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I Forge Iron


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  1. Yep. Not to be a jerk but I'm pretty sure I'd prefer to work in mine . I didn't use kiln shelf but I did use high alumina refractories and 2" of fiber all around. I might have to get a bit of ITC100 or some such and see if I can tell a difference though. Good point on temporary or removable mass.
  2. So granted, I'm picky about my tools and made some aesthetic decisions as well as a few technical ones about limiting ceramic fiber exposure, but maybe the type of forge build I posted notes on a bit ago is pretty ok. I like it, but I'm always interested in improving. Fair point. I use that forge for anything from 3/8" up to 1 1/2" square when it's smallish volume works. For production forging and large heats I have a much bigger forge built similarly but proportionally more massive. I only run it when I must. Whether or not the forges can keep up with me or I with them depends entirel
  3. So I should cast thicker floors and use lighter walls for best performance? What do you think is an optimal wall/arch construction for balance of performance and durability?
  4. So I don't have a technical material science background and I'll ask you to excuse me in advance if, in attempts at precision, I butcher the technical language. It seems like you're saying that thermal mass is still a good thing in our forges, but not all masses are created equal? We like high alumina refractory because it keeps more heat in our forges, or at least slows it's loss down much more than fire clay based products. I tend to think of forge mass as a reservoir of heat I can dip into to heat and reheat my steel. This is why forges I build tend heavy as I favor faster heats
  5. For the same money or less you can build something better, but it will take time and basic skills. There's plenty of advice here on IFI to help you if you want to go that way. I can't speak to that forge in particular except to say it doesn't cost much. It doesn't look worse than the rest. I personally think that flat ceilings and rigidized fiber are bound to fail but lots of people use them all the time and fix or replace them as needed. It would get you started.
  6. bird

    Gas Forge Build

    PS I misspoke. I didn't mean for safety, I meant for durability. I always turn the gas off at the bottle and bleed it through the regulator and valve so I'm not worried about heat back through the system as a safety issue. It's just about the longevity of the burner.
  7. bird

    Gas Forge Build

    Probably no big deal either way but I'll still keep running my blower after the gas is off for one simple reason. Think of it like your car, or maybe my 25 year old truck: the engine is warm and I'm driving around town. I stop, and when I turn the truck off, the fan stops and the coolant stops circulating and for a few minutes, the engine can reach higher temps than it does during operation. Same thing with the gas forge. The burner always has cool air and gas flowing through it when running. Only the face gets hot. You can look acros it in the hot forge and see the shadows in the orifices tel
  8. bird

    Gas Forge Build

    Buzzkill: it isn't. Ribbon burners aren't supposed to be in the forge. It is just a flat face. The face of the burner is about an inch and a quarter back from the arch face on the top and about a half inch back at the bottom. The refractory is designed for thermal shock but to be safe I always run the air for a while after I turn the gas off. The insulation of the arch wall plus the air blast keep all but the face of the burner pretty cool.
  9. bird

    Gas Forge Build

    Mikey98118: I am nobody's expert on ribbon burners but they seem very forgiving. After asking around a bit for specs on forge volume vs burner port area vs mixing volume and not getting much (I'm sure it's out there) I just winged it and I lucked out. I'm very pleased. I had a Pine Ridge ribbon burner that's 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" that's not supposed to be used for smaller volumes than .75 sq ft. I basically made one about 2/5 that size. 11 crayon size orifices in a 2" x 6" face. A baffle at the gas-air mix inlet is just a piece of flat stock about 1/2 as long as the burner centered with a notch in o
  10. bird

    Gas Forge Build

    Scrambler82- glad to help. To be clear, the inner steel shell is a mold for the casting which is not part of the finished forge. A steel liner on the inside would just burn up. But you could take Frosty's idea and use a sonotube or stove pipe for the inner mold and be on your way. Frosty- a longer floor has crossed my mind, but I worried about the temp differential/ heat sink causing potential problems. I usually go with an adjustable sliding stock rest built onto the stand. Just some square bars sliding in square tubing welded to the underside of the table. Also to be clear, the bur
  11. A few people have mentioned fire maintenance and oxidation, but not enough. Limiting the available oxygen to your part is as key as heat and cleanliness. Limiting the oxygen will allow your steel to get hotter than it normally would without burning. (Nothing burns without oxygen.) And that heat is one good way to facilitate welding. Start at the beginning. You said you might break down and build a coal forge...what are you using now? Specifically, what's the depth of your firepot and where is your metal with respect to your air and fuel? It seems technius Joe differs (with some inter
  12. bird

    Gas Forge Build

    Thanks for the comments/compliments guys. Scrambler82: you could use that tank, and maybe you should if your shop has a real big hammer, a crane, and a manipulator so you'd need a forge that big . I know if I had a 500 gal tank I'd be designing a whole hog smoker. Seriously, that's huge and heavy. Frosty's sonotube idea is a good one. The shell isn't structural in the finished forge. 18 or 20 gauge is plenty. Frosty: Good ideas. With a sonotube I'd still want to contain the fiber insulation but I guess rigidizer would probably be fine on the outside. Truth is I had a slip roll and b
  13. Not to throw a wrench at your plans but for the kind of control you want why not go electric?
  14. So there's a lot of talk about building burners and which design is better, but not so much about the box you put the burner in. To me, the box in the more important part. No matter how efficient your burner is, it is the box that will largely determine how hot the forge gets, how quickly you can get to work, how long you wait for heats, and how scaly your metal gets. Here are some of the things I want in a gas forge, and why I want them (Your desires may be different, and you'd want a different design. The design I'll show is not the one I'd build for example if I were a knife maker or
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