hi - has anyone used a bench-mounted electric mitre saw with a masonry blade to cut their bricks? Do you think this is feasible? I'm not sure whether I will be able to find a suitable blade to fit the saw, but if so it may make the cutting easier .... perhaps??
Wear a mask
I've seen folks cut bricks with a table saw, so the blades must exist. Also, yellow firebfick are rather soft and can be cut with a hack saw (blades don't last long though) or shaped with a course file or rasp (they seem to last much longer). Please wear a mask with a good filter on it if yo use the miter saw or find a way to spray water on the blade while you are sawing. Breathing a steady stream of firebrick dust can't be good for your health.
Brick cutting saws have extra dust protection
(M) It might work but it may also be very hard on the saw's bearings. I believe brick cutting saws have special bearing seals but I may be wrong. Let's see what others volunteer.
In the course of this project i've cut some brick and stone with a dry-cut diamond blade in my 4 1/2 inch cheapo angle grinder, gosh what a mess, dust everywhere. This may not be something you want to do in the basement in the cold weather. You can get a cheap plastic tile cutter that takes a 7" wet cut blade:
Shop around, I got mine from MSCdirect for half what they're selling it for. The problem with the table saw style tile cutters is that it throws a stream of mud right up into your face, and that's why I sprung for the 10" brick saw when I started this project.
As far as a woodworking bevel saw, I think they have way too much speed for masonry cutting, but maybe someone will have some direct experience. It would seem to me that the dust would muck up the rotataing bevel guide and the retracting blade guard in short order, regardless of the spindle bearings.
If you don't use a wet saw, soak the bricks for about 3-5 minutes before you cut them (they'll stop bubbling when they are ready). I used a cheap child's wading pool. Instead of aerosolized toxic dust you will have wet sand kicking out of the saw blade. I used a hand held circular saw for this project and it worked well with a $15 masonry blade - although I certainly could not reach the precision that DMUM achieved;)
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