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How to Mix Refractory Cement - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

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How to Mix Refractory Cement

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  • How to Mix Refractory Cement

    Hi Guys

    Hope all are well.

    I'm in the process of purchasing my Refractory Cement and the thought of How To Mix it popped up in my head.

    So basically, what advice do you guys have to Mix Refractory Cement by Hand. Yes, by hand as I have no equipment to do this for me and neither will I hire any as I am trying to keep costs to a minimum.

    I have a Spade and Wheel Barrow to mention, out of the few tools I have.

    Secondly, I asked my supplier what other material (e.g portland Cement, Sand etc) should be mixed with the Refractory Cement and they said none as the only material needed is water. I'm still a bit skeptical so I was wondering what's the norm when mixing refractory cement. Just to mention, I will be adding Steel Fibres to my mix. Also note that the cement I am purchasing heats up to 1300 degrees celcius.

    Thanks
    Looking forward to hearing from you guys.

    Regards
    OM

  • #2
    Re: How to Mix Refractory Cement

    It's like mixing mortar. I mixed a small batch of castable refractory cement in a large bucket using a hand spade.

    George
    George

    My 34" WFO build

    Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO

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    • #3
      Re: How to Mix Refractory Cement

      Hi

      Fxpose thanks for your response. I've never mixed mortar before but your comment is greatly appreciated.

      Looking forward to hearing from everyone else.

      Thanks
      Regards
      OM

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How to Mix Refractory Cement

        It sets quite quickly so don't mix up too much at a time or you end up wasting it when it goes hard. Adding extra water once it starts to set is a no no. It is also qite temperature dependent so make sure your water is cool. Adding extra water to get the mix to flow a bit more tends to give you a weaker product. It is also quite thixotropic ie becomes more liquid with agitation. Give a handful of it a good shake before application and you'll see what I mean. Stainless steel needles are sharp but if you handle the mix gently you won't get too many punctures in your hands.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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        • #5
          Re: How to Mix Refractory Cement

          Hi David s

          Thanks for responding.

          I will be sure to take heed to your advice. Working fast with the cement once mixed will be my first caution and one hopefully easily achievable since I have a mould and plan to pour the cement into it.


          You also mentioned Agitation makes the material more liquid but would it weaken it in any way. If not I could have someone continously mixing the cement to keep if from hardening too quick in case I need to work with it longer than expected. I will probably mix in a 25KG bag at a time.

          I guess mixing with a spade shouldn't be too difficult. As for the needles, I hope not to get any punctures.

          Look forward to hearing from you.

          Thanks
          Regards
          OM

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          • #6
            Re: How to Mix Refractory Cement

            Agitation will not weaken it and a spade and barrow will work ok.
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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            • #7
              Re: How to Mix Refractory Cement

              Guys, I forgot to ask a question regarding the amount of Steel Needles Required.

              I remember someone mentioned to me I would need 2% at minimum. I was wondering whether I would measure it as 2% of the total Cement Weight E.g. 2% of 25KG is 500 Grams of Steel Needles.

              Please Advise Me

              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How to Mix Refractory Cement

                Guys, I forgot to ask a question regarding the amount of Steel Needles Required.

                I remember someone mentioned to me I would need 2% at minimum. I was wondering whether I would measure it as 2% of the total Cement Weight E.g. 2% of 25KG is 500 Grams of Steel Needles.

                Please Advise Me

                Thanks

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How to Mix Refractory Cement

                  Yes that is correct.
                  Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How to Mix Refractory Cement

                    Hi David s

                    Thanks for the advice. I've ordered the refractory cement and hopefully will pick it up today.

                    Since agitation won't weaken the micture, my family members will really get some excercise out of continously turning the cement so it doesnt harden while I work with it.

                    Will keep you guys posted. Wish me luck, this if the first time I'm working with this material and damn this stuff is expensive, so I hope not to screw things up.

                    Regards
                    OM

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