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Kiln Brick repair, cement I should use?

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Hello all.

Back again for some minor help.  I have an L & L kiln, fired less than 6 times last year before we moved.   We had lots of very enthusiastic help, and somehow in the process a kiln brick on the top edge of the kiln body got fractured.   The kiln was pristine before we moved, I always used a shaped piece of plywood that I laid on the edge when I loaded pots for firing to avoid this very problem.  Hubby and I just moved the kiln into my new studio, and I found the broken brick.

I'd like to repair the brick, as it will eventually come apart with use due to it's location.  What should I use and how should I cement/repair/fix it?




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I am a big fan of buying kiln cement is powder form, rather than liquid. You can mix up the small amount that you need, and the rest can be stored indefinitely. I have bought small jars of liquid kiln cement before. It works great right after you buy it, but when you reach for it again a year later, the liquid has turned into a solid rock. 


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1 hour ago, RebeccaC said:

 I may actually glue and pin the piece,

If you are committed:

Here is a little help and sort of the old way of doing these things.  This is very fixable, thin the cement so the piece goes back in place fairly evenly and pin in place. If possible it would be great to clamp in place with very even light pressure, but  this is tough to do without breaking it. Holding in place as in the video below is easier.

The hardest part will be fitting it back without breaking it. Especially if this is your first time working with firebrick. It is super brittle so anything you can do to not stress and break the piece is your biggest challenge. Pre wetting the brick, both sides is really important. Gently getting this in place as exact as possible is also important to the longevity of the repair. Pin when you are done and you have a long lasting fix.

Replacing the brick certainly would be best though.

Here is an old Paragon video from when patching was a thing. 



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For a cement job to hold, you need to clear out any dust and rubble that will prevent the joint from being tight. If the break goes back together tight, then do not remove the broken piece because it may just make it worse, and you may not be able to get it in and out easily because of the element holder anyway. If it fits tight as is, just try to work some fairly fluid cement into the crack and then push it together.

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I have not removed the broken piece at all yet, figuring the brick is brittle, and any moving around I do will make it worse.  

From what I can gather from all the helpful posts, I won't fully remove the piece, will vacuum it as best I can (there seems to be very little in the way of crumbs/dust), then use a small paintbrush to wet the two surfaces as best I can, and pour the thinned cement into the crack.   My hubby has plenty of scrap wood in his shop that I can maybe fashion a clamp of sorts to hold the brick in place while it dries, with pins.

I've ordered the pins and dry cement mix from Paragon and am waiting for it to arrive.

Thanks all, again.    

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2 hours ago, RebeccaC said:

My hubby has plenty of scrap wood in his shop that I can maybe fashion a clamp of sorts to hold the brick in place while it dries, with pins.

Neil’s got a nice idea in that injecting some very thinned cement might actually be less risk. Maybe inject or spray a little water into the crack first and inject your thinned  cement. A small syringe could work great. Everything should wipe nice and clean with a damp sponge at the ready to wipe off excess / drips.

Careful with the clamping, very gentle.

Edited by Bill Kielb
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I would spary bottle the crack with a mister and drop a little water with an ear syringe. I would forgo the pins 1st try and forget the clamps as seen in that vedio just hold the brick in place with finger presure a few mintues and it will set right up. I did this on a front loader a few years ago for friends -alot of fixing as it fell over off forklift when new on a small island in the pacific . The door was full of elements as well. Lot of fixing. Still works fine

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