jeep4x4greg

are all firebricks create equal?

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i went to a local brick yard and asked about firebricks.

they had some, said they were good up to 2700* and melting point of 3000*.....so i checked em out....they seem hard and solid like normal bricks, except they are a yellowish-white. measure 9"x4".5x2.5"

i thought firebrick was supposed to be really soft? :confused:

are all firebricks created equal?

i bought some of the hard ones from the store....cuz at $1.40 i wasnt really gonna go broke...


can i use these?

i was going to make something like this more-or-less:

Building the forge


i could coat it with ITC-100 if it helps afterwards.




let me know your thoughts:D:)

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the soft light weight firebricks are more of an insulated brick, i have a kiln with these type bricks, they will work, the heavy bricks arent made to insulate, they will work too
the only difference i have found is working with them, soft bricks are easy to cut but also break much easyer
i believe most fireplaces use the heavy bricks inside the fire box, the soft bricks wouldnt hold up at all

Ron

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The white are lower temp and much cheaper, the yellow are indeed hard and a bit more costly. the ITC or similar coatings will give far better results than a non-coated version of the same. I've recently read of something that costs about 20% of what the itc costs and is touted to work the same(though i've never tried it). it's more of a reflector than an insulator, so makes startup faster and keeps the heat from transferring a quickly through the firebrick.(and yes it will transfer through, just a matter of how long)

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yea i'd like to know what the ITC alternative is also

thanks for all the info people

I staked up the bricks and put in a small mapp gas hand-held torch....it got the metal nice and red, but I definately need more heat before i can be productive.

I'm going to start buying the pipe parts to make a Reil style burner.

keep the brick related info coming! :)

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The Dense brick makes an pretty ineffective forge. There is alot of heat loss with these, as they do not insulate and have a high thermal conductivity. The dense brick is great for a forge floor as they have a high resistance to mechanical wear. The soft brick will work much better for the forges walls and ceiling, as it is an insulator with a low thermal conductivity. I've seen many complaints from guys who have built their own forges and can't seem to get a good heat with them, the culprit is usually bad liners. The difference between the dense brick and the insulating brick is huge. Some of these forges that were barely able to maintain forging temps with the dense liner can now reach welding heat easily just by making the switch to the insulating brick. Ceramic Fiber and Ceramic Board perform even better, but the Ceramic fiber can be fragile and melts in the presence of welding flux (ITC 100 does little to slow that process down...). ITC works great if you use it on good material, I wouldn't waste it on the dense brick though. That's like spraying some expensive House of Color Enamel on a rusty Yugo... I have a page on my website briefly detailing the thermal properties of these materials. Thermal Properties

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anyone have some good sources for the low density insulating brick?

I've been searching online but i'm not sure which brick is which.

and what temperature range should i get.....i've seen 2300*, 2600*, and 2800*...and i'm sure there are others....

is 2300* enough?


any help is welcome!

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Jeep,
My first Gas forge was a stack of fire brick like you have with 2 ron reil style burners. I only used one most of the time. The nice thing about a stack of bricks is that you can change shape and modify as needed.
It worked well for everyday forge work but did not get hot enough to forgeweld. I did alot of work with that pile of bricks and have seen times I wish I had room to put one in the corner again.

John

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You can also replace ITC-100 by mixing up your own colloidal zirconia and porcelain binder. Zirconia is available in many grit sizes commercialy, Google will put you in touch easily.

Frosty

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Hey Greg,
Now seeing that you are in the Peoria area, I'd almost bet that you got those bricks the same place that I got mine a couple years ago (possible even from the same pallet). But yeh, like everybody said, these bricks will really suck (up all the heat) in a gas forge. You'll spend alot of fuel just getting the forge warmed up. I went to college in the Peoria area, and the ceramics teacher swore up and down that there was someplace in Peoria or B/N that sold the soft brick, but I never pursued it as the hard brick is ideal in my flattop coal forge. Good luck, and if you find them in the area, drop me a line and let me know where as I'll end up building a gas forge sooner or later.
-Aaron @ the SCF

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Heating suppliers should carry a lot of what is needed bricks cement and more. The cheapest fire brick I found was in old oil and wood burning furnaces. the bottom of old fireplaces have a one piece brick, a rectangle with the sides tapered at the top; same shape and size as the fireplace. The furnace bricks are very fragile,but can be cemented back together. You also get a round forge,but, check with the installers (fireplace & furnace)rather than the company, the price is usually better. leave them your number in a box of donuts or coffees and tell them what you need so if they don't have it they can watch out for it............Duck

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The insulating brick is some neat stuff. I was playin around with it before and you can drop a melted piece of solder on it and it will stay melted for around 10 seconds. :o You know how fast solder solidifies. This is why the insulating materials are best for forges.

Wanting to makea simple forge with internal area the size of a brick or so.

I have searched all over the forum and can't seem to find anything definite on what temp insulating brick is fine for a small propane forge. I have a box of bricks that I think are 2300

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i used to use firebrick, haven't used it for my last three forges. i discovered insulating castable refractory. i use Plicast 2800. If you type it in Google it will come up. Stands up real good to flux and you can make the forge however you want and any shape you need. i haven't used ITC 100 on any of them yet, will use it on my next one though. Heard it works real good. i get 5 or 6 years to a forge using it full time. i never got that out of a brick forge. It stands up real good to metal being pulled in and out of the front and back.
There are other types of insulating refractories, this is the one i use and i have no trouble getting it.

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are all firebricks created equal?



Very existential question :D ! I know that humans are though.:p

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greg, probably not the same pallet since i picked up all they had left a couple months ago while rebuilding dads kiln you really need to use the "soft" firebrick for the inside of the gasser. ill check with dad on where he got his at, i know he got a discount as he bought 2 pallets worth tho..

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