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Old 03-12-2009, 09:43 AM
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Default Soapstone

I'm interested in using soapstone for the hearth of a masonry oven. Does anyone have experience with this material/application? Will the heat retaining qualities of soapstone provide anything that a traditional firebrick will not? Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone

Soapstone is a nice material, but it costs so much more than firebrick that most of us haven't considered it more than briefly. If you are in a cost-no-object situation, than by all means go for it and let us know how it works out.

Here's a link to a temporary oven built at a MHA meeting, with a soapstone insert to the floor:

MHA News - 2006 Meeting - Backyard Oven with Peter Moore
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone

David,
The soapstone idea seems to keep coming up over and over again. What is the benefit that I'm missing? Just the pleasant/smmoth appearance?
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone

You're right George, I looked into soapstone for the BenjaMia Bakehouse oven but went with firebrick due to cost.

I think the soapstone would have looked great, felt great and I think that I had heard that it had good heat retention properties....but alas too expensive!

SJ
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:00 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone

That makes sense. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone

From what I have understood the soapstone will heat up faster but will tend to overheat(if that makes sense)...read that it is better for pizza than for bread ovens
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Soapstone

Soapstone is very soft. We used to use it for the art students to carve. I would imagine that melted and burnt cheese and stuff would not stick to it easily it's slippery stuff, hence its name. If you sand it which is quite easy you get talc powder. Another name for the stuff is talc stone.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:28 AM
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Default Re: Soapstone

I'm a sculptor and have worked a lot with Kenyan soapstone, it really is a lovely material to work with and carves very easily indeed. I imported a huge amount from Kenya a few years ago and I imagine it would be possible to get hold of bricks fairly easily - however I would not recommend using it for the oven floor as it would wear out very quickly....
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