Syracuse, N. Y. C. E. Mink.
When it is necessary to repair the boiler furnace and fire brick cannot be obtained, take common earth, mix with water in which has been dissolved a small amount of common salt. Use this mixture the same as fire clay. It will be found to last almost as long. R. E. Verse.
A fire clay mixture that will stand a high temperature without cracking or checking is mixed as follows: 45 per cent crushed fire brick, 50 per cent fire clay, and 5 per cent clean, sharp sand. This is to be moistened and mixed to a heavy paste, tamped into the shape required and burned dry.
Denver, Col. E. W. Bowen.
I have successfully used the following simple mortar for stopping leaks in chimneys, etc.: Mix hardwood ashes, 3 quarts; chimney soot, 1 quart; common salt, 1 quart; and sufficient water to make a stiff mortar. Apply at once as it hardens quickly. It is good for stopping cracks in boiler settings and other brickwork structures where not exposed to very high temperatures. Although of an improvised and primitive nature it answers the purpose very well, and has the merit of being made of materials available almost everywhere. It is a very old receipt; in various proportions it was used by our forefathers years ago. F. Emerson.
Newark, N. J.
Running as we do about twenty-four fires in our smith shop, we have experienced some little difficulty in securing a satisfactory claying mixture with which to clay the forges. This difficulty arises, in part, from the fact that the forges are used by inexperienced individuals. After repeated trials with various mixtures recommended, we experimented until we finally hit upon the eminently satisfactory one given in the following: 20 parts fire clay; 20 parts cast iron turnings; 1 part common salt; ½ part sal-ammoniac; all by measure.
The materials should be thoroughly mixed dry and then wet down to the consistency of common mortar, constantly stirring the mass as the wetting proceeds. A rough mold shaped to fit the tuyere opening, a trowel and a few minutes' time are all that are needed to complete the successful claying of the forge. This mixture dries hard and when glazed by the fire will outlast anything ever tried. St. Louis, Mo. Stanley H. Moore.