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Thread: Ceramic reline of an old wood heater.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Ceramic reline of an old wood heater.

    Is there any way that potters clay can be used to reline a wood heater.
    The heater is about 50 inches tall, and 18"x 18" square.
    Way back in the 1960s my dad put a block of good coal in it and the maisonary lining crumbled from the heat.
    I thought maybe there was a way to replace that lining with ceramic potters clay.
    Go now and pour yourself a hot one...

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    What about firebrick cut with a tile saw? I am totally ignorant of all this, but the first thing that comes to mind. Cut to fit, thin slabs with heat resistant mortar. Seen homemade furnaces made similarly.
    One of my father's favorite statements: "If I say a chicken dips snuff, look under his wing for the snuffbox" How I was raised, who I am.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    Firebrick made for wood stoves is what you want. Doesn't need mortar, just a good fit. There are usually steel clips to hold the vertical bricks. 9x4.5x1.25" seems to be the standard size.

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...k?cm_vc=-10005

    Ash fills the gaps between bricks.
    Last edited by Mal Paso; 11-08-2020 at 06:01 PM.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I've made up barrel stoves using standard fire brick. A heavy duty 55 gallon drum will last 20 years. Just lay the firebrick around the bottom & back of the barrel, a little sand to fill in the voids. Use one match a year, burn constantly from late November through mid April. Leave a good bed of coals and bank it down, and you're good to go all night long.
    Given up wood about a dozen years ago, just too much work. Switched to a coal stoker stove, only handle it once. Sold the last of my woodpile & bought a load of coal.
    In your case, just lining your stove with firebrick and it should hold up well.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Thank you!
    Go now and pour yourself a hot one...

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    make the liner yourself. Waterglass and vermiculite.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    I used to know a guy that lived up in Canon City. He had a house that was built from reject fire brick. Couldn't get TV or cell reception inside the house.
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
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  8. #8
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    When I made my firepit I used firebrick on the bottom and filled in the gaps with a heat proof goop that I got at my local hardware store. I've forgotten what it was called but I also used it to re-point my fireplace box. I will say what they had on the shelf had hardened and they had to order more fresh.
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    Fire brick is the way to go. If you use clay, make a heavy mix of steel turnings from a lathe to help it hold together.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy quail4jake's Avatar
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    "castable furnace cement" made by Rutland is what I used to make a refractory retort in a coal burning pot belly stove from the 1880s. It forms well and will slump minimally if you make it stiff, I worked it by hand to form about an inch thick to line the fire pot. Let it set and dry out for a day then build a small fire to heat it slowly the first time and slowly add coal until full heat. Mine has held up without cracking for 4 years now. You can also use refractory splits to cover most of your flat area then the castable furnace cement to custom fit curves etc and around the fire door. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    maybe refractory mortar, and ive read about people using clay mixed with hardwood ash to use in fire box construction, not sure how that works exactly.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    The grade of firebrick you can buy from Tractor Supply or local builders supply are a low grade “high duty” spec. They are rated for 2200 to 2400 f and are fine for wood burners; but as your dad discovered, high grade coal will get hotter under the right conditions. All concretes and refractories, including fire brick, will absorb moisture, the amount it will absorb is quantified on the spec data sheet as ‘porosity’. So if a cheaper, high porosity refractory lining sits unused all spring, summer & fall, sucking up moisture, you’ll want to take your time getting it up to forging heat. If not the water turns to steam and starts to crumble or ‘spall’ the refractory.
    If it’s not kept hot it can also absorb moisture, then freeze. The water molecules expand on freezing causing the refractory to crumble. Moisture is the primary cause of wood burner lining failure.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmi48219 View Post
    The grade of firebrick you can buy from Tractor Supply or local builders supply are a low grade “high duty” spec. They are rated for 2200 to 2400 f and are fine for wood burners; but as your dad discovered, high grade coal will get hotter under the right conditions. All concretes and refractories, including fire brick, will absorb moisture, the amount it will absorb is quantified on the spec data sheet as ‘porosity’. So if a cheaper, high porosity refractory lining sits unused all spring, summer & fall, sucking up moisture, you’ll want to take your time getting it up to forging heat. If not the water turns to steam and starts to crumble or ‘spall’ the refractory.
    If it’s not kept hot it can also absorb moisture, then freeze. The water molecules expand on freezing causing the refractory to crumble. Moisture is the primary cause of wood burner lining failure.
    Thanks for that piece of info. Very helpful.
    THANKS.
    One of my father's favorite statements: "If I say a chicken dips snuff, look under his wing for the snuffbox" How I was raised, who I am.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bmi48219 View Post
    The grade of firebrick you can buy from Tractor Supply or local builders supply are a low grade “high duty” spec. They are rated for 2200 to 2400 f and are fine for wood burners; but as your dad discovered, high grade coal will get hotter under the right conditions. All concretes and refractories, including fire brick, will absorb moisture, the amount it will absorb is quantified on the spec data sheet as ‘porosity’. So if a cheaper, high porosity refractory lining sits unused all spring, summer & fall, sucking up moisture, you’ll want to take your time getting it up to forging heat. If not the water turns to steam and starts to crumble or ‘spall’ the refractory.
    If it’s not kept hot it can also absorb moisture, then freeze. The water molecules expand on freezing causing the refractory to crumble. Moisture is the primary cause of wood burner lining failure.
    Excellent! Awesome Information!
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

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