Nowadays they are called heavy and dense Firebricks but old masters still call them fire clay bricks just because they are made of simple fireclay (which actually is the most ordinary mud.) Fire clay can be easily located out in the nature but it must containing the right refractory properties, suitable content ratio of silica and alumina. Some shops call these bricks fireplace bricks. They are used for instance for building cooking chamber in wood fired ovens, for creating fireplaces, all sorts of fire boxes and wood heaters lining, linings in a small or the hugest industrial furnaces, you name it. Fire clay bricks are very heavy/dense having low porosity and even on various re-heating, and under continuous heat, they will last for very/very long time.
Some may confuse them with insulating lightweight firebricks, those are used in different applications. Dense firebricks can be cut only with diamond wheel attached to high speed handheld angle grinders, on an ordinary building brick saw or sliding drop saw for cutting bricks. Fire bricks can be chopped in half easily by using brick chisel and a couple of hits with a heavier hammer. It is fun and quick but may you want to achieve precise nice cuts hire a trade machine or buy yourself at least small size grinder. Before cutting soak the brick in water by dipping it in a bucket of water or in a wheelbarrow if you had too many. Leave the bricks in that water for 5 minutes minimum. The cutting diamond wheel will last you for a long time if the firebricks are cut wet plus you wont breath in any dust, and of course cutting gets a lot easier and faster!
When it comes to fire-bricks and dense refractory products composition content often Alumina (AL) ingredient is looked at which ranges ordinarily between 18% to 40% of alumina in modern products body. The percentage range is important for choosing the right product for the right temperature or Orton Cone but mainly if a high temps are applied. Alumina influences bulk density a lot and therefore also porosity, or if you like the weight of fire bricks. No need to apply above 26% in wood fired oven temperatures range but you can in case a low grade isnt available to buy. Absolutely safely 18% AL amount firebricks can be used in wood ovens (you can melt and cast color metals in it too.) Furnaces chamber build out of 18% will perform and last the same way as 30% alumina product.
Apart higher co$t, additionally, higher Alumina content grades make these bricks harder and brittle (more glossy if you like) making them absorb less steam e.g. from under pizza dough bases being cooked or bread dough. However one can get used to cooking in such oven fast.
Even though you can hear other words from a few suppliers who sell not locally manufactured product, conductivity and heat absorbing capacity is not influenced much at all by higher or lower alumina content. Higher grades wont create magic temperature difference in cooking environment and vise verse. Main reasons for this are modern imports, one high alumina range suits all business and applications, less varieties to stock, higher markup and margin, those are the reasons if 18% to 26% brick isnt sold by a store. Look for locally manufactured product, lower grades cost less to produce and they sell them for less. Where I buy refractory 26% AL firebricks costs $1.98 per one brick.
BTW mineral Graphite does not contain Aluminium oxide (Alumina, formula Al2O3 density: 3.95 g/cm3) and it is lighter in weight by half if compared with Alumina mineral or refractory bricks. And even so, the Graphite absorbs much more heat than firebricks do more reading about firebricks thermal conductivity.
Who is your fire brick or refractory supplier, do you have contact-s on them and where are you located? Have you noticed chipped or seconds fire bricks being sold for better price somewhere? Please leave your comments for others below
Out of my head right now: fire brick = fire-clay brick = refractory brick = chamotte brick = fireplace brick = heat resistant brick = chimney brick = dense/heavy kiln brick (for building kilns) = industrial ceramic brick (heavy).
My refractory supplier is ClayPave Pty. Ltd. located in Dinmore, Brisbane, Qld., on the way to Ipswich. They have distributors all around the country and Internationally. It is large Australian manufacturer of refractory and clay products. ClayPave produces all grades of firebricks. Heat resistant mortars, ready mixed air-set in bucket, or fire clay in bags to mix your own refractory mortar at home one bag is plenty for building 2 ovens. Best prices, delivered if needed.
Standard firebricks or splits: AUD$2 to $2.20 each Fireclay: $25 per bag (large bag enough for 3 ovens) Pre-mixed heat resistand mortar: $33 per bucket (1 needed) Packed on the top of the palette with firebricks.
Ian is a nice bloke quite knowledgeable about ovens, very helpful, wont mind to open the warehouse at odd hours when someone really needs when ran out of fire bricks. He hires brick saw -standing idle.
Look around in demolition yards. Read advertisements in papers, people very often sell for fraction of price or giveaway exactly this type of old bricks, and other great building material left over from other projects or from cleaning up. There are always few firebrick replacements to be seen here you just have to watch it. You can buy 200 of them even for 20 or 30 bucks in total and have lucky day. By the way these old bricks can be easily cleaned with hammer and brush because in the past brickies didnt add much cement into mortar if any. Tables with firebricks physical properties.
Hi Colin, Firebricks in WA are a hard thing to source but I do know of a place that does supply them, The Potters Market 56 Stockdale Rd OConnor,Tel No 93376888.I cant tell you how much they charge per brick but I do know in comparrison to prices paid in other states from refractory suppliers direct they are a bit more expensive.When I built my oven 3 years ago I used normal solid bricks Austral Collie which is a cream solid .My oven is as good today as when I built it, Hope that helps Mark
Hi Colin, Yes the midland clay bricks Mark mentioned that he used for building his oven in Western Australia are almost identical to clay firebricks from Ipswich, they contain grog in the body as well. You can use them. Then there are solid clay bricks from Midlands somewhere, they are the same, can get the contact details if you needed. Maybe far from York?
supplies in USA ; if you live in or near Maryland, you can get Mt. Savage Medium Duty fireclay bricks (43.1% alumina content) at Potomac Valley Brick and Supply Company. They come in yellow or red. I got mine at the Rockville, MD location (3 Derwood Circle), for $1.33/brick. They also sell the fireclay mortar in pre-mixed tubs. The bricks I bought there differ in dimensions (height) from the Australian ones (2.5 inches vs. 3 inches).
I have found someone who has a small quantity of leftover firebricks with 45% alumina content and is selling it for $0.50 per brick. I am a bit worried about the higher alumina content and its higher heat conductivity causing bread to burn at the bottom.
Today I bought 7 bags of Vermiculite from The Perlite & Vermiculite Factory at address Lot 802 Cutler Rd, Jandakot 6164, Western Australia phone number 08 9417 8377. The price was $15 cash per 100L bag. This was very cheap compared to some Perth hydroponics shops who sell vermiculite in the 100L bag for $40.
Building sand very large bag from Ridgeons 46.73 + vat Ballast very large bag from Ridgeons 36.76 + vat 25Kg cement from Ridgeons 3.49 + vat Fireclay 25Kg from Buildbase London 21.39 Lime 25KG from Ridgeons 7.86 + vat
We specialize in Alumina materials and products, Mganesia materials and products, such as Clay Brick, Bauxite Brick, Fused corundum brick, High Aluminum Block, Nozzle etc. shaped products and Calcined Clay, Bauxite materials, Gunning materials, Ramming mix, Refractory castable and mortar etd. Unshaped materials, which have enjoyed great popularity in the world market.
Should you find intrest in our items , please kindly let us know. We shall be pleased to give you our lowest quotations upon receipt of your detailed requirements.In our trades with merchants of various countries, we always adhere to the principle of equality and mutual benefit.
My Firebrick supplier is Vesuvius SA (professional (huge scale) refractory selling directly to the public, too), located off Porcelain Road in Clayville (Olifantsfontein), Midrand, Gauteng. A huge variety of shapes and sizes can be bought from them, as well as various grades and purpose oriented refractory mortar, etc.
We are professional supplier for refractory brick & ceramic fiber product at competitive price, located in Zibo City, Shandong Province, China. For more information, please check our website ( zbxdnc.com , zbxd.en.alibaba.com ), and select the products that youre interested in.
If you are importing or plans to import fire bricks or high alumina bricks upto 70-80% contact us. We are India based manufacturing company, established 1978 indulge in manufacturing all kinds of fire and acid proof bricks along with allied material. ranchirefractories.com
Brikmakers located in South Guildford, Western Australia, make solid clay bricks and their Geologist advises that their Standard Face Cream Smooths are ideal for pizza ovens with their composition being about 25% Alumina and 68% Silica. At only $195 for a pack of 264 bricks, that works out to about 73 cents a brick (pick up).
Folks in and around Central & Western Arkansas (USA) can find good quality firedbrick (9x4x2.5- really 2 & 1/8) at ACME BRICK Company at Malvern, AR. ($1.40/each as of FALL2009). also good source for fireclay mix (100# sack), everset mortar (high temp mortar mix for hearth construction w/ firebrick). If looking for vermiculite for insulation. can buy large quantity at reasonable price from MIDSOUTH CONTROL & SUPPLY of Fort Smith, AR (really Van Buren, AR). can follow along our oven construction at:
Dear Friends: We are an ISO certified manufacturer of fireclay bricks in Chinas fireclay brick base Zibo City. Our quality and price is way more competitive. If you are interested to buy from China directly, please email me at [email protected] or MSN ID:[email protected]
I live at Sauble Beach on the Bruce Peninsula, 220kms NW of Toronto, Ontario. I can purchase refractory bricks from Shouldice Designer Stone for about $2.10 / 2-1/2 inch brick (in Metric equals to 64mm thick firebrick). They also supply the cement, thru my local building supply dealer, Miller Home Building Centre in Sauble. I should be starting building my oven approximately April 15, depending on delivery. Doug
Thermal Conductivity (K-Factor) Btu/in At a mean temperature of ft2hrF W/mC 400F (205C) 8.2 1.18 800F (425C) 8.5 1.23 1200F (650C) 9.0 1.30 1600F (870C) 9.2 1.33 2000F (1095C) 9.5 1.37 2400F (1315C) 9.8 1.41
TYPICAL CHEMICAL ANALYSIS, Wt. % (calcined basis) Silica (SiO2).. 56.02 Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3) . 37.50 Iron Oxide (Fe2O3) .. 2.09 Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) 1.99 Potassium Oxide (K20) .. 1.47 Magnesium Oxide (MgO) .. 0.36 Calcium Oxide (CaO) . 0.30 Sodium Oxide (Na2O) . 0.074 Zirconium Dioxide (ZrO2) .. 0.068 Chromium(III) Oxide (Cr2O3) .. 0.039 Phosphorous Pentoxide (P2O5) . 0.036 Manganese Oxide (MnO) .. 0.007 NiO .. 0.012 Total 99.97 Loss on Ignition, 1000C .. 0.13 We certify that SMITHFIELD (Unbranded) Dry Press Firebrick manufactured at our Alsey, Illinois plant conforms to ASTM Specification C-27 Class 4.1.4 and 4.1.5 for Medium Duty and Low Duty respectively and C-1261-98 (which includes C- 24 and C-67), as well as, C-16, C-20, C-24, C-38, C-113, C-133.
They are called Medium Duty Firebricks however it seems the aluminum content at 37.50 is at the high end and not ideal because not steam absorbent, when compared for instance with firebricks around 23% AL mark, and therefore does this make it very hot or dry ovens which cant absorb steam (?).
But could anyone here with experience please give me an idea as to whether these are good or not, and if not ideal, does anyone have a good supplier in Canada. They are charging $4.00 a firebrick here inc. tax, which includes shipping from the States (with bulk freight accounts of course), but maybe it is worth my while to find a more ideal product and ship it in.
Could you ask in the place for the alumina content and also Technical / Physical Specifications of the Low Duty firebrick type that they stock or manufacture? Plus the price?! Can you please let us know those and also the contacts for this company? Low Duty type is what I use and also those they have on offer can be great for this purpose and the temperature range.
You can use the mentioned 37.5% alumina. Even though they withstand continuous use in a lot higher temperature ranges that could never be reached in wood fired ovens and they also cost a bit more, you can use them. They will perform just as well. Regarding the steam absorbing the same applies to refractory clay tiles or oven floors made out of larger clay blocks (I am not talking about ovens whose have the hotface cast from a heat resistant concrete mixes because I dont work with them myself in building ovens); basically because the fire bricks with high AL content are denser (glossier/heavier), they have lower porosity so the effect is they absorb moisture ( steam ) slower when compared with firebricks with higher porosity which is common for lower alumina firebrick grades. This effect is minimal. If you work with ovens that have been built from both clay types, low and high alumina content in the bricks clay body, you will notice only a slight difference when cooking or baking. But this difference can be gotten used to with practice perfectly. With the higher AL grade clay, if you make pizzas in high temps atmosphere, when you place the fresh dough (pizza base) on the hot firebrick floor in the first few seconds the steam builts fast and literally uplifts the pizza.
And logically this effect is even more minimal with floors made out of firebricks because there are many little join lines between all the bricks therefore also the steam from under the pizza base runs out fast (with oven floor made from tiles or a large smooth blocks the steam under the dough holds just a bit longer. Plus, the fact is that firebricks work also as many nicely moving fragments in the heat expansion and shrinking in contrary the reality is that larger blocks either in the floor or in walls, and square tiles, are often cracking across and the occurrence is caused by the heat expansion with cooling down shrinkage and these heat differences in flat material.)
I recently found a source of refractory tiles. The gentleman has heaps of them and is selling them for around ~1.50ish. Ive decided to buy a few and try to use them for the inner firebrick arc and maybe break one up into bits to use as a replacement for the broken terracotta tiles filling.
When i see pages like this one about refractory fire bricks i cannot help but be jealous . i wish was a bit more tech savy to be able to offer great info like you do about pizza ovens fired by wood with all the info on heat absorbing / resistant material or heat insulations keep up the good work. Thank you.
We supply 2.0g/cm3 max. density firebricks for pizza oven. The bricks are burned at high temperature in kilns, which can stand higher working temperature. The typical bulk density of our bricks is around 1.8g/cm3. The brick color is white. while the Al2O3 is around 40%, Fe2O3 is below 1.8%. Is there anybody having interest to cooperate with us on marketing of this kind of bricks, feel free to contact us for the further information. My MSN is [email protected]
Here is a link to the place I got fire bricks from http://www.clayburngroup.com/ ( Clayburn Industries Ltd. ) they manufacture fire-bricks there and also they have fireclay and refractory mortar available. The refractory supplier sells in location, China, India, Canada, USA. 3 inch bricks cost $ 4.00 each and 2.5 sell for $1.80 US only per one firebrick.
Hi Rado great site and information on wood pizza ovens. This is a mesage for Doug in Sauble Beach who said he was building an oven did you finish? Did you go to get the firebrick and were they right for the job? Anyone use the old clay bricks Rado suggested as alternative instead of firebricks and how did they work? Thanks! I am Tom in Balaclava Ontario not far from Sauble Beach.
I am looking for a local supplier of firebrick for building a wood kiln for firing pottery. Ideally I would like to find them second-hand to keep the price low or free. I live outside of Denver, Colorado. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Please note that IF you can find an off white/cream colored solid brick, just the fact that it is not red shows that it has very little iron compounds. It is the iron compounds, or , rather, the LACK of same that aids in the higher firing resistance of that color of brick. If you are not sure, then find a friend who would be willing to re-fire one in their electric kiln, say at 1800F+, and see what happens. If it stays intack, and does not blow apart, then you may have a good product, the higher temp the better.
Hi Rado i am in the process of building another pizza oven as i bought the building plans from you a long time ago. I have bought some refractory brick but unsure what the grading would be. Stamped on the side it says AS1-1-76. Any help would be appreciated. thanks
added by Rado: Can you email me a clear photo of the refractory brick? Also, if you cut or brake one of these bricks in half, take one image of the body inside, I need to see it. You can email large photos to pizzapaddle at gmail com. Set camera to macro for taking sharper close-up images, like that it gives nice details of the clay body and of the grog inside, color and how coarse it is. I will reply with the answer.
I have some free firebricks that have never been used for a cement kiln. They tell me though that they have 70 alumina. The firebricks are 8 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 2 1/2 in size. Any idea if these will work for the floor and the walls?
The Melbourne Fire Brick Company specialises in supplying refractory fire bricks, mortar, castable and insulation specifically for building Wood Fired Pizza Ovens. Our prices are the most competitive in Australia, and all our materials are of the highest quality. We stock 30% Alumina refractory fire bricks in a range of different shapes and sizes, including arch bricks which are perfect for building the dome of a Rado Wood Fired Pizza Oven.
Please dont hesitate to visit us at The Melbourne Fire Brick Company to see what we have to offer. We take pride in our customer service, so feel free to ask any questions that you might have and well do our best to help you in any way we can.
The Firebrick and Refractory Company, in Sunshine West, Victoria, Australia, sells 38% firebricks for A$3.30, or $3.00 by the pallet. Current June 2011. I found them very helpful and efficient. Also bought arch bricks, splits firebricks, refractory mortar etc. I would recommend them.
It is to bring a kind knowledge that we are the Manufacturer and Exporter of full range of Refractories from low grade to High Alumina dense bricks, Acid Resistance Bricks, Insulation Bricks and Refractory Fire Bricks and other custom shapes and critical shaped bricks suitable for customers requirement. We not only deal with bricks but also All other varieties of Industrial Minerals like Ramming Masses, Bentonite, Fire Clay etc. We also distribute Insulating Ceramic Blankets, Mineral Wool, Glass Wool etc. Our product range is as per following items: refractory bricks, high alumina bricks, dense high alumina bricks, magnesia carbon bricks for ladle, magnesia carbon bricks for lrf/eaf/uhpf furnace, alumina mag carbon bricks, alumina silicon carbide carbon bricks, all types of basic bricks ( mag chrome/chrome mag/magnesite), acid resistance bricks, hotface/cold face insulation bricks, pcpf blocks, normal fireclay bricks, dense fireclay bricks, long bricks, plates / tiles, burner blocks, skew blocks, tundish board & lunder board, silica tundish board, magnesite tundish board, duplex tundish board, tundish management, tundish sealing compounds, silica ramming mass, silica ramming mass quartz base, pre mixed silica ramming mass, silica ramming mass top patch, silica ramming mass quartxite base, monolithics, acid resistance mortar, cement products, refractory bed material, radexo ladle cover, ultra low cement castable, insulyte castable, insulation mortar, basic mortar, fireclay & high alumina mortars, tundish/ ladle covering compound, nozzle filling compound, basic spray mix, basic ramming mass and gunning mass, high alumina ramming mass and patching mass, lpw cement castable, all types of alumina & high alumina castables, ceramic fibre blanket, ceramic fibre blanket having density of 64 kg/m3, 96 kg/m3 and 128 kg/m3, alloys, ferro silicon, silico manganese, ferro chrome, ferro molybdenum, and high carbon ferro chrome.
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Added by Rado: Not in everything is silica (and zirconia) referred to as acid refractory. Usually this is for acid resistant firebricks or other acid resistant refractory shapes or substances. Acid resistant firebricks are used in places where the atmosphere or the slag (a byproduct coming e.g. from smelting to separate metals from unwanted matter) are acidic, toxic. These are different bricks to the firebricks we use for cooking ovens. Acid resistant refractory materials will face these acids but on the other hand can be be damaged (most probably so) by an alkali atmosphere.
 Firebricks are made from simple fire clay and this fireclay is basically an ordinary mud, but, which has the accurate body properties for thermal conductivity, bonding, and high heat withstanding. Cutting I buy refractory firebricks of 26% AL at costs $2 per each brick. As Rado already pointed out, the mineral Graphite is much lighter in weight then fire clay bricks, by half when compared with Alumina or refractory bricks, and it has much better heat conductivity and the heat retention properties Who says that the heavier is better?! 
Rado, thank you very much for the disk. I have been pouring over it, and will soon be starting on construction, an MTo with some changes. I have a few questions if I may. The main one is how do I post a new thread to the forum? I have been reading most of the questions, and they have been very helpful, and I think my questions may help someone else, but I cant figure it out. My question on building is: I an going to have a few (20 or so) firebricks left over. As I want to use my oven primarily for baking, I figured that I should use them in the dome. Would it be OK to replace a horizontal brick with two vertical bricks? The bricks would be sticking out into the concrete shell, and hopefully conduct heat back into the oven easier. The only difficulty that I can see is how to cover them with alfoil, but I think I can work that out without too much trouble. The whole think would be covered in the concrete shell, which then would be a little deeper than you show, but that would only be a good thing I think. My description is a little hard to visualize I know, so I have emailed you attached a pdf of my plan, for it is clear (I drew them up in Sketchup, a great free drawing-program by Google.).
Larger ovens, or any ovens where the owner requires bigger heat absorbing mass and whose are heated up daily, use vertical firebricks in the arches instead of horizontal. Or two levels of horizontal laying in constructing this dome. I think efficiency is what you have in mind, as youve mentioned using your oven primarily for baking. How many bake batches do you plan to reload from one firing? Because the oven as is on the disk will keep normally for 3 4 hours stable where you can reload loafs, slow roasting roasting pots at the same time with breads, etc. several times, starting at 200 to 220 degrees C and even higher/earlier start 392 to 428 degrees Fahrenheit.
You mentioned 20 left over firebricks so I reckon you contemplated only a randomly added here and there firebrick as its shown on the pdf images. As I see it; setting the second halves into the concrete cladding layer would make the upper halves firmly set and held in the position. This system will function only on ~ 50% success because those bricks would not move the same way as the rest of them among in the arches, there will be different adjustments. Most probably the outer half of all these horizontally positioned firebricks set in the concrete would separate. Meaning, the halves would brake off by very easy smooth and almost precise but tiny straight crack right through the middle of each firebrick, at the concrete level line. The outer firebrick halves would function just like the cladding as they would become a part of cladding.
My suggestion would be; if you plan on increasing the oven heat absorbing mass either put all the fire bricks in arches horizontally or add inch or two inches extra thickness to the concrete cladding layer. Heat up slow way the dome before cladding is poured on the top over the firebrick arches, just a little from the inside, to soak a slight warmth through the firebricks so they expand a little (electric radiating heater or small gas burner as the heat source for this work well and cleanly when I use a mini wood fire instead to do this, I close the oven entry after that till the end of construction when staring with drying fires.)
Thank you for adding the PDF images. The forum is closed for 3 years; once when I went to Europe I looked for admin/s who could take over but I didnt have the time to find someone I would know better and trust. Currently I can answer these blog posts easier. There will be a new much better forum though.
Does this help you? What type do you plan to bake? I do sourdough rye and spelt (with a little bit of wholemeal-wheat just for conventional taste in the dough. I use 120 yr old sourdough culture, baking is my hobby, thats why ;). Fulfills all senses and always amazes everyone. But roasting poultry isnt bad too.
I just finished the first 3 layers of the dome, now coming down towards the door. My question is regarding the piece of angle iron. What holds the iron angle in place? Is is just the weight of the bricks and then the surrounding mortar holding it in place. Or is there some epoxy cement keeping it in place. Thank you. I will send photos once I get past this stage.
added by Rado : Hi Bill, If you build Swishy design; yes, only the weight and then the cladding hold the angle iron in its place. There wont any movement to shift it of its position. Have a look at image z7 and a few images around the z7, while working with bricks to avoid knocking -it can be temporarily held in precise place (just supported as it leans on) by the wooden boxing. Masterly Tail design does not use this metal angle at all, it is metal-less dome design!
Our offering following products: Refractory brick, ramming mass, castable made of alumina, magnesia, silica, silicon carbide, carbon, widely used in electric arc furnace, converter, tundish, ladle and so on.
added by Rado: Dear Norm, Thank you for the note. It would be very thin, one inch surface wont function well. Plus it is always better to create the hot-face inside the oven out of many smaller segments. Small pieces, like firebricks, either in walls, vault or hearth, cope much better with the heat differences in material phenomena. Fragments in building, which moves by temperature changes, just like in wood fired ovens dome designs, prevent possible cracking down the road.
I have recently started a job at Bridgetown High School, taking on the School Sustainability Teacher Position from someone who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. He was building a pizza oven, but we can not find any plans or details of the design he was using, so are a bit unsure of how to finish it off. We need to finish it off because it has been built using grant money. I have attached some notes from what I have found out and from looking at photos, and was wondering if anyone could give me some advice about how to finish off the oven? I can email photos to help the description if someone is willing to help.
1. Standard cement base was built then lifted into place on top of some brickwork. 2. Sandbags were placed in the center to make a dome, with yellow sand filling the gaps to make the dome nice and round. There is no opening for a flu/chimney. The sand was covered in wet newspaper to make the shape for the dome. 3. Clay was built up around this shaping dome. I think it was standard terracotta clay that is usually used for art purposes? 4. Normal house bricks were built up around the clay dome, I think using normal mortar/cement to join. (not fireproof). 5. Chicken wire was placed over this so that it could be rendered. 6. Sheeps wool was layered over this for insulation, and rendered to finish.
Unfortunately, it was not fired straight away, and the terracotta clay layer has absorbed moisture and shrunken away from the brick layer, and much of it has fallen inwards, so that the raw house bricks are currently exposed bare to the cooking chamber, with a bare cement floor.
Is it possible to get some flat/thin fire bricks for the base (heat absorbing ones) for cooking on, and lay them loosely on top of a 1 inch layer of double-washed river sand for insulation to protect the cement base, then render the inside face of the house bricks with some castable? Or do we need to put some insulating firebricks around the inside edges of the house bricks as well? Do you have any ideas/advice?
We just need to get it finished ASAP, with as little work and as cheap materials as possible (approx $300 or less). We wont be using it all the time, maybe 2-3 times a term, so 8-12 times a year, so it doesnt need to be indestructible, just usable for the next 5-10 years at that rate (if possible). Any advice /costings you could give would be greatly appreciated!
These SK32 firebricks are fine of course (email me a close up photo of the brick i will comment further if you like! A sharp and large original large/size image is the best as I can read more on the brick body from the close up/macro etc.) read further below more on that and also see the pdf file attachment I sent you email all dimensions for numbers of firebricks and how they all go, your the size 2.5 (inches) = 6.4mm thickness, also 9 long firebricks the 6.5mm will be the same basically for these firebrick count.
Building brick oven is not hard to do, many people who never held a brick have built nice ovens for themselves. Basically; take it by building gradually, focus only on the one stage that you do. From the detailed photo sequence you will see ahead exactly what will be done, and how. Each stage/step on its own (e.g. the slab, inner walls, top slab, firebricks part etc.) is little job and easy. And stage by stage the structure grows nicely. Not much measuring goes around, only on the ground slab for the inner and outer-decorative walls, after that the oven is risen upwards and all is done on the initial brick count (you will see on the disk how I approach this. If stones are used for making the outer deco walls then the depth and width lines can be 2 5cm further apart, on each side, because some rocks might be larger/wider than ordinary house bricks.) The photo sequence is detailed. To reach a stage e.g. what is on the picture 1430 in 3G MTo design, it can be done in 7 days but you do not need to do it in this timing. Work with cement blocks filled with concrete or with firebricks is faster, and there is waiting one and half day (or anywhere longer) for curing the ground and upper slab for the cement to cure. If you had a friend/s to help you, e.g. to lift the concrete blocks (these go into 4 rows, hip level) and to mix concrete, its only great, you can cook for them pizzas later.
* For the 3G MTo ground slab dimensions; what concrete blocks do you use? I reckon in USA your standard block size is the 15 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 7 5/8 inches (16 x 8 x 8). These are great for the building and are basically the same that I use. Let me know in case if you choose a different size and I will send you your slab dimensions according your block size.
The slab is 4 thick and in addition the slab has also at least 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide footings around (sized for the weight), this concrete footing/foundation is reinforced with 1 rebar in each side. The whole slab surface is also reinforced with the metal mesh. *(In freezing climates make the footing below the frost level; as per the usual building practice applied/common in the area. How deep is your frost line? If its less then 1 foot below or if there is hard clay or rock ground then you will not need more to do. If deeper fastest I have seen digging down below the frost line and filling it with tapped down or vibrated rock all the way up just near the ground level and then slab poured on the rock. I would rather create footing at the bottom and from it rise cement block walls.)
IF you would like to have more space for the insulation around the oven, the gap between the oven part and the surrounding boxing walls, so the structure isnt exactly compact, just add one half block to the total width, it will give you more room internally. You would only add 8 to the total width.
One more question: The PDF specifies bricks that are 50mm thick for the first two flat rows along the base. Here in Japan, I havent been able to locate the 50mm bricks. Im trying to think of ways to work around this.
Option 2: Put the first row bricks on end so that instead of having two rows totaling 100mm, I end up with one row of 114 (14mm taller than the plans). I could double this row so I still have a fairly thick base. The third layer would be the 64mm row that the plans show.
We manufacture wood for smoke flavor as well as wood for kilns and ovens like those used for making bread or Pizza. We are in process of remodeling and we have refractory bricks we are selling they are over 89 years old and had been used for holding temp in a boiler room. They are in mint condition you can see pics of them on our twitter feed @mojobricks sold in lots of 1000 contact me for more info 773-398-1992 1.16.2013 They will be gone by March 1st ( we hope!)
Price of firebricks? This article deals with that and not only how much per firebrick also how to locate them much cheaper plus other useful information. In the comments down this page people share the prices they got and more. Be aware that many places re-sell firebricks commonly for 200% + mark-up, even 300% I saw personally, therefore simply look around to find the best price.
* Also for USA locations More Good Hints if practical : Basically my prices: Material cost and custom jobs when I build for people; the total cost of the material can be reduced by 70% if you buy all from advertisement papers, we do this all the time because its worthy. People sell for fraction of price, or giveaway, great left over material from other building projects (phone early or traders get it.) Otherwise in shops, if ordinary and new material is used the total material cost I have is $1350, but I buy firebricks for $2.10 each, if from supplier that is, although we purchase many palettes / year. Material cost for the inner refractory part I have is $550, I pay 2.10 per one firebrick and this is around my area when I do not have them delivered. As they are, Swishy is built for $5500 and MTo for 6500 (only extra 30+ firebricks though if its of the original size however can be done larger or smaller internally easily just by placing in or taking off a brick from a side.) If the outside decoration walls are build out of stones instead of house bricks but on the same wall lines, or an unique material, its considered as art or crafting and the extra time counts for extra price. If landscaping/paving around the oven its around 1000$ if an ordinary stuff is worked with, the 1K includes work. For putting together only the firebrick part the cost is $1000 (work only not material), 1-2 day-s max. If needed browse also this page for house bricks, blocks, firebricks: Look for House Bricks, Fire bricks and Cement Blocks etc. good deals on one page with Au., USA and U.K. options.
 : Hi AK, Firebricks are very often called by different names (it depends who works with them, firebricks quickly adopt a nick name for the subject), e.g. fire-clay bricks, chimney bricks, fireplace 
Hi Rado. I attended a pizza oven workshop with Alan Scott in 2006 in Victoria but unfortunately circumstances conspired to stop me building one at that time. I have since moved to Tasmania and now have the oven building bug again. I have notes from my 2006 workshop but am unsure where to get the specialist refractory materials here in Tasmania. Do you or any of your many contacts have any information that would be of help? Thanks.
> The Firebricks are supplied by K&D Brick supplier in 110 Giblin Street, Hobart, Phone (03) 62287828 and the Price is $4.95 per Brick.. > As a Contractor, you can most probably get a better Price then I can. > When you are in Hobart, please make Contact with Me for a Drink, Pow Wow and the usual European Type get together.
We at the Yangquan Huaxu international trade Co. Ltd., are specialized in producing refractory bricks. As per requirements, big, bigger or small, we can supply standard bricks and special-shaped bricks for making fireplaces, baking ovens, pizza ovens and coke ovens and so on. For many years we have been manufacturing and exporting these firebricks to many countries, such as those in Europe, The Americas, Australia, etc. Our main products cover fireclay fire bricks, high alumina bricks, insulating bricks or silica bricks products. Our prices are competitive.
Contact details Yangquan Huaxu International Trade Co., Ltd. Address: No.263,Taonan East Road, Yangquan, Shanxi, China Tel: 86 353 2020956 Fax: 86 353 2020965 Website: yqhuaxu.com Email: [email protected]
We manufacture all kinds of refractories / products in China, including firebricks for industrial and/or domestic purposes and applications. We offer high quality and competitive prices, a few examples are : Standard firebricks : 9 x 4-1/2 x 21/2 are for USD 1.15 per piece/unit, delivered to New York or Chicago estimated at about $2.0 / per brick which of course changes to cheaper depending on quantity ordered. various other special brick shapes have have also available in stock on offer, like shiplap tiles, anchors, wedges of various shapes, and so on. Contact us if you need more extensive information. We will reply back within 12 hours. Thanks!
I was just wondering if cement pavers can be used for building an oven. I have an abundant supply of pavers (just a cement brick) from a patio that I would like to tear up and I was wondering if I could use these for building the oven. I would get proper firebrick for the hearth and dome, but was wondering if I can use the cement pavers for the remaining. I think they would be fine for the walls of the structure, but will they be ok for the chimney section? Wasnt sure if that section gets too hot for cement bricks?
Does anybody have a good source of firebrick for Western Canada? I am in British Columbia and in my area, right now the cheapest fire brick I can find is $3.43 for 4.5x9x2.5. Unfortunately at that price I may not be buidling an oven as the brick alone will be quite expensive. Anyone information on a cheaper source in my area would be appreciated.
 metal object in guided motion will cause creation of a groove line (equally so with hard and dense firebrick which as a matter of fact also can be sanded with sandpaper as well.) However, I do not think a 
I have searched to get information on thermal conduction coefficient of fire bricks. Your website is brilliant, extremely informative and friendly at the same time (pleasantly amusing in some sections). You can be or should be proud of it. Even openly. Thank you very much.
Purchased 30 firebricks for $60, so about $2/brick. Had a good amount of chips but couldnt find another place nearby that sold them. Great customer service, though. Theyre open to the public and will let you buy any quantity you want, small or large. How to work with chipped fire bricks and avoid the chips easily.
Can anyone say if I can buy firebricks in Bacolod. I need FIREBRICKS for a square of 1200 x 1200mm and I need them so urgent now because we were about to finish walls, the owen is situated outside but we will be cooking from the inside.
It depends on for what application. By crushing firebrick you will make the firebrick grog or dust. It will obviously remain its high heat resistant properties. Same as the data of the smashed firebrick. However, the main difference will be, if you add water you will not achieve the mud like consistency and texture (firebrick grog or dust particles wont stick together without adding a bonding agent, e.g. would be some heat resistant cement.) Where do you plan to use fireclay, or how? If not in shops you could get own fireclay outside somewhere from the nature.
I am in Newcastle, New South Wales and am trying to source some fire bricks. I wondered if anyone might have any information. So far I have a quote of $3.30 per brick from one supplier others are dear. I have someone else to call on Wednesday and I am contacting some recycling places to see if they might ever get firebricks in.
I intend to open your plans on tablet. Could you ball park the cost of the building materials along the building plans? Ive found a place that does fire bricks for $1.99 each, firebrick splits and fulls 9 x 4.5 x 2.5 standard fire brick size from REFRACTORY plus MASONRY Products & Supplies in Seattle, WA, Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel Co., Phone number: (206) 784-1234 , Toll-Free number: (800) 774-8999. They also sell chimney liners and chimney caps among other refractory products.
I am making a forge and need for inside appropriate heat resistant bricks blanket and ceramic shell if you can send me a catalog brochure flyer or photocopy with prices. I am a handicap and with a catalog it will be easy in my condition please.
Rado, I have a question related to pizza oven materials and wonder if you would be willing to share some of your experience with me. I am going to be building a modified swishy oven only a bit larger. I was able to acquire some non-standard sized extreme duty reclaimed firebrick that are 4 x 6 x 9 1/2 in length. These are 70% alumina content and have come out of a large wood kiln operated by large lumber company. I also want to put a 4 concrete layer on top for additional thermal mass. I was reading in your post about the cladding layer about how you like to use standard clay bricks instead of the concrete. I also reclaimed ~2000 red clay brick from a demolition that are from the 1930s. If I were to add a layer of the red clay brick would there be any benefit in putting a concrete cladding over the clay brick?
I have an additional question about the insulation over the cladding. From my same source for the firebrick I can also pick up the 4 thick thermal insulation blanket that was used to insulate the kiln for a very inexpensive price. Would it be better to use a insulation blanket or to use vermiculite / perlite? Could I use pumice? I have a source of that I could get for just a little cheaper than the perlite. Perlite is about $20 for a 4 cu ft. bag, the vermiculite is about $32 for same quantity and the pumice is $18. The pumice does have some moisture to it and is heavier than the perlite. Thank you for sharing your passion Rado, it is extremely valuable.
Hi John, Logical questions. 1st only a bit larger how large the firebrick part internally do you plan to build? And A. how often will the oven be used (per week), B. what everything do you intend to produce in your oven e.g just pizzas or also baking and roasting, and quantities. That would give me much broader room for answering the questions as some answers could be handy for you.
That is what I thought about pumice. Pumice is heavier thus having lower thermal insulting properties or qualities. But it would be excellent to be able to sit on it if in a form of a bench or a seat I can imagine. Go for the Perlite, good price too (compared with the Vermiculite in your area.) Perlite has pretty much the same properties as Vermiculite in insulating ovens to keep the heat in. Apply higher thickness especially over on the top, even if Vermiculite or even ceramic blankets were used. If you could locate and buy ash from burning coal fuel, you could use this ash instead but recently it is all used up mostly by cheaper cement versions producers.
If you used additional clay bricks layer in addition to firebricks, this needs to have both of the side walls supported. The side walls on whose firebrick arches sit, on skew firebricks. Supported so the weight of arches does not push on the each wall outwards. But to do some support isnt difficult, it is just structural matter. Especially above the first firebrick arches, it is best if the secondary brick layer is bonded together with the firebricks with a thin refractory mortar. Not much mortar is used in this thin application, and this mortar helps to remove any air spaces between these two brick types. Air adds to a volume of non material mass into which otherwise the heat gets absorbs and gets retain. The air spaces between would also slow down the heat transfer within the dense material, the mortar simply connects them to deal with it all. When you reply with answers to the few question at the beginning of my/this comment, I will give you a couple more hints.
Rado, I was originally looking at the 3G MTO but liked the open space under the swishy better. When I said slightly larger, what I mean is building the upper part of the 3G on the swishy base so I think we are on the same page there. I want to put a BBQ smoker in the space under the oven so I need it open. Right next to the oven I will build a Argentinean Grill as well.
As to how often I will use it, probably 1-2 twice a week, maybe slightly more. I want to be able to cook pizzas, roast, breads, calzones, drying veggies, etc. As far as quantities, it will just be for me and my wife and our friends. Our kids are grown and moved away. So a pizza or two, flash sizzle a couple of steaks before throwing on the grill. Roast or bird for a Sunday dinner with friends. Cook a loaf or two of bread in the morning, that type of thing. As to how often we will use it, we will be using the outdoor kitchen quite often so we dont have to heat up the house. That includes the pizza oven, smoker and grill as well as the stove Im putting in. As far as making it a little bigger I was thinking because my firebrick is bigger and I was thinking of using the additional clay brick cladding that I would have to make it wider and I wanted to make the base 1 course of block higher to give more room to the smoker.
I dont think I will have it running continuously and will have a couple of cold starts a week on it. I know there is a start up cost to get the thermal mass to temp. Ill have to figure out the rhythm of the oven so it may be easier to keep some heat in it at all times rather than cold starting it. I have the firebrick stacked on pallets right now and to see how quickly it cools down and becomes cold when then sun goes down and how quickly it heats up when the sun comes up is pretty interesting. Not just the exterior bricks on the pallet but the whole mass. Ive checked bricks on the inside of the pallet out of curiosity.
Hi, I have two different styles of brick. One look to be old Boston pavers and they arent all a uniform rectangular brick. There are defects in almost every brick. The other set are rough looking and are more uniform in size most look to be solid red clay all the way through.
Hi John, These bricks or pavers you described they might be fine for use for brick oven hot face but the material must be the right one. So it lasts in the heat condition levels. If you need to send images the photos should be taken from the close up distance, so I can see the structure. Would be good if you cut each of the two type in half, wash the dust of and photograph the material body inside which reveals heaps more details. My email is kangarado at gmail dot com
That dimension in millimeters is practically replaceable for the 9 x 4.5 x 3 size brick when it comes to building, the nearest size, extremely close to 9 x 4.5 x 3 but rounded. Although in USA and Europe the standard firebrick size is 2.5 inches thick instead of the 3 inches. Get all these calculations easily in this page for refractory material sizes conversions.
Colchester Illinois has 1886 historical red clay bricks for sale. These are heavy. Extremely stout. Very clean. Average weight is 5.26 pounds per brick. Nice and suitable for all weather or fire Dutch oven, fire place. Around 100,000 bricks left. Shipping is available. Contact Mike Raleigh if interested. 309-255-7943. Text and email work too. Thanks
Steam, it is gas also. Only heat out of the reaction and pH might rise slightly. So you might see steam or evaporation/condensation maximally to be non scientific. Upon the water is added, ions form during the early reaction if its a refractory cement; firstly hydroxide ions create. Crystallization of the calcium hydroxide begins and calcium silicate hydrate starts forming simultaneously. As the reaction accelerates of course the ions precipitate within the mix totality. The heat still keeps increasing for a while and can be measured by the kJ energy unit and perhaps it could be calculated as well.
Ive been looking for firebricks in Qatar but with no luck, the local clay brick company have told me that I could use the red clay brick they have available but Im a bit of a skeptic as I couldnt get a hold of their composition. However, I found a refractory manufacture from the nearest country that would be able to ship, but in their composition silica is not listed at all. Would these bricks be OK to use in a pizza oven? particularly for the base? below is the composition they have:
Im really keen on building a pizza oven. Currently residing in Qatar, where it seems to be completely dry of firebricks/refractory bricks. Found a company in a neighboring country that sells Alumina bricks but does not mention anything about silica. They carry 40% alumina with 1.21 % iron oxide and A.P % 21. Should I go ahead with these bricks or are they not suitable?
Gday Heba, Data from your fist post (but the 40% alumina will be all right too): The bulk density 2,150.00 kilograms (2,150,000.00 grams) to cubic meter, calculated from the B.D. gm/cc 2.15, seem fine numbers for heavy dense refractory firebricks. Judging from the 36% alumina content in the clay these bricks will contain roughly 60-65% silica. Apparent porosity, AP 24%, reflects the data correctly.
How much do they cost you, where are you importing them from, which country? It should be easy for you to bring a palette of firebricks etc. to Qatar from some other country around you and perhaps for a real low price too if the firebricks are purchased right from a manufacturer. Here in Au. we have heaps of imported refractory firebricks available as well, then re-sellers ask arm and leg sort of a markup for them.
Thanks for your reply! Ive been on a maniacal internet hunt for the nearest fireclay bricks- definitely no luck with finding them locally. Did come across a reseller, who for obvious reasons did not have anything in stock (seems far too usual when you live in Doha!)
From the first post, I found the composition on a trading site from a manufacturer in Saudi, but upon emailing them, they only had bricks of 40% alumina and above. They havent gotten back to me with a price yet. But judging by the price of the local red clay bricks in Qatar (roughly 1.25 AUD per brick) I wouldnt be surprised if they ask for an organ for the fireclay. But I shall remain hopeful!
On my ongoing search I have found another factory for refractories in the UAE that have a proper PDF datasheet online: Ive requested for the pricing for the RM 30 ( AL203: 29%, Si03: 63% ) not very sure on the application description : Expandable product. Im hoping the composition itself is enough to mindfully start on the pizza oven!
Hello Rado, I was able to get a few cases of new light weight Refractory bricks that were intended to be used in a high temperature Kiln. I believe I have enough to construct the arched ceiling of an oven and easily cut them with a table saw to obtain the correct angels without any mortar. However, the person I got them from said their properties are intended to reflect heat more than adsorb it. Will these be acceptable for a pizza oven or will they not retain enough heat to be effective? Tank you, Paul
Paul, Be careful here because the oven would not function. Lightweight firebricks would not absorb and therefore also not retain the heat energy in them. Basically nearly not at all, compared to the heavy dense firebrick kind which absorb heat real well.
But on the other hand you could use them for under the hearth floor slab for instance to prevent the heated floor from cooling down. They are truly great for insulating the heat as in keeping it inside the oven, or keeping the outside cold condition separated, but must be only applied in places where suitable. These bricks are also expensive especially when new, say even 5 times compared to dense firebricks, so take all of them if you can get a good price!
You recommended to Australian builders CLAYPAVE as suppliers of refractory brick. Probably in response to all the inquiry you generated, and your own material usage, now they offer a complete pizza-oven kit for new builders. It comes complete with pre-cut bricks and insulation etc. Claypave pizza oven the lot. I do not know if it is barrel or circular dome design, nor the price.
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