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Is Play sand Kosher? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Is Play sand Kosher?

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  • Is Play sand Kosher?

    No, I'm not asking if it's been blessed by a rabbi, I am wondering if it is safe to use in my high heat mortar mix. I have been using it in my exterior brick work and it makes a very workable yet strong setting mixture. But is it okay for high-heat application?
    Last edited by KINGRIUS; 09-13-2009, 03:51 PM. Reason: oops

  • #2
    Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

    Not fine enough for the firebricks.

    This may not be my last wood oven...


    • #3
      Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

      Oy vey! I'll check with my local brick maker and see if they have brick sand.
      Thanks Lars


      • #4
        Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

        I just picked up a 1/2 ton of "mason's sand" from my local brick/block maker. I asked about brick sand and he never heard of it. He says the mason's sand grain is slightly bigger than the play sand grain.
        Can I use the mason's sand in my dome? (fingers crossed for "yes"...)


        • #5
          Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

          I have noticed that Home Depot sells a rather fine #30 silica sand. When I looked at it closely, it was very white and appeared to be slightly larger than salt, but I would say smaller than the playbox sand (and certainly more consistent, a very small range of grain size). Here's the webpage:

          100 Lb. #30 Silica Sand - 362201999 at The Home Depot

          On the phone, the guy told me it was intended for grouting and I suggested mortar and he figured, yeah, sure. But refractory mortar has much higher performance demands. I would be curious to know if people here think this is good sand for the homebrew refractory mortar.

          Website: http://keithwiley.com
          WFO Webpage: http://keithwiley.com/brickPizzaOven.shtml
          Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ttle-7878.html


          • #6
            Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

            I bought play sand at HD this spring for our grandaughter's play area. I asked the guy in the area what was different about play sand (why was it more expensive) ? He said that it is simply just sifted more thoroughly of foreign debris and sanitized to be sure there are no bio-contaminants. Made sense to me.



            • #7
              Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

              Is silica sand the stuff they use in cigarette disposals? I guess there aren't very many who have had experience with it.
              I'm going to go with no news is good news and proceed with the dome using the masonary sand I obtained. Thanks for your input kebwi!

              Hey Ken! Looks like you got your reply posted before I did. It turns out I still had some masonary sand left in my driveway I could have used. I picked it up a few weeks ago thinking it was "play sand". Upon comparison with the mason's sand I got today, they're exactly the same. I just got them from different places. I'll still need plenty of sand before my project i over so I'm not sweating it.

              Last edited by KINGRIUS; 09-17-2009, 06:11 PM.


              • #8
                Re: Is Play sand Kosher?


                I used sandblasting sand for my homebrew. I tried the bagged sand from HD but ended up sifting it to get the bigger sand grains out. From my experience the finer the sand the better the mortar. I found fine grained sand made a mortar that was easier to work with (stickier, more working time) and of course it made my joints tighter.


                • #9
                  Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

                  My understanding -- and I know next to nothing about cement, mortar, concrete, etc. -- is that larger grains help when you are filling large voids, and smaller grains are otherwise better for small voids. Assuming that is true (??!!) it begs the followup questions: what is large and small in terms of grain size and gap width? Obviously, without those numbers, this knowledge is virtually inapplicable.

                  ...and I might be wrong anyway.

                  Website: http://keithwiley.com
                  WFO Webpage: http://keithwiley.com/brickPizzaOven.shtml
                  Thread: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...ttle-7878.html


                  • #10
                    Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

                    When I first started my exterior brick laying I was using aggregate sand, wich is the grey stuff. It proved to be difficult to work with because of all the small stones in it. I ended up sifting that to make a finer sand but that was time wasting and back breaking (these days every task seems to be aching my back) so I got the masonary sand, wich is about the same color as the bagged play sand you get @HD or Lowes, and that is fine enough to make a nice sticky, pasty mortar.

                    As far as what makes concrete stronger, it would be the larger aggregate(3/4" stones), combined with the grey aggregate sand, and portland cement. This would be used in the foundation footer of the oven. The smaller aggregate (3/8" stones) would be better for a smoother finish, like the hearth slab. From what I understand, the larger the aggregate the stronger the concrete. Of course stones have no business being in mortar. My question was just to make sure there wasn't a special high-heat sand I was supposed to use for my home brew mortar.
                    Thanks for your input and tips! I'm going to go the oven photos section and get my oven building thread going!



                    • #11
                      Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

                      All sand is high heat. The melting point is in excess of 1700 C. In glass making they add soda ash or pot ash to brink the melting point down to 1500-1800 F (probably vaious other things too, depending on the glass type being made).

                      For mortar, just use the finest sand you can find, unless you plan on extra wide joints. I don't think there is a true specification for each type (at least no one around me knows of it). I've seen play sand, brick sand, mason's sand, white pool sand, white stucco sand, brown stucco sand, and just plain sand.....they all seem a bit different, or not. Each supplier only seems to carry 1 or 2 types and the next guy may have the same stuff but calls it something different depending on what his target demographic is. Unless you know a mason and go to his supplier and use the same terminology, it is a confusing mess.



                      • #12
                        Re: Is Play sand Kosher?

                        Originally posted by RTflorida View Post
                        ... it is a confusing mess.
                        <- Yeah, that!

                        Remember not to use your cement mixer for both milk and meat....

                        (Come on, someone had to do it! )
                        "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