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View Full Version : Cutting Fire Bricks in Half?


JMSetzler
11-28-2011, 09:08 PM
What's the easiest way to cut a fire brick in half? I need to cut a couple down to custom fit some indirect heat configurations in my Weber kettle. My fire bricks are slightly larger than I would like them to be... I may actually want to cut some off the length and width of a few of them...

NorthwestBBQ
11-28-2011, 09:21 PM
Fire bricks can be chopped in half easily by using brick chisel and a couple of hits with a heavier hammer.

ssbbqguy
11-28-2011, 09:27 PM
We use angle grinders with masonry blades. I buy inexpensive ones at Harbor Freight so if the dust kills them I'm only out around $10.00. I suppose you are talking cutting half the short way and not length wise. They make what they call half bricks that are 1.25"x4.5"x9" as full bricks are 2.5"x4.5"x9" . Hope that helps. Steve.

Hoosier1960
11-28-2011, 09:30 PM
A 4 1/2" grinder with a masonary blade works well. What can I say? I like power tools...lol :-D

Dallas Dan
11-28-2011, 09:34 PM
As you prob know, firebricks are very hard. If you're needing to cut them both directions for a good fit for your project, I recommend renting a chop saw with a masonry blade.

NorthwestBBQ
11-28-2011, 09:50 PM
Dense firebricks can be cut only with diamond wheel attached to high speed handheld angle grinders, on an ordinary building brick saw or sliding drop saw for cutting bricks.

caliking
11-28-2011, 10:58 PM
you should be able to get a chop saw on CL and a new diamond blade on Amazon without spending too much.

tortaboy
11-28-2011, 11:04 PM
Fire bricks can be chopped in half easily by using brick chisel and a couple of hits with a heavier hammer.

Heard of this, never ever have seen a clean break this way though.

gharriger
11-29-2011, 12:38 AM
I think the easiest and cheapest way would be to score the bricks pretty deep on all sides with an abrasive masonry wheel on your grinder then a stiff blow with a hammer and chisel...should give you a pretty clean break.

captndan
11-29-2011, 07:03 AM
Wet tile saw.

Fever
11-29-2011, 07:45 AM
Mark the bricks how you want them cut. Keep them in your vehicle when you see a mason or landscaper doing a job ask them to cut it as they will have the know how and tools. Proceed to give them money and/or go to the store and buy them cold beer and ice for after work!

JerBQ
11-29-2011, 07:56 AM
Just did a few full bricks and several splits. I love power tools and the associated dust, noise and danger as much as the next guy, but since it was a pretty small amount I didn't bother with renting/borrowing/stealing/buying anything. I had a tile scoring tool (not sure if thats the right name) and a 3 inch wide masonry chisel and a short handled BFH. Actually a drilling hammer aka midget sledge hammer. Scored each brick on all sides using a speed square as a guide, then a few whacks and I had nice clean breaks. Considering I was doing this in my garage at night, I figured the neighbors would not appreciate the circular saw with masonry blade option. Sounds too much like running a cat through a bandsaw.

Rick T
11-29-2011, 08:04 AM
You can rent a mini 4" or 5" grinder put a diamond wheel in it. This is the most versatile way to do it.

Sly-one
11-29-2011, 08:17 AM
These are some great ideas. I especiall like the one where you find a tile guy or landscapper and let them do it for you. :clap2:
I've had a hard time finding fire bricks. I've checked 2 different HDs and a Lowe's, but none of them carry these bricks. Where are you finding them?

tortaboy
11-29-2011, 08:33 AM
HD and Lowes do not carry them. At least not out here.

Ace has them, but they are way expensive there.

Best bet is a building supply place. Most have multiple choices of thickness and grade.

Ole Man Dan
11-29-2011, 08:47 AM
I've got a buddy that is a 'Tile Man' He's got the saws and the skill to cut thing to order for me. Just a couple minutes and the Firebricks are custom cut.

Riverside BBQ
11-29-2011, 09:51 AM
Why not just use the weber baskets if you're having that much trouble trying to cut fire bricks.

Carbon
11-29-2011, 11:30 AM
When I built my pizza oven I used an angle grinder with a cheap diamond blade to make quick, rough dry cuts. For precision cuts I used my old Makita compound miter saw with a 10" diamond blade to make angled and compound cuts. I used a spray water bottle to wet the brick between each pass of the blade. It keeps the dust down and the blade will last longer.
It also helps if you soak the bricks in a bucket of water for a couple of hours.

Rick T
11-29-2011, 12:17 PM
These are some great ideas. I especiall like the one where you find a tile guy or landscapper and let them do it for you. :clap2:
I've had a hard time finding fire bricks. I've checked 2 different HDs and a Lowe's, but none of them carry these bricks. Where are you finding them?

Tractor Supply or a stove shop.

pwa
11-29-2011, 04:44 PM
I'd use the 4 1/2" grinder with a mason blade. Will make short work of it.

Amazon.com: DEWALT DW4528 4-1/2-Inch by 1/8-Inch by 7/8-Inch Concrete/Masonry Cutting Wheel: Home Improvement@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61CzdtM5VxL.@@AMEPARAM@@61CzdtM5VxL (http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DW4528-Concrete-Masonry-Cutting/dp/B00004RH8J/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322606762&sr=8-1)

pwa

caliking
11-29-2011, 07:27 PM
Tractor Supply or a stove shop.


I found the best prices at brickyards... in 2 different states. The difference was collossal - 6.50 for a split at a fireplace store vs 1.17 for a whole brick at the brickyard. Splits were a decent price on doitbest.com a while ago.

JMSetzler
11-29-2011, 09:46 PM
I think I'll try one of the blades on my angle grinder. I don't need it to be fancy or perfect. Thanks for all the tips :)

ibait2fish
11-30-2011, 05:09 AM
Fireplace and woodstove stores almost always have them...both full bricks and
splits (half thickness). Good bet for other stuff,too...like flue tile (glazed and unglazed),
stove seal, gaskets, etc. You get the idea.

Rick T
11-30-2011, 07:01 AM
Got me 53 at tractor supply for .89 each.

Dave Russell
11-30-2011, 07:40 AM
I don't usually use my firebricks since I find that the kettle cooks like magic with nothing but foil to block the airflow and catch the drippings under the cooking side. However, I grilled some of Dougherty's wings last week in some pretty windy conditions so I put a couple of fire bricks pretty much right down the center, where they're the perfect length. The grate seemed to cook just as evenly (or maybe even more so) than without the bricks. :thumb: Instead of cutting down my other pair of 'em, I'd just as soon leave 'em full length in hopes that I eventually can get the big 26.75" kettle. :pray: