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About Buzzkill

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  1. When I was a kid I remember my dad building an oven from a 55 gallon drum split the long way and powered by charcoal and a vacuum cleaner reversed. He heated up a cracked engine block and welded using nickel rod. After all the tedious welding he closed the lid, shutdown the the air, and left it alone to cool slowly. In the morning when he opened the lid he found that thin portions of the block had melted and run down the sides. I think that was the last time he welded cast iron. Because of that memory I only braze cast iron for repairs and I rarely do that.
  2. Here's a couple pics of my soft insulating fire brick burner block meltdown. What appears to have happened is the burner block melted (or at least sintered) in the interior of the block without significantly deforming either the plenum side or the forge side of the burner block at first. The third picture shows the plenum side of the burner block after removing it. Eventually gravity won the battle and the weakened flame face of the burner block slumped inward towards the plenum. My NARB is floor mounted facing upwards. In addition to turning a portion of the IFB into a glazed maze of tubes, a portion of the side also failed and turned a small section of Superwool into a similar material. On the bright side, the time to remove the burner, take pics, break out the old IFB, drill a new block, seal it with refractory cement, and remount in the forge was less than 2 hours. That includes one failed burner block that I managed to break by pushing a little too hard when fitting it into the plenum. Of course these things always break when you are nearly finished rather than when you first start out. I have a couple 2600 F rated bricks (Greentherm is the brand I think), so I used one of those for the replacement burner block. I ran the forge for something like 6 or 7 hours between Saturday and Sunday without mishap. I did a little more forge welding, but I did back the temperature down a little. So far so good with the new block.
  3. Hmm. Do you know if that anvil has been through a fire or some previously attempted repairs? Or maybe used as a torch table? The reason I ask is all the indentations on the face. My PW will dent a soft hammer or rebound a hard hammer almost alarmingly without a mark on the face. You actually have a fair amount of usable real estate on that face. It might be best to use it a while and try to stay away from the most heavily damaged areas. However, if the face plate has been softened significantly then it may take you more towards a repair. Have you done a ball bearing test on it to gauge the rebound? Keep in mind that if you have to pay for the consumables (right welding rods, propane or other fuel for preheat, etc.) and a professional weldor who knows what he is doing, the cost may be higher than if you found another used anvil.
  4. I have some Matrikote I may try, but I'm thinking that if the internal forge temperature is higher than the maximum temperature the brick can withstand and maintain structural integrity it probably won't matter much if the outer surface is coated or not. Worth a try though since it doesn't cost much to do it. I was actually pleasantly surprised that up to this point I hadn't seen any cracking between the drilled outlet holes or any of the other normally observed failures of the bricks when they are used as forge walls or baffles.
  5. I don't think it was quite that perilous. It sounded like the flame started burning inside the plenum, but I did get it shut down after just a few seconds once I heard the change. I'll try to remember to grab some pics over the weekend. I have family stuff to deal with tonight. I have a half dozen other things I really need to do as well, but none of them are as satisfying as heating and beating metal so we'll see whether my sense of responsibility or my desire to play with fire wins the battle.
  6. Update: My (NARB) IFB ribbon burner block with 1/8" drilled holes failed tonight. However, it appears to me that the forge exceeded the maximum temperature of the fire brick rather than cracking or crumbling. I had been forging billets for pattern welded blades for a couple hours at nearly white heat when I heard the change in the burner. It looks like it slumped inwards towards the plenum. I'll know more this weekend when I have time to remove it and examine it more closely. This was just standard soft 2300 degree F insulating fire brick. I'll probably get some Morgan K26 or higher rated bricks and try again. Overall I still think the concept has merit.
  7. If the drill bits or other items you used were made of high speed steel it's not surprising that your puck would remain hard at high temperatures. Since I've never attempted what you're doing I have no firsthand knowledge, but based on what I've seen here and other places the initial shaping of the puck needs fairly tightly controlled temperatures and relatively gentle persuasion to keep everything together until the steel has been worked for a while.
  8. Yes, it resembles Sid from the animated Ice Age movie.
  9. You are correct about quite a few things in there, but you may not have taken everything into account yet. Under the right conditions you can indeed have an explosion from used oil, so that part is not risk free. Oil tends to be messy to deal with and soak into any porous material which of course increases fire risk. I built a used oil forge and used it for a short time before even using coal, mainly because of a source of free oil. In the long run I didn't like the mess and the constant tinkering with my setup to keep a certain temperature. If you filter your oil, heat it to a consistent temperature for use, and have a feed system that is unaffected by the depth of the liquid in your supply source you may find it worthwhile. If you do not account for varying viscosity from temperature and different oil sources and changing hydraulic pressure due to the depth of the oil in your feed tank you may find that it loses some of its charm. I wanted a cleaner option which did not tie me to a power source or an air compressor, so I switched to propane several years ago. Despite having a free source of used oil I do not regret the decision when I've taken everything into account. Your experience may be different. If you get something running that works well for you by all means share your experience, good or bad, with us. We love pictures and success stories. Be safe.
  10. That appears to me to be a 148 pound anvil. Hay Budden is a good brand, but that one does have some edge damage. It's probably still a good user. However, to put things in perspective, you can buy a brand new 165 pound Ridgid anvil for a little over $1300 US. Just because some other sucker bought an overpriced used anvil online does not mean it was a wise purchase or that price is the going rate. In the anvil world 148 pounds hardly qualifies as a "beast" btw, but it is a good size for most hobby smith projects. I don't know what anvils are bringing in your area, but I'd be a buyer at $2 -$3 per pound if it has good rebound, there's no additional damage beyond what I can see in the pictures, and there are no signs of improper repairs. I'd definitely buy a new anvil before spending close to the same money on that one.
  11. Scale is one form of iron oxide; rust is another form but still iron oxide. When steel is glowing hot and exposed to oxygen the reaction between the iron and oxygen is quite rapid and forms on the outer surfaces of the steel. The amount of weight lost due to scale per heat is minimal. However, over the course of many heats and brushing off of the scale layer, the weight lost can be significant. The more proficient you become the fewer heats will be needed to shape the steel and the lower the material loss due to scale. It's hard to be more specific than that as total surface area and forging temperature also play a part, as does the content of the alloy being worked and a few other factors. For planning purposes it would not be wrong to start with one and a third to one and a half times the weight of your desired finished product when you are beginning to learn the craft. After you become proficient you may only need an additional 10% or even less.
  12. My NARB is floor mounted (pointing up of course) in my "D" shaped forge, and I run the mixing tube under the forge to the opposite side of where the burner is mounted. It barely protrudes past the outer edge of the floor frame, and I haven't detected any problems with radiant heat as a result. My forge floor is comprised of a half inch+ layer of Kastolite 30 with 2 inches of fiber blanket (Superwool) below that, and the mixing tube is about 1 inch below the bottom of the floor. I think that the cooler fuel/air mix moving through the tube is enough to offset whatever heat bleeds through the bottom of the forge floor. When my forge is up to full temperature the outer shell, including the bottom of the floor, is too hot to comfortably rest my hand on it for more than a few seconds, but still cool enough that I do not get burned immediately when I touch it.
  13. You may want to check these things out before posting on a public forum. You would indeed use "Fenris's Forge" if you were doing it properly unless the word "Fenris" was itself plural - and it's not. You are also incorrect about "alliterated." You can stand by it if you wish, but that doesn't change the meaning of the word. It occurs to me that I'm wasting my time, but I've already typed this out so I guess I'll post it anyway.
  14. I have not yet located any belts that truly have no seam. I have used some of the big name belts which are supposed to be of the highest quality. For coarser grits there is very little to no noticeable bump on those. However, at the finer grits (400 and up) I haven't found anything yet that really has no bump at all when the seam goes by on a flat platen. Some are better than others to be sure, but I would also like to find belts (at least at the higher grits) that are made in such a way that they have no seam or where the seam is unnoticeable when using a flat platen.
  15. If it's functional and in good shape, a bargain price, and you have the spare cash it would not be a horrible idea to pick it up. It looks like a 110v unit that can probably handle blades up to about 12 inches. Yeah, you need to learn and practice the basics, and right now being able to accurately dial in a specific temperature is probably of limited value to you. However, if you continue down the path of the dark side you may want to try some of the more complex alloys that require specific temperatures and soak times to get the most out of the steel. That's where a heat treat oven is about the only way to do it yourself.