A Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) Controller can be an excellent addition for your Bamboo Oven. At Brasstown Creek we place our bamboo strips in heat treating fixtures from Harry Boyd (www.canerods.com) which assists in keeping the strips straight during the tempering process. The oven we use was purchased from Bret Reiter at www.greenhighlanderflyfishing.com.
In order to obtain a more accurate (and much more consistent) temperature inside our Bamboo Oven than was possible with the standard electric oven thermostat control that came with the oven, we did two things:
First, we replaced the dial type heat control (it is analog) with very accurate high heat temperature digital probes which enabled us to identify temperature gradients within the oven while tempering of the bamboo strips. We placed one probe approximately one third the distance from the door of the bamboo oven and the other probe approximately one third the distance from the back of the oven. The accurate digital thermometers indicated that the standard oven thermostat can vary significantly (sometimes by as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit) in temperature during its on/off operations.
Second, we replaced the old thermostat control with a PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) controller to keep the temperature variations in the oven to within a few degrees.
The PID maintains our desired 180 degree Centigrade temperature control to +/- 1.25 degrees Centigrade. We are happy with that! In the photo of our PID Controller (see upper left of this page), you can see that the desired temperature is set in GREEN and is 180 degrees Centigrade. The PID has just been turned on and the current temperature (in orange) is 13.2 degrees Centigrade, and climbing. As the actual temperature approaches the desired temperature, the PID starts adjusting in fractions of a degree. Once the goal is obtained, the PID Controller maintains the temperature very, very closely.
For a more detailed discussion of our PID, see the Tips section on our website.