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Old 09-04-2007, 05:46 PM
Ken524's Avatar
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Default Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

I know I have read the answer to this somewhere here, but I can't for the life of me find it.

The only fireclay I anticipate needing is for leveling my floor bricks on the CalSil boards. I think I've read that I can save the dust from cutting my bricks and use it as fireclay. Is this correct?

Also, for you Harbor Freight wet saw owners, any tips on saving the slurry and drying it out? Coffee filters?

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2007, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

Yes you can, I have just gotten the HF saw and I will be interested in finding out how myself!
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

I used the HF wet saw with great success and must have had a total of 50 lbs of firebrick clay. Maybe it was just the composition of my bricks, but, for the most part, there was no slurry involved. The firebrick dust settled to the bottom (under the water) and became semi hard clay. Each day I would drain the water from the saw pan and had to scrape and dig at the clay to get it out. I simply put it in a small bucket each evening then let it sit in the sun the following day....pretty much dried out by then, would crumble into a slightly damp dust. I experimented with it a bit, mixing it with Heatstop 50...seemed to mix well and set up just as firm; but to be honest I didn't use much (used it for part of the skim coat over the finished, uninsulated dome. Sorry to say, I ended up disposing of the majority of it. Would be worth giving it a try in place of fire clay.
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

Back when I was a potter we dried out slurries in plaster tubs. You could just pour it out in a shallow pan and let it dry out, or just for brick leveling you could use it wet, just reach down in the bottom of the tub and grab a wet handful.
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

While I did not use the muck in the bottom of my HF saw, I can say it was very slimy and claylike.

With the added grit from larger cuts in there, I would think it would be a good substitute for the fireclay/sand mixture to bed hearth bricks in.

Trick would be in how to separate out the larger enough grit from the too big. since it was all in liquid suspension once - I assume enough agitation and the correct size screen could be enough to give you what you need.

At the end of the day I guess I should ask why. My bag of fire clay was probably the cheapest investment in my oven.

Christo
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

Good point, although I used Heatstop exclusively, I remember the brick supplier had fire clay - dirt cheap.....sorry, couldn't resist the lousy pun - just practicing in case I lose my day job
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

I've cut a lot of marble and travertine for floors and walls. The wet saw produces a very nice powder paste. I always used to think I could make my own venetian plaster.

Maybe I will try it this time. Any other uses?
James
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

James,

Wendy, my significant other, is a designer of wallpaper and fabric, as well as a painter. I've saved pounds of marble dust for her, and sometimes she mixes it with her paints when looking for a finish she calls "texturing." This is usually accomplished by multiple layers of different colours that are distressed or sanded to create a mottled, streaked or whorled look, depending on what she's after.

Jim
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

Thanks for all the great replies! I'll keep a few pounds to level my hearth bricks.

Christo: while I realize fireclay is cheap, there's no sense in buying 25 pounds when I'm going to be making the stuff myself. I don't think I'll need more than a few pounds for the floor. Seems like a waste not to use it for something!

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Does Fire Brick Dust = Fireclay?

I bought fireclay to level my bricks for the floor (I didn't have any dust yet) but then used the firebrick dust from the wet saw to create a skim coat for the entire dome. I simply poured the slurry into a plastic bin and let it dry out in the sun. Once dry it was easy to crumble by hand into powder.

I plan on using the rest of it to make the additional thermal mass around the terracotta pot for my tandoor.
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