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Cutting refractory bricks - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Cutting refractory bricks

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  • Cutting refractory bricks

    This thing is growing into a financial monster! Have just had a quote to hire a bench brick cutter for the weekend for 50 plus 11.50 per mm on diamond saw. Advised to buy blade for 150 because I will be cutting so many bricks (120). Any advice out there as to cutting? What should I do? Abandon the project and have another glass of sauvignon or keep going and drink the whole bottle. That way I wont worry about the cost! Oh, the firebricks and vermiculite have just arrived.........

  • #2
    Re: Cutting refractory bricks

    I just finished cutting my fire bricks. I used a Dewalt 14" cut-off saw with a masonry blade. I think I paid $12 for it. I don't know if I made 120 cuts, but it's still in good shape, and made pretty nice cuts. Depending on the cut, I also used a masonry chisel and hammer, and the hammer alone.


    • #3
      Re: Cutting refractory bricks

      Forgive my ignorance but what is a cut off saw? Is it like a mitre saw? Is it designed for wood and you used it for brick? Ive got one of those and I assume you are saying that i could put a masonary blade in it .................its only a cheap one from B&Q (like your home depot) so I dont mind experimenting.
      Shepster in sunny UK


      • #4
        Re: Cutting refractory bricks

        The destination is the journey ...do it yourself. Use your mitre saw with a masonry blade. Wear your mask. you can keep a little water on the blade if your careful to keep it out of the motor ...best if done on a GFI

        Best case scenario: pride with Beer and Pizza
        Worst case scenario: you screw it up waist a few bricks then hire the mason drink beer and eat pizza


        • #5
          Re: Cutting refractory bricks

          Your diamond saw rental offer is a rip-off. The charge for blade wear is the key. Sintered diamonds have become so cheap, that the blades have become use-and-toss items.

          If you can't find an affordable wet saw, you can do a score and break number with a diamond saw on an angle grinder.

          Cheap Chinese ones are only a few bucks here, and the blades are similarly priced. Use a diamond blade, not those abrasive things that smell like something died when you use them. 4.5 inch is the size I bought.

          When cutting dry remember: Protect your lungs! Protect your eyes!
          My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


          • #6
            Re: Cutting refractory bricks

            Ah...good advice.... I've got one of those! Just off to get the blade......


            • #7
              Re: Cutting refractory bricks

              Originally posted by dmun View Post
              Protect your eyes!
              I'd like to second that. Eye protection is an absolute must. I wore protective eyewear, and still got a small piece of concrete in my eye when grinding away the edge of a concrete block. (Just needed aggressive flushing, I'm OK). I wouldn't skimp on investing in good eye wear and a mask.
              Mike - Saginaw, MI

              Picasa Web Album
              My oven build thread


              • #8
                Re: Cutting refractory bricks

                Shepster, I hired a monster (electric) angle grinder from Jewsons for a very reasonable rate, and had to buy the sintered disc for 18 ($36US). The disc is still in excellent condition.

                The cutter was a Bosch - a larger version of the tiddler it sounds like you have.


                • #9
                  Re: Cutting refractory bricks

                  The 'cutoff' saw I used is for cutting metal, lintels, rebar, & such. It has a 14" blade, and I got a masonry blade for it. Similar to this

                  FREE SHIPPING — DEWALT Chop Saw with Keyless Blade Change System — 14in., Model&#35; D28715 | Chop Saws | Northern Tool + Equipment

                  I also used a 4 1/2" grinder with a diamond blade for tough cuts.


                  • #10
                    Re: Cutting refractory bricks

                    Hi All,
                    I'm not sure if anyone has the answer to my question but how long does it take (on average) to cut through a standrd sized firebrick using a brick saw? I'm trying to work out if I need to hire a saw for more than a day or not! I'm building a slightly smaller Pompeii oven than in the plans.
                    Mark CH


                    • #11
                      Re: Cutting refractory bricks

                      If you are just cutting the brick in half, and they are stacked close to the saw - less than 10 seconds. This includes picking them up, cutting them, and setting them back down. Firebrick is the quickest product I have had to cut.

                      Check out my pictures here:

                      If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.


                      • #12
                        Re: Cutting refractory bricks

                        A ten inch wet saw with a smooth tile cutting diamond blade will cut through a brick in less than a minute. The problem is with all the special cuts you may want for your entry transition, door arch, etc. The more advance planning you do, the more likely you will be to get the job done in a short time frame.

                        Beware of rental places that hit you with a wear charge for diamond blades: it's a scam. Buy your own diamond blade and demand they take theirs off before you take delivery. An import diamond blade is almost always less then their minimum charge for blade wear.
                        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


                        • #13
                          Re: Cutting refractory bricks

                          soaking the bricks in h2o prior to cutting reduces heat, conserves the blade and makes the job a helluva lot easier. I use my old makita mitre saw for steel and brick since I bought a new compound mitre saw.


                          • #14
                            Re: Cutting refractory bricks-45 degree cut one pass

                            Can you make a 45 degree cut on the 9" demision of a fire brick in one pass
                            with the Chicago 10" brick/tile saw. The fire bricks are 2-3/8" high, yet I run into the lock knob on the blade guard. If the brick is reversed, I still don't make a complete cut and have to knock it off with a chisel. I've raised the blade guard, but that doesn't seem to help.


                            • #15
                              Re: Cutting refractory bricks

                              Here is what it looks like...

                              QUICKTIME MOVIE:http://hypertec.com/CIMG1790.MOV

                              MPEG MOVIE:http://hypertec.com/CIMG1790.MP4
                              Last edited by toddj; 08-17-2008, 09:05 AM.