 175F, which is the low setting of a crock pot.
The reflector still needs some work as it is lite and we have problems with it blowing off on a breezy day. It is constructed from a sheet of foam insulation. We were able to insulate the box and make the reflectors from one sheet.