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KINGRIUS 09-13-2009 03:50 PM

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?

Lars 09-13-2009 06:45 PM

Re: Is Play sand Kosher?
Not fine enough for the firebricks.


KINGRIUS 09-13-2009 07:10 PM

Re: Is Play sand Kosher?
Oy vey! I'll check with my local brick maker and see if they have brick sand.
Thanks Lars

KINGRIUS 09-17-2009 09:12 AM

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"...)

kebwi 09-17-2009 10:10 AM

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.

vintagemx0 09-17-2009 06:04 PM

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.


KINGRIUS 09-17-2009 06:05 PM

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.


DimTex 09-18-2009 06:35 AM

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.

kebwi 09-18-2009 07:37 AM

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.

KINGRIUS 09-18-2009 08:59 AM

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!


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