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Dino69 02-06-2012 10:49 AM

Fire Brick Storage
 
I am getting ready to begin my build in a month or two. I have a few sources for fire brick near me that have pretty good prices. Superior Clay $1.27 including tax and two Whitacre Greer, one for $1.40 and the other for $0.83. I like the $0.83 one :D

I know it sounds like a no brainer as to which one to buy. My question is, some of the dealers, not all, store the bricks outside exposed to the weather. I was under the impression this was not a good way to store fire brick. With the porosity and the whole freeze/thaw cycle thing weakening the brick itself. Am I thinking correctly? The last thing I want is to build my oven and have it start spalling and crumbling apart after I use it for a while.

Cooking and baking in my dome when it is finished sounds like a great time...trying to replace crumbling bricks in the dome does not :rolleyes:

Thanks to everyone on this site. I am learning so much from you guys.

David

dmun 02-06-2012 12:31 PM

Re: Fire Brick Storage
 
I think bricks of all sorts, including firebrick, are always stored outside. They are called brickyards for a reason. You need to get them damp before using them, after all. As for freeze cracking, I think any cracking from repeated freeze cycles will be visible to the eye, as in broken. I wouldn't worry about it. Builders use reclaimed bricks which have been outside for decades.

Pdiff 02-06-2012 01:06 PM

Re: Fire Brick Storage
 
I had the same concern and carefully covered my brick pile before and during building, but now I have had some extras sitting out in a small stack in the yard through several freeze thaw, hot sun, rain, etc, cycles and you would never know the difference. They seem unaffected.

Gulf 02-06-2012 05:16 PM

Re: Fire Brick Storage
 
We used to set old brick out in the weather for a couple of seasons if possible just for freeze/thaw before cleaning. I have seen a few old common brick that spalled due to freeze/thaw. The vast majority of them were fine though. The only thing that turned loose a little easier was the mortor.
I can't add much about firebrick other than we reused many of them in BBQ pits. Not in domes but they seemed to hold up just fine in that case.

mrchipster 02-06-2012 05:41 PM

Re: Fire Brick Storage
 
3 Attachment(s)
I would like to recommend strongly against using brick that had gone through freeze thaw cycles. I know Minnesota winters are much more severe than other parts of the country/world.

But here is my experience, I was able to acquire 700 free fire bricks that had been used in a fireplace and had been piled in a backyard for several years going through a number of harsh winters.

The bricks were left uncovered and when I acquired them I moved them to my backyard and also left them out in the weather. When I finally decided to build the oven I built it out of these bricks that had gone through the freeze thaw cycles.

As you can see from the photos results were quite drastic. My mortar joints remained solid, but the bricks cracked through and caused enough structural issues to the dome that I decided to tear down and start over again.

I would highly recommend you not use bricks that have been through a freeze thaw cycle or at least as many as my bricks had experienced.

Chip

Tscarborough 02-06-2012 05:50 PM

Re: Fire Brick Storage
 
I do not see any damage on those bricks indicative of freeze-thaw. Freeze-thaw damage will be spalling or even entire faces popping off, not cracking.

As a rule, brick stored outside in any weather will not suffer from the effects of freeze-thaw, even though they may be damaged by the same conditions once laid.

Gulf 02-06-2012 06:02 PM

Re: Fire Brick Storage
 
Those brick look like a brick that I have seen used down hear as a backer brick in fire places. I have a couple hundred used ones stacked under the hill right now. The ones that I have weigh just a little more than an insulated brick but not near as much as a fire brick. The only reason that I have them is that they were just a little more stronger than the 50-75 year old lime mortar in which they were originally laid.
If so, all some one would have to do is buy one firebrick that they trusted. Set them side buy side with the used brick. A couple of strikes with a trial should tell the tale.

mrchipster 02-06-2012 06:40 PM

Re: Fire Brick Storage
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tscarborough (Post 127114)
I do not see any damage on those bricks indicative of freeze-thaw. Freeze-thaw damage will be spalling or even entire faces popping off, not cracking.

As a rule, brick stored outside in any weather will not suffer from the effects of freeze-thaw, even though they may be damaged by the same conditions once laid.

The reason you do not see any spalling or faces popped off is because these bricks were cut down to only use what appeared to be the good parts. I have no other explanation other than freeze thaw to explain what happened to them.

I started with 700+ bricks, I only had 150 left at the end of the dome and many times only got one usable piece out of a brick due to surface imperfections (I guess you could call it spalling) or chips.

Your mileage may vary... I am just saying I would not use firebrick stored outside on another oven. It was hard enough building it the first time. but I did get better at cutting and laying the bricks for the second version.

And my oven performs very well today so I am still happy.

Chip

mrchipster 02-06-2012 06:45 PM

Re: Fire Brick Storage
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gulf (Post 127116)
The ones that I have weigh just a little more than an insulated brick but not near as much as a fire brick.

They do have about 3/4's the density (weight) of the bricks I purchased and are significantly softer than the ones I have in the oven now. They are not nearly as light as insulated fire bricks though.

Chip

Gulf 02-06-2012 06:57 PM

Re: Fire Brick Storage
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mrchipster (Post 127119)
They do have about 3/4's the density (weight) of the bricks I purchased and are significantly softer than the ones I have in the oven now. They are not nearly as light as insulated fire bricks though.

Chip

I'm sorry about the comparison in weight to modern day insulated brick. The brick that I have and what I think you originally used were the insulated brick of their day.

Edit: I think that I can locate a brick or two under the hill which show ample signs of spalding due to freeze/thaw as Tscarborough is referring to. I'll try and get a pic after work tomorrow for future reference.


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