Sunday, 16 September 2007

Bargain firebricks

Firebricks are really pricey in the UK compared with the US - anywhere from £1 to £3.50 each. I needed cheap firebricks, and it didn't get a lot better than these ones that I got from ebay yesterday. £10 for 34 of them, fresh from a demolished fireplace. That's about 30p each - cheaper than the reclaimed commons from the local reclaim yard. There's just about enough of them to make a 31" herringbone hearth when they're laid on their sides.

They're a bit tatty on the edges, but I can live with that. I'll be cutting them to make a nice circle anyhow, so I'll just stick the best ones in the middle and put the grotty ones round the edges. I have no idea what type of firebrick they are - yellow, with some red in them, heavy, and bigger than regular commons. And a big letter D stamped on them - wonder what that means?

I felt I should do some real work too, so I mixed three barrows of concrete, bent up some rebar into right angles, and filled the cores of my support blocks, using a couple of bars in each.

It all looks pretty ugly inside at the moment. The rebar will tie the cores to the hearth slab, which will be the next thing to be poured. First I need to figure out the best way to hold the concrete in over those very uneven stones.


Tony said...

We are having the 'sharp intake of breath' problem at hearing about the usual cost of firebricks in the UK - well done to you for sourcing some affordable ones.

So, are you using firebricks to line the floor but making the remainder of the oven out of clay plus sand or a similar 'adobe' mix?

Carl said...

I've not decided how I build the dome yet - I'm waiting to see if anything comes up cheap on ebay or locally! My working plan at present is to go for a dome made of engineering brick - I can get these locally fairly cheaply. I've not completely ruled out adobe yet.

The 'Bread Builders' book mentions that a dome/oven made out of red brick will last for a good period of time as long as you're careful how you fire it - start with a tiny fire and heat up slowly.

The decision will be made fairly soon as I hope to start the hearth slab this weekend. I'm running out of thinking time...