rally

firebrick failure, has anyone had this happen

Recommended Posts

Around a month ago I was experimenting with a new fuel source, nut-coal from tractor supply, and with that in mind. Six of my fire-bricks were completely destroyed,looked like glass, looking back I wish I had taken pictures. Was thinking i wanted to keep using charcoal, but like the coal because of no fire-fleas. Has this happened to anyone other then me, and what can i do to prevent this, or a different lining, any help appreciated  

23472842_1627488447309153_4856549624502380256_n.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I melted a hard firebrick in my jabod forge but the clay I dug out of the ground held up just fine. You could clay the forge with mineral rich soil ( clay) from your backyard. When it starts to fracture just reline it. Make sure you separate any rocks and foreign matter first. The firepot of my jabod has held up with no repairs for about six months.

Pnut

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i though that would work although I dont have clay i can go dig up would cat litter work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can use cat litter but i prefer to use oil dry. Basically the same clay but i have found really hard pieces in cat litter that just wont, dissolve for lack of the proper term. 

That anthracite will require a lot of air also. 

I would suggest that you read the stuff on JABODS and fuels. There are many discussion on claying the forge and what to use and how. Also the fuel sections will let you know what to expect with your chosen fuel and how to use them.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BillyBones - Thanks, i should of though about reading JABOD section, and I know what to expect from the anthracite, the blower I have has more then enough pressure. Just with my forge the way its insulted it couldn`t stand the heat. With regards to the cat litter clay, i feel like an idiot if i would have just looked at the JABOD section I would have known that I could used just clay, thanks for the suggestion of using oil dry 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do not feel like an idiot. You had a legitimate question and like my drill sergeant always said " The only stupid question is the one you do not ask." Some may think it is basic knowledge but the fact is you do not know. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the bricks have only vitrified on their surface you may be able to use them still. Can you post a picture of them?

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pnut - The bricks have been thrown away, as i said this happened about a month ago and I wish I had taken pictures. But there was no saving the bricks they sunk in on themself, hence the reason I am asking about a lining that would hold up to the heat because the bricks aren't up to the task. But thanks to BillyBones and you, I now know what I am going to try. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you find the threads that talked about the measurements for mixing the bentonite with sand and water and letting it sit in a five gallon bucket or sealed bag and letting the water disperse throughout the mixture over the course of a day or two?

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pnut - I have found a recipe for 3 parts fire clay to 1 part sand but will this work as I will be using oil dry for the clay and not bentonite clay and I have a bag of play sand will that work or is it to big of particles. I assume that I doesn't in the slightest but as a novice I would prefer to know before I invest my time in this.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oil dri, cheap cat litter, etc are all bentonite clay. Just a fancy way to say the cheapest kitty litter you can find. When you buy it make sure it's 100% bentonite. There's better sand but play sand will work. After you let it sit grab a handful and squeeze it. If it forms a clump you can break cleanly and doesn't leave mud on your hand its ready. If it crumbles apart you need a little more water. If it's muddy you need more dry ingredients. Put down a couple inches and ram it down with the end of a bat 2x4 etc. Push it down till it's hard then do another layer if it needs it.  Keep some in reserve in case of shrink checking (cracking) as it dries. If it's the right consistency it shouldn't shrink check but better safe than sorry.

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pnut - thank you for the advice, the only problem I can see in my future is getting it compacted because of how narrow my forge is at the bottom, but other then that thanks to everyone for the information and advice.

looked at the bag of cat litter and all it says is ground clay and have talked to walmart who has contacted the manufacturer to inqurire about what type of clay it is, looking back I shouldn't of contacted  them but did, am i right to assume it is bentonite 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Rally,

Does it really matter what type of clay it is?

SLAG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

slag-long day I feel like I am running on two hours of sleep and with my head cut off, I am clearly not thinking straight as now thinking about it probably doesn't, just with working with a limited budget I would like to make sure it would work and I know benitoite has worked so just trying to make sure it will work before sinking money and time into it, but seeing the last two posts I will just go ahead with it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

As long as the kitty liter is unscented without additives to make it clump it's good to go.

Used by the cat kitty litter may be less expensive but you want to be sure it is NEW kitty litter.  Don't ask why. (grin)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rally: only add JUST ENOUGH moisture the kitty litter can be squeezed into a lump. Do NOT make mud out of it or it'll take maybe weeks to dry and will shrink check like crazy. 

Guesstimate how much you'll use by filling your forge with dry litter. It doesn't need to be packed, you just want a volume to start with. If you have a sensitive scale weigh what you'll need, if not give it your best guess by volume, you'l be using tbsp and tsp amounts. Add LESS THAN 10% water by sprinkling it on as you stir and stir a LOT.  Now seal it in a plastic bucket over night to temper. Clays will distribute moisture evenly through the entire volume given time, over night is rushing bentonite but it's okay, this isn't rocket surgery. ;)

Next day or longer open the bucket, take a handful and squeeze it hard in your fist. If it makes a clump that doesn't crumble or leave streaks on your hand you're golden. If it crumbles add 1% based on the original weight or volume. Sprinkle and mix at the same time. Temper over night and test. If on the other hand it leaves streaks on your hand add a LITTLE dry litter while mixing. Temper over night and test.

This doesn't have to be exact, you only want enough moisture so it'll pack hard with a mallet, end of a 2"x4" etc. You use garden or ditch clayey soil the same way but bentonite clay is some touchy stuff that takes unholy long to dry and shrink checks like grapes wrinkle when they dry out. Bentonite is also extremely heat resistant, easy to find and cheap.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no mineral soil near you? It doesn't have to be clay you can make a pot from. Most soil will work. I would try it and see, and if it doesn't work clean it out and go back to the kitty litter/dri-sweep method. Dirt is free and you said you were on a limited budget.

Pnut

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

seems pretty normal to me, these things happen every now and then.

In the case of my japanese forge, when the clay tuyere starts getting a little melted,
I mix up some refractory of mortared up charcoal and clay and slap it on the tuyere, that usually lasts for a long time.

I don't think cracked firebricks are much to worry about?
ps: Bentonite kitty litter clay, made it into powder and tried it but...it was, not very good...
it would crack, flake/peel itself off and float around in my forge. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pnut- I can probably get some soil around me that is free as you say, but I said limited budget and have the money set aside to mix up a clay and sand lining, and with the soil with my forge pictured in the first post I feel that it wouldn't stay to the sides like I want, and with the information I have now, I am going to go ahead with and buy the 10 bucks in cat litter to get this ball rolling so to speak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are used to working with a limited budget; I'm sure you know to ask the store Manager if they have any damaged bags you could buy at a discount. Explaining what you want it for can help a lot.  Finding the plain clay stuff is getting harder around me as they all sell the clumping stuff nowadays; so the oil dry might be a better way to go. (I've noticed an open tub of it at the self service gas station I use. They spread it on any spills when folks try to get 12.2 gallons in a 12 gallon tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thomspowers- have looked at the bags and for the same amount of money I can get 10 pound more of clay from cat litter at walmart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thomaspowers-haven't seen any broken ones of either but will ask when I go tonight to buy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.