Where to find 9" x 4" x 1.25" Firebrick? (Englander NC-30)

MrBrown80

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
20
Rhode Island
Hi all,

I got an Englander NC30. It's in good shape, but I accidentally broke some of the bricks during transport. For the life of me I can't find any replacements. Lowe's sells bricks, but they're 9 x 4.5 instead of 9 x 4 (even though their website describes them as 4" actual size... false advertising). I've seen people talking about this searching the boards, but haven't found any solutions. Home Depot was no help even though they sell these stoves online. Tractor Supply also no help.

So far the best I've found is $10 a brick online which may or may not arrive in one piece (no thanks) or a place an hour from my house which will sell and cut the same ones Lowe's has for $8 a brick (better than nothing). Maybe I'm just stubborn, poor, or both (both, honestly), but I'm not all that happy to do that for bricks that ought to be $2.50 each.

I can't be the only one to run into this... anybody have any good solutions? I'm located in Rhode Island but would travel a considerable distance to take care of it without losing my shirt. Thanks to anyone in the know.
 

MAD MARK

Feeling the Heat
Jan 31, 2016
436
Pittsburgh PA
Buy the 4.5" size and use a grinder to cut off the extra half inch.

Or if your doing on the sides of the NC-30 you can fit 1 extra wide to fill gaps as I have on both sides.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,651
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I would buy the cheap bricks and use the savings to buy whatever tool you need to trim the bricks to fit. Know anybody that has a tile saw? Disc grinder is like 10$ at harbor freight. It doesn’t need to be a perfect cut. You could go to the Lowe’s circular saw area and buy a masonry cutting blade for your circular saw. The cheap carbon ones are fine for even concrete pavers so the soft bricks will cut like butta
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
Harbor freight 4.5" angle grinder, $15. Diamond cutoff blade from Lowe's or HD, $7.
 

MrBrown80

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
20
Rhode Island
How'd it go for you?
Not too bad. A little trickier than we thought it would be, but manageable.

We traced a line using a correct-sized brick on both sides. Then we used an angle grinder with a blade for cutting stone with the brick clamped down to my work bench. The blade was long enough to cut through the bricks in theory, but in practice came up a little short. We would cut along one side and then flip it over to get the other side, and then smooth it out a little from along the edge afterward where needed. Not 100% perfect but pretty clean. Here's some pictures of how they came out (and some of the uncut side for comparison).

One thing that surprised me was that sometimes close to the ends it would get difficult to cut, and the bricks would shave a thin layer of molten gel rather than cutting like the rest of it. Probably could have gone faster by applying more pressure but I was taking my time trying to cut smooth so I noticed. My guess is that close to the edges had more of whatever fire-resistant material is in there to keep it from crumbling as easy.

There's a thin layer of stone all over my garage, but I've got my bricks!
 

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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
Not too bad. A little trickier than we thought it would be, but manageable.

We traced a line using a correct-sized brick on both sides. Then we used an angle grinder with a blade for cutting stone with the brick clamped down to my work bench. The blade was long enough to cut through the bricks in theory, but in practice came up a little short. We would cut along one side and then flip it over to get the other side, and then smooth it out a little from along the edge afterward where needed. Not 100% perfect but pretty clean. Here's some pictures of how they came out (and some of the uncut side for comparison).

One thing that surprised me was that sometimes close to the ends it would get difficult to cut, and the bricks would shave a thin layer of molten gel rather than cutting like the rest of it. Probably could have gone faster by applying more pressure but I was taking my time trying to cut smooth so I noticed. My guess is that close to the edges had more of whatever fire-resistant material is in there to keep it from crumbling as easy.

There's a thin layer of stone all over my garage, but I've got my bricks!
They look fantastic. Well done!

How much dough did you save doing it that way?

Ash fills in any gaps in short order, and is a great insulator. So, you are in business.
 

MrBrown80

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
20
Rhode Island
They look fantastic. Well done!

How much dough did you save doing it that way?

Ash fills in any gaps in short order, and is a great insulator. So, you are in business.
Thank you!

This would have saved me quite a bit. I bought seven bricks at $2.88 each at Lowe's for a total of about $21 with tax. The cheapest price for the correct-sized brick online was $10 each. So that means I saved $50, not to mention the hassle involved if any of them broke in shipping.

I also found a place about an hour away that sold the same bricks and was willing to cut them for me for $8 per brick bought and cut. That would have been $64 total plus gas. Still a savings of over $43.

Of course, this also factors in the generosity of my friend who loaned me his tools and helped me. Had I bought my own I would have saved about $30 less (and also had the tools to keep). Still worth it for sure.

I can't figure out why nobody sells bricks in this size locally. I told Home Depot they're crazy for not carrying them when they sell Englanders. I'm surely not the only one running into this. The girl at customer service agreed it was a strange thing not to carry them. Hopefully they wise up at some point. In the meantime I've got what I need.
 
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