Buzzkill

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  1. You don't show us the T end, but the whistling/chirping sound usually indicates that the flame is igniting inside the tube rather than at the end. To me it doesn't seem like enough air is being pulled in with the fuel. Assuming you are using the right MIG tip and the alignment is reasonably close two possibilities come to mind. The first is that the MIG tip may need to be trimmed back some so that more air enters the tube with the gas. The second is that you may not have a good seal between the MIG tip threads and the flare fitting. If you have a leak there you'll end up with more fuel than desired. That's my two cents, but there are others on here with more experience than I have and they may have better info for you.
  2. I still like TP's solution. Run a red hot rod through the eye, bend it back on both sides, and twist. Presto! Your new handle is 90 degrees from where a wooden handle would have been. I don't see how it can get any easier than that.
  3. I think you could beat that price by building yourself. I went with a cheap VFD and 2hp 3 phase TEFC motor for about $250 US delivered to my door, but I live in the lower 48, so not sure what it would run you. For a cheap inverter/VFD you should build a good enclosure though. The abrasive/metal dust that ends up everywhere else in the shop will also end up in the electronics unless it's properly protected. Wayne Coe offers quality VFD's, motors, kits, and building instructions on his website. If you go that route you'd have about the same money in it as the one you listed, but you'd have a better grinder IMHO. If I were buying a new one I'd go through Wayne or take a look at the Pheer grinders. They are a little more than what you are talking about, but they appear to be built better to me.
  4. Fair enough, but the other time when bad things happen is when people are rushing to get done - even if they are well rested. At least for me that's the two most likely scenarios for stupid mistakes or injuries. I do find myself thinking that one more hour of forging could make a world of difference in the first phase and 7 days at home for the final challenge, but they didn't ask my opinion
  5. It might be better worded that a glove can heatshrink to your hand before you can do anything about it. This isn't the result of slightly hot metal meeting leather. This is very hot metal and leather making a quick acquaintance. By the time it registers in your head that it is dangerously hot, the leather can easily shrink to the point where you can no longer easily remove it. Of course it depends on several factors, such as how tightly the glove fit in the first place, how hot the metal is that you grabbed, how much surface area was in contact with hot metal, how much moisture was in the leather, etc. But rest assured it can happen. I've had small portions of leather gloves "shrink fit" due only to concentrated sparks from grinding hitting them in the same spot for 10 to 15 seconds. It didn't burn badly enough to even blister the skin, but it was unpleasant and disturbing to be unable to quickly shuck the glove off.
  6. The odor produced might be enough to dissuade you from repeating the burn in if you ever do it. There are better ways to do it. Some of it will depend on how your antler has been treated, if at all. If it's fresh out of the forest then you can probably submerge it in hot water. That will make the center of the antler turn soft and somewhat similar to glue. You may not even need any epoxy if you use that method. I don't remember specifics regarding temperature, time or anything like that, but it should be fairly easy to find online. However, if the antler has already been stabilized with resin or other such material then I don't think hot water will work and you'll have to drill close to your needs and then epoxy - as far as I know.
  7. I'm going to again echo Latticino on the ball valve issue, but if you did have it working properly with a different air supply then I understand why you're focusing there. For burners it's not just about the volume of air that a fan will move; it's the volume of air that the fan will move at a certain pressure. As you know when the fuel/air mixture ignites that creates expanding gases, which will move in all directions unless contained. Your burner tube only allows them to move into the forge or back towards the blower. Regardless of the CFM capability of the air source, if it does not provide enough pressure to overcome the pressure created by the ignition of the fuel/air mix then the flame will travel back towards the blower - at least a little bit until an equilibrium is reached. A continuing pattern of the flame burning back into the burner tube towards the blower while the conditions are right and then moving back towards the forge could possibly create what you're observing and hearing even if the fan speed and output remained relatively stable. There's more to it than simply the volume and speed of the air relative to the speed of the flame front. The burner in the forge is also likely to experience more back pressure than it would in open air, so that's another factor for the blower to overcome. Anything at the burner port entrance to the forge that impedes the progress of the flame into the forge can increase that back pressure even more. It's even possible that if you have very low pressure NG available, the pressure in the burner temporarily exceeds the pressure of the fuel gas and therefore stalls the fuel input until the pressure drops below that point. If that were to happen repeatedly and rapidly the effect could be pulses of fuel rather than a steady stream being introduced into your burner. It kind of reminds me of the swingfire heaters we used to warm up the coolant in the HMMV's when it was -40 degrees or so outside. As I understand it they had no internal moving parts, but they sounded like an engine when they were running. I believe they were designed to use pulses of fuel/air which created that sound. I think you may be getting roughly that same effect. At some point here I'm just offering a SWAG. Blown burners are typically considered to be very easy to construct and operate due to the ability to easily control both the fuel and air input independently. For me at least it worked as expected pretty much immediately. I'd still be using a blown burner if I had a permanent setup, but because I forge outdoors I don't like running extension cords and/or long air hoses from buildings to my forge. The two things I keep coming back to with your setup is the valve you are using on the fuel side and possibly the PC fan on the air side.
  8. Good point. Your PC fan may be able to move enough volume of air, but it may not have the required static pressure for the burner to function correctly. It should be easy enough to try a different air source to verify if that's the main issue. I was (am) kind of hoping the PC fan thing would work for you. It's a much quieter option than anything I've used to date.
  9. There are enough differences between what you are attempting to do and what I did that I'm not comfortable making any definitive statements based on what I'm seeing. I'm looking at a process of elimination here to see where the deficiency is. If we can eliminate the shape, size, and orientation of the burner port in the forge then we can move to the fuel and air mixing and delivery. I also used a 3/4 inch pipe as my final tube into the forge, my forge body was a disposable helium tank, and I believe my forge chamber dimensions were smaller than what you show. However, I was using propane rather than natural gas. The air was supplied by a bouncy house blower (way more than needed) and regulated by a gate valve. I also had larger diameter pipe where the gas was introduced into the system, more pipe length between the fuel inlet and the end of the burner, and a couple "bends" in the piping (one 45 degree and one 90). As I understand it, NG mixes with air better than propane does, so you may not need those features to ensure good fuel/air mix, but I wouldn't rule it out. I was able to turn down to a very low flame and still have it stable with my setup. I did have to keep the flame at a moderate level until the forge interior heated up a bit to avoid flameout, but once the interior started glowing I could turn it up pretty much as far as I wanted without flame stability issues. Still, if I were you I'd change one thing at a time to try to nail down where the issue lies. I'd want to eliminate the forge itself as any part of the equation before moving on, so that's why I recommended trying a flare outside the forge before making any other changes.
  10. After watching the videos and listening to the sound of the flames again I'm fairly convinced that the staccato sound happens when your flame is burning inside the tube rather than at the end as it should. There were several brief moments when the flame sounded "right" to me and that always coincided with visible flames inside the forge at the burner port. The chopped sound of the flame returned as the visible flame inside the forge disappeared again. The flame should be burning at the end of the tube, not inside it. Once that gets hot then the ignition of the fuel/air mix will continue inside the tube even if you turn up the gas and air. If that happens then you have to wait for the tube to cool down again before another attempt. The flare doesn't need to be anything special for testing purposes. All you're trying to do is hold the flame at the end of the burner tube for now. If you have threads on the end you can use a bell reducer (with the large end one size bigger than your pipe) temporarily just to try to get a stable flame and see if the pulsing/staccato flame goes away. You can also "roll your own" from non-galvanized sheet metal such as stove pipe. Again, we aren't planning on a permanent flare here for use in the forge.
  11. Do you skip and jump and like to press wild flowers?
  12. A relatively quick web search turned up classes at Haywood Community College in Clyde, NC. An Intro to Bladesmithing class is finishing up tomorrow and the next one is October 2 - 13.
  13. Hmm. Well, have you tried lighting it outside the forge with a flare on the end of it? Of course you want final tuning to be done where it will be used, but if the pulsing stops outside the forge then you'd have an idea that the pulsing has something to do with the burner orientation and/or forge chamber dimensions. If the pulsing remains then you can eliminate that factor and focus on fuel/air delivery and burner construction.
  14. No, that sounded more like a rapid pulse. Full disclosure here - I've never built a natural gas powered forge. When I used forced air it was with propane, but I don't think there should be a significant difference in the sound of a properly burning flame. Someone with NG forge experience may be able to verify that though. Until you change out that ball valve I'd be hesitant to make too many other changes. One simple thing you could do in the meantime is move the burner tube further in and out of the forge body to see if that changes the behavior of the flame, but somehow I doubt that will eliminate the pulsing flame you have. As a general rule only change one thing at a time so that you can be confident what the problem was when you get it sorted out.
  15. I'm fresh out of onions at the moment, but I do have an observation. I never saw you adjust the gas flow in any of the videos. When you speed up the fan you are changing the fuel to air ratio. If you do not increase the fuel flow as you speed up the fan then you will start to burn very lean if you can keep it burning at all. A lean flame will cause significant scale to show up on steel inside the forge and an extremely lean flame will not burn as hot due to the excess air. It looks like you have a ball valve for fuel adjustment. It's probably already been mentioned, but a needle valve will be much better suited to the application. For forced air/gas burners I bring the fuel and air up together and then play with the air to get the desired forge atmosphere. For me that's a slightly rich (reducing) flame. You can tune by ear once you get used to it. The flame should produce a continuous roar. Turn the air flow up and down to find out where the flame is the loudest. Once you find that, cut the air back just slightly and that should give you a mildly reducing flame.