Mark Thomas

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    Bryson City, NC
  1. Homemade rigidizer?

    Interesting.. I thought that might be the case.. It does say not to use it on refractory on this site.. I have the firebrick forge and a coal forge.. The firebrick forge.. One of the things I like about it, is, it fires up quickly and comes to heat quickly. The outside of the firebrick takes a very long time to heat up.. You can still hold you hand on the bricks after 15-20 minutes of forging.. I have never seen it hot enough to keep a set of your fingerprints.. I must confess.. The most amount of my forging takes place during the winter, so, I would imagine the cool air currents help that quite a bit, but, I don't think it is the rule of thumb of why it doesn't get that hot. Even warm Summer air is going to move when it gets next to something hot.. Just not as fast.. Where I live in the Gorge here, I can guarantee you some wind(thermal currents), on a hot day, just as soon as the sun goes over the mountains.. It is quite significant on a hot day.. They settle down pretty quick.. I would say 1 hour on a hot day, less on a cool day or a day without direct sunlight on the ground.. It is just temperatures evening out since the significant source for the differences is gone.. 2-1" layers of Ceramic Blanket is pretty good insulation from what I understand... More so, if you coat each layer individually with rigidizer from what I read.. So,, since it appears it takes longer to heat up, that is either because of the thermal mass, or, some property of the Matrikote not working properly due to being installed over refractory, or, the fact that if that wasn't a problem, there is still a significant amount of heat transferred through the Matrikote,, which might only be up to some point, that the IR kicks in.. Which might be after the forge heats up quite a bit and starts getting in the Orange neighborhood, where maybe the reflective properties of the IR are more effective.. That would make more sense about it getting hotter, and then, holding the heat longer, but, might be voided out due to the extra mass. Voided meaning, can't pin that down either.. Man.. This physics stuff has more legs than a den of spiders...ha.. Seems near impossible to pin anything down for certain.. Thanks for your comment. If I have time to make it to another hammer inn, I will go and most of my focus will be on how each of the forges there were built..
  2. Homemade rigidizer?

    Your description of "Dried out Sponge" is interesting, because, like you said,, keeps the insulating properties of the blanket, which is why you install it in the first place.. So, surely for a Rigidizer, it is doing it's job.. I would think that is a perfect property for a rigidizer. Your statement: " Reasoning for rigidizer is to stop or greatly slow shrinkage and to give a firm base for refactory without inhibiting insulative property's." Agreed.. Let me ask about that... Why do you put the Refractory over the blanket, and then an IR over that? Is it because you have not found a product yet that does both? (Protect the blanket and has IR properties?) In my last post (reply to Frosty), I mentioned.. How much is enough, relating to IR.. Is 1" of IR more effective than 1/4" or 1/8" IR coating? How much IR coating is required to reflect back the heat in the forge to keep it from destroying the blanket? The reflective coating on the back of a mirror is paper thin, but, it would reflect the suns heat away from the substrate behind it and reflect the heat forward.. I realize it is not apples to apples but, probably would qualify for apples to oranges..Ha.. What is more important at this point of the forge... When you look into a forge, it is definitely hot just under the burner and progressively cools down as you move away from the burner, even though the fire breathing dragon has dragons breath blowing out 12 inches from the opening of the forge, but, the face of the forge is not glowing, neither is the area of the forge away from the burner.. All normally aspirated forges have to have at least one open end, or the burner won't work with the back pressure.. The cool air mixing is having some cooling effect in the forge.. Any moving air that is a lesser temperature than something around the heat source is going to suck heat out of the forge.. Is the Reflective coating, reflective more than on it's face? Like a thin coating of reflective material on the mirror back? What if it were 1" thick? Would it be any more effective? I think at this point, the IR properties are done and satisfied and we are only looking for "Physical protection" of the blanket.. I wonder what might be more protective to the blanket.. 1/2" of Insulating refractory, or 1/8" of IR coating? (And agreed, both would be better, Refractory better than 1/8" coat of IR).. I think back to the video of the Luckygen1001 furnace rebuild. The inside of the furnace looks pretty good for 5 years of service.. Zircon W over Fiber Blanket.. The outer of the blanket in inside of the metal case is packed gannister(fireclay and silica sand mix). The top of this is what is looking bad.. But, he does say it was cheap. I am pretty careful when moving stock into or out of my forge, even though it has a thin layer of blistered and cracked factory refractory over it, and, I am not going to hurt the bricks by bumping them with my tongs, or stock.. Would an IR coated fiber blanket be enough for me? Yet to be seen, but, it appears it would.
  3. Homemade rigidizer?

    Ha.. As many times as I have read you guys asking people to put their location, I was sure I had mine, but, didn't look after posting.. Bryson City, NC.. I have it updated now. Phosphate/Phosphoric: I found this site which is what I go to when I see something new I want to look at in more detail.. It has lots of competing products.. We are all looking for something that will last.. When I see a product that says "Caustic/Acid/Flux/alkali attack/Slag Resistant", up until just now, has had a phosphate base on this page.. Out of the 5 products, one of them says specifically "Super Hybond: phosphorous free for applications where phosphorous contamination is critical". From what I understand about these products, they are acid bases themselves, therefore resist the Caustic/acid materials in fluxes, etc... I think also what makes a good flux is the acidic base, which actually reduces the melting point of the metals they are fluxing, which makes them good candidates for fluxing.. These are all listed under "Plastics" on this page.. All designed for Patching refractories (lasting patches with good adherence). Also appears that all of the products are designed for direct contact with molten metal.. I have read a couple of times that the worst part of damage to forges/furnaces is the thermic cycling. Heating/cooling, and worse, heating/cooling rapidly.. I would consider slopping hot molten metal onto these products as a worse case scenario, so, seems like some good products to look at... In some of my other notes,, I was looking at a product that you actually mix Phosphoric acid with the powder (Thermosetting), to cure the product overnight. Creates it's own heat for the setting of the materials.. It was also a high flux resistant product.. Like I said. I did a whole lot of reading in a short period of time without any kind of Chemistry background, so, I was looking for Concept and groups and base ideas as things started to gel in my brain, to later use those things to refine my knowledge.. So, saying that. I possibly could have misses some things.. That's why I always try to post references to what I am describing.. In case I have missed something. Here are the 5 products on that page that seem to be targeting what we would like to use on the floors of a forge that would be used for a lot of forge welding. "Metrikote is NOT intended to be applied more thickly than a heavy coat of paint or it most certainly will flake. It is a kiln WASH, nor a refractory liner material." I would imagine you are correct.. It does seem to be like the Zircon W in this capacity.. The thickness of paint, so, not designed for thick coatings.. How much of it is actually necessary to do it's job? That is the real question here I think.. Will a thin coat of paint, soaked into a fiber blanket be rigid enough? Referring back to the 9 second cured Matrikote video: , it does appear to be "Thick Enough to make the Blanket Rigid",, and it is Marketed as a IR product, which means reflecting the heat from it's surface.. Like I said. I have never used the product.. Only reading about it. How thick does a IR coating need to be, to protect the substrate behind it (Rigidized Fiber Blanket)? How much insulating value does an IR product have, if it reflects heat back and away from it? Is 1/8" or 1/4" thick of a Reflective coat the same as 1" of Blanket which does not reflect heat? I don't have the answers to these things, and have not yet purchased a swath of products for testing... But, it seems to me that a paint thick soaked in coating of IR reflective material may be all that is needed for "Forge Walls/Ceilings", if the user of the forge didn't swing their tongs around slapping the walls to see if the coating would break or chip off... As far as Thermic cycling, would it hold up to the heating/cooling? I know that Zircon W will.. Luckygen1001 is proof enough for that.. It is the product he has been using for years.. What does Matrikote have in it? I have not looked at the MSDS sheet yet. Not sure.. Or, don't remember.. Ha.. Ok.. So, I admit it.. I hate saying that I don't know.. So, I just looked for the MSDS Sheets for both Matrikote and Metrikote.. Still can't find anything on Metrikote, but, Matrikote has several products and names.. Here is the MSDS sheet for it. Ahh.. Interesting... Calcined Fireclay, Silica, Alumina, (that pesky Phosphoric Acid), etc.. So, I would be willing to bet that it would also hold up well to fluxes, etc??? In that case,, I am beginning to doubt the warning here: that says it is only to be used on a fiber blanket and not on refractory.. But, I guess it all depends on how much of the acid it has in it, etc.. So, would have to test to see if it would hold up applied over refractory. That is kind of the whole purpose to opening up this old post.. It had the most amount of information on it, and it just stopped after some suggestions that we might be onto something else better.. Considering the two biggest problems we have: Finding the right product (not having to buy 55lbs when we only need 5lbs), and not being able to test products that seem to work better than what we are using, because of that... The other problem we face,, or let me say, problem I ran into.. Was, opting on the side of caution, and using a premixed refractory, and followed the directions to the "T", to get it right the first time and had what I consider a complete failure (Blistering/cracking), when I could have used something completely different and had lasting and immediate results.. I figured after hearing all of the fails using this and that, I would do something quick and easy, and short life and see if it would work anyway when I built my little Lowes Hard Brick forge.. It said 1800 degree brick, but, I think it was 3000 degree brick now, and putting some refractory over the face of it.. I could have built it in the same amount of time or less and used ceramic blanket and Zircon W and been using it the same time I built it.. Fire Cure.. I think it would be well worth someone's time to look at these two videos, and take quick scan of the videos on this channel just to see how much work goes through these furnaces.. And, possibly read some of the comments... I'll say what I know about what he is using. The Product he calls: Gannister: Fireclay and coarse Silica Sand.. (Mixed and rammed) Zircon W: A coating used to coat sand molds just before pouring molten metal in them.. (Painted on with a brush then set with a torch) Fiber Blanket we all know about.. J-Coat: Similar to Zircon W. He uses the last of his container in the "Rebuild video".. Waste Oil Furnace Overhaul. (This furnace is 5 years old when it got rebuilt). 10 minute video A fresh build of a propane furnace: (built one for a friend to use) (3+ minute video) What I really like about both of them is the fact that you can build it and go right to work with it, and it doesn't blister/peel/crack.. Seems like we would see more people using this same recipe, since lots and lots of people are just looking for something that works to copy.. Remember.. Zircon W is a coating used to put on molds before pouring molten metal on them.. It is a reflective coating that some are using mixed with Kaolin clay to do the same right here on this forum, but, with less than lasting results, but, satisfactory for at least one person willing to recoat it from time to time, but another who doesn't care to use it for the same reason.. I am on a different project at the moment, so, don't have all of my notes open, but, there is a replacement for this Zircon W that seems to be hard to find now, that does the same job for the same smelting factory, but, when you ask the supplier about using it for that purpose, he has something else that works better, but, not reflective and requires another product.. Goes back to saying.. They said the same thing about Zircon W, and it works great too.. If it provided enough IR properties to reflect the heat, would it not be sufficient to protect the blanket? In the first video, if you look at the condition of the inside of the forge, it really does not look like a 5 year old unit.. The wear and tear is on the top.. Wonder if he would have stopped the Gannister 2 inches up and covered it with ceramic fiber blanket and zircon W, if the top would not look like the inside of the forge after 5 years, or even 3? In his second video, he does not use the gannister. He only uses fiber blanket and Zircon W., and brings it all the way to the top.. In his rebuild video, it appears that he only used 1" thick fiber blanket, but, when he rebuilds, he uses 40mm=1.5" thick Fiber blanket with Zircon W. Maybe he figures that is plenty of insulation, and moves to ether 2" or 3" of insulation and Zircon W in his future build smaller furnace.. In the rebuild video, he does not show coating the top with Zircon W, but, in the smaller furnace build, he does have a short incert of painting it.. Anyway.. 5 Gallons of the stuff isn't cheap.. But, at $2.00/lb, not bad.. I think without looking at my notes, close to 60lbs in 5 gallons. $120 plus shipping. Still have to decide between one of a couple of products.. The blanket is not cheap, but, the best price I have found on 8# 1" x 24" x 25 feet $33.44/roll +66 ship =$99.44 which isn't too bad.. Then, have to get something for the floor of the forge.. Which would be another 55lbs of Plastech 85, which I would only need 2 or 3 lbs ($130 with shipping roughly). So, I might go with a trial of Aluminum Oxide and fumed silica mixed with Sodium Silicate and hope the binder does what it is supposed to do, which would also be reflective for about the same price and still have a bunch left over but have something that can be used in other places.. Thinking: If Matrikote has a phosphoric Acid base (flux resistant), and Zircon W is designed to be places with molten metal would also be flux resistant,,, I would bet that Zircon W or it's replacement would come in a powdered mix, and could be mixed thicker, which would actually increase it's acidity level, it could most likely be used in place for both a Rigidizing IR for the blanket Plus a rigid coating for the floor if mixed thicker.. Or, according to luckygen,, (zircon is a flower base product designed to stick to anything), could be painted thick over a firebrick base in the forge also reflective, an be back to a blanket an one additional product for a complete build.. I think you can see where and why my thoughts are when looking at these products.. BTW.. I read somewhere that you could put new life back into Matrikote by adding more powdered phosphoric Acid to an old product.. I don't know in what quantity.. Would have to dig into a bunch of MSDS sheets to see if I could locate it in percentages without too many competing products in the mix.. Just thinking outloud.. If it worked great, and more people tried it and liked it,, then, we would have more re-marketers of the product,, and hopefully, could get a reasonable price on it.. I have on my todo list to contact boiler repair companies to see if they have leftovers of what I am looking for, but, have not made it to that point yet. Shame,, I don't even have any of those anywhere close to me. Closest I have found is 4 hours away in South Carolina.. But, I would bet that, if someone did a full length video with these products, already cut out and ready to install.. Just the assembly of the forge,, and posted it on a few forums like this,, you would see pretty quick, a lot of people building with the same products. I wish I had more time, and could get a reasonable price on shipping.. I would try it myself, just to prove a point. Thanks for your comments again.. I have to get back to work...
  4. Homemade rigidizer?

    Sorry Jasent.. I misunderstood... I agree that Colloidal Silica / Fumed Silica and water makes a good rigidizer.. I also agree that Matrikote is designed to be a Refractory wash, same as Zircon W is designed to be a mould coating just before the moulten steel is poured onto it. Just saying, they both work well for Rigidizing the blanket, and the also both work as IR products.. I have not looked at the MSDS to see what "reflective product" is in it, but, that is what it is sold for, (Reflective Blanket Rigidizer) from this page: It is also where it states it is not to be used over refractory, but, used on a blanket... This 9 Second video shows Matrikote after installing it on a piece of blanket.. You be the judge as far as whether it (Worked or Not) in that capacity.. My vote would be a Yes.. Looking at the video, what other properties is it missing for a (Dual Purpose, one application product for both rigidizing and IR on a blanket?) If that does not appear to be good rigidizing properties,, what else am I looking for? I have not yet rigidized a piece of blanket, so, I am only imagining what it "Should" be like.. Seems like I would be happy with the sample in the picture.. Would love to have that particular sample to put a torch on and see if the other side gets hot..
  5. Homemade rigidizer?

    Nice Post Frosty.. Very informative.. It's what this thread needed.. Just a few notes to consider.. Metrikote/Matrikote: I believe it to be the same product.. The only place I have seen it spelled with an "E" is Wayne Co, or someone referring to or asking about his product. If that is the case, then, agreed, it was not originally designed as a Rigidizer, but works great as one.. Same thing as Zircoat W. It's use is coating a mould just before you pour the molten metal over it, but, works great on Fiber Blankets and in a furnace that regularly melts Cast Iron, holds up for years.. Paint it on and Fire Cure it. But, don't ask the manufacturer if it will work for fiber blankets,,, they have 2 other products for that you need to add to your order.. Zircon W can be used on Refractory , sand, fiber blankets, etc.. (verified). I believe is also IR. According to this page, which has the video I posted before showing the fiber blanket vs the Matrikote coated blanket is on the same page.. It says, can be used on Fiber Blanket, but not to be used on Refractory.. Were you aware of that, and people are using it over Refractory, and it is staying on there? (If so, then, Crazy to read it is..! Ha.) I guess would be the same as Zircon W if you asked if it would work as a Rigidizer.. Wouldn't it be nice to have 4 or 5 who like to experiment, live a couple of miles away from a distributor who would put all of their extras, broken bags, etc.. aside for testing..Ha.. Nice.. I think IR is more important than Insulation in a forge (not melting furnace).. The ends of a forge, or at least one end is usually wide open anyway.. That is one of the things that I like about my "It won't work" hard brick (No insulation factor) forge still working the same after 4 years.. It heats up quick, and if I want to forge weld, just crank up the propane a bit and forge weld. It really doesn't get that hot on the outside anyway, and I don't know who would insulate a forge to keep from getting burned by it. A furnace however, yes, extra layers, extra insulation, etc.. to save money on running it makes perfect sense. I can't find any distributor of products like this, or forge/furnace company anywhere close to me.. 3 hours away is the closet. The stuff I would really like to buy is 6 hours away.. Grrr.. And building two units, the idea was, buy larger and use both and kill two birds with one stone.. I have 50lbs of high Alumina (Aluminum Oxide sand blast abrasive) that I ordered and finished the project before it arrived.. Most commercial Refractories use this in their high temp refractories, but, use it in a finer grade.. The guy in the video uses 2lbs of Aluminum Oxide (Alumina) and 150ml or Sodium Silicate as a binder for his hotface.. Will the binder (which is 22% silica fail before binding the 88% Aluminum oxide(Alumina) ?),, I'm not sure exactly how that works, but, I don't think so.. Kast O Lite is a 35% Silica mix with 55% alumina.. Not sure.. One has more of the Higher temp and less of the lower temp, but, silica (I forget the term) fuses for a better word over/to the aggregate. Either way, Fiber or Refractory or both, I'l have the Sodium Silicate, or Sodium Silicate with glass spheres (colloidal Silica) with slightly different ph's, for the project and will mix some up and put it on some fiber blanket scraps I have to put in the bottom of the forge.. In fact, if there is any forge welding going on, I'll do it on top of it for testing it and keep notes.. I only forge weld for Authenticity, otherwise, I either Arc/Mig or Tig it, so will pay close attention.. Usually when I do, it is during production, so, should get a workout. All of the Caustic/Acid/flux resistant products I have seen have had an acid (phosphoric acid base) up to this point in my reading.. I don't see any of those products in Kast O Lite. If it's just alumina, then, the hotface on youtube should do well on both accounts. And, I'll make a small flat brick or two and swap it out with the slivers of firebrick I keep in the forge to set pieces on to make them easier to pickup with tongs, etc.. I'll make some with Perlite and some with Crushed Perlite too, just to see how it holds up.. If it fails, it will go to the do not use list, if it lasts, it will go to the todo list again.. They make "High Temp Adhesives" with Crushed Perlite and Crushed Vermiculite mixed with Sodium Silicate.. I failed twice to find an adhesive made with those products, to find the temperature ratings.. You would think it would be in the 2000 degree neighborhood, but that is not always how it works as I have seen so far.. Anyway.. Lots to learn. And, it's not easy, when the manufacturer says it won't and it will. Ha.. I'll get around to this in a few weeks. BTW.. Spend some time on the Anvil?? Ok.. Here are some pics of one I spent some time on.. Still using it today. Still looks just as good. I graduated from Leaves and hooks a while back..
  6. Homemade rigidizer?

    Agreed.. I think Matrikote or Matrikote 90 would make a good rigidizer and IR for a Blanket if applied directly to the blanket. I think Wayne Misspells his product. I can't find that spelling anywhere, but, can find Matrikote. I think I would make two mixes. A thin to soak in, and then a second thicker one to firm it up. .. It seems to do fine as the only thing you need to use on a blanket. No.. It won't work on top of a Refractory. It is for blankets.. And, It would be a moot point to cover anything IR with anything not IR.. Not sure if I said something to make you mistake that.. Sorry if I did.
  7. Homemade rigidizer?

    I think you are referring to the Hot face of Sodium Silicate, Aluminum Oxide Sand Blast Abrasive, that is in the video, plus, I suggested adding chopped strand fiberglass, because he spread a very thin mix and I think I would rather have a thicker mix. Instead of maybe 1/8" in the video, more like 1/2 or 3/4" thick.. That is why I suggested using Fiberglass strands. If you notice,,, he mixes a clear/blue tint Sodium Silicate with a white Sand Blast abrasive, which ends up a light gray mix, but, dries white after firing... If you notice in the video, exactly here and a minute or two later in the video: He mixes the two, then, makes a dough like consistency, and makes some small chunks to fire it to test to see if he has too much water or not. If you watch the flame when he is firing the little chunk,,, something strange is happening, if you look at the flame.. You see this 2 times within several seconds of the video.. I don't know what you would call that, but, if someone said "Reflective Properties", I surely would not argue with them... That is what it looks like to me.. At 4:32 in the video, he shows you a little hand made crucible he made with the material.. Looks pretty hard to me... Then, at 4:36, he puts it in the hot forge, or, it was already in the forge, I can't tell, it was wobbling like he just put it in there, but, he could have just adjusted it.. Either way, it is glowing, which appears to be reflective, but, I don't know what reflective is.. Note also that at this point, the forge is finished and already has the "Cement" or the hot face installed. The side of the forge is also glowing. Remember, he is using a very small burner made from a torch tip normally used on a 1lb propane cylinder he discusses later in the video.. I have not used a IR product yet.. But, it looks different than using a hard brick to heat something sitting on top of it. In that section of video, you can see the outside of the forge "after" it has been coated with the hot face he calls Cement... I don't see any signs of cracking, but, that doesn't tell you anything over time either, and he hasn't responded to my question about how it has held up.. But, it sure looks like the little crucible he made would survive.. Just saying.. If we pay attention,, there are simple things out there that do what we want them to do.. I don't think the 2lb to 150ml clear mix is hiding the aluminum oxide in this case.. But, I could be wrong.. Shame.. I have 50 lbs of 70 grit Aluminum oxide abrasive, but, it is black, not white.. Would it glow the same? I don't know, but, I'll let you know.. My gut tells me it won't be white, but, it will glow the same as the one in the forge.. And, with a melting point of 3762 degrees F, you sure have a hot face that will hold the temp.. Could he have mixed it thinner and put a first coat on a fiber blanket, and then followed up with a thicker note and made a very, very, rigid "Rigidizer" for a fiber blanket with a high heat resistance,, possibly reflective and could be used for making bricks, coating the floor of the forge, etc?? Sounds like Multi Duty to me, and for the price that you would have to pay for Rigidizer, the, IR, you would be glad to have on product to do both, and other things also.. Maybe someone who reads this has already tried it or has time to try it quickly and holler back.. I am very busy and trying to line up several projects that I can jump on when I get to that point. I want to make another forge and make a furnace, and would like to be able to use the same materials if I want to, or use an addition to the furnace to get some better insulation.. That might be a Perlite Refractory on the outer, fiber blanket on the inner and a 3/4" hot face over that inside the forge.. Just some brain candy for those who think there are better alternatives out there for their builds.. Thanks for your reply.. Each time I reply, I seem to learn something else, find something I didn't see before, etc..
  8. Homemade rigidizer?

    Yes... I do find it confusing, but, I do understand the difference between the 3.. I am having problems posting for some reason.. I see now that this post didn't go out, so, let me try it again.. Seems a Rigidizer makes Kaowool stiff.. I agree.. Some use Sodium Silicate, some use Colloidal Silicate (Sodium Silicate with Glass spheres as a thickener). Some take it a step further, and use Sodium Silicate liquid, then, thicken it with Glass spheres like Cabosil, etc.. for the second thicker coat, some just use Matrikote, some use various other substances. I would think a good IR coating on top would make the forge more efficient, so, would like to incorporate those properties also if possible. I found this post several times.. Read over it many times.. Seems it ended prematurely, and that was the reason I wanted to open it up and see how some of these things you guys were trying worked out.. Frosty: That is why it appeared I was suggesting you were still using it.. I asked, how it worked out, since it was a 2014 post.. Got my answer in your last post, at least your opinion.. I think it also agrees with jcornell. But, he is more satisfied with recoating from time to time to keep things IR, more effective.. Matrikote is a Reflective IR coating, but, it also stiffens the Kaowool.. I'm not sure, but, I think it would fall into both categories.. In the case of a fiber blanket, it would Rigidize and provide a Reflective coating.. Here for an example of Rigidizing.. And, it's white, so, signals some reflective property (I know only usually, but, in this case it actually is);.. According to this text and Wayne Coe, also IR properties This material reflects radiant heat back into the furnace or forge to achieve high temperatures quickly and efficiently. is a low cost alternative for ITC-100 for coating ceramic blanket material such as Kaowool There is only two problems with this mix.. 1) This material is rated for temperatures of up to 2500 F in a reducing atmosphere, and up to 1560 F in an oxidizing atmosphere. Which might cause a problem with the coating if you were going to do some forge welding and your phone rang.. 2) This material should NOT be applied over fire brick, refractory cement, or metal. So, doesn't work very well, if you want a multipurpose material that works for several situations, or happen to want to use the same properties for different function.. (Forge or Furnace). I am willing to try anything, since it seems like no one has found the "Perfect mix", and may never find it, but, it might be one thought away.. I am not a chemist, so, have to work very hard to even guess which component adds which properties, etc.. Like, I am not sure if the Kaolin or Zircopax adds the reflective properties.. Or if Aluminum Oxide would or not. I also understand what is used in Commercial forge/furnaces may not fit our uses.. But, some of the stuff is quite interesting. I'm not sure if this Zircon W is reflective or not, but, it is surely not designed to be a rigidizer for a fiber blanket, but, according to Luckygen1001, it works very well as a rigidizer.. And, he just told me that he rebuilds his hard worked cast iron melting furnace about every 5 years.. The Zircon W is a mould coating. Used to coat the sand mould just before pouring molten metal into it.. But, if you ask the suppliers,,, "No, it won't work for a Rigidizer", you need Rigidizer and something else, both in 5 gallon quantities.. But, obviously it will and does, and in his opinion, works better than their combinations.. That is my only thought and reasoning for suggesting thinking outside of the box.. I was curious to find out the results of your testing and see if you guys had tried anything different.. I really want to try this Zircon W, which has been replaced (at least at one large smelting company) with Zircon Mould Wash TSCR2 from the reseller, or ASK Solitec 903 from ASK-Chemicals, but, the smallest quantity is 5 gallon pails(65lbs).. It is an Alcohol based liquid.. Shelf life = 6-8 months sealed to 12 months.. But, it is only $2.00/lb, so not bad, but, probably only need 1 pint, and, won't be using more of it, for maybe 5 years, so the rest is a waste.. It Dries Hard,, but applies at the Consistency of Paint.. and can be Thinned with Alcohol.. Best part about it is, it can be quick fired and quickset and on to the next project phase.. Our main problem is finding something that EVERYONE or Most or Many agree that works great... Then,, all of a sudden, having to buy it in 5 gallon pails goes away.. There are enough second hand vendors that would pick it up, if there were a demand for it. The Wayne Coes, and others who buy this in quantity and resell it.. For Example: If we were looking for something to coat the bottom of our forges for flux and temperature resistance.. What if I said, I have never used this, but, a commercial Furnace company, uses it and thinks it is the best thing since sliced bread.. They only pour 100 lbs up to 5000 lbs pours.. Must know what they are talking about.. PLASTECH 85P - Flux Resistant It is a rammable product... But, 50lb bags. Called Plastics used for Coating the Bottom of the forges.. Maybe Covering the bottom of the forge, or bricks with this Plastic.. 85% Alumina, phosphate bonded. DRIES ROCK HARD AND FLUXES WON't TOUCH IT. (found it here also) I copied and pasted this comment from this site somewhere: High alumina AND phosphate bonded! Now we're talking flux resistant refractory.. But, each of us would probably only need a pound or two.. If someone did buy this, and used it, and was able to get it to others or distribute it, and we had 4 or 5 or more people saying, "YEA,, this stuff works",, we might have others reading about it and wanting it also.. Then, the supply problem would probably go away.. That is my main point.. I think in order to find something like that, you would have to think outside of the box, find products that work for multiple uses and situations, and a product easy to apply and easy to cure (which would reduce the error factor and anyone who used it would not have to be lucky to get it right), and would probably go over very well. Lets just say, Zirxopax/Zircon W is IR and does a good job for a minute. How to build a Forge.. Lay Kaowool inside the forge, get your 1 pint bag of Zircon W replacement, mix it with x amount of water and paint it on, until it fully coats the fiber blanket... Fire up the forge, and heat it until it glows, then, let it cool, and you are ready to start using as normal.. Now, if you want to make your forge flux resistant, mix the 1/2 pint bag of Plastech85 (I had found one vendor with two products, now, looking at my notes, I need to call again), apply it and wait 12 hours and you are ready to fire and use the forge as normal.. How many people, including myself, have used a "Premixed Furnace Cement" to avoid over wetting, etc, and followed the instructions to the "T", erroring on the side of caution and still had their work after weeks, blister/crack/peel.. All I did was add one more product to the "Do not use" list.. I am trying to convince myself to buy $300 worth of product, to use $50 worth, so, I can find prove there are much better ways that most will agree with to use.. But, I am leaning toward this mix... Outer Ramable mix: Perlite/Sodium Silicate/Chopped strand Fiberlass Hot face: Sodium Silicate/Aluminum Oxide/Chopped strand fiberglass, Only because, I can get it in the quantities I want, and, it seems it works, and is relatively inexpensive.. Would be nice if this guy would answer questions on his Youtube video post where he used this same mix without the fiberglass strand added.. The Outer Ramable mix: and the same video, the Hot Face Looks like this could be used for a refractory floor, or to make bricks, etc.. I wonder if the Aluminum oxide would make it reflective? It's a shame the way I see it.. I know there are better ways to do this. Thanks for responding... When I get time, whichever way I do it, I will do some extra testing and playing around with whatever I get and post something that others can review and see.. and go back and post my comments after using it for a couple of months.. I surely might spring for the replacement of the Zircon W,, just because it has a history of working over a 5 year period, and, is quick, and easy for those who don't mind spending the money on a fiber blanket.. If I do, I'll post something and offer the rest of what I don't use to anyone else who wants to buy and try it. Cheers.
  9. Homemade rigidizer?

    Ok.. Let me try this again.. I posted a link to a short video and lost my last post.. Ha.. Matrikote looks like a good Rigidizer. Someone posted a 10 second video proving that here: But, it's melting point is either 1560F or 2500F depending on whether you have a oxidizing or reducing atmosphere. At 2500, not too much of a problem, but, an accidental overheat could cause more than a burnt piece of mild steel at 1560.. I read the temp data here on the pints.. The quarts do not have this same info: I was hoping to find something up near 3000 degrees that could be used for forge or furnace.. Going to rebuild the forge and make a furnace. Would be a better deal for me if I bought material for both jobs when you consider shipping, etc.. Frosty.. How did your mix of Kaolin and Zircopax work out? One of your last posts said you were trying it or going to try it... Did you ever get there.. I lost my original post and my notes after I submitted it, but, someone else also uses this mix above and wasn't having great luck with it.. Or,, Anyone ever used or know about this Zircon W product here which serves as a Rigidizer and Hot Face at the same time? This fella melts a lot of cast iron.. This is actually a coating that is applied to a sand mould in a large foundry after the sand is hardened but before the molten steel is dumped in on it. I would say that it must be rated for at least 3000 degrees.. They stopped making the product.. I'm sure there is a replacement for it.. Just have to find it where you don't have to buy 55 gallons of it at a time.. Or: This fella I think has a good idea.. He mixes Sodium Silicate(Waterglass) with Aluminum Oxide Blasting medium to make a hot face material. I don't know if it would be considered in the IR (Reflective Category), but, it is interesting for sure.. I asked how it had worked out over time, since I have not used any of these materials yet, but, no reply.. It is sure something that I am going to play with though.. I have a 50lb box of Aluminum Oxide on my porch that UPS just dropped off.. I like the fact that you can make items with this "and" make a hot face with it... I am guessing that it might make a nice 3/8" forge floor.. Not sure if it would hold up to flux, etc, but that will be interesting..
  10. Homemade rigidizer?

    Sure would be nice to see this Thread get some more updates after a couple of years.. It seems it stopped way too soon.. Maybe some of you guys Frosty, Gijotoole, timgunn1962, jcornell, have tried some other mixes, can verify they are good/bad/Ok/Ok but need something better, or have seen or read of anything since then that you think might work and want to try? As new to this part of metalworking, I was really frustrated when I was trying to decide what I needed to use to build my first Blacksmith forge, (Now interested in building a Melting Furnace, so will use Forge as both names) so, I tried something that I was told would not work.. Three years later and I wish it hadn't, I would not still be working with my test prototype...Ha.. Same thing with my belt grinder.. Ha.. Several things interest me on this post... 1) Sodium Silicate as a Rigidizer.. I know many have used this and it works for rigidizing the blankets.. Not sure to what extent when compared to other products (Colloidal Silica which has basically suspended glass beads which obviously would work at least a little better and might possibly have a higher temperature rating), or other products.. Sodium Silicate has a melting point of 1,990 ° degrees F, so, you would not want to stop there if you want to protect your blanket. 2) Frosty, From your Previous comment: Mixing a thin slip Kaolin clay (porcelain) and just soaking the fiber blanket then letting it dry before firing will rigidize the stuffins out of the blanket. I am assuming that you used Sodium Silicate/Colloidal Silicate/Calcium Silicate as the liquid binder to make the slip? How has that held up over time? Also: We started mixing our own home brew high zirconium kiln wash, 70% zircopax and 30% kaolin clay for top coating the fiber blanket.. I would assume to be used as the hot face? And again wondering what liquid you used as a binder? How has this held up over time? jcornell mentioned in his post that he used the same Zircopax/Kaolin clay, and said, not bullet proof because it chips, cracks, flakes and wears away and needs recoating from time to time. This got me thinking.. Frosty probably had a more rigid blanket before coating with the Z/K mix than Jcornell.. But, it seems Frosty had just tried this back in Feb of 2014 and had not had sufficient time to make a good judgement.. It would be interesting for you two guys to discuss the wearing of your Z/K mix now, and see if they basically worked out the same, or possibly Frosty had better luck because of his more rigid blanket (I am assuming it was more rigid) at this point. I have not built anything with fiber blanket, only seen it and touched it, and it does not seem to be something that would expand and contract at a high rate, or expand and contract once rigidized more than the rigidizer itself which would expand and contract at the same rate.. Of course, if the rates are different, could cause the fibers of the blanket to break loose too.. My thought here.. If the flakes and chips coming off have fibers sticking out of them, how many, and did it break away from itself, or the fibers, or did the fibers break and come off with the mix.. Might give us an idea of what to try next.. 3) Along the same lines.. Frosty made this statement: Getting it hot enough to vitrify the kaolin as it acts as the matrix holding the zirconium in place. This is what makes me think that Frosty did not use the Sodium Silicate.. It's melting point being roughly 2000 degrees would not be difficult to make it bind the products.. Here is where my understanding is lacking.. I have heard that mixing liquids/solids like this, that the mix basically averages out, rather than the lowest melting point being the weak link, but, something very interesting and important to know in trying to figure out a best mix.. Anyone care to share or speculate or give some idea on that thought/subject? If that is true, the Sodium Silicate would become the binder at that point and possibly solve that problem of keeping it together, but, not vitrifying it, or possibly victrifying it (I don't think it would work like that, but, it may surely work up to the point lacking vitrification.. One reason I think this might work, or something that might be added to make or change the binder from just Sodium Silicate that melts at roughly 2000 degrees to something much higher.. Wiki has a nice article on this product.. Under the subtitle Refractory Use,, it talks about using Sodium Silica, mixing it with Vermiculite dust to create "High Temperature Adhesives".. Since Vermiculite melts at about 2100F and Sodium Silicate 1990F by itself and is considered an Adhesive by itself, it seems that mixing them might even create something higher than either of them by themselves. I was unable to find a High Temp Adhesive made with the two to verify it's melting temperature, but, they described Sodium Silicate as an adhesive, and then described it as a "High Temp Adhesive". Wondering and thinking.. If nothing else, might be able to add an amount of vermiculite dust to the Z/K mix to make it more like a high temp adhesive, which would seem to hold together better and may reduce cracking/chipping, etc.. What is we added some Aluminum Oxide to that same mix. It's melting point is 3762 degrees F. 4) One last thought.. One of the main problems we have as Hobbyists is finding something that works in a Back Yard Foundry, """AND""",,, is available for Purchase in a quantity that would be usual for building a forge/furnace/foundry.. I find that to be the next large problem.. I can buy something for say $2.00/lb if I buy 100lbs and only need 10lbs, but, if I buy 10 lbs, I have to pay $6-$7 a pound for it plus shipping.. Then next problem is having to buy this from there and this from there other.. I think there are lots of products that are easily available in small quantities at good enough deals to put a smile on your face, if we just start thinking about it from that perspective.. I am researching a bunch of things.. Maybe I will have some answers/suggestions before too long, instead of questions.. Fiber Blanket Rigidizer: Wouldn't it be cool if you could use something directly on the Fiber Blanket that would take pouring Cast Iron directly on the material? There are materials out there just like that, and for about $2.00 a pound.. Is it designed for Rigidizing a Fiber blanket? NO.. Not.. Will it? Sure.. What is it designed for? Coating the surfaces of moulds prior to pouring the molten steel/iron on top of it. How about a 3100F Castable Refractory that cures in 12 hours and is rock solid, and can be used as a patch system (hot face patch)for existing forges/furnaces for $3.00/lb Probably could be used to cover the fiber blanket after rigidizing,, if you didn't as the guy who was selling it to you.. Same thing with the Rigidizer I mentioned above.. How many of you took days or weeks to cure a refractory, and followed instructions to the "T", and still had the stuff crack and pop off within the first or second use, using these expensive products we are using.. Makes me say.. Try something else.. Can't do anything worse.. Cheers..
  11. Low cost DIY 2x72 belt grinder

    A couple of comments that might help, or might confuse you.. It is a bit lengthy, but, lots of info that might help.. I typed this while I was on hold, waiting to talk with someone, went back, wrote more and went back again to finish, if it seems choppy.. I went back and posted some things up to.. Here you go.. Hope tis helps... You might have fun with this.. I built it back in November of 2014 using Skate board trucks and a Wooden drive wheel.. I had never seen anything using either of these combos before, but, but can't say they didn't exist.. Here is a quick video I shot for a friend Immediately after.. Then a more detailed video about the build later when I had time to make and upload it after lots and lots of questions about how I built it.. The Skateboard wheels work just fine.. I have a grinder I built November 2014 that gets used pretty regularly.. I hear some people have trouble with bearings, wheels, etc.. I have not.. One thing to note.. The ABEC rating is about manufacturing tollerances.. The higher you get, the tighter the tollerances, the tighter the bearing,, the less metal dust that gets in.. I used the ABEC9 bearings and the wheels and bearings are something I just use and never think about.. My wheels are 2-3/4" tall and 2" wide.. You can get longboard wheels that are taller and wider.. I have seen 3" diameter and 2-1/4 wide.. All use bearings that are 5/16, or 1mm larger if you can find the odd ball ones.. I actually used the Trucks that came with the wheels, instead of using just 5/16" bolts.. I am still on my first set of bushings for the trucks, but, I have loosened them, flipped them around and put them back on to get the trucks/wheels tracking straight again.. I just looked at them.. No wear on any of the wheels, except when I let something catch one of the wheels and cut it, but, it is the same as it was when I damaged it.. No further wear.. I only crowned my Drive wheel,, and,, Yes,, It is just two pieces of 5/4 deck boards cut in a circle, glued and screwed together, put on the motor shaft and crowned with a Farriers file.. It is still doing exactly what it is supposed to do.. Just the wood only.. So, keep your eyes out for a skateboard in case you need more bearings and wheels... I am pretty sure yours are ABEC3 from the looks, so, will probably get metal dust in them.. Mine are sealed with the Rubber seals.. The sides of them have black shiny vinyl look, like other high speed bearings.. You can change them quickly.. I noticed you are interested in Motor sizes.. Mine is a 1/3rd Hp from a washing machine.. An old motor I had a 1/8" x 8" cut off disk on that I sharpen drill bits with.. The Drive pully is 5 inches. I primarily slack grind metal parts that I cut/weld, etc.. I have not started grinding knives, but, I have not bogged the grinder down eating the metal I have to eat.. I would imagine I could, but, it would be a heavy grind for me.. I'm not sure what size belts you ordered.. I might have missed it.. Your wheels look pretty wide.. It won't hurt anything. I prefer 2-1/4" wide wheels for 2" wide belts. I usually like the same width belt and wheel on the platten wheels.. Sometimes I use them to profile the inside edges of pipe for saddles, etc.. Also to round an inside edge, etc.. Personal Preference.. Your platten will wear over time.. you may consider a second sacrificial layer of steel the width of the belt when you can.. If you can get some High Heat Glass (from an old oven or Fireplace), it is very hard and what some upgrade to down the road. The belt will slide easier on it and create less heat/friction.. You might also enjoy a little sharper edge on each side of the belt, if you are grinding plunge lines on knives, etc.. Just a thought.. Ok.. I just now see the 2" x 72" belts arrived and the motor looks plenty strong to me.. I don't know, but, older motors seem pretty tough compared to some new ones I have played with. I think you will be happy,, and if you build another, you can use it to do that too.. Ha.. Looking at your setup now, with the belt installed... If you have trouble with tracking because of your verticle (home made box steel) wabbling around, you can pull it and lay it vertical and pull down on the back with a spring (about 30 pound spring is minimum, but, a good spring weight), or you can get a compression spring, like you have below the box and rig it up on a piece of pipe welded to your top square tube and let the arm rest on it.. If you drill through the vertical square to put a bolt, go ahead and drill out some water or gas pipe to fit snug to your bolt when you run it through.. Remove as much wiggle there as you can.. Think about it like this.. The more solid the grinder parts are, the more solid and consistent your belt tracking will be.. You can see when you adjust the belt for tracking. It does not take much movement of the wheels to change everything.. Ha.. Ok.. I see the tracking setup you have.. The Hex bolt looks pretty snug to me.. If not, pry the two sides of the larger box and slip a washer in one one side,, better if you get two sides.. It should stiffen it up if you have a problem there.. You want it snug, but, not super tight.. A Nylox nut on the other side would be good if you have trouble with it getting loose, or you an take a punch and ding the threads and then back off on the bolt just a bit to solve that problem the quick way.. Not too much, in case you want to take it off later.. Just found the .MOV you posted.. The 1/2" nut under your top Platten wheel is/was loose.. Looks like you have it tracking very well.. The rythmic sound you hear is the motor is my guess. My old motor sounds the same when I put pressure on the belt, but, it has been that way for 3 years now.. Ha.. I know you realized you didn't compensate for the extra thickness of the Idle/tracking wheel thickness being further out from the rest of the wheels.. All of the wheels are riding on the right side, but the tracking wheel rides to the left.. The only time that will bother you is if you want to grind on the left side of the belt edge on the platten and need to move the belt over... Red the above comment about putting a second layer of thicker material on your platten to get a sharper edge,, but, I can't see the left side of the platten, and you may not be able to adjust your platen back if you welded it, rather than bolting it, but, I am betting you bolted it, so, you can add some thicker steel and/or High Temp Ceramic Glass and get it stiffer and give it something to wear out you can replace easily.. If this is your first grinder, you will find it will become one of the most used tools in your shop.. I built the Grinder I built as a prototype to see if I could build a cheap $3000 Belt grinder, because the first time I ever saw one was at a "Hammer Inn" I was invited to, and there were 15 families sharing one Club Grinder.. I figured I could build one cheap and with simple tools, since that was about what all of the families would be dealing with.. One night in the shop and I had a working prototype.. Ha.. All the while, I was saying,, If this works,, I am going to weld up a nice one.. 3 years later, and I am finally getting around to making my plans up to build mine.. I have looked at hundreds of them since then, and they have evolved quite a bit in the last 3 years.. It is going to be an Interesting project for sure.. I really hate to go with the All Aluminum Wheels though.. The Softer Skateboard wheels are great in my opinion.. When you look at the hard core Kinfe grinders,,, they love their Rubber Contact wheels, and I have even seen some cover those wheels with Felt, when they want to get a good polish using the Grinder. You hardly feel the belt seam with a softer wheel.. Somewhere in the 60-70 hardness area.. I am going to try to get some larger Skateboard wheels.. I have seen some 3.5" in diameter and 2-1/4 wide.. But, they still have the 5/16" bolts and bearings.. Seems to me that they are going to be flexing when you really start hogging metal off and putting a higher tension on the belts when you have a bit heavier spring tension, etc,, on a more professional machine.. I am going to try to Freeze the One soft wheel that I have left,, and stiffen it up a bit and get polish sharpen a HSS lathe bit and see if I can cut a larger hole for some larger bearings.. The Bearings are already 7/8" OD, and all I have to do is get to 1-1/8" to get some good bearings with a 1/2" ID.. The most popular 2"x72" grinder bearing is the 1616 bearings.. They are 1.125"OD x .5"ID(bearing)x .375" width.. The Skate board wheels are 22mm(0.866")OD x 8mm(.315")ID(bearing) x 7mm(.276").. So,, as you can see,, you don't have too far to go to get from one bearing to the other.. Thought I would give you a few ideas for now or down the road, if you want some options.. Options are always good things..Ha..Ha.. Here is the right kind of Skate board bearings to replace what you have. Here is a set of the larger bearings that are used on most main brands of 2x72" grinders.. I just bought 2 sets of these a day or two ago to use on my new grinder with lots of accessories.. One more thing.. BELTS... Depending on what you want to do.. I hear knives are in the picture, so, here goes.. Here is a good article to bookmark to get you started.. There are a couple of main/popular types of abrasive belts for grinding.. Cheaper to More Expensive.. AO Belts = Aluminum Oxide They are the Medium Duty Belts.. Also the best belts to use in grits above the agressive belts.. They are much cheaper, but, wear out faster too, but, you can use them for other things when they wear out. Handles, etc.. So,, Belt Prices are very close to each other when you consider life expectance and intended use.. Use these belts in the Higher ranges.. 120 to 800 grit.. You can get J-Flex belts in this range too.. ZO=Zirconium Oxide A little more aggresive and a little more expensive. Ceramic can be 3x more expensive than AO, but, usually lasts 3 to 4 times longer. These are for heavy metal grinding and tool steels.. Use lower grits on these belts.. 36-60 grit. Actually, you will be starting with Ceramic and moving up.. Then, there are leather, felt, film and several other types of finishing belts.. You will most likely use more of the lower grit ceramic belts, becuase you do most of the heavy grinding and then, you are working your scratches out and fine tuning your blades, so, won't use as many of the other belts.. Then, you will hear all sorts of belts out there, gator, Blaze, Trizac, etc.. You are on your own there.. Start basic and get the feel and then pick up a belt or two here and there and you will know the difference and see if it is of more value to you.. Hope the grinder works out.. I'll try to keep up with the post if you have any questions.
  12. There are some old posts here from 2009, 2011, and 2014 where dimensions of Hammer Eye Drifts were discussed, but, not sure if it is my ID or not, but, none of the photos that are used for describing are available.. Says something related to "File Not Found". I will be making some Hammer eye slitters and drifts for handled punches/drifts, Hammer Eye punch/drifts, etc.. And I wanted to make some hammer eye drifts for larger size hammers in the 3-5 lb range.. I have seen some of the Brian B. posts that say I would only spec them if I made a bunch of them, but, didn't give any dimensions other than starting stock, unless I totally missed it.. Seems there is not much to standards as far as hammer eye holes go, but, seems that is partly because of the lack of some agreement on the sizes.. I bought some handles at a flea market the other day.. I was surprised when I got back and started looking at how many of them I had to select through to find one I could whittle down to the correct size for a 3# hammer needing a handle.. I am interested in making a longer/larger drift that could be used on the small end for top tools, and on the larger end for larger hammers.. Seems if this type of tool dimension was readily available, at least the newbies making them would start using some sort of standard that might take ahold down the road.. I'm sure that some handles wear better than others with different dimensions.. Starting new, I only have a few hammers to look at and measure.. Maybe if you guys have been making/using some drifts that have worked well over the years, you could share some pictures and dimensions.. Maybe enough to post some separate stickies on each type of drifts for different purposes. Just thinking outloud... I was surprised not to find this information,, and once I found it, not being able to see the photos.. Not sure if my ID does not allow me to see them or not.. Brian B. posted a bunch of pictures here: I get this error when trying to view the photos. Sorry, there is a problem Cannot find the page you requested Error code: 2T187/2