Wildcat Creek Brick Company

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A brick with your name on it.

Wildcat Creek Brick Company Ok, we are taking orders for your personalised decorative old time brick. Have a one of a kind item with your name or favorite slogan that you can't find anywhere else in the world. Each brick is $10. Larger volume orders get discounts. Shipping is available for an additional cost. If you have a special need let us know!
Email to
765 490-6271 can lv msg.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wildcat Creek now on Facebook

Hey, my new brickmaking business is on facebook too.
You would need to be logged in to facebook to see this page.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wildcat Creek Brick Company

I have wanted to come up with a good name for my brick making enterprise. Settled with 'Wildcat Creek Brick Company'. Its named after a large creek that runs thru the county between the towns of Burlington and Cutler. The main focus of my business will be small scale custom and personalised brick. I will be offering wood and electric fired brick and tile in a few colors. I have a few surprises too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Interesting pressed brick history website.

Google searching today and came across this interesting site. A very detailed list of pressed bricks and their makers. Its great to be able to see examples of historic brick like this.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finsh line! Done with the 50 bricks

I am done with the last 12 of the batch of 50 bricks I was making for Delphi. Now I can put my attention to making a few for a local art antique gallery.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

39 bricks made, 11 more to go!

Its hard to see all of them, some are not in view. 39 bricks done, 11 more to go! These are the Delphi bricks ive been contracted to make and fire. All has went pretty smoothly so far.

Monday, November 15, 2010

My first customer!

Ive been hired by the Delphi chamber of commerce to make 50 promotional bricks for them. So far I with the help of my son have pressed out all 50 bricks and a few extras. 20 have been fired in my electric kiln to 1900'F with only one breaking. I should be ready to fire another 20 tommorrow if all goes as planned.
On another note, it looks like I may have a chance to show off a few of my Delphi and Carroll bricks at a local antique art gallery soon. Pretty cool!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bridge build photo update #4

My kids became some extra crew help a few weekends ago during the center pier concrete pour.

I pulled the flood damaged bridge frame out of the creek bed with the bulldozer. It will be cut up and used in the contruction of the new bridges steel truss frame.

Here are some more recent photos showing the start of the center pier and the west abutment.

A side shot showing all three now in various stages of construction.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Your name in brick.

I have been kicking around the idea for awhile now. The idea of offering for sale a custom made brick with your name pressed into it. Maybe for promotional stuff, like a town fundraiser. That or the name of your town, club, buisness, maybe even a favorite team name. I dont think anybody has ever offered this in this way before. Yes ive seen engraved brick sold all over the place. But not 3-D "pressed" in names, just like the old time bricks had in them.

It would be very unique.

Wouldn't be near as much written on the bricks. Pretty much a single word or maybe two.
Engraved bricks can offer more words, but not the depth. They just look like they were something added on later. An afterthought. Not like that when its really a part of the brick itself.

Im looking for opinions and feedback on this idea!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bridge build photo update #3

Here are some more progress photos on the east abutment and the start of the center pier.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More bridge building pics.

More bridge construction photos. East bank abutment. Since these photos were taken I have backfilled the wall, poured concrete for the upstream wing, and begun foundation work on the down stream wing.

Once all of the wing work is done on this side of the creek, I will pour a concrete slab over the wall and backfill. Then its off to the west side of the stream to do this again. I am also thinking of building a center pier to increse the bridge load carring ability.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pouring concrete today.

I was caught working on the bridge today.

Update photo progress.

Its been awhile since I posted any pics on the my woodfired water boiler project for home heating. Here is the boilerhouse showing the summers progress. Pretty much all the brickwork is now done. I still need to fit the windows in and build a door. Finish the roof and add the firewood chute from the adjacent wood shed are after that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bridge progress #2

Its a slow process building my first bridge abutment on the east bank of my creek. Have to make the time after work and some more on weekends for the concrete pours and bricklaying. And to think this is only the first! I have to do it all over again on the west bank of the creek next.
At least I can count my blessings, the creek provides me with most of my raw materials. Sand, gravel and rocks are plentiful and free for the taking a mere few feet from where im building it.
I have no experience with building a bridge like this. What I know comes from exploring on the internet and looking around at other ones near my home for ideas. I know that the abutments have to be big and heavy so as not to be washed away when the spring floods come.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ive started on my replacement bridge.

Im finally underway on my replacement bridge. The bridge will cross the small creek on the property that limits access to my workshop and future site of my pole barn. I am building the foundation piers on both banks. Not sure what form the finished bridge will take yet. I first had in mind a concrete or brick arch bridge, but have lately thought a steel pony truss bridge may be quicker and cheaper. i have most of the materials already on site. Either way its gonna be a long project. Probably a year to complete it if im lucky!
This is a small pony truss bridge photo to give you an example of what I want to build. The deck it missing from this old one though.
Here is another pic of a pony truss near my home. It has a poured concrete deck over steel under framework. My plans call for a span of about 32 feet and a deck width of aroun 12 feet.
Here is a stone arch bridge like the one I at first wanted to make. I think it would be to huge a job for me to try this now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bottle kiln, firing #2, better but not good

I kept the top temp of the firing down to around 1850'F at the pryometer. But the center of the chamber still got much hotter than that! Gonna have to rethink the kiln and firing cycle some.
Improved results over first firing of the new bottle kiln, but along way from good results.
Can you tell which brick is wood fired and which one is electric fired? Both were fired to 1850'F.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monster results. Too hot!

The bricks literally MELTED! Wow thats gotta be the hottest kiln Ive made ever.

It took me a few hours with a hammer and chisel to force remove these clinkers.

Heres what it looked like when I first opened it up. You can see that more heat was at the center of the chamber. It was cooler th the edges. Well over 2000 in the middle. Maybe 1800 by the walls.

I do like the wood glazing that occurred on the bricks. The cracking and tearing is most likely from the rapid heating of the clay in the bricks. Need to slow it down to at least double the time on firing. At least 8 to 10 hours. And max temp no more than 1850'F.

Here are a few more pics.

The firebox door.

A look down thru the chimney.

A cutaway diagram.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New brick bottle kiln. The 'Monster'

My latest clay furnace is a small bottle updraft named 'Monster' by my daughter after an energy drink she says it looks like.

Ive wanted to experiment with a different design, hoping to gain easier firings and higher temps.

Just a bunch of firebricks surrounding an old cut up 55 gallon barrell. That surrounded by red brick.

It took me only 4.5 hours to reach 2000'F, and it could have went further if I pushed it. May have went too hot for the clay I was using for the test bricks inside.
Looks to be a real improvement so far though. I will post the results soon.

I pressed out 12 clay bricks last week just for this test firing today. Finished drying them in my electric kiln last night.

Heres a peek inside at the end. See the brick slumped over. Got too hot I think. Gonna have to slow down this beast and run it to 1850 - 1900'F max.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tennessee red clay test firing.

My wife and I went on vacation last week to the mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I gathered a sample of the well known local red clay to test once I got back home. I wanted to try it out to see how it compared to the clay from my back yard here in Indiana.

The differences in clay is most noticed by color from the iron oxides. Both types have it, but it is more obvious in states of the south. It may have to do with glaciers that overran the northern states like Indiana thousands of years ago.

I brought back several pounds of red clay from my vacation in a plastic tub for test firing.

The outer two are Tennessee red clay and the inner two are Indiana clay. Green unfired from the brick press. The sample clay is very sticky and plastic. It makes a nice unfired brick.

The brick on top is Pigeon Forge, Tennessee red clay. The other three are Flora, Indiana brown clay. Fired in the same kiln for 9 hrs to 1875deg F. Notice the difference in shrinkage.

Heres the address if you are interested in why some clays are so much more red than brown, yellow, or grey.