My Homemade Firebrick Liner From Castable Refractory Cement

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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Tempcoal & Tempcoal 2

Post by Woody7734 » Sun. Jun. 15, 2014 12:58 pm

I needed to reline two Tempcoal coal stoves I recently purchased from a fellow NEPA forum member. One is the original design (Tempcoal) and the other is the updated design (Tempcoal II). They both needed to have their broken & eroded refractory fire brick liners replaced.
The large, original, one piece firebrick pieces for each stove consisted of two bricks measuring approximately 10" x 10-3/4" x 1-3/8", and two bricks measuring approximately 10" x 13-5/8" x 1-3/8". At first I thought about casting my own, but decided to see if they were available already made.

Eventually I found a local refractory firebrick dealer who could order 12" square and 12" x 18" firebricks that were 1-1/2" thick. I would need to cut them down to size with a concrete saw (I would leave the thickness at 1-1/2"). Because the order was small (four bricks of each size), it was considered a "special order" and with the trucking charges from a couple states away, the total cost delivered to the dealer for the eight firebricks was $800 ($100 each...or $400 per stove)!

I researched making my own and decide to go that route. I would need a little less than 50 lbs of Rutland Castable Refractory Cement (2200 F rated) per stove (four firebricks). My total cost for making the molds and the eight firebricks at the exact size & shape for the two stoves was approximately $280 ($140 per stove).
Note: One 12-1/2 lb pail of the refractory mix should make the equivilant of one firebrick 12" x 12" x 1-1/2", according to Rutland's label (I used two of the larger, 25 lb pails per stove).

Here is the method I used:

The firebrick would be made from Rutland Castable Refractory Cement (water amount was according to their instructions), with some stainless steel "refractory needles" (purchased on Ebay) mixed in to provide better crack resistance, thermal shock properties and longevity. Adding a small amount of needles to the mix supposedly doubles or triples the life of the firebricks in a coal stove.
The molds for the firebricks were made from / lined with with melamine covered shelving board material (to prevent the mix from sticking to the mold) and 2" x 2" lumber. I sprayed the molds lightly with Pam cooking spray before putting the mix in them.

The self explanatory pictures are below, followed by my drying method:
2.5 percent by weight 403 SS needles.JPG
.JPG | 408.1KB | 2.5 percent by weight 403 SS needles.JPG
correct mix consistency.JPG
.JPG | 398.4KB | correct mix consistency.JPG
tamping into mold.JPG
.JPG | 384.6KB | tamping into mold.JPG
screeding mix.JPG
.JPG | 417.5KB | screeding mix.JPG
wet texture.JPG
.JPG | 428KB | wet texture.JPG
kept damp for 24 hours curing.JPG
.JPG | 417.2KB | kept damp for 24 hours curing.JPG
tempcoal II homemade firebricks.JPG
.JPG | 1011KB | tempcoal II homemade firebricks.JPG
I cured the firebricks at room temperature, still in the molds, covered with wet paper towels and a plastic sheet (after the mix had firmed up a few hours later) for 24 hours. They were left to sit 3 days before unmolding them. They were then air-dried at room temperature (and outside on warm, sunny days) for 10 days.
To slowly and fully dry them out the firebricks were then placed in our COLD kitchen oven, directly on the wire racks. The oven was set at 200 F for 3 hours. Then the oven was turned up to 300 F for 2 hours. I then turned the oven up to 400 F for 2 hours, after which I turned the oven off and left the firebricks inside (with the oven door closed) to cool down to room temperature (overnight).

The dry firebricks weigh the same as the original ones, so I believe they are the same density firebrick as the original ones.
Last edited by Woody7734 on Sun. Jun. 15, 2014 5:49 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by windyhill4.2 » Sun. Jun. 15, 2014 1:40 pm

Nice job! Now you can sell the firebricks at a $70 profit each if I did the numbers right.Looks like factory made bricks,you done well, I think I stole that saying from ?....... Freetown Fred ??

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Post by wilder11354 » Sun. Jun. 15, 2014 2:09 pm much(size container) of the rutland refactory castable cement did it take to make each brick, or all bricks? TY in advance. Bill

NEVER mind I see it in orginal post now. TY.

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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Tempcoal & Tempcoal 2

Post by Woody7734 » Sun. Jun. 15, 2014 5:52 pm

Bill & others: I made a mistake on the amounts and cost in the original post. I have edited it and it's accurate now. My apologies to all.

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