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Making your own Fire Bricks - 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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Making your own Fire Bricks

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  • Making your own Fire Bricks

    Does anyone know how to make firebricks? I have a ceramic kiln was given to me on a trade vs labor (I install ceramic tile), I am planning a 36" oven build and want to make as much of my oven and parts by myself as possible . I think it would be cool to create it all from scratch

  • #2
    Re: Making your own Fire Bricks

    A firebrick will run a buck or 2. Making your own will cost you better than 10 bucks a pop, plus time, lots of it, but if it is worth it to you, sure I can tell you how.

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    • #3
      Re: Making your own Fire Bricks

      Wow 10 bucks each is steep , but knowledge is priceless. I also make concrete countertops so am allways looking for ways to improve my skills , was thinking of making my floor bricks, as locally all they have are the standard brick size fire bricks , but after reading the troubles one guy was having with replacing his 18 inch fire brick that was broken , i may just stick to the ones i can buy cheaply ,(and replace easily )

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      • #4
        Re: Making your own Fire Bricks

        Think of it like this: With bricks, all the cracks are "pre-engineered" in. With tiles, they are not. To make a decent firebrick you will have to dry press them, which means building a mold box that can take a lot of pressure, but the big expense will be the cost of firing them since you can't get many into a pottery kiln.

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        • #5
          Re: Making your own Fire Bricks

          yes i can see were the cost of firing will be too expensive , after some studying on the subject they would need to be fired several times and that in itself makes it cost prohibitive . Thank you for pointing that out . City planner is on his way over today to discuss the plans of my build . I think he is as excited about my project as much as i am

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          • #6
            Re: Making your own Fire Bricks

            how much does it cost to fire up a kiln?

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            • #7
              Re: Making your own Fire Bricks

              Originally posted by dragonsoup View Post
              how much does it cost to fire up a kiln?
              Depends on how many BTU the kiln burner puts out, kiln volume, and what your fuel is. Propane, for example, puts out about 90,000 BTU per gallon and costs about $3 per gallon. If your kiln has a 30,000 BTU burner and it takes 3 hours to fire the object, it costs you $3.00. If you can only fit 10 bricks at a time into the kiln, you have to fire it 25 or so times, so assuming the numbers in my example were "real," just the fuel would cost $75.00.

              But considering that the drying oven alone bakes the bricks for 24 to 48 hours before high temperature firing, those numbers are obviously low.

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              • #8
                Re: Making your own Fire Bricks

                Originally posted by azatty View Post
                Depends on how many BTU the kiln burner puts out, kiln volume, and what your fuel is. Propane, for example, puts out about 90,000 BTU per gallon and costs about $3 per gallon. If your kiln has a 30,000 BTU burner and it takes 3 hours to fire the object, it costs you $3.00. If you can only fit 10 bricks at a time into the kiln, you have to fire it 25 or so times, so assuming the numbers in my example were "real," just the fuel would cost $75.00.

                But considering that the drying oven alone bakes the bricks for 24 to 48 hours before high temperature firing, those numbers are obviously low.
                Making your own bricks is not worth the effort or expense.

                1. A 3 hour firing to the required temp will result in disaster. Should be more, like 12 hrs, maybe more for such thick clay and to reach the required temp.
                2. firing to stoneware temps takes approx. double the energy to that of earthenware. Fire bricks are usually fired to high stoneware temps. i.e. over 1280 C
                3. You have to make sure that the clay body make up is suitable. eg. alumina/silica ratio, levels of fluxes and oxides present. That is not easy.
                Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                • #9
                  Re: Making your own Fire Bricks

                  Most certainly. I was just giving an example of how much a kiln costs to run for a very short time.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Making your own Fire Bricks

                    Our local potters assoc. charge $1.50 per kg for a bisque, so you could expect more than double that for a stoneware firing. What's the total weight of bricks for your oven?
                    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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