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Old 04-30-2009, 12:49 PM
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Default Cleaning Used Firebrick

I now have a good supply of used firebrick (medium duty) that are in reasonable shape, however, as you may imagine, they come with a nice supplement of old mortar too. What is a good method of cleaning these (at least enough of them for the hearth floor)? Chiseling is slow and damages the bricks. I can run the edges through the wet saw, but I can't do the broad brick faces this way as the saw is not deep enough. Is there a sanding option?

Thanks for any advice,

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Old 04-30-2009, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Cleaning Used Firebrick

Use a 5 inch angle grinder with a diamond cup cutter. (Not a 4 inch grinder).

Lay your hearth stones as level as possible, wait a bit for the mortar to cure and then grid it even. Use a big circular motion. If you keep the surface damp, it will minimize the dust (and wear on the diamond cup grinder). You should be able to get it smooth enough. If you want a better surface or finish you may need a set of diamond polishing pads (expensive $80). The four inch pads are half the price and will work on the 5 inch grinder. Again, run them on a wet surface.

If you have these tools this may be the way to go. If you have to buy or rent, it may be cheaper to buy new bricks for the hearth floor.

Last edited by Neil2; 04-30-2009 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Cleaning Used Firebrick

Neil2,
Thanks for the reply. Not really what I want to hear, though :-) Will go there if need be, however. New bricks have been hard to come by here.

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Old 05-01-2009, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: Cleaning Used Firebrick

Do you have enough bricks? I used new bricks for the hearth and used bricks for the dome.

I believe others have used a belt sander for their hearth as an alternative to the grinder.

The grinder will also take care of offending mortar but these don't get in the way too much on the cut dome bricks...depends how much mortar I guess....
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Cleaning Used Firebrick

Depending on what your bricks were used for, you might not want to breathe that dust. I'd say spring for fresh bricks on the floor, and just clean up the visible end of the used ones. When you cut them in half you'll have two clean faces to start with.
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