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DIY fireproof mortar question - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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DIY fireproof mortar question

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  • DIY fireproof mortar question

    I have a (i think) unique situation. I live in the Philippines in a somewhat remote spot and i am hoping to build an oven as this is the only chance i have of ever eating decent pizza where i live ;-)

    The trouble i am running into is getting hold of the materials. I think (i stress think) i can get fire bricks but getting hold of refractory mortar or any kind of cement that is fireproof to build the oven is a problem.

    The question i have is:

    1. Does anyone have a recipe for a mortar made up from portland cement and then other ingredients that will hold together the fire bricks.

    2. If the source for these fire bricks turns out to be bogus, what other simple and third world available material can i use to build the oven?

    Thanks in advance for the help...

    Bill

  • #2
    Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

    There is a way to make a refactory mix using portland, fireclay, sand and lime but i have no idea of the quantities but i am sure if you search the site something will turn up.

    If you can't get fire bricks you can also use solid red clay bricks - not sure what are usually called but in oz they are generally refered to as aussie reds.
    Real men cook with fire
    My Oven and Fireplace Build

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

      The mix is one part fireclay, one part portland cement, one part lime and three parts sand. I used it today for the first time and it worked well.

      Mark

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

        Originally posted by billten View Post

        1. Does anyone have a recipe for a mortar made up from portland cement and then other ingredients that will hold together the fire bricks.

        2. If the source for these fire bricks turns out to be bogus, what other simple and third world available material can i use to build the oven?

        Bill
        Hi Bill,

        Welcome to the forum..

        Forno Bravo has a plan set that provides detail on constructing an oven, and discusses optional ways to 'get the job done'. 'Home brew' high heat mortar is one of the options detailed.. On page 67 of the plans book - available at this address - eBooks & CD ROMs :: Forno Bravo Store - they detail the home brew mortar that exceloven has mentioned. I used the same mortar mix on my oven and have been satisfied with the results. It works fine.

        And if you can't find fire brick, I have seen pictures of ovens built with standard 'clay fired' brick that work fine. The standard clay brick will not tolerate the heat as well as a fire brick so it will 'spall' and deteriorate faster than a fire brick. Fire brick is the best choice of material, but other materials can be used with various degree's of success.

        Good luck with your build. We have the good fortune of hearing from people from all over the world who have successfully met the demands of building fine ovens in area's that do not have the same materials available as we see in the States. It can be done!

        Keep us posted with pictures!

        JED

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

          Originally posted by billten View Post
          ...
          2. If the source for these fire bricks turns out to be bogus, what other simple and third world available material can i use to build the oven?

          Thanks in advance for the help...

          Bill
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f30/...edux-2885.html


          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f2/muds-ovens-4042.html

          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f3/h...exas-3397.html



          Hi,

          If brick doesn't work out there is a readily available Third World alternative, mud. The thread linked above all deal with clay/mud/cob ovens. They're all the same it's just different names for them. As soon as I have a place of my own I'm planning on building a cob oven.

          From what I've read, and what other people have said, spalling seems to be more related to regular brick than it is to cob. That makes sense - you're essentially re-firing the brick when you're using already fired brick. Any moisture still in the brick is going to push against the crust when it becomes steam. Cob, on the other hand is essentially fired in place.

          Anyway, hope everything works out for you.
          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

          "Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
          [/CENTER]

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

            If you can chase up the bricks, this thread on an alternate kind of mortar might be of some use to you... it certainly seems to be working out very well so far. dvonk built his oven with the same stuff.

            If not, then I also think a mud oven could be a good idea. I think they're pretty cool.
            "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

              Wow! Thanks for all the replies. You guys are a font of information.

              I will definitely give the mortar a try, it looks good if i can get hold of the bricks.

              Is there anything commonly available to use instead of perlite or vermiculite?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

                Perlite or vermiculite alternatives - depends on where you want to use them....

                for the Floor - there are Ceramic insulating boards - for the dome there are ceramic insulating blankets - examples of both are sold in the Forno Bravo store.

                As far as sourcing in Toronto area - Green house supply houses should be able to supply you with vermiculite or perlite if you are having trouble finding it. - I was a greenhouse worker in a previous life in Michigan...

                There has been talk about using pumice but I don't think we have any first hand reports on success in sourcing or using.

                Good luck and take time to enjoy the journey!

                Christo
                My oven progress -
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

                  I've also heard that sand does a decent insulation job. the mortar mix works great.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

                    not sure how sand would go as an insulator but it would be a pain if you had a crack in your oven somewhere cause it would slowly leak out
                    Real men cook with fire
                    My Oven and Fireplace Build

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

                      You'd have to look into the specifics, but it's a very traditional technique, so I know there's a way it works. I, however, went with the blanket, so I'm not sure.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DIY fireproof mortar question

                        My first oven was insulated with sand. just typical play sand or the kind you find on the beach. I did put a sheet of aluminum foil over the parged bricks followed by a 2-3" concrete cladding. I then built the walls around the dome and poured sand in. Finally covered the whole thing with another layer of concrete to enclose the sand. Probably a good idea to fire the overn before closing it up to give any humidity in the sand a chance to evaporate.

                        Worked well for me.

                        Regards, Tony.
                        Check out my build at:
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/t...uild-4678.html

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