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Old 08-01-2007, 12:30 PM posted to
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Default Unglazed quarry tile for baking stones

Adam Preble wrote:
I wanted two cheap pizza stones that I could double up and use to bake
bread and such. I've seen suggestions online to look into unglazed
quarry tile with some caveats. Most noteably, graphite is a bad idea
because it's radioactive--though I imagine that's not the least of it.

Hello Adam:

I used to use unglazed quarry tiles for pizza and such. Switched to a
regular pizza stone simply because it was more convenient to have a
single piece of ceramic. Our pizza stone is used a lot for bread,
rolls, biscuits, etc. I like it for pizza; the wife and kids prefer a
soft crust.

I wasn't aware that graphite was used in unglazed quarry tiles; the
ones I had were orangish-rust colored. Graphite is black like soot, but
slightly shiny. And very, very messy to work with. I use it in hobby
work---metalworking and such.

Graphite itself is not significantly radioactive. (It's the stuff in
"lead" pencils, with a bit of clay or polymer added) About 99% is
carbon-12, 1% C-13, and both are stable isotopes. There is a tiny,
tiny trace of radioactive C-14 in graphite (and in human beings as
well, since we contain a fair bit of carbon). So small that it
requires very expensive, sophisticated instruments to measure it.

Best -- Terry