Is fire clay and fire rock the same thing? I just got around to getting the supplies rounded up to make a small foundry and noticed when I got home they give me fire rock instead of fire clay. Reading the label says it's a mortor for laying brick fireplaces.
If not the same, will this stuff work? I'm mixing up the home brew refractory, Fireclay, sand, perlite, and portand cement.
Made the propane burner already, that thing is cool. Well..........hot.
Have a great day,
Thanks for the reply.
50 bucks or so for real refractory?????? It going to be over 200 bucks for real castable refractory. I know or I should say I've read that the home brew will not hold up for a long time, but I think it will hold up enough to find out how interested I'll in this hobby. I didn't know if I could use the fire rock in place of the fire clay.
No blower, just the burner (Ron Reil design).
Hi awerby, I am hoping to start some work on the foundry ass well this winter and I understand that "real" refractory is REALLY expensive.
How about some pics of the cool(hot) burner.
Let us know how you make out.
Warning: DIY CNC may cause extreme hair loss due to you pulling your hair out.
Okay, it's been a while since I bought this stuff, but it's still not super expensive for what it does. Here's a link: http://www.budgetcastingsupply.com/C...Lite-26-LI.php
$110 gets you enough for a small furnace; 2 bags should be enough for a medium-sized one.
Here's some that's less expensive per bag, but about the same by volume, although it's rated to higher temps:
All that clay and cement is going to cost you something too, and then you've got the labor and expense of replacing it when it goes bad. Do it right the first time, and you can concentrate on casting metal and not furnaces.
Here's a link to instructions on building burners:
His blower burner is a lot like mine, except I think he's using the wrong sort of blower. A "squirrel-cage" blower like he shows will be better than nothing, but to get the most out of your gas you should use a pressure blower. That will do a better job of forcing air into the burner against back-pressure, where the squirrel-cage just spins. I've used vacuum cleaner blowers with good success.]
Just my $.02...
I am in the process of building a cupola based on Steve Chastain's book since I have quite a steel scrap pile from work. I called my local boiler repair place and bought a 50# bag of 3000 deg castable for $31.80 incl tax. They also sell 2" ceramic blanket for about $7.00/sq.ft. I am going to have a 1" thick hotface of dense castable and insulate it with the blanket. I would exhaust all local resources before having bags of stuff shipped; I looked under the yellow pages headings of "ceramics", "pottery", "brick suppliers", and "boilers" and cold called them to see what they could offer me.
I have just over 50 bucks in materials to build the foundry, if I can use the fireclay. It would take two or three of those 100 plus bags of refactory to do the same job. Don't get me wrong, I agree using the refractory over the home brew would be best. I want to see how interested I'm in this hobby before I put much money into a foundry. Most people that build a foundry always wish they did something a bit different in the build. If casting is for me, I can later build a second foundry more to the size I need and design that suited for me. I won't know this until I have one to use.
If I could find refractory for 30 bucks a bag in Indpls, that is the route I would start with.
Does anyone know if the firerock will work or do I need to return this stuff?
I looked around for info on Fire Rock and it looks like it's morter for fireplaces. I don't know if it would work as a hot face. Fireclay is just a high temp clay that can be added to a mix for refractory. I haven't heard anything good from homemade refractories unless it's just for Aluminum. Some will hold up to that but won't take Brass or especially Iron temps.
Here's a place in Indy you might try, I haven't been there but have heard they might help out the little guy. See if they have any broken bags or odds and ends they may give you, maybe free or at least cheap.
Not knowing what you are wanting to cast it is hard to say whether or not the stuff you have will work. Take a look at the forums over at
to get some ideas on what to build and how to build it. If you are going for iron/steel melts, it is best to use the refractory instead of the firerock/fireclay. Most of those firebrick type products are good to 2400 deg F but iron doesn't melt until 2800+ deg F.
Paprjam....thanks for the info, that place is just around the corner and down the road a bit from my house.
I'll only be melting aluminum.
Picture of the burner. Nothing fancy, built like most you see on the net. It was a lot of fun just lighting it up and letting burn. Doesn't take much to get me excited. lol