By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale May 23

Fire bricks

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Derek Lane 222/05/2019 18:52:38
avatar
186 forum posts
47 photos

Can anyone tell me if bricks from an storage heater are any good to make a silver soldering station.

fizzy22/05/2019 18:55:59
avatar
1572 forum posts
104 photos

Hi - worst possible use for them. They are made to absorb heat. You need to reflect heat. Ive got a few and its very difficult to solder anything which is in contact with them.

JasonB22/05/2019 18:59:19
avatar
Moderator
15394 forum posts
1586 photos
1 articles

Some of these are what you need, they will reflect heat back at the job

Derek Lane 222/05/2019 19:04:51
avatar
186 forum posts
47 photos

Thank you both. I will lokat those Jason thank you

martin perman22/05/2019 19:11:31
avatar
1575 forum posts
66 photos

I've been using storage heater bricks for years and until I read this I've never had problems, I suppose its all down hill from here now sad

Martin P

not done it yet22/05/2019 19:51:06
2933 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by martin perman on 22/05/2019 19:11:31:

I've been using storage heater bricks for years and until I read this I've never had problems, I suppose its all down hill from here now sad

Martin P

When they get up to temperature, they will work OK. But they will have made any metal heating rather less efficient than using the right materials for the job. A larger torch will overcome any heat loss to the bricks. Likely cost you more in gas, than buying the right material, over those (many?) years.smiley

Mike Poole22/05/2019 19:57:51
avatar
1927 forum posts
46 photos

Vermiculite and Skamolex are a couple of brands that are easy to find from internet sellers.

Mike

Richard brown 122/05/2019 20:11:45
85 forum posts
27 photos

Well I use firebricks. Cheap (about £6) easy to get (buildabase etc) heat proof, low thermal conductivity. Stack nicely into a hearth can be left outside. Never had any problem silver soldering with them.  I have seen these vermiculite slabs break easily and break down with bits under the job breaking of and sticking to jobs when the flux and work get hot.

Regards

Rich

 

Edited By Richard brown 1 on 22/05/2019 20:20:10

martin perman22/05/2019 20:14:14
avatar
1575 forum posts
66 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 22/05/2019 19:51:06:
Posted by martin perman on 22/05/2019 19:11:31:

I've been using storage heater bricks for years and until I read this I've never had problems, I suppose its all down hill from here now sad

Martin P

When they get up to temperature, they will work OK. But they will have made any metal heating rather less efficient than using the right materials for the job. A larger torch will overcome any heat loss to the bricks. Likely cost you more in gas, than buying the right material, over those (many?) years.smiley

I'm pleased to see you find it funny.

Bazyle22/05/2019 23:44:38
avatar
4542 forum posts
184 photos

It is better to find or buy a Thermalite block which can be carved with a chisel or drilled to help hold things. Just make sure tehy are thoroughly dry if they have been in the rain, Also the ceramic elements from old gas fires work well as supports and are designed to reflect and re-radiate heat.

Mike Poole23/05/2019 00:10:42
avatar
1927 forum posts
46 photos

I think the performance of vermiculite blocks is excellent but they are quite fragile, if you are silver soldering all day every day then a more durable solution may be desirable.

Mike

fizzy23/05/2019 00:13:03
avatar
1572 forum posts
104 photos

low thermal conductivity.....the exact opposite of what they are?

bricky23/05/2019 00:22:22
369 forum posts
47 photos

I use thermalite blocks from the builders merchant and you can form pockets in them easily to hold odd items.Works for me.

Frank

JasonB23/05/2019 07:46:01
avatar
Moderator
15394 forum posts
1586 photos
1 articles

I think any non combustable material will work, just that some work better than others and may mean you need to use less gas and are able to get the work upto temperature faster which is a good thing.

Beware searching the net for generic Vermiculite or Skamolex as there are many versions available some being denser than other so may not do as good a job as the lower density blocks, also watch the sizes for example you can find blocks for a fiver on the bay but they are a third the size of the ones I linked to that sell for about £12

Yes they are a bit more fragile and the surface can get pulled off when flux sticks to it but I'm still using the ones I bought 10 odd years ago and I do a lot of silver soldered fabrications on my models. Maybe treat them a disposable cost saved in gas will more than likely pay for any replacements or simply raise the work just clear of the bottom sheet/block.

As mentioned in passing by bazyle make sure any hearth material is completely dry especially if stored outside. Once heated any internal moisture will turn to steam and could cause the surface to spall and the last think you want in the middle of that critical final heat is brick in your eye.

J

Richard brown 123/05/2019 08:00:44
85 forum posts
27 photos
Posted by fizzy on 23/05/2019 00:13:03:

low thermal conductivity.....the exact opposite of what they are?

fire bricks are low thermal conductivity on the Vitcas website and others.

Point taken about making sure they are dry but I have never had one spall, they are under an old metal box.

CuP Alloys 123/05/2019 11:01:57
avatar
187 forum posts

With due respect to Jason and fizzy, they have both overlooked the big advantage that firebricks and storage bricks have is that they will keep the workshop warm long after you have finished brazing. All that heat put into the bricks and not the work has to be dissipated eventually.

You have burnt the gas, shame not to get any benefit from it.

Stick to light, low thermal capacity bricks and/or kaolin clay blanket folks.

Let's do things properly

Keith.

PS Jason and Fizzy otherwise are spot on!

Derek Lane 223/05/2019 12:11:44
avatar
186 forum posts
47 photos
Posted by JasonB on 22/05/2019 18:59:19:

Some of these are what you need, they will reflect heat back at the job

On a little bit of a side track from my first post is the company that you linked to. Are they also a good place to buy silver solder from or do you get it from somewhere else.

Richard brown 123/05/2019 12:31:10
85 forum posts
27 photos

**LINK**

JasonB23/05/2019 15:41:38
avatar
Moderator
15394 forum posts
1586 photos
1 articles

CuP are a good supplier to use and will happily answer any specific queries, also have a read of their "Best Brazing practice" along the top of the black bar on their website.

R Johns23/05/2019 16:09:23
15 forum posts

I use the storage heater bricks for silver soldering. Whilst they absorb heat they also radiate heat when hot. You can look at this in the same manner as using a charcoal pit for brazing. I start by heating up the bricks then move the flame to the work piece.The ambient heat from the bricks keeps the work hot whilst you concentrate the flame onto the joint being soldered.

The only thing that I have been warned of but not seen for real is to ensure the bricks do not get wet. I am informed that a damp brick having a torch applied to it may explode.

Elmo

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Warco
ChesterUK
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
TRANSWAVE Converters
Ausee.com.au
Sarik
Allendale Electronics
emcomachinetools
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest