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Old 04-22-2008, 03:42 AM
Peasant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wales
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Default Is fireclay necessary?

Hi,
As has been said numerous times, great site, very informative, sometimes too informative!
I started building the wood fired oven from the book by Tom Jaine. Fortunately only got the base done when I came across your site and plans and have now decided on the pompeii oven.
My main issue at the moment is fireclay. I can't find a supplier in the UK. I have found fire cement and castable, but no fireclay. I was trying to build it by the book (or by the PDF in this case!) but cannot source this product. In his book, Tom Jaine has suggested that fireclay is not necessary and to use 1:1:6 , portland, hydrated lime and sand. My question is, will this work?
I spoke to purimachos in Bristol UK which is close to where I live and they suggested building the dome using the sand form and then filling in the joints with castable, any thoughts on this?
He also suggested that I could make the cooking floor with castable rather than firebrick, this sounded easier than trying to get firebricks level on damp sand, but again, I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on this.

Thanks in advance for any help

Simon
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:44 AM
dmun's Avatar
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Default Re: Is fireclay necessary?

Terracotta building supplies to the construction industry : Hepworth Building Products

Has fireclay.

Any brickyard should have the stuff. A google search is difficult because in the UK any refractory product is referred to as "fireclay". Some interesting history comes up, it seems that the UK was a major producer of firebrick, and scottish firebrick ended up all over the world because of it's use as ballast in ships. It's ironic that it's so expensive and hard to find there now.

And no, castible refractory is not a good choice for mortar. There are specific refractory mortars that will stick to the bricks. These should be available from the refractory suppliers that have the castible. And for the floor? You could make it out of castible refractory, I suppose, but brick is a better choice. A chipped or broken brick can just be pulled out and replaced, not so for a cast floor, even if you could cast it so it didn't crack.

Last edited by dmun; 04-22-2008 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:50 AM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: Is fireclay necessary?

Dmun,
Thanks for your reply. Hepworth won't sell to me, only to trade, so I am now trying the local brickyards. They don't have fireclay on their websites, so I will have to go down the old fashioned route and phone them!

The wife didn't like the idea of castable for the base anyway as it wouldn't look as good, so I wouldn't have been allowed!
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:18 AM
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Default Re: Is fireclay necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonWoodfield View Post
Dmun,
Thanks for your reply. Hepworth won't sell to me, only to trade, so I am now trying the local brickyards. They don't have fireclay on their websites, so I will have to go down the old fashioned route and phone them!

The wife didn't like the idea of castable for the base anyway as it wouldn't look as good, so I wouldn't have been allowed!
Did you try a pottery store?
That is where I got mine from.
It's basically just powdered clay.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Is fireclay necessary?

Haha, that's what I was going to say - a cast floor wouldn't look half as nice as a brick one!
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: Is fireclay necessary?

Hey Dave, what's up? Every time I post a reply you get there first!!


(...you must be faster at typing than I am...)
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:59 AM
Peasant
 
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Default Re: Is fireclay necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by asudavew View Post
Did you try a pottery store?
That is where I got mine from.
It's basically just powdered clay.
asudavew
What properties does it have then that make it necessary. I assumed that as it was called fireclay, it has some heat retention properties?

Going back to my original thread header, is it necessary?

Cheers
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: Is fireclay necessary?

Yes, it's a refractory product. It withstands heating/cooling cycles better than ordinary clay. It's cheaper than potters clay, too. Frances, in Switzerland, built her dome with only fireclay and sand, no portland, and it seems to be doing well.
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Is fireclay necessary?

Yep, so far so good...
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Is fireclay necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frances View Post
Hey Dave, what's up? Every time I post a reply you get there first!!


(...you must be faster at typing than I am...)
Nah... just faster thinker! Got ya!!

How's life in your part of the world?
Nice weather?

And while I'm thinking about it have you ever cooked a beef wellington?

I bet it work well in our brick ovens.
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