Brick Making 101

We began exploring and experimenting with making horse manure bricks for fuel. Trying to find ways to recycle dried horse manure, keeping our piles to a minimum.

Horse manure bricks do work for fuel. We use the dried horse apples to grill with. I, personally, found it more hassle to try and perfect my technique at this time. I had built wood boxes for the bricks but had difficulty turning them out. I had better success with a metal tin box but production of the bricks took longer for me. I think I was to impatient. I do hope you try this if you are seeking alternative fuel measures.51713b 001This picture is of the boxes made for the manure bricks. Raw horse manure pressed in.

I do like the concept of brick making and of using horse manure. We accumulate quite a bit of that. I began exploring further on brick making techniques and came upon a blog which hosted pictures of brick making. My aim is to build a patio and a small retainer wall separating the woods from the patio site would be nice. So for my bricks, I would like them a bit more dense like that of concrete-without actually having to go out and purchase concrete.

The first step I considered was to make a frame to  hold the mud mixture. Using scrap wood, I found some that were fairly close in thickness and cut the dimensions I needed.

51713b 002

This is the frame holding 5 bricks. I am still wanting some form of production. They are not exactly the same size but they are close enough for what I am doing.

Once the frame was made I proceeded with making mud. The mix I made consists of sand/horse manure dried along with an additional five gallon pail of sand. I loaded my poly garden cart with the dried horse manure mix. Just add water and gradually added the additional sand mixing by hand to get the consistency of a pourable cement.51713b 003In this picture more water needs to be added. I kept in mind how I use to make “mud pies”.

Now that I’ve got the consistency-it’s time for production. Being careful to lift the mold off the bricks.

52013 001In one afternoon, 20 bricks were made. Allow 1 week to dry in hot sun. Cover to avoid getting wet from the rain. Store in a drying shed. My next posting will be on making a drying shed from recycled materials and pallets.


4 thoughts on “Brick Making 101

  1. You need to be very careful when handling horse manure to take great care to avoid getting tetanus from the manure.
    Horse manure is well-known for carrying the tetanus virus and it is imperative you wear gloves and lung protection mask, and avoid working with horse manure when you have open wounds or cuts.
    Tetanus is no respecter of age, I had a 70 yr old friend who contracted tetanus and died from it.
    If you have gone more than 10 yrs without a tetanus vaccine injection you are also at risk.

    • Thank you for your comment regarding safety measures for handling “raw” horse manure. By all means everyone should be safety conscious and yes, please, investigate when in doubt.

  2. That looks great! It will be interesting to see how they hold up over time. My husband is from Peru, he made adobe bricks from a young age.

    Thanks for the follow.

    • Hi Jackie, sadly ours did not hold up with all the humidity and rain in Georgia. If I had a wood burner I would have used them as an alternative to electric heat.

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