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Cleaning Used Firebrick - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

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:
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Cleaning Used Firebrick

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  • Cleaning Used Firebrick

    I now have a good supply of used firebrick (medium duty) that are in reasonable shape, however, as you may imagine, they come with a nice supplement of old mortar too. What is a good method of cleaning these (at least enough of them for the hearth floor)? Chiseling is slow and damages the bricks. I can run the edges through the wet saw, but I can't do the broad brick faces this way as the saw is not deep enough. Is there a sanding option?

    Thanks for any advice,


  • #2
    Re: Cleaning Used Firebrick

    Use a 5 inch angle grinder with a diamond cup cutter. (Not a 4 inch grinder).

    Lay your hearth stones as level as possible, wait a bit for the mortar to cure and then grid it even. Use a big circular motion. If you keep the surface damp, it will minimize the dust (and wear on the diamond cup grinder). You should be able to get it smooth enough. If you want a better surface or finish you may need a set of diamond polishing pads (expensive $80). The four inch pads are half the price and will work on the 5 inch grinder. Again, run them on a wet surface.

    If you have these tools this may be the way to go. If you have to buy or rent, it may be cheaper to buy new bricks for the hearth floor.
    Last edited by Neil2; 04-30-2009, 05:33 PM.


    • #3
      Re: Cleaning Used Firebrick

      Thanks for the reply. Not really what I want to hear, though :-) Will go there if need be, however. New bricks have been hard to come by here.



      • #4
        Re: Cleaning Used Firebrick

        Do you have enough bricks? I used new bricks for the hearth and used bricks for the dome.

        I believe others have used a belt sander for their hearth as an alternative to the grinder.

        The grinder will also take care of offending mortar but these don't get in the way too much on the cut dome bricks...depends how much mortar I guess....
        Sharing life's positives and loving the slow food lane


        • #5
          Re: Cleaning Used Firebrick

          Depending on what your bricks were used for, you might not want to breathe that dust. I'd say spring for fresh bricks on the floor, and just clean up the visible end of the used ones. When you cut them in half you'll have two clean faces to start with.
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2