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Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

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  • Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

    I picked up 130 firebrick this week and stacked them near my build.....then the rain came. They had been in an old building supply warehouse and were dry....I don't know how much water they absorbed but I imagine it was a fare amount. I am going to cover them before I leave this morning. IS this likely to cause a problem with the build, or will the moisture just bake out of them eventually? I see people talking about the oven getting wet after they build it but I havn't even started yet.

    My slow journey to pizza.

  • #2
    Re: Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

    Don't worry at this point about wet bricks. After you get your oven built, you'll want to make sure that you can keep the oven dry.

    One note, when you mortar you won't want to use overly wet bricks, this wetness won't allow the best mortar bond, but you won't want to use dry bricks either. Dry bricks will set very quick and make placement tricky. Dmun is a great technical source for this.

    Last edited by SCChris; 05-14-2010, 05:08 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

      On the other hand, if you are going to dry cut the bricks you'd want to soak them in water prior to cutting them.

      My 34" WFO build

      Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO


      • #4
        Re: Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

        Most brickyards store their firebricks outside. What happened to your bricks is just what happened to everyone's bricks. They are fine to use unless they are sopping wet.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


        • #5
          Re: Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

          Its a good idea to 'boil' your bricks before working for them.
          I would submerge them into a bucket of water overnight.Don't worry about wet bricks, you should be dunking them in water anyway.


          • #6
            Re: Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

            The brick should be, at most surface-saturated dry. You do not need to wet them, and should do so only under extreme conditions (+100 degrees with a strong wind), and you can simply hose the pile down before you begin laying.

            If you are having a problem with the brick sucking moisture out of your mud too quickly, loosen up the mortar by adding water. Mortar requires that the brick suck moisture from mud, and if the brick is soaked it can not do so and you will have little to no bond strength.


            • #7
              Re: Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

              What i have found is that when you set a Dry firebrick in a bucket of water, the water start bubbling and when the water stops the brick is can take any more water or wet.

              But when I use this brick with mortar on it is slides or doesnt stick as well as a brick that has been in the water for about 20 seconds. For some reason the brick soaked for 20 second, give or take a few seconds etc,,,,,it is not rocket science.... this brick will stay in place and does not slide....I think it has to do with the pours of the brick...I think they are not filled with water completely and the mortar can get in to them and this will help as holding power when placing the next brick in place


              • #8
                Re: Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

                This is a direct quote for the forno bravo oven building instructions:

                "Before you mortar the bricks in place soak them in a bucket
                of water. Firebricks are more porous than clay and will dry
                out the applied mortar quickly if they are not moist. Cement
                cures through a chemical process that creates heat. If the
                surrounding moisture content is too low the mortar will cure
                too quickly and will not have the proper mechanical
                properties such as strength. Remember, you want cement
                to cure, not dry out, so starting with wet bricks and keeping
                completed masonry damp is a good thing."


                • #9
                  Re: Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

                  After I get the bricks cut, I think I will cover them. right now, I have the tarp over the vermicrete hearth pour. I figured that since it is hardening up nicely I need some of that moisture to start working it's way out. If I can find fireclay and some decent refractory mortar around here, I will be able to start laying my floor THIS WEEK !!! BAM! that would be awesome. I can't wait to get this thing crankin'.

                  My slow journey to pizza.


                  • #10
                    Re: Wet bricks.....is that a plus or a problem?

                    I liked the Heatstop 50. I can tell you where to buy it near D.C. but you probably don't want to drive 4 hours to get it. Sourcing supplies is half the battle.
                    Album: http://picasaweb.google.com/fornososo/Pizza#