Bricks or not?
Can anyone advise?
I am about to start construction on the base and have a clear idea on the finished look - photos will follow as the project progresses.
I am however still at a loss as to the dome material. In the uk fire bricks are $4 a pop thus the cost will be nearly $1200. Clay bricks are $1. Is the extra heat up time with these bricks that much of a problem? The deal breaker would be if the heat splintering of these bricks causes chips of brick in the pizza - I cannot afford the dental bills! Another option may be to mould the dome out of clay - does anyone have any experience of this?
The UK has a huge market in used mason materials, which doesn't exist here in the states. eBay.co.uk alone has dozens of used brick offerings at any given time. I can't imagine that if you inquire of any of the used brick dealers on eBay thay you wouldn't be able to get a lead on affordable firebricks.
And yes, spalting (chipping) is a problem, as well as cracking, with common brick in kiln use. It may be less with the type of high fired brick you call engineering brick, but maybe not. There is really no substitute for firebrick which uses a by-product of aluminum manufacturing mixed with the clay before firing.
Those costs seem too steep. Worse than pounds to dollars. Can you shop a little harder and see if there are other sources? We have a number of English builders - not to mention Alf, who builds commercial brick bread ovens, as well as Forno Bravo pizza ovens, in the UK, who might be able to help.
I would percevere and see if you can find a good source -- either used or new, for bricks.
There are alternatives using either clay, mud, or concrete, but that would be a serious step down -- something you would want to avoid if you could. My thinking is that you would be better off with a red clay brick oven, as opposed to a concrete oven. The bricks are fired, and will cook and last better than an air dried, or internally fired, clay oven.
Let us know how it goes.
Down Under costings
I think it's good advice to check for seconds - didn't think of this myself but posted a bank cheque for more than $A 1600 today to a maker of refractory bricks some 2500 km from where I am...
The special tapered bricks (two different tapers) cost $A 3.85 each including tax, new. One could opt for 'second grade' at $2.40 each.
Transport by rail is $A 365 to my nearest rail head, 60 km away.
Many thanks guys.
I will try second hand for the dome and new for the
Guess it could be worse and living in Oz!
(good luck for the Ashes)
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