I've got a pile of old bricks taken from when my chimney was deconstructed as it was an earthquake risk.

They look like this

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I'd like to reuse them since they're fire bricks I assume, so I might be able to experiment with building a rocket stove.

So what's the best way of cleaning off all the mortar? Use a chisel? Or borrow a multitool with a diamond cutting head to remove the mortar?

  • They look like common brick , not fire brick. I saw many tons of these cleaned with only hammers with one pointed end . Sep 14, 2018 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


I use an air chisel to clean bricks when saving for projects. There are usually 2 kinds of bricks in chimneys an inner layer that is fire brick, this brick can be hard to save as it is porous and not as strong as structural brick they hold the fire clay better but also are easy to crack. The structural bricks are heavier and stronger usually just a few taps at a sharp angle with an air chisel pops the mortar off, the same could be done by hand with a chisel and hammer.

  • I just used a chisel and hammer to clean about 80 bricks. Got quicker as I got the knack of it. The weakest point is where the mortar joins the brick. Sep 16, 2018 at 7:03

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