#11  
Old 11-20-2008, 11:46 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 26
Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

I have completed my dome but still need to add some mortar into the gaps of the back of the bricks. I have been using a refractory mortar to mortar the dome brick. The refractory mortar cures differently than regular mortar. It drys from the outside - in. You are actually only supposed to use a very thin layer to mortar bricks. It is not meant to be used to fill gaps. But when it fully drys it is very hard. My problem here is now that it is cool outside the refractory mortar won't dry. It will get crusty on the outside but you can stick a screwdriver right thru it. Has anyone else experienced this with the mortar they are using? Is there a brand or type of mortar that I can use to fill the gaps of the bricks towards the outside of the dome that will dry in a resonable amount of time?
Thanks
Tom
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2008, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

Tom - I highly recommend buying the Ref mix from FB. The stuff will dry and it is hard as steel.

Les...
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2008, 06:02 PM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 26
Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

Thanks Les, Appreciate the advice. I called the manufacturer and they have another product that is specific for filling voids like the ones I have. They are 1/2 hour from where I live so it was convienent.
Tom
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  #14  
Old 03-30-2009, 12:13 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chula Vista, CA
Posts: 216
Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

Reviving an old thread.
I was trying to find a local San Diego source for refractory Mortar, blanket and Insullation Boards. Found a local distributor (squiresbelt.com‎) for equivalents to all three, though only the mortar is going to save me any money.

Sent the FB spec sheets to HW and got the following response (my price comparison in parens):

"The Harbison-Walker Refractory equivalent to the RefMix mortar is MORTAR MIX 413 (50lbs = $35; vs. FB 22lbs = $35). As you continue to search for alternate refractory sources for this material, keep in mind that it is important that a high temperature mortar used for outdoor ovens exposed to weather must be hydraulically bonded. MORTAR MIX 413 was developed for this application. Most refractory mortars are alkali silicate-bonded and have binder systems that are somewhat water soluble. This causes them to degrade with extended service in outdoor ovens.

The FB Board that Forno Bravo recommends can be replaced with H-W's INSBOARD 2300 HD. These products are nearly identical. (2'x3'x2" = $105; vs FB Board for $70)

The FB Blanket substitute is H-W's INSWOOL-HP BLANKET 8# ($90 vs FB $75). This product has longer fibers than most refractory ceramic fiber blankets, giving it more durability.

I've attached data sheets for all of these products.

So I ordered the Insulation Boards (3) and Blankets (3) from Forno Bravo and got a 50lb bag of HW Refrac Mortar from Squires Belt.

I am starting with 3 bags of REFRAX I got from member JWNorris. I'll provide later feedback on how they compare.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf INSBOARD_2300_HD.pdf (66.6 KB, 588 views)
File Type: pdf INSWOOL-HP_BLANKET.pdf (67.6 KB, 1286 views)
File Type: pdf MORTAR_MIX_413.pdf (37.5 KB, 177 views)
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  #15  
Old 06-18-2009, 10:08 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 23
Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

That's fantastic! There is a friendly family-owned HWR distributor in Santa Fe Springs that could order the HW Mortar Mix 413 with a 2-3 day lead time (same as for my Kast-o-Lite). When it comes in I can just pick it up in my truck. This is great since I can save the Refrax for the toughest parts of the dome and opening arch joints where I can't get a perfect dry fit using the 10" saw. I was worried about the cost adding up if I had to ship lots of Refrax.

Thank you for saving me a bunch of money! I did get a bag of Refrax for the opening arch so I'll compare and let people know in a few months what held up better :-)
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2009, 10:22 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
Posts: 1,156
Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

Greg,
You're the man!!

Thank for all of the info. This will make my build easier / more economic.

Sincerly!!

Chris
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  #17  
Old 06-18-2009, 11:01 AM
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Location: Minnesota
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Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

Very nice! I just found out my firebrick distributor is also a HWR Distributor so that works out nicely if I can get a decent price.
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2009, 11:04 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
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Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

Harbison-Walker Refractory has 2 distributors in California, one in Richmond and one in Los Angeles.

Chris
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  #19  
Old 06-18-2009, 11:13 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 23
Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

Not sure whether Foundry Service & Supply is 'the' HWR distributor for Los Angeles but they get the products fast and at competitive prices. I actually had made some calls to HWR about mortar, but ended up playing phone tag with a rep and eventually lost interest. The HWR location in LA is down the street on Slauson a bit from where FS&S is located; I'll see if there's any difference in price (would not surprise me if HWR direct price were higher).
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  #20  
Old 06-18-2009, 01:28 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Omaha
Posts: 255
Default Re: Refrax vs Heatstop 50

I just did a simple tally.

I tried some expensive bucket mortar, (for high temp refractory situations) and it was NOT to be used outdoors. Dissolved in the slightest moisture.

After that I mixed my own recipe. (3:2:1:1/2) fine sand, fireclay powder, portland, lime) and it is the most friendly, fluffy -yet sticky, mortar you could ever ask for. Rough cost, 94# Portland, $10, 90# Fireclay, $20, 50# bags of fancy sand, $5 each.

Total cost for way over 200 lbs of mortar, maybe $50.

I have not fired my oven yet, but according to three potters, and a glass blower who have built kilns, it will work fine. I believe them, but I will be posting pictures of any cracks that develop this next week.
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