#1  
Old 06-21-2010, 05:20 PM
Laborer
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lancaster Co., Pa.
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Default Wetting the Bricks

I have a couple questions concerning my oven build. Firstly, I know that prior to setting brick with mortar, the bricks should be wet. Question is, HOW wet? Is a quick dip good enough? Or maybe a 30 second soak? Or should they be totally saturated?
Secondly, as far as laying the bricks for the cooking floor; can the sand/clay mix be left dry, or must it be mixed with water?
I appreciate any wisdom you all may care to share.

Steve
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:24 AM
Ken524's Avatar
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Default Re: Wetting the Bricks

Steve,

When you start laying bricks, drop several in a big bucket of water and let them soak until they stop bubbling. Usually 4 or 5 minutes will do it. The idea is to saturate the bricks with water so they don't suck the moisture out of the mortar before it cures.

Lay your floor bricks on dry sand/clay.

Good luck with your build!
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Wetting the Bricks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evets View Post
I have a couple questions concerning my oven build. Firstly, I know that prior to setting brick with mortar, the bricks should be wet. Question is, HOW wet? Is a quick dip good enough? Or maybe a 30 second soak? Or should they be totally saturated?
Secondly, as far as laying the bricks for the cooking floor; can the sand/clay mix be left dry, or must it be mixed with water?
I appreciate any wisdom you all may care to share.

Steve
Personally, I would give the bricks at least a 30 second soak. I go with soaking till the bubbles stop. In keep a 5 gallon bucket nearby, grab a couple and stick them in as I lay the mortar on the bricks I just took out. The bucket also comes in handy in removing any extra mortar off your hands or tools.

Brent
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Wetting the Bricks

Great! Thanks! I'm glad you said DRY sand/clay is ok, because that's what I already did!
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: Wetting the Bricks

Surface saturated dry is what you want. Do not soak the brick, but dip them.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:09 AM
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Location: Columbus OH
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Default Re: Wetting the Bricks

looks like this is a very controversial topic. Saturated bricks slide and need support, seems like fairly dry bricks stick much easier. Some people say dry bricks will suck too much water from the mortar and render it weak, some people say the opposite is true.

The truth is out there...
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: Wetting the Bricks

It is not controversial to those in the masonry industry. Here is the relevant section in the standard specification:

A. Wetting Brick:
1. Wet brick with absorption rates in excess of 30 g./30 sq. in./min. (30 g./194 cm2/min.) determined by ASTM C 67, so that rate of absorption when laid does not exceed this amount.

2. Recommended procedure to insure that brick are nearly saturated, surface dry when laid is to place a hose on the pile of brick until the water runs from the pile. This should be done one day before brick are to be used. In extremely warm weather, place hose on pile several hours before brick are to be used.



Firebrick are on the high end of the absorption scale, and in the context of laying brick at home, i.e. slowly, it is not practical to use the described method. The best way to do it is to briefly dip the brick into a bucket of water or mist it prior to laying it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Wetting the Bricks

I agree with tscarborough, wet the bricks by dipping of spraying them. My bricks had years of grime on them and I power washed most of them as I installed them. If the bricks were too wet the mortar did not stick well. After I washed them I let them set until I could climb up and set them, the surface was not soaked but moist the mortar worked great. They seemed to dry out very quickly in direct sun, 85 degrees plus.

Derk
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: Wetting the Bricks

maybe the ebook should be updated with this info. Thanks so much for the detailed explanation! Some of my bricks soaked for days.. now I am worried a bit.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Wetting the Bricks

No worries, just put them in the sun. Since they have a high rate of absorption they also have a high rate of moisture loss.
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