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red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

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  • red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

    I am beginning a bread/cooking oven using a Scott/Rado barrel vault chamber with stepping arches to round off the back and taper the front to establish the flue vent and door.
    I have the fire bricks for the floor and would like to use plain red clay bricks for the dome. I see a lot of old ovens with red clay bricks. As long as they fit tightly together, is there a problem with the red clay bricks?

    I can buy all of the tapers and wedges I need in red clay for $0.70 a pop, as opposed to $2.00 each for firebrick.

    My Brick supplier pushed off Sairset on me, but now I have my doubts. I'm leaning toward an old fashioned lime mortar. Any opinions????

  • #2
    Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

    Sairset is fine for the oven lining unless for some reason you are planning on hosing it out or something. As for the "red brick", that is not enough of a description to determine suitability. Is it solid or cored? Extruded or pressed, new or old, sandy or hard fired.

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    • #3
      Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

      Is the oven going to be outside? Sairset I believe is an "Air-Set" mortar which will remain water soluble. Ok for indoor, but not supposed to be used outside.

      Scott says you can use red brick for the dome...are you going to be baking bread primarily (since you are not building a pompeii, I assume you are going to be a heavy bread baker). A little spalling might not be a big deal in bread baking that it would be if a bit fell into a pizza...

      Really consider your insulation depeding on your usage. If you are going to be baking 50 lbs of bread, then you can probably insulate under the hearth slab, but if you are going for smaller bakes, you will need insulation right under the hearth bricks or you will spend all your money/wood/time firing that thing...
      My Oven Thread:
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

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      • #4
        Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

        Sairset is actually a HEAT set. The inside of my oven will never even get damp since I keep the door on it.

        Red extruded, cored face brick will not work.

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        • #5
          Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

          I errantly built a firepit with Sairset and after the first rain it crumbled likedry oatmeal. Why not go with poor-man's mortar? It's cost-effective and lots of builders have used it with no problems to report.

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          • #6
            Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

            tapers and wedges I need in red clay for $0.70 a pop
            Now this is news. Shaped red brick? Tell us more.
            My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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            • #7
              Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

              A firepit is exposed to the rain, an oven is not (shouldn't be on the oven itself, anyway). Sairset type refractory cements are very sticky, cheap(er), have a fine aggregate (and thus can make very small joints), and you do not waste any since you do not have to mix a batch.

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              • #8
                Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

                T, I am sure you are right that sairset will work in an oven since it never really gets wet, but it is really not supposed to be used "exposed to the elements". And it is defined as an air-set mortar here and here. Usually the air-set mortars are easier to find as they can be used in all indoor fireplaces. The usual advice here is to use a traditional refractory or home brew mortar that you mix up, not an air-set product. Your mileage may vary...

                Drake
                My Oven Thread:
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...-oven-633.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

                  Yep, I normally recommend either home brew or heat stop, but the reality is that for an amateur, wet type refractory is often the best choice for an oven (not a firepit or outdoor fireplace).

                  It is an air SET, but it is a heat CURE. Home brew and Heat Stop are both hydraulic, that is, they will set and cure underwater and do not require exposure to air.

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                  • #10
                    Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

                    Oops... my bad! For the record I did not use Sairset (which appears to come in a bucket and is premixed). I think it was Sairbond and came in a 55lb bag.

                    Sorry for the erroneous report.

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                    • #11
                      Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

                      Technically you are correct, in that they do take a set at normal temps (allowing you to proceed with your build), but until you fire them, you can tear apart and clean the brick. Once they are fired it becomes very difficult to do without soaking them in water.

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                      • #12
                        Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

                        Originally posted by dmun View Post
                        Now this is news. Shaped red brick? Tell us more.
                        I have an acquaintance who is tearing down a kiln. He is willing to help me out.

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                        • #13
                          Re: red Vs. fire bricks for the dome

                          Originally posted by bickmeier View Post
                          I have an acquaintance who is tearing down a kiln. He is willing to help me out.
                          If the bricks are from a kiln, they may well be refractory bricks, despite being red in color. Good find.
                          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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