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Fire Brick - teach me please...

 
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I have a source for Vogelzang firebrick which so far is the most economical at $2.40 per.

The only other sources are US Stove at $4.23 per (Tractor Supply) and a local masonry supply that I have not rec'd a price from.  Is there a fire brick that I should be avoiding?

I intend to line the J-tube with half sized bricks and then use castable refractory around them in a form.  That casting will then be surrounded by a perlite/clay mix to insulate further.

Thanks,
Tim
 
rocket scientist
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cat pig rocket stoves
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Hi Tim;
2.40 a brick is not a bad price.   I think I pay 2.15 at Mutual materials.
As long as the brick is good past 2000F you should be fine.
My bricks are rated at 2500F.
 
Tim Comer
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Thanks again Tom.  Still collecting materials.  My experiment mixing clay and perlite at about 1 part clay to 2 parts perlite and then drying in an oven at 300° had good results.  Not super firm but it should be OK once cast around the j-tube since it won't be disturbed.

I might make a trip to a local (55 mi) Menards and get an extra 15% off that Vogelzang brick.

Tim

 
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Tim Comer wrote:I have a source for Vogelzang firebrick which so far is the most economical at $2.40 per.

The only other sources are US Stove at $4.23 per (Tractor Supply) and a local masonry supply that I have not rec'd a price from.  Is there a fire brick that I should be avoiding?

I intend to line the J-tube with half sized bricks and then use castable refractory around them in a form.  That casting will then be surrounded by a perlite/clay mix to insulate further.

Thanks,
Tim



Tim, not sure where your at, but unknown to most, every construction company has to get there standard bricks from someone, (house siding, cement blocks, cinder blocks and so on) These same companies often sell bricks for fireplace builders as well.  And if so, they will have fire bricks in list of items. And often pallets of full and splits.   If you have to, go in and act like a contractor.  Know what you want and act like you got to get on with it.

Thus, if you know exactly what you want,  " I need 94 full, 32 splits"  price please and have your truck ready..  I think you will be surprised. And pay CASH, they love CASH.

cheers
Scott
 
thomas rubino
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100% correct Scott!  
EDIT) They also should have fireclay
 
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To support Thomas and Scott’s remarks, I called a local brick supplier and they have full and split bricks along with mortar material. The guy said most often contractors are building pizza ovens with the brick.

The only limit was in getting the temperature rating for the brick. The most the guy would confirm was 2000F and the manufacturer of the brick. I’ll have to do some looking to see what the manufacturer says for temperature rating.

The good news is the full and split brick cost about half the price at TSC and they only have split brick available (4x9x1” or a bit more than 1”) so it’s worth a call to a masonry supplier.

Best of Luck,
Dan
 
Dan Henn
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Location: Metro Detroit Michigan
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Sorry for the goofy wording, not half the cost at TSC, but rather split bricks cost about half the price you’d pay at TSC and the full bricks were only an additional $0.50 above the split brick price.
 
Tim Comer
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Thanks for all the good info guys.  I was concerned about US Stoves and Vogelzang fire bricks since both companies seem to market the lower end of wood burning stoves.  Seems to me that they might source the cheaper end of fire brick as well.  I had to do some digging but finally came up with temperature ratings.  The company websites did not list temperature rating, which is concerning.  I don't know if the source of the following ratings are legitimate or not.

US Stove - "Tolerates up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit"
Vogelzang - "for temperatures up to 2200 degrees Fahrenheit"

I'll be calling the masonry supplier in town today and getting the scoop on what they carry.  I know they have full and half bricks.  I don't know the type (insulating or dense).

Tim
 
Scott Weinberg
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Dan Henn wrote:To support Thomas and Scott’s remarks, I called a local brick supplier and they have full and split bricks along with mortar material. The guy said most often contractors are building pizza ovens with the brick.


The good news is the full and split brick cost about half the price at TSC and they only have split brick available (4x9x1” or a bit more than 1”) so it’s worth a call to a masonry supplier.

Best of Luck,
Dan



I would be surprised if the fulls were not 2.5" and the splits 1.25" in thickness as well as the 4" not being 4.5"  but things do happen.  Regardless Almost all of your layout work (CAD work, sketchup planning, paper drawing, day dreaming) is to make the most of what you have with the least amount of cutting, and good brick layup practices used.
So often we read where builders have tried to make A PLAN to fit the brick vs make the brick to FIT THE PLAN
This is just not a play on words, but the real deal.
AS we often read, " I didn't want to cut any brick, so I made this area 20% smaller than the directions, and this other area worked out to be 30% larger and when I got done, it didn't work, but I don't know why"
Peter has worked very hard to test, document and tell the world what has worked, why it has worked and generally when it doesn't work, the whys-wherefores and ect.   Best of success
 
Tim Comer
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I have no problem cutting brick to size for the J-tube lining.  I understand your cautions about designing to a brick size and I think it good advice.

I've cut tile, concrete and stone with my wet saw before.  I don't think cutting a small amount of fire bricks will cause any problems.

 
Dan Henn
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Hi guys,

I did get to the brick supplier last week and bought some full size fire brick. The full bricks are 9”x4.5”x2.5” while the splits are 9”x4.5”x1.25” to confirm othe comments above.

I decided to get 40 bricks to play with, waiting for a dry Saturday or warmer weather to start experimenting, but being in SE Michigan might keep me waiting for a while.

I plan to dry-stack a J-Tube if I have enough brick. Ultimately, I want to build a batch box, but will experiment my way toward that design.

Best Regards,
Dan
 
pollinator
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Location: Guernsey a small island near France.
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Hi Dan, make sure you keep the bricks dry, moister is enemy number one when it comes to building a rocket stove!
 
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