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  1. #1
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    re-bricking a steel fireplace -

    My daughter has a condo with a woodturning fireplace. The fireplace is steel and has some kind of refractory panels inside it. Can I just re-line it with brick and use chimney-cement as mortar? See any problems with doing that? I used to re-brick boilers all the time. <g>
    PHM
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    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  2. #2
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    I see no issues

  3. #3
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    For you or for me? <g>

    Is furnace cement the best way to mortar the fire brick in there? Or is there a superior product I could use?

    I am guessing that I can cut the brick to fit well with my diamond wetsaw? It's actually for ceramic tile.

    PHM
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlove View Post
    I see no issues
    PHM
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    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  4. #4
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    PHM. I just re Re-bricked the free-standing wood stove at our cabin. It has a steel exterior. The original bricks were dry fit with no mortar, so that's how I redid it. It's like new again, and working well for the past 9 months.
    If God didn't want us to eat animals... He wouldn't have made them out of MEAT.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisRefrig View Post
    PHM. I just re Re-bricked the free-standing wood stove at our cabin. It has a steel exterior. The original bricks were dry fit with no mortar, so that's how I redid it. It's like new again, and working well for the past 9 months.

    this is a good idea as well, however I would keep the spaces as thin as possible this way if they hit the wall with a piece of wood its sturdy.

  6. #6
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    That was my thought with cementing the bricks in. The large flat wall panels that are original are held in place with two large screws each. I was just thinking that dry-stacked bricks would be -

    OH wait: please picture this - I want to install the new bricks all On Edge - Not laid flat. And I wanted to use half face-brick - only about 1" thick. So a stack of them installed that way just seem like it could be somewhat 'tippy' to me. <g>

    That's why I wanted to use some kind of mortar between the bricks. <g>

    Maybe I can diamond-saw the bricks to fit around the existing screw mounts and hold-back the edge-stacked-brick fire walls with a big washer or something?

    PHM
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlove View Post
    this is a good idea as well, however I would keep the spaces as thin as possible this way if they hit the wall with a piece of wood its sturdy.
    PHM
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    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  7. #7
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    Or heavy wire screen to hold it all up in

  8. #8
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    Uh, yes there is a SLIGHT problem with this: burning the house down. That fireplace was tested and listed under UL 127 with the mfrs. refractory panels. Not panels from another mfr. or bricks, or cement parging--just their refractory panels. All the test numbers on surface temps of nearby combustibles go out the window when you change the components as does the listing, warranty and probably your homeowners insurance. If this is attached to multi-family units, the fire marshal and AHJ could spank you for reckless endangerment of occupants and gross negligence. Having worked in the R&D test labs of the largest fireplace company in the world I can ASSURE you bricking up a firebox WILL significantly raise temps. and IS a fire hazard.

    A test lab was testing some aftermarket panels made of densified vermuculite. They kept failing the test until the stamped brick pattern was glossy enough to reflect just enough heat to pass the test.

    If the fireplace was made by Heatilator, you can still get OEM panels. They will cost a bit and take a few months but they are the safest and proper route to travel.

    Or, you can provide me with job security investigating the fire. I'm being serious here. Don't do it, please.

  9. #9
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    What nearby combustibles do you mean? This is a steel box, inside of another steel box, with air blowing between the two boxes. There is what appears to be a stainless steel heat shield behind the refractory. All of that would remain intact.

    And maybe 'rebricking' paints the wrong picture. I don't want to build a firebox or anything. My concept would be to recreate the previous refractory panels by cementing face-bricks together on edge as they are about the same thickness as the original look-like-brick refractory panels.

    I'll see if I can get the name plate data - maybe the originals are still available?.

    PHM
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    Quote Originally Posted by hearthman View Post
    Uh, yes there is a SLIGHT problem with this: burning the house down. That fireplace was tested and listed under UL 127 with the mfrs. refractory panels. Not panels from another mfr. or bricks, or cement parging--just their refractory panels. All the test numbers on surface temps of nearby combustibles go out the window when you change the components as does the listing, warranty and probably your homeowners insurance. If this is attached to multi-family units, the fire marshal and AHJ could spank you for reckless endangerment of occupants and gross negligence. Having worked in the R&D test labs of the largest fireplace company in the world I can ASSURE you bricking up a firebox WILL significantly raise temps. and IS a fire hazard.

    A test lab was testing some aftermarket panels made of densified vermuculite. They kept failing the test until the stamped brick pattern was glossy enough to reflect just enough heat to pass the test.

    If the fireplace was made by Heatilator, you can still get OEM panels. They will cost a bit and take a few months but they are the safest and proper route to travel.

    Or, you can provide me with job security investigating the fire. I'm being serious here. Don't do it, please.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  10. #10
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    You said brick panels (refractory panels) which come with factory built fireplaces listed to UL 127 for built-in construction using combustible framing, flooring and wall sheathing. Now, if this is a steeform fireplace properly installed into masonry only then it shouldn't have firebox liners. Those are intended for bare steel exposed to the flames.

    Look for a rating plate. It's usually on the right side either behind mesh curtains or behind a smoke shield. It would probably be riveted on. What is surrounding this fireplace? All solid masonry or frame construction? Factory built fireplaces are a steel box inside of a steel box yes, but typically installed into combustible frame construction observing the stated clearances to combustibles. Any pics?

  11. #11
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    I built a big convecting wood stove a few years ago and that's how I did it. Although I did use a piece of hinged angle to hold the tops back on the three sides with firebrick. I think I posted a bunch of pictures on here about it. No wait; I must have had someone else post them as it never seems to work when I do it. <g>

    PHM
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisRefrig View Post
    PHM. I just re Re-bricked the free-standing wood stove at our cabin. It has a steel exterior. The original bricks were dry fit with no mortar, so that's how I redid it. It's like new again, and working well for the past 9 months.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  12. #12
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    So far as I know there is no rating or manufacturer plate on this thing. A stone chimney and granite surround / hearth. The floor under it could be wood I guess. The smoke / chimney damper is round (two half rounds open and close in the round top opening.

    There is an inner and an outer steel portion to it. There was apparently a heat-a-later blower at one time - now missing.

    The refractory parts are cement; molded around expanded metal. The backs are smooth - the faces are molded to look like gray brick with mortar joints. Behind the rear panel is a dimpled stainless steel sheet - loose. The refractory panels just sit in there - at the top a small Z clip restains them from tipping forward. The sides are actually not too back so I was thinking today to just furnace-cement a single 1" layer of face brick in front of them. For the back (which has crumbled) I need to use a sheet of something flat - expanded metal maybe - in front of the stainless steel sheet? So that the fire bricks in the back will stand straight and smooth against it. The way it is the dimpled stainless steel sheet makes them sit uneven.

    PHM
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    Quote Originally Posted by hearthman View Post
    You said brick panels (refractory panels) which come with factory built fireplaces listed to UL 127 for built-in construction using combustible framing, flooring and wall sheathing. Now, if this is a steeform fireplace properly installed into masonry only then it shouldn't have firebox liners. Those are intended for bare steel exposed to the flames.

    Look for a rating plate. It's usually on the right side either behind mesh curtains or behind a smoke shield. It would probably be riveted on. What is surrounding this fireplace? All solid masonry or frame construction? Factory built fireplaces are a steel box inside of a steel box yes, but typically installed into combustible frame construction observing the stated clearances to combustibles. Any pics?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  13. #13
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    Sounds like a Frankenfireplace. Can't really comment further without pics.

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