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Is used firebrick okay? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Forno Bravo Forum Community,

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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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.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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Is used firebrick okay?

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  • Is used firebrick okay?

    Hey, my first post!

    Okay, I've been toying with the idea of a brick oven for months, but never realized there was a community for it. Now I've found a lot of helpful information. I've already got the Pompeii plans and I've done a little reconnaissance at Home Depot (they had virtually no high-temp products, fire brick, high-temp mortar, high-temp insulation, nothing).

    Anyway, I have access to a load of used firebricks. They are a mix of Clayburn 2.75" thick and JBC 2.5" thick (both 9x4). Any opinion on these bricks? One vs the other perhaps?

    In addition, does it matter that they are used? Is it like miles on a car? Will my oven just fall to pieces in a few years if I use used bricks?

    They definitely don't have raw sharp edges and corners. They're quite rugged. I figure, for the dome, it doesn't matter if they're sharp as long as they don't fall apart. What are the properties/risks associated with used bricks?

    Finally, I'm not sure they'll work for the floor due to their imperfections.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks.

    Website: http://keithwiley.com
    WFO Webpage: http://keithwiley.com/brickPizzaOven.shtml
    Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ttle-7878.html

  • #2
    Re: Is used firebrick okay?

    I'm in your boat. I have about 155 whole fire brick that were used in a boiler. I got them from a local mason who builds ovens. He said they've been seasoned already in the boiler and won't crack on me. He said about 1/2 of new fire bricks will split at some point. It sounded logical to me, but I'd like to get some additional opinions too.

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    • #3
      Re: Is used firebrick okay?

      He said about 1/2 of new fire bricks will split at some point.
      Firebrick cracks are rare, most ovens crack at the mortar joints. Buy new bricks if you can afford them, if only for the crisp corners. You also don't know what the previous use was, you don't want heavy metal contaminated bricks.
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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      • #4
        Re: Is used firebrick okay?

        Ah, okay. Thanks. I posted in an adjacent thread about half-thick bricks, new and sharp. There are 496 available and I'm building a small oven, 36" give or take. I would greatly appreciate your input over there:

        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f2/h...icks-7725.html

        Website: http://keithwiley.com
        WFO Webpage: http://keithwiley.com/brickPizzaOven.shtml
        Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ttle-7878.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Is used firebrick okay?

          Thanks for the advice. We have a brick manufacturer in town where I can get them new @$0.75 a brick. I think this is a really good deal.

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          • #6
            Re: Is used firebrick okay?

            @$0.75 a brick. I think this is a really good deal.
            Ding! Ding! Ding! I think we have a winner in the new firebrick category. I paid a buck three years ago and thought I was getting a bargain.
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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            • #7
              Re: Is used firebrick okay?

              I wouldn't be opposed to recycling used firebrick for the dome if I was confident that they hadn't been exposed to heavy metals. On the cooking floor where most of the food contact is, I'd want to use new bricks. And perhaps out front, where sharp corners & edges have an aesthetic impact.

              .

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