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About Buzzkill

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  1. Flame shape and color look decent to me from what I could see. Assuming that's a 3/4" burner, as long as your forge chamber isn't much larger than 350 cubic inches in volume you should be in good shape. If those are heavy clay firebricks in your opening they will be a bit of a heat sink, but it shouldn't be much of an issue if that's the only place you are using them.
  2. I should have asked some questions. I had incorrectly assumed you were building a DuPont style linkage hammer like a LG. In the worst case if the stroke isn't long enough you'll only have to make one new part to change that anyway. Thanks for posting your progress. I'm looking forward to seeing it beat some hot steel.
  3. This is true within certain parameters. However, if the lightest blows aren't forceful enough to cause deformation of the material then it doesn't really matter how many of them are applied in a certain time frame. When working some larger stock with hand hammers I'll choose a heavier hammer sometimes even though I can't swing it as fast or as long as a lighter hammer because I can move more metal of that thickness with the heavier hammer. In some ways it's similar to burner output. The same total btu's over a given period of time for two different burners does not necessarily equate to the same maximum temperature achieved during that time. Unless I misunderstood, arftist was pointing out that with a shorter stroke and reduced bpm you could not expect the hammer to hit very hard. Of course the other potential drawback to a shorter stroke is the limitation on the thickness of stock that can be worked unless you have a way to adjust the height of the crank in relation to the anvil. Regardless, I'm watching with great interest so I can learn more about the particulars as I embark on building one of my own. Please keep us posted with the results.
  4. I think I understand what you are attempting to do here, but I do not see the practicality of such a setup. The floor definitely needs to be insulated when running your gas. Typically the recommendation for the floor would be 2 layers of 1 inch thick 8 lb. density ceramic fiber blanket covered with about a half inch of insulating refractory material, such as Kastolite 30. These materials would not likely hold up well with repeated use in a solid fuel forge, so that would mean you'd need to drop in your gas forge floor before installing the tunnel overhead. Now you have to clean out the coal, coke, and ash away from the area so you can place the gas forge components somewhat level and avoid burning your solid fuel at the exhaust openings. In addition you've got your gas source and hoses to deal with and the possibility that you'll knock your burner out of alignment while installing the tunnel and hooking things up. Unless space is so limited that you can't build a separate small cart or table for your gas forge I think you'll find that in the long run a separate forge for each type of fuel is a far better option as IF&C has suggested.
  5. All three are probably better anvils than the PW when it was new. I'll take cast steel over a thin hardened plate. Having said that I like my PW (which is about the same size) quite a bit.
  6. 1. Fire risk is real, so her concern and your precaution of operating the forge outside the garage are both warranted. As mentioned, get some CO detectors and place them inside the garage and living spaces. CO doesn't pool in low areas like CO2, so exact height placement isn't a major issue. If you are forging outside and are mindful of keeping flammable materials out of range of dropped glowing steel or stray sparks the risk is still there but limited. Keep a fire extinguisher within easy reach just in case. I have a detached garage where I store my forge but I still have the same concerns regarding fire. Once I've shut down the forge I let it cool while cleaning up then I block off the exhaust ports and wheel it back into the garage. The interior is normally barely glowing if at all by this point. I do leave it out in the open away from everything else though. If you want to err on the side of caution you can wait until touching a piece of paper to the interior walls no longer causes browning or ignition of the paper. 2. I'm not sure what you mean here. General working temperature IS forging temperature to me. Forge welding is at a significantly higher temperature than the forging temperature for most alloys we use. Color-wise you might be forging at a high orange or low yellow temperature, while forge welding would be more of a lemon yellow to near-white color. Keep in mind that sunlight tends to throw off our color perception and the stock will not seem as bright as it would in a shaded or low light area. 3. Soaking the piece just ensures that the center of the stock is the same temperature as the surface. The thicker the stock, the longer the soak needed. When you touch the steel to anything else that will absorb heat (tongs, anvil, dies for powerhammer or press, etc.) that will rapidly cool the area touched and cause a darkening of the material. That is not a good indication of whether the steel was heated thoroughly before it was taken out of the forge. 4. If your burner has no flare then it is appropriate to have the mixing tube just inside the shell since the opening can act as a flare itself. If you are using a flare then you'll want it a little deeper in the forge. The flare should still not go past the insulation layers into the forge chamber, but it's not wrong to get the part that glows in use inside the outer shell of the forge.
  7. Buzzkill

    Forges 101

    This is a variation from what we recommend. I would not tear it apart and rebuild at this point, but there is little to no value to a layer of KOL-30 between 2 layers of fiber blanket. The purpose of the insulation is to hold the heat and the purpose of the kastolite is to protect the insulation from us ham-handed smiths poking it with hot metal, so putting kastolite between the layers of blanket is unnecessary at the very least. This isn't intended to pick on you so much as clarify for anyone who may be reading this thread later. As Mikey has said it is normal for the last bit of a flare to get hot enough to glow. However, if your mixing tube would get that hot (and it doesn't look like it is), that would indicate a problem. Chances are that inserting your flare a little deeper and maybe some final tweaking will have you bashing hot steel in short order. If you need help doing the final tweaks on your burner then some pictures of the flame in the forge shortly after startup will help us help you.
  8. In general the surface of the burner block is roughly the same temperature as the rest of the forge chamber in normal operating conditions. My ribbon burner is recessed a little from the rest of the forge chamber, so there may be a slight difference but it's not significant. I drilled holes in an insulating firebrick rated for 2300 degrees F and used that for my burner head. I managed to melt (or at least vitrify) the IFB when I had the forge cranked up high. I'm not sure of the temperature I reached, but I would guess it was over 2500 degrees in order to have that effect. Even if the steel in your burner head didn't actually melt or burn up in a shower of sparks, it would be glowing hot and slowly transfer the heat backwards which would almost certainly result in ignition inside the plenum eventually. Of course I could be wrong and you could try it and report back, but imho that approach would be problematic very quickly. I also strongly suspect that if it were a viable solution not very many people would want to take the time to create molds and all the hassle that goes with casting compared to drilling and welding.
  9. Just curious here. In the last picture we can see the reflection of the hot bar in the slack tub. To your eye was the true color of the steel closer to the glowing bar in the foreground or the reflection in the background? If it's the reflection I'm thinking this might be a better way for us to show others what we are really seeing when it comes to hot steel.
  11. If you want to bring out the pattern a bit more, instant coffee really does a pretty good job of turning up the contrast between different alloys of steel. I like the overall profile, but I'd probably want to do a little more tweaking at the transition from the tang to the blade. It's a matter of preference, but I prefer a defined plunge line and ricasso area with a sharpening choil included. Regardless, she has some nice curves.
  12. My first anvil was a HB broken waist lawn ornament with unfortunate welding repairs given to me for free. For Christmas a few years ago my family gave me a PW anvil, a cast coal forge with hand cranked blower, several tongs, and a random assortment of small dimension steel stock. I've gotten many coil and leaf springs, a piece of RR track, various parts from trucks and semi trailers, a 20" X 24" X 3" steel plate with another inch thick plate welded on, a discarded 5 stage hydraulic ram for a dump trailer, several 4' lengths of heavy duty H beam, several small electric motors, an old table saw, an early model Shopsmith, and a number of odds and ends all for free. Before my father in law passed he gave me a Ford 2000 tractor with brush hog, back blade, and a couple other 3 point hitch implements as well as a chest full of quality tools, an air compressor, and a chainsaw. To put it mildly I have been extraordinarily blessed with friends, family members, and co-workers who have been willing to support my addiction hobby. Almost all of them have received a custom hand-forged knife as a thank you.
  13. In your mind it was a simple question. However the answer isn't as simple as you want it to be. For a direct drive from the motor to a pump 1700 rpm may or may not be enough for a specific pump. Can it be made to work regardless? Sure. You can reduce or increase the rpm however you want using different sized pulleys or sprockets. If the pump is designed to be used with a 3600 rpm motor, then you will only get about half the desired output with an 1800 rpm motor. With 5 hp at your disposal you could probably step up the rpm to a pump rated for a 3600 rpm motor as long as it didn't require more than 2.5 hp. Just like the trade off between speed and power of the press, you potentially have that same situation with the motor. If you purchased them as a unit then most likely the motor matches the requirements of the pump, but it's not guaranteed. The rpm of the motor is mostly irrelevant. What matters is the volume and pressure the pump puts out with whatever rpm it is designed to use. In theory at least you could have a pump designed to run at 10 rpm which could exceed your needs for pressure and volume output. It would be a beast of a pump and would most likely not be practical, but it could be done.
  14. If the flame is impinging on the the insulation layers before it gets to the chamber this may be a case where at least temporarily you want to insert the burner further into the forge (still not beyond the insulating layers though) to see if it improves your situation.
  15. There are a few possibilities. If the burner port in your forge is significantly oversized compared to the mixing tube and you are running full out with the exhaust openings mostly closed off, that can force heat and/or flames to exit the forge around your burner tube. Normally if the port diameter is just a little bigger than the mixing tube diameter it will result in secondary air being drawn in around the mixing tube. You can stuff some excess fiber blanket in the opening if you think that's happening to see if there is any change. If the end of your mixing tube is only about a quarter inch past the shell that should be fine unless the burner is aimed in such a way that the main portion of the flame is impinging on the insulating layers before it gets to the forge chamber. That could result in both poor overall burner performance and and heating the end of the mixing tube. I used a 1/2" T burner with a 4.5 inch long mixing tube in a forge where the shell was a disposable helium tank. I could get to nearly white heat with it. Startup was a little touchy as I had to run low pressure for a while to keep from blowing the flame off the end of the burner until the forge interior began to glow. After that I could run wide open (for me that's slightly over 20 psi) without issues. I've since moved to a naturally aspirated ribbon burner which also uses the T burner design to provide the fuel and air mix, but I had to modify some of the dimensions to get the results I wanted. When troubleshooting try to get in the habit of changing only one thing and then testing so you know when you find the root cause of your issue.