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Old 02-02-2011, 08:41 AM
waynespizzaworld's Avatar
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Default pre soaking brick

Wanting confirmation on the pre soaking of fire brick before mortaring in place.

On my first oven I would soak bricks in a bucket of water until they stop bubbling before I mortared them in place. Is this still the prefered method for dome and arch construction?

And I think I also would re dampen the bricks that would be in place from the previous days work before I added more brick to that course.

Just wanting to make sure I am on the right track as I hope to tackle a new oven shortly. Am I on the right track here?.......thanks wayne
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: pre soaking brick

On the brick, yes pre soak. You do not want the brick sucking out the water from the mud. I only soaked them for a few minutes - more than that and I had sliding problems.

As for the previous days bricks, I had a soaked sponge that I moved ahead of my bricks to re-wet the surface.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: pre soaking brick

Actually, you DO want the brick soaking out moisture from the mud. That is what creates a good bond. You want the brick to be saturated surface dry. This means that you want some moisture in the brick, but not enough to leave a sheen. A good dip into a bucket of water, or hosing the brick pile down before you start is the preferred method. You can also squirt some water on the brick from the previous day. When you have it right, the mortar will grab a couple seconds after you lay it. Too wet the brick floats, too dry it grabs instantly.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: pre soaking brick

A much better explanation than mine! I should have stated that same thing - that is why TS is a very good resource to have here.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: pre soaking brick

Interesting, I had often wondered about this soaking business. A few years ago I had made my first attempt (and last until now) at building anything with brick.
I had never heard anything or seen anyone soak bricks before so of course I did not do it. I was building a Bar in the basement of the little restaurant I have. I had a nice solid wood bar top that used to be part of an old Chinese Junk.
Anyway, my bar was progressing nicely (or so I thought) when the demands of my real job started to get to be too much to allow time for my project. So I hired some local Chinese brickies. First thing they did after tearing down what I had started (ignoring the tears in my eyes) was to take all the bricks they had and put them into wheelbarrows full of water. My Cantonese not being good enough I could not get an answer as to why the soaking.
Thanks fellas, now I know.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: pre soaking brick

Be aware also that different bricks have different requirements. There are specific degrees of moisture required for different absorptive values of brick, but for the normal run of the mill firebrick, a good dip into a bucket of water, and shake is more than adequate.

Masons also adjust the mortar to the specific brick they are laying. A handmade wood mold requires a very wet mud, almost batter, while an Endicott type hard fired extruded face brick requires peanut butter mortar.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: pre soaking brick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
requires peanut butter mortar.
Chunky or smooth?
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: pre soaking brick

Interesting. Seems I have A LOT more research on my hands before I get started on my WFO project, Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: pre soaking brick

If it is chunky, the tender will be subject to abuse, count on that.
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