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Old 03-20-2006, 01:45 PM
Serf
 
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Default engineering brick for dome

Can I say first, what a fabulous forum this is, great questions and patient,knowledgable and understanding answers.My question is: could I use engineering brick for the dome? I live in London UK, I have been quoted £3.20 for fire brick, happy to use that on the hearth but engineering brick is about £0.70. I am looking to build a 36" to be used for bread and Pizza, probably fired twice a week, if anyone knows of cheaper firebrick supplier in the UK would be gratefull for info.

Miker
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:21 PM
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Miker,

Welcome aboard. Your plans sound good to me. My wife (London as a child, Cambridge for work) has alway said that she thinks brick ovens are the perfect way to extend the English seasons. I am guessing that Alf will have an opinion on this. He's in the lake district and knows as much about brick ovens as anyone.

Over £3 for a firebrick seems pretty steep -- perhaps they are high duty bricks for industrial applications. Low-mid duty firebricks are a little over $1 in the states.

How would you describe an engineering brick? How much is a basic fired clay brick?

James
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Old 03-21-2006, 01:05 AM
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James. Thanks for your reply, your wife is right about extending the season here in the uk, I love the idea of a chilly day with good friends,wine and sharing good honest simple food from the oven I fell in love with brick ovens while on some occasional trips to Nice, France 25 years ago, and frequent biz trips to Italy. It was very visual there, with the oven at the the front of the restaurants. It is sensual, magical and has something of the alchemist about it.Here I am married with two teenage children and the dream wont go away.Sorry I digress.
Engineering bricks here are a very dense water and frost resistent brick used for Victorian railway arches and below water line and damp proof course use. density is about 3.3kg for a standard brick 215 ◊ 102.5 ◊ 65mm. Tom Jayne uses them in his oven for the dome, I have not been able to find any thermal transfer details for them yet, perhaps they may not hold the heat as much as fire brick. I would be interested as to whether Alf will have any views

Miker
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:45 PM
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Miker,

While there are definitely wood-fired ovens in France, the Italian ovens are much nicer. We ate in a small Pizza and Moule Fritte restaurant a couple of times in Provence last summer -- the mussels were great, but the french pizza chef had a few things to learn. The oven was wood-fired, but they had a way to go.

If Tom Jayne used the engineered bricks, I would guess that they would work. The Pompeii oven design is much more efficient than the oven described in those plans, and will work well. My only idea is that there might be something a little better for not much more cost. A low-mid duty firebrick is +/- 30% alumina and 50% silica in the states. A basic red fired clay brick, of unknown makeup, costs about $.45 at Home Depot. Can you find a basic clay brick at B&Q?

One way or the other, you are off on the right foot.

Let us know where it goes.
James
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:04 AM
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Thanks James. Through your wonderful forum you guys had convinced me to make a round oven. I have had Tom Jaynes and Alan Scotts book for 5 or so years as well as an early book by Poilane which showed a round oven. but the forum has demystified about 95% of it. On the issue of bricks, are you saying that a common, quality, high fired red house brick will do? or am I mistaking the terms used in the US, I will check on the make up of what we call red brick. listened to your podcast last night really good, heard you lived in San Gimignano for while, My wife took me there for my birthday a couple of years ago in late May, it poured with rain every day except the day we left, but the stunning medieval architecture made it an amazing place.
Regarding French food,there is a sort of myth that it is always good, the truth is you can generally eat much better in France than a lot of European countries I have had bad food in France and bad pizza in Italy, but rarely.
Regards all
Miker
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Old 03-22-2006, 11:04 AM
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Miker,
I'm still getting over having to leave San Gimignano. We had a house inside the walls with a nice garden, a garage (!) and pizza oven. I guess all good things must come to end.

Back to the bricks. You can get by with a clay brick in the dome, but my experience is that the firebricks perform better. I'm still trying to understand where the engineered bricks fits in.
James
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Last edited by james; 03-22-2006 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 03-22-2006, 03:47 PM
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James. I am probably confusing a few things in my own mind. when I am thinking about the bricks for the oven, in my mind I have a vision of this brick having to take thermal shock,resist frost and capable of acting as a thermal sink.An engineering brick(probably a misleading term dating from the victorian era)is usually a blue/black, smooth surfaced, incredibly hard dense brick. It retails here for about £0.70,clay brick is about £0.35 I have just located firebrick at about £1.25. I dont want to get too pedantic,after all I am sure the Romans did not have perfect bricks, but they all had a lot of slaves to rebuild if things didnt work out. my thinking is that this hard brick is probably going to be good for the dome, but I will use fire brick for the hearth. but I will try and persue cheaper prices for the firebrick first.
Regards

Miker
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Old 05-27-2006, 03:56 PM
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Hi,
Sorry of the delay in this reply Miker. Engineering bricks were certainly used in oven construction throughout the UK during the late 19th and early 20th century. As we see throughout our landscape engineering bricks do hold up railway arches so there strength isnít a question. As for withstanding heat thatís not a problem they are fired way beyond the temperature that an oven will get to. The problem with them as against firebricks is their ability to store heat, they just arenít as good.

So go with firebricks if your still looking for firebricks try these folks:
http://www.purimachos.demon.co.uk/index.htm
http://www.handsworth-refractories.co.uk/new+stock.html
http://www.yorkshirerefractoryproducts.com/contact.htm

Let me know how you get on

Alf
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Old 06-28-2006, 05:51 AM
Serf
 
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Default Re Fire Bricks in the UK

Re Fire Bricks in the UK.

John Hall Refractories Ltd http://www.livingnet.co.uk/JHR/location.htm quoted £0.91 ex VAT per brick with delivery @ £30.

Handsworth Refractories http://www.handsworth-refractories.c...ire_brick.html quoted £0.85 ex but a higher delivery charge @ £60.00

The bricks from both companies were 38-42% Alumina.

Cheers
Gary
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Old 06-28-2006, 07:25 AM
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talk about a great first post!

Welcome aboard Gary
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