I've my stand built with a standard concrete top and I'm planning the onward build.
Due to the cost of ceramic insulating board, I'm going for a vermiculite/cement insulating layer 100 mm thick. ...but what then?
On a budget, I've found that some nice 64 mm fire bricks for the cooking surface and dome (I've room for a 1.0m outer diameter dome) will set me back about £220 including delivery so I want to look at making a saving. I've got some clay house bricks left over from the stand build. I've seen dire warnings about the bricks cracking under repeated use but I've also seen some YouTubers building with these.
I'd appreciate any views on the use of clay bricks. Is this a good compromise solution or am I just heading for a re-build after a season's firing? Is a cast dome a good alternative or are the tales of these cracking largely true?
I'm proposing to finish the build with a good dome insulation using a ceramic blanket wrap + vermiculite rendering + final waterproof cement render.
Any views, suggestions or alternatives would be appreciated.
I used clay bricks in mine and it's shown no sign of degradation over the last five years; however, the bricks were 200yr old 'solids' from a neighbours dismantled chimney, if yours have frogs (indents) or holes through them then the advice would be not to use them. Solids can be found at reclamation yards and as you're going to split them anyway damaged ones are fine and may be cheaper.
The bricks that I have are heavy in that they weigh 3.5 Kg each. They probably date from about 1910-1930, given the age of the house that they came from. They are a standard brick size of 7.5 x 114 x 230 mm but they do have a frog. I was thinking of using half bricks for the dome and full bricks with their flats uppermost for the cooking layer. ...still a no-no? Be brutal if you have to!
P.S Do you know of a setting on this forum for getting a notification of a reply?