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Engineering Bricks?? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Engineering Bricks??

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  • Engineering Bricks??

    Hi all from Sunny Worcester, England

    The pictures in photo gallery have all been really inspirational so a big thank you to everyone in this community for sharing what you've done.

    I have begun building a scaled down version of the Pompeii oven. I am now trying to source an alternative to fire bricks as they are SO EXPENSIVE!

    Would anyone out there know if the Blue Engineering Bricks that are readily available in the UK are suitable substitute, or even red building bricks with holes in?

    Many thanks , Mark

  • #2
    Re: Engineering Bricks??

    Have a look at the Tom Jaine book about building ovens - I think he talks about using engineering brick for the dome, but firebrick for the hearth. Never treid it, so can't comment, but engineering bricks are very tough, and very dense, so might be OK. Would suggest not using the perforated bricks - much lighter and in my experience, easy to crack.
    http://fornoeconomico.blogspot.com/

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    • #3
      Re: Engineering Bricks??

      When I do a google search for "engineering bricks" most of the pictures look like ordinary house bricks with holes. Here's one that's specifically blue:



      Is this what you mean?
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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      • #4
        Re: Engineering Bricks??

        Originally posted by Carl View Post
        Have a look at the Tom Jaine book about building ovens - I think he talks about using engineering brick for the dome, but firebrick for the hearth. Never treid it, so can't comment, but engineering bricks are very tough, and very dense, so might be OK. Would suggest not using the perforated bricks - much lighter and in my experience, easy to crack.
        Thanks for the reply Carl, i'll certainly look at the book. My neighbour seems to think they'll be fine, as you you said, they are very dense and rock solid, just heavier than fire bricks but a fraction of the cost.

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        • #5
          Re: Engineering Bricks??

          Originally posted by dmun View Post
          When I do a google search for "engineering bricks" most of the pictures look like ordinary house bricks with holes. Here's one that's specifically blue:



          Is this what you mean?

          Hi thanks for taking time out to help. I have attached a picture with the brick I hope to use below. Have had to scale it down in order to attach it so hopefully its clear enough to tell.

          Mark
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Engineering Bricks??

            There have been builders in Australia who have used what they called engineering bricks for their ovens, with apparent success, but the word seems to cover so many things that it might be comparing apples and oranges.

            Ovens were made with stone and terracotta tile for millenniums before the invention of alumina based refractories. Just remember to insulate, even in curing, to prevent big temperature variations from outside to inside.
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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            • #7
              Re: Engineering Bricks??

              I was going to use engineering bricks before I found some cheap firebricks on ebay. If you're buying new bricks, you have a choice of class A or B, with class A's absorbing less water than B's. Class A's are stronger, and more frostproof than B's (the class relates to both the strength and water absorption - see engineering brick: Information and Much More from Answers.com), and are usually denser too. If you're buying used bricks - who knows. The blue bricks are probably Staffordshire Blues - I think they're class A's if I remember correctly.
              http://fornoeconomico.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                Re: Engineering Bricks??

                Thanks Carl.

                I've been looking on ebay, have been to numerous reclaimage yards etc, and had no joy finding cheap or used fire bricks. As its my first attempt/build I've decided I am going to go ahead with the class A engineering brick. I'll keep people posted as to whether it works or not as its certainly works out a lot cheaper!

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                • #9
                  Re: Engineering Bricks??

                  If its 9lb, its approx 4kg which is the same as a super-duty firebrick [ 45% alumina ] so it should be fine. Heat retention will be great, may use a little bit more wood on initial heat up. Go for it.

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