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About Latticino

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Upstate NY
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, bladesmithing, glassblowing, restoring and playing antique flutes. HLG and boomerangs, recumbent bicycles, sea kayaking, white water canoeing, reading SF/Fantasy

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  1. looks to me like you liner wasn't cured long enough before attempting to go up to full fire. Are you seeing any steam or liner co9lor changes? Most refractories benefit from a slow candling to drive out all moisture before setting. I don't think a single 1/2 brick should be a problem for a forge of that size if the burner is performing correctly and you allow the forge enough time to heat up. I've got two half bricks in mine and only 2" of wool and have no trouble getting up to temperature (different burner, needless to say, but still you shouldn't have that much trouble. My recommendation is curing the liner, checking the regulator to ensure you have at least 30 psi as a maximum setting, building some form of door and getting a steel support rather than the wood!
  2. Biggest problem I see is that you appear to have used both hard firebrick and refractory for your forge lining. There are two different products that are both often (improperly I believe) called fire brick. One is relatively heavy, used for lining chimneys and kiln interiors and is usually called hard fire brick. This material is also a type of refractory, just brick shaped. The other is an insulating brick, light, friable and easy to cut with just about anything. If you have used hard brick, you have no insulation and your forge will be inefficient, a big heat sink and probably won't get very hot, unless your burner is greatly oversized. Of course if that is actually soft, insulating brick then you can ignore the previous.
  3. I have been pretty happy with the Time/Life Home Improvement series of books. Presented for the novice with lots of good pictures. As regards use of a dimmer, there you do need to be careful. The best modern variable flow blowers are controlled by either a variable frequency drive (expensive, typically multiphase motors) or ECM (electrically commutated Motor). These vary the flow by adjusting the motor RPM. I'd prefer to have a electrician or electrical engineer clarify, but I think that conventional dimmer switches work by bleeding off some voltage into a resistance coil. Typically synchronous motors don't appreciate this method of speed control. Of course I could be totally off base, but I would also recommend a outlet blast gate or inlet shroud for volume control rather than using the dimmer unless you know your motor is rated for that kind of control.
  4. You might want to consider wiring in a switch for the blower when you hook it up (or using a power strip with a switch). Kind of convenient to be able to just switch off your blower rather than pull the plug when you are done using it. Get some kind of basic electrical wiring book out from the library to make sure you wire the plug correctly. You want to switch in line for the hot lead (black wire in both the outlet you connect to and the lead on the motor). We have prominent, certified electricians on the forum who can give you better advise, but I'd bet that you can get by with #12 or possibly even #14 wire for such a small motor. Small wire nuts or crimp connections to make safe wire joints and keep those joints inside some sort of metal box.
  5. No direct experience with these, but heard they may have plastic gearing. If so, I would be leery
  6. Consider going to a hobby shop and getting a better grade of thin plywood (aircraft grade, multi ply) rather than the cheap 3 ply available at big box stores and the like. If you preseal the plywood with some form of paint or lacquer) and use contact cement to glue on the rubber it should not warp. Needless to say, don't stretch the rubber over the plywood when gluing on, just lay it on the surface. Sealing the plywood will help in any case as you don't want it to warp over time due to humidity fluctuations.
  7. In addition to the golf ball trick (which I have also used to good effect) I have found that old wine or champagne corks make great handles for jewelers or needle files. After years of those darn things digging into my palm I can finally use them comfortably. My wife takes all the credit as I saw that she used something similar on her old copper plate engraving tools that were unearthed in a recent cleanup.
  8. My recommendation would be an initial coating of colloidal silica to stiffen the blanket, then a final coating of refractory. There are many options for the final coating: 3,000 deg. F rated furnace cement: cheapest option and readily available at big box hardware stores. Apply in multiple thin coats to build up to at least 1/4" thickness. Down side is that it is rather fragile and prone to cracking away from the surface. Mizzou refractory: rated for the temperatures expected and fairly resistant to flux. Downside is that it is not as easy to source, more expensive than furnace cement, needs to be cast in place in one monolithic section, if possible, and may crack from thermal cycling. Also typically a minimum thickness of 1/2" will add more thermal mass to your forge, but if correctly installed and cured should last for decades. High Alumina castable refractory (Greencast 97 or similar). Same as Mizzou, but even more expensive, harder to source (go to industrial refractory suppliers and ask for a "sample") and flux resistant. "Bubble" Alumina Refractory: Lighter, flux resistant and even more expensive. I have limited experience with this material, but did use it in the bottom of one of my gas forges for flux resistance to good effect. A final inner coating of a IR reflective material (ITC 1000, Plistex, Metricote...) is reported to make the forge more efficient, but needs to be renewed periodically.
  9. Goodness that's a cute little hammer. Would love to have one like that, but neighbors are too close.
  10. Angled or curved handle is traditional on these hammers for a reason.
  11. Just beware that you might have too much gas/air output for your burner outlet, but not for your forge volume/insulation/thermal mass. You might need a larger burner flare to get the most from your burner. It's all about relative velocity. 1/4 should be good for control authority provided you have enough pressure. Control valves are a tradeoff also. I'd try a larger flare first
  12. From the video it appears that you have too much fuel/air flow for your nozzle diameter. The mixture appears to be moving away from the burner faster than the flame front is burning back. Visually it does not look like you are getting complete combustion, but you may be further in the chamber. I believe that you are right that you will get batter combustion as the forge heats up, but you will likely have some trouble turning down the system to low fire. I also agree that some form of metering valve is better for the gas line. Generally I would suggest a globe type valve at least 1 size smaller than your line size (for good valve authority) for the gas and a gate or butterfly valve for the air side.
  13. Looks like you did an extremely professional job. Looks like you even have an SCR on your electrical circuit. Does the chamber maintain good stability at setpoint? I assume that you are planning on using it for melting non-ferrous metals. Most Nichrome wire heating chambers I've seen don't last long at the temperatures needed for steel/cast iron...
  14. Most local codes here in the states are based on a version of the following International Codes: Of course your local may be different, but the link above is a good start to looking up info for yourself.
  15. I think his stuff is very high quality and well worth purchase if you want to get right to hammer or axe making. On the other hand, if you are ready to forge large size stock of that nature, and don't mind making tools, forging a drift for yourself isn't all that difficult. Does go much faster if you have a striker or power hammer though.