My family gave me a Mattone Cupola kit for Xmas a couple years back, and I’m finally getting around to building it. I’ve got the base and hearth slab nearly done, and the next step will be casting the oven dome. I’ve called around everywhere I can find in Southern California (I’m in LA), and can’t find castable refractory anywhere. Harbison Walker tells me the product has been discontinued, and everywhere else I’ve called simply says “we don’t sell it.” I’m open to a diy mix solution if I have to, but the instructions from brick wood make a point of saying that’s a bad idea. Any help would be much appreciated!
Hi there Chris and welcome to the BrickWood forum.
I’m glad you’re starting your Cupola build. Yes, let’s get the dry mix solution out of the way first. It plain won’t work for this application, and I’m sure that @BrickWood has some experiences that can back that up.
Before we get into more-drastic ideas, can I assume that you’ve tried the “Resources” tab at the top of this page, where the Materials Locator can be found? It’s possible that a few of the dealers listed there may no longer have castable refractory, but there’s a healthy selection surrounding LA and I know that BWO vetted pretty much all of them. Try any of the dealers that he designates as “Silver”.
I’ve seen a couple of posts on this forum asking about materials that come wet in a 5 gallon bucket. @BrickWood has generally given those the green light in the past. You might try a search here if you haven’t already done that.
Do let me know if the Materials Locator is helpful and we can proceed from there.
Thanks for the quick response! I kept calling more folks off the big list, and found what I needed at PTI Thermal. I’m heading over there next week to purchase!
I’m sorry I’ve been absent from the forum - I hope I catch this in time!
HarbisonWalker discontinuing Castable Refractory is like Nike discontinuing running shoes. I’m not sure who you spoke with, but they are sorely mistaken. Castable Refractory is their bread and butter -
You can also verify this by seeing those products for sale on other online stores. If it was discontinued, online stores would not offer this product. In addition, they have over 18 refractory products just for outdoor oven listed on their website. If possible, please let me know who you spoke with and / or the location you called.
Of the 50+ types of Castable Refractory HWI sells, the type you need for a Cupola are:
KS4, KS4+, or Mizzou… and all products are around $50 per bag (11/2023 pricing).
Of their 25 locations - almost each location stocks these items.
HarbisonWalker Corporate Office - 412 375-6600
HarbisonWalker Sales - 412 375-6724 or Customer-Service@thinkhwi.com
You know what is interesting is that I think they also discontinued the ZZ fire brick as it is not on their site anymore. I don;t know what is going on at that company