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Canada - Hard Time Getting Material? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

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  • Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

    Hello Gang

    I've been on holidays so I haven't been working on the oven much, but with fall approaching I gotta get moving. Hearth slab is built and ready but I am having a heck of a time in Northern, ON Canada getting anything. I don't know any local masons and the local hardware stores look at me like I'm speaking in tongues. We do have a Home Depot but the seem to carry only Quick-Crete type products and when I got to the contractors desk, they are too busy to help. Here are some questions I have:

    -I really want to use the Cal-Sil board, the Insulfrax and a Refractory mortar but can't find a similar products available in my region. I know I can order through FB store, but the shipping is outrageous. The only saving grace is that I live in a place called Sault Ste. Marie, ON which is on the border with Michigan (although it is a pretty small town on the US side) I usually get things shipped and go over and pick them up (5 minute drive).

    My issue is that I imagine most of this stuff needs special handling/chemical clearance to get over an international border. Can anyone make any suggestions for Canadian Suppliers or alternatives for the three things I need?

    Thanks
    Tony

  • #2
    Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

    Here's a fireplace store in Sault Ste Marie. Give 'em a call - they can point you in the right direction. I don't think you will have any customs problems with this stuff, it's not more hazardous than ordinary masonry products. You may have to pay import duty, but you would have to do that anyway.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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    • #3
      Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

      That's excellent. I am going over there today. I will have a look around. Most things are now duty free, and its usually just the taxes, but there is an on-line duty list which I will check. Mainly I was concerned about shipping over there and going to pick it up.

      Thanks
      Tony

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      • #4
        Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

        Tony,

        If you strike out on the cross border connection, I've recently found a refractory supplier in Toronto, Alphatherm, that will have everything you need. Have a look at this thread for the details: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/28/v...es-2126-2.html. It may be, too, that they could steer you a supplier closer to you.

        Jim
        "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

          Hey guys;

          Just got back from my local Timbre-Mart. They carry a refractory Mortar product by a company called BoMix. The details are located at

          bomix®

          Again not trying to take business from FB, but being that the area I'm in is remote, can anyone tell me if this product will work? They have it in stock. The largest size is a 4L pail (pre-mixed) for about $13 Canadian. The yield is about 15 bricks for 1L, which tells me the large container can do about 50 bricks.

          Also, for the 43" diameter Pompeii, can anyone tell me how many full bricks I would roughly need, inclusive of the floor? It's hard to make the calculation with the half brick consideration.

          The same store also quoted me $2.48 per brick 4.5 x 9 x 1 1/4"..does this sound about right?

          I am having some luck in the Toronto area with Insulfrax and Cal-Sil board type product, although the board is not cheap.

          Really hoping the Matrilite product is the key...otherwise I will likely double/triple up on the Insulfrax blanket, chicken wire it and stucco.

          Almost ready to go...

          Tony

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

            Sounds like a similar thing to Heat Stop Premix in a pail. Data sheet says interior use only.

            I'd keep looking for something closer to Refmix.

            Christo
            My oven progress -
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

              Tony,

              Where you live, I'd go with two inches of batt, plus two to three inches of Matrilite over that. Can't have too much insulation, especially in the Sault.

              Jim
              "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

                Originally posted by SuperT View Post
                The largest size is a 4L pail (pre-mixed) for about $13 Canadian. The yield is about 15 bricks for 1L, which tells me the large container can do about 50 bricks.
                A one gallon can of pre-mix refractory mortar is not going to go very far at all. Remember that your bricks are tilted and the mortar joints get thick at the back. Their yield figures are for closely fitted bricks, maybe a 1/8" joint. Pre-mix refractory mortar has a bad reputation in the states. We usually warn people off it.

                The same store also quoted me $2.48 per brick 4.5 x 9 x 1 1/4"..does this sound about right?
                Inch and a quarter thickness are what we call "splits". There is no reason you can't use them but they are usually the same price as the full size fire brick. These skinny bricks are used for special purposes like lining fireboxes where space is at a premium. You are going to need twice as many splits as 2.5 inch bricks, and a lot more expensive mortar. Is there a Home Depot near the Sault? They can often special order firebricks and heat-stop for closer to brickyard prices. (they are not stock items)
                My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

                  I'm on to the Home Depot tomorrow and will report back. This info is invaluable and much appreciated.

                  Tony

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

                    Home Depot in SSM stinks. I called for pricing on Refractory Mortar and Fire Bricks two hours ago and they have not called back yet with prices.

                    I followed CANUCKJIM's lead and talked to Elvis at Alphatherm this morning. Extremely helpful and recommended a 2" Mineral Wool Board for the Hearth Slab insulating layer. He said several contractors have been using it lately in professional restaurant applications (it had been backlogged in production for about a year) and what they like about it is its compression factor (ability to hold weight?) is pretty strong. Also he claims it is good up to 1900 degrees, easy to cut with a small saw or knife, about $115 per carton of 2" which will do about 48 sq ft (16 pieces at 3ft x 1ft) and safe to use for this application, as I specifically asked about potential contamination while cooking. Too me it sounds like an fire retardant acoustical tile type product.

                    Not knowing exactly which product it is, I am cautiously optimistic, but will report more as I find out on this potential new insulator. He didn't recommend the Matrilite only because it is somewhat porous and as with many castable insulators might potentially not hold the weight of the brick rings without sinking.

                    Tony

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                    • #11
                      Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

                      Tony,

                      Matrilite is not meant to hold weight. It's a castable insulator only. I'm using it over the insulating batts on the dome, instead of vermiculite/Portland.

                      Jim
                      "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

                        Yes; I assumed because it was a castable it was interchangeable with the vermiculite, which also is used on the hearth slab.

                        I ordered double the amount of Insulfrax and am going to double the normal amount on the outside of the dome, chicken wire it and outdoor stucco it as per the instructions.

                        Regardless, thanks for the tip...these guys are great to deal with and are sending me an e-mail with the safety info on the product.

                        Looks like my best deal on fire brick is going to be $2.78 for the full size. Going to get that finished up today.

                        Tony

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

                          Originally posted by SuperT View Post
                          a 2" Mineral Wool Board for the Hearth Slab insulating layer.
                          Rigid? Mineral wool? 1900 degrees? sounds like the insblock 19 that I used. It's available in Canada, here's a post on a ceramics site:

                          we built an annealing oven that we use for stress relieving iron castings. It is
                          simply a box (2'x2'x3') made from sheets of rigid 2" 1900 degree
                          insulating board. A.P. Green is a large refractory supplier with offices
                          in many locations - here in Ottawa they have a product called Insblock
                          19. A box of 5 2"x12"x36" sheets costs about 100.00 CDN.
                          It's widely used in craft ceramics, inside the firebrick. These guys take their kilns up to twice the temperatures we do. It's a little softer than cal - sil board, but more than rigid enough for what we do. Will it soak up food grease? Well maybe if it gets that far down. If you're roasting whole pigs or something, you may want to put a pan under it no matter what insulation you're using.

                          And by the way, Home Depot sucks everywhere. As the saying goes, when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
                          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

                            Heh Super, I paid $2.50 for a full brick here in Thunder Bay so I feel your pain. I believe the brick was shipped to TBay from out west. If it's the same manufacturer that may explain the extra cost. Good luck to ya on your build.

                            John
                            "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Canada - Hard Time Getting Material?

                              Tony, Dmun, Versachi,

                              Here's the link to the parent company: ANH Refractories. I've contacted them for further info on Canadian locations.

                              Cheers,

                              Jim
                              "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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