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Ed_ 07-26-2008 05:07 PM

Free bricks
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Hi all,

You could be forgiven if you thought I'd just troll this forum forever without actually building anything. But now I have free bricks, so I have to! It's actually only about 200 bricks, so not enough for the whole thing. We're debating how best to use them, as they're about 100 years old and slightly larger than today's modular brick.

Has anybody tried mixing different sized bricks? The first thing that comes to mind is to use them for things like arches where they don't have to match a bond, but I'd love to hear any other suggestions.

As you can see, they need some clean-up, but they'll be a very dark reddish brown. We'll probably choose the remainder of the brick to complement this color rather than try (and fail) to match it.


brokencookie 07-27-2008 07:20 AM

Re: Free bricks
Hi Ed
Are you trying to steal my prize ? ( all posts and no action :p ). I am going to have the same problem as you. I have about 400 old bricks from different sources. The colors range from light orange to burnt sienna. I'm not sure is burnt sienna is actually a color but I am not stupid enough to disagree with my wife.:D
I have decided to use these bricks for the decorative bits of the build. My plan is the use two different colors for the exposed arches. The enclosure will be metal, cement board and stucco. I will then use the "character" bricks on the corners in a corbeled pattern. I will probably have to do a bit of cutting to make it all work.
I have stumbled across a source of granite countertop pieces ( about 15 inches by 40 inches ) in varied colors. I will be using these in a random pattern for the countertops. My wife likes mosiacs and lots of color, so it works out pretty well. I am partially color-blind so she gets to do all the layout and stone selection. I just get to make it all fit :p

I see a lot of custom cutting in my future.


egalecki 07-27-2008 08:55 AM

Re: Free bricks
Really, burnt sienna IS a color. Didn't you read your crayolas when you were little? :)

dmun 07-27-2008 09:49 AM

Re: Free bricks
Burnt sienna is a heat treated clay from the region around Sienna, Italy (much as burnt umber comes from Umbria clays. (yes, and Paris is built on gypsum, hence plaster of Paris)


In order to get burnt sienna, you must first heat raw sienna in a process called calcination which removes the water from the clay and turns it from a yellowish to a red color.

One of the earliest known pigments, it has excellent drying and glazing qualities.

As always, with colors, your monitor may vary (widely)

christo 07-27-2008 12:00 PM

Re: Free bricks
Ed, Those are cool bricks and by the look of them, most of them look like clinkers. If they are truely dark and make a sharp sound when you clink them together, they should hold up well outdoors.

Depending on how you like their look - they could be used as trim pieces for your oven. I think using them to build a table base could be fun, too.

I've had generally good results when removing old mortar from bricks. Be careful as mortar will fly and the clinkers seem to be more prone to small sharp fragments. My dad had me doing it with a hammer and chisel at a very young age (I'm so old, we did not have safety glasses and a black eye was rewarded by a quarter from grandpa). We used our bricks for edging and other landscaping work - non masonry.

berryst 07-27-2008 07:26 PM

Re: Free bricks
I have a 2 foot piece of chimney flue 8" ceramic if any body wants please take it

Ed_ 07-28-2008 05:08 AM

Re: Free bricks

Originally Posted by christo (Post 37957)
Ed, Those are cool bricks and by the look of them, most of them look like clinkers. If they are truely dark and make a sharp sound when you clink them together, they should hold up well outdoors.

Until a couple of weeks ago, they were holding up the front steps of a nearby house, so I think they will be durable. The mortar, however, was practically powder. :)

Burnt sienna is actually a pretty good description of the color. There are a few lighter red bricks on top of the pile, but most of them are the darker color.

Another idea that occurred to me was to use these bricks in a soldier course along the bottom of the base. I doubt there are enough to do that in addition to arches, though.

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