Zach Wolpa

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  1. Frosty, I’m sure you get bombarded with silly questions, so thanks so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge and answering mine the build itself is actually a breeze, the floor flange really helps. It’s just finding that right piece, I’m gonna take the one I found in the mystery bag to the fitting store and see if they have em, otherwise I’ll just have to keep my eyes out for more mislabeled fittings. Looking for them online is even harder, and I don’t have a lot of confidence that even if I found it, I’d have the right piece. Call me old school, but I like to have these things in my hand before I buy them. I’m happy to draft up your instructions into a CAD drawing if you’d like, I’ll probably do this anyways for myself. I do have a couple more ?s Tho: 1) the 3/4 burners I built are actually too powerful, I haven’t tried the 3/4 T yet, but will do so once I finish tapping the fitting. Lots of dragons breath, mostly yellow but a little blue, even at like 3 psi. Forge chamber is likely too small. But I do like this forge for longer, narrow pieces. Thinking about scaling down to two 1/2” T or burners, do you think this is a mistake? 2) can’t find “redhat” Adjustable regulators anywhere, is there another brand/source you might recommend? Anything besides 0-30 psi I should look for? thanks in advance! cheers, zach
  2. Mikey98118 so, it’s hard to see in the photo, but there’s actually 3 SS pipes cast into the side of the forge, 1”, 1-1/4”, and 1-1/2”, from front to back. the back two pipes are drilled and tapped with set screws. The reducer on the burner is at the end of the burner tube and goes to a 1” SS nipple (nozzle) which slips into either of the back two pipes. The reducer blocks back flow but doesn’t get hot at all, and the “cast in” pipe acts as the slide over flare. All in all it may be too much burner for this forge, and I may scale down and try a multiple mini NA burner design. Frosty I’m really into NA burners, and like I said I’m building your T burner design (trying to stick to the specs) but noticed something in the illustrated pdf instructions that I think kinda threw me off and may need clarification. The directions call for a “1/8” mpt x 1/4” flare fitting” I went to two pluming supply stores and a couple of local hardware stores and could not find the right part so I stopped by a place called fittings inc. and after two wrong pieces, the guy finally found a 1/8” mpt x 1/4” mpt which I know isn’t right but I couldn’t even find one of these at the first 4 stores and it seemed close enough so I picked up two. Long story short, the mig tip is almost loose in a 1/8” mpt fitting, I suppose I could tap the hex where it gets tight and use a bunch of thread tape or locktite, but I don’t think that’s the intent. Here’s where it gets funny , I go back to the Home Depot for some other odds and ends, and I find a bag in the fittings rack that’s been sharpied over “flare” ??? It’s actually a 1/8” flare to 1/4” mpt fitting. With this fitting, the mig tip doesn’t slip in, so it will need to be tapped like your instructions say. Also, it fits much more snug in the tapped T fitting than the standard 1/8” mpt. I think the 1/8” side needs to be flared? So, here’s some photos, starting from the story above to progress on Frosty‘s T-burner, to the frankenforge in action. One more looking into the forge chamber:
  3. Frosty if I understand the ratios you’re referencing correctly, then the air intake port area should be 1/4x the burner tube length (8x pipe diameter) or 2x the pipe diameter, and the jet should be .5x diameter from the tube. I’m using schedule 40, 3/4” black steel for my tube. So my inside diameter is .824”, essentially 7/8”, D = 7/8”. so I went with 8” for my tube length. With the intake and flare fittings, I’m at 7” (8D) in “exposed” tube length between the intake and flare fittings. The intake is 1.5” also schedule 40, so inside diameter = about 1-5/8” (2D). As built, my MIG tip ends up at 3/8” from the top of the tube (.5D) the only thing that may be off is the tube length. 7” isn’t available at the local hw store, but I’m gonna cut down a 9” piece I have and see if I get better results. I may actually try this in the 1” slide over flare I cast into the side of my forge. Also, I do like your T Burner design, it definitely seems like a better, more versatile approach, but I was nervous about cutting down a mig tip and properly tapping the 1/8” hole in the T. Regardless, Im going to build a couple of heads per your specs (exactly, no mods ) and see if they work better for my application. - I started writing the following last night, it’s a little long, but wanted to record the results of the first test of my first burner build inside my forge. No need to read this all if you’re not interested, but definitely wanted to sincerely thank Frosty, Latticino, Mikey98118, Thomas Powers, and Irondragon Forge & Clay, for their comments/advice above as they have already saved me time and money on my future planned builds and final connections. - Wow! that was rad. Fired both the prefab burner and mine, in my frankenforge for the first time... wish I recorded it, I’ll record tomorrow after the refractory is completely cured. The best part is that y’all have already saved me $, but more importantly a whole lotta time. Results of forge test 1/burner test 2: Both burners in my forge are really powerful, lots more than I expected, this is great, glad I didn’t hook this up to the paint can The burner to hose connection assembly I made is way over the top and kinda pointless, especially if you can’t see the pressure gauge. I’m still glad I built it though as it did allow me to determine which burner: prefab #1 (P1), or the one I built, credit Ron Reil/Bordeaux mod (ZR2) is more efficient. Results: P1 @ 5 psi was inconsistent, chuffing @10 psi was better but still chuffing a little, @ 15 psi maintained consistent flow, good coverage, excellent vortex, but the nozzle got incredibly hot. @ 20 psi was too hot as this is also the final refractory cure and I didn’t want to burn it. Pro’s: The choke was helpful but extremely touchy. ZR2 @ 5 psi maintained consistent flow good coverage, excellent vortex. @ 10 psi was perfect. @ 15 was too hot for the refractory. Pro’s: Nozzle stayed relatively cool, burner fit in 1.5” and 1.25” slide over flares, burner is more efficient. Conclusions: Regarding the propane connection: There’s a photo of the complete assembly from intake to tank connection at the end of this, but it’s become clear that my hose connection assembly isn’t well suited for continuous, long term use. There are too many potential fail points and it’s cumbersome to take off the burner and the hose, which completely defeats the intent. I don’t plan on needing to know the difference between 5.5 psi and 6.25 psi, increments of 5 seems to be all I need and I feel like this could be done by listening, looking at the flame/forge, and using an adjustable regulator instead as others have advised above. That said, the hose connection assemblies will still be useful for future testing as noted above, and i’ll also use them (I built 2) to calibrate my future dual burners. Regarding the regulators: Adjustable is definitely the way to go, so I’ll save one of the fixed regulators for future testing/calibration and use the other for my foundry. Regarding the burners themselves: P1 burner is relatively useless, bummed I wasted my money. In addition to the results above (bottom line, my build, ZR2 is definitely more efficient), I left both burner bodies outside last night and P1 had way more rusting than ZR2 which makes me question the SS grade, or if it’s even SS at all. It will probably be relegated for use with the foundry only. ZR2 worked well for my application. Only one burner is needed as the forge chamber is relatively small at about 100 cu in. Next phase: I plan on testing again with the refractory completely cured tonight. I’ll also cut down a 9” nipple to 7” and test for better results and if it will work without a flare. I have one ZR2 intake built and a second partially built. I’ll finish the Bordeaux mod, adding the small set screws to the rim, on the partially built intake. I’ll also build Frosty’s T design and test as well. Based on initial testing, and the size of the chamber, I’m pretty sure I’ll only need one burner for this forge, so a dual/multiple burner design isn’t necessary at the moment. I’ll use the connection assembly I’ve already built until I receive the pieces for the better connection (adjustable regulator, better hose, shutoff cock).Even though I unnecessarily cast 3 ports into the forge, I’m still glad I did as they should prove useful for several reasons not worth getting into here. Down the road, I’m gonna build a larger forge for wider pieces. If I need a multiple burner design, the propane split should occur closer to the burners rather than at the propane tank/regulator. The concept I’m working on is heading in the right direction, but I plan on looking more into larger forge designs and Frosty and other’s connections before I go any further with this.
  4. Irondragon Forge & Clay, thanks for the pointers and helping me get started here, I thought my location auto filled with my FB login method, I'll be adding more info to my profile for sure. Thomas Powers and Latticino, I'll definitely pick up an adjustable regulator for the next build, makes sense to me as it would eliminate the need for the needle valve and a simple shutoff seems to be the safer method. The needle valve I'm using was sold as being a good choice for a forge burner, but now I'm not so sure. Frosty, "Dunning and Kruger" ha! I'm way smarter than those guys (totally kidding). Look, I'm definitely not trying to pretend like I'm an expert and sincerely appreciate the advice. At the end of the day I'm a mad scientist and truly enjoy building things and experimenting. I'll post a pic or video of the burner I've already built versus an expensive prefab I bought. I do have a pretty good understanding of how this kind of burner works, but admittedly I feel clueless as to how to safely and easily connect it to a 20lb propane tank and have quick pressure control, especially for regular/long term use. There's a lot of conflicting info out there. At least I'm not trying to build a MOT induction heater, yet...
  5. Wow! This is awesome, you guys are rock stars, thanks for all of the quick responses! Lot's of questions, so I'll do my best to answer: In terms of whose burner plans I'm using, I have to give the Ron Reil (who credits Russ Vulo and Derry Cook) burner design credit for my inspiration. That said, I've been thinking about doing this for a couple of years, so I've read a ton, watched at least 15 different videos, took ideas from several different designs and tried to create a concept for the burner body and jet pipe that seemed the simplest. So, I'm not really following a specific design, and definitely not using an instruction manual. I'm really taking pieces from different concepts that seemed to make the most sense to me. A lot of guys have made modifications to the Ron Reil design, so I started there and tried to develop a concept that I could build quick, easy, and cheap. I like experimenting, and this seemed like a great way to learn how gas forges work. A few examples of the modifications to the burner design itself: I've seen the jet pipe installed in the 1.5" bell several different ways, many use set screws, an elbow, and a hole drilled through the end cap which seemed over complicated to me. I have a drill press, so it was pretty easy to drill a hole straight through and large enough for the 1/8" nipple which seemed like a much more simple method (and I think more in line with the Ron Reil design), plus it allows for the intake to be pretty much wide open. I saw that instead of drilling a #60 hole in the jet pipe, some have tapped and added a MIG tip, this made so much sense to me because it reduces the wear on the nipple and also makes it much easier to confirm that the jet is correctly centered in the burner. I've also seen at least 3 different ways of adding a choke, a bunch involved welding pieces to the end of the 1.5" bell which I really didn't like. I don't think I'll need a choke, but went ahead and drilled and tapped the rim of the 1.5" bell and added a short #6 SS screw so I could attach a tuna can lid if I want a choke down the road. This means that I don't really have a specific design author who I can contact with questions. I also kind of assume Mr. Reil gets bombarded with silly questions, however I really appreciate the advice to contact the design author because I did go back and looked at a Ron Reil burner drawing and noticed that he drilled and tapped holes for set screws in the rim above the intake hole in the 1.5" bell to "lock" the jet tube. With the MIG tip, the jet tube definitely wants to spin so I soldered the first one, but on the next I'll probably add the set screws. I think this (and inserting the 1/8" nipple directly into the 1.5" bell) is called the "Bordeaux" modification, credit to Robert Bordeaux. So, I'm making modifications to modifications, to modifications and I've read a ton of posts on here and thought this would be a good forum for a discussion with the experts. I can definitely appreciate how it would be difficult to envision my concept by the parts list alone which is why I attached a photo, but admittedly it was poor resolution. I've attached a "carefully executed" drawing to this post help clarify. Now to respond directly to some of the other questions: Frosty, I agree that I may have gotten "fitting" happy and may have over complicated the burner attachment assembly which is why I worry about adding anything else (like a shutoff cock). BTW, I think I read on another post that your up in Kodiak, I do work up there and visit about every 3 months. Mikey98118 and Thomas Powers, I think you may disagree with each other regarding the pressure gauge location. But I think what I here you both saying is that the pressure gauge is pretty much useless anyways and most adjust with their eyes and ears. Makes sense, but I'm a noob so thought it would be good to have one so I can learn how to tune a little easier. Seemed like adding it after the needle valve also made sense so I could get a better understanding of what 5PSI sounds like versus 25PSI and make adjustments on the fly. The regulator I'm using is also fixed at 30PSI, so I think what Mikey is actually saying is that with an adjustable regulator, it would be better to add directly to the regulator instead of after the needle valve. I'll pick up an adjustable regulator for the next build. BTW I'm in Seattle, Alki Beach, a little far from Thomas (would love to check out your shop thought), but Mikey, hit me up if you're going to subpop's birthday party this weekend. You are correct, it's not an adjustable regulator, it's fixed at 30PSI. The hose, regulator, and needle valve were all purchased from Jim Fox at Thermal Art Design as part of his "burner kit":, do you think I wasted my money? Could you explain why an adjustable regulator is preferred? Kind of explained above, but as mentioned, I love experimenting and look forward to doing so. I'm sure I'll be back looking for advice for preferred PSI for different types of work pieces, etc. I've been playing with homemade gas forges for about 4 years now, started with little propane torches, moved up to MAP gas which was way too specific and hot, and really wanted more control so I could experiment. I definitely agree that the 6" length is too much. I have a couple 1"x3" nipples which definitely work better. One thing I forgot to mention in the original post is that this burner is to be installed in a 1.25" SS mounting tube that I cast into the side of my forge, this adds a second flare which really allows the 6" long nozzle to work well. I also have a 1.5" SS mounting tube behind that so I can take the nozzle off and just use the 3/4" to 1" bell as the flare. I'm more concerned about finalizing the connection assembly so I can safely test these in the forge. I think I'll take what I've built so far and test this weekend. I'll post some photos to provide a better understanding of my overall forge concept (also the result of modifications, to modifications, to modifications and a rebuild to boot) Hopefully the attached drawing clarifies, 1/8" brass nipple tapped in the center for a MIG tip inserted directly in the side of the 1.5" bell, this seemed like the best method to provide the most minimal obstruction to the air inlet. I'm still on the fence, I think I've already complicated this thing enough, but safety first right? Maybe it would be best to go ahead and seal my connection assembly to the burner, then add a quick connect and shutoff cock between the hose and the needle valve. ZAW BURNER DESIGN Model (1).pdf
  6. Hello, I'm new to the forum, so hopefully I'm posting this in the right place. Setting up my first legit propane forge and decided to take a crack at building some homemade burners as well. Burner specs are as follows: 1"x6" SS nozzle/burner tip 1" to 3/4" SS reducer coupling 3/4"x8" black steel nipple 1.5" to 3/4" black steel reducer coupling 1/8"X4" brass nipple with end cap, tapped for MIG tip MIG tip From the 1/8" nipple, my connection assembly is as follows: 1/8" to 1/4" brass hex bushing 1/4" brass tee Winters 2" Lead Free Pressure Gauge, (0 to 30 psi) Model #PEM206LF, here's a link: 1/4" to 1/4" brass close nipple/hex 1/4" to 3/8" needle valve Propane hose with 30PSI regulator Home Depot style propane tank gas level indicator I taped everything with PTFE except the 1/8" burner nipple as I'm not sure what the final orientation will be. I'm building three of these, and already have 2 prefab'd burners and I wanted some versatility as I have 2 forges (1 paint can, 1 large custom homemade) and a foundry and would like to move and swap the burners. Regardless, did the soapy water test and fired this bad boy up for the first time (outside the forge) to test my madness. The burner worked like a champ outside the forge, but I have some concerns and I'm thinking about making some modifications to the connection assembly and would like to make 2 or three more. So here are my main questions: 1) Does anyone know if the Winters pressure gauge noted above is safe for use with propane? I think I googled 30 PSI propane pressure gauge and that's what came up. When I went back to order the next couple for my future connections, I noticed the website says it's for use with "Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, Pneumatic, Water Tanks, Air Compressors." I'm assuming it's fine, but wanted to see if anyone on here thinks I should look for something else. 2) I placed the pressure gauge between the needle valve and the burner so I could have better control of the gas flow. Are there any issues with this? 3) Thinking about adding shutoff cocks between the needle valve and the regulator/propane tank, but not sure if this would be redundant with the needle valve? 4) So that I may easily move the connection assembly to different burners and avoid damaging the connections, wondering if: A) A quick connect could be added to the 1/8" burner nipple, or If I should tape the 1/8" to 1/4" hex bushing to the burner nipple, add an additional 1/4" close nipple and then a quick connect, or C) If I should add a quick connect before the needle valve/shutoff cock, or D) Are quick connects just a bad idea? 5) Also thinking about setting up a dual burner for the large forge. The concept would be the same as 2 of both the burner and the connection assemblies outlined above, but add: A) Brass 3/8" FIP to 1/4" MIP fitting to Brass 1/4" elbow to C) Brass 1/4"x1.5" nipple to D) Brass 1/4" tee (repeat A-C on opposite side of tee) to E) Brass 1/4"x4" nipple to 1/4" shutoff cock to F) Brass 1/4" MIP to flared 3/8" MIP fitting | or | Brass 1/4"xClose nipple to 1/4" FIP to flared 3/8" MIP fitting Is this a bad idea? Would it be better to just find a Y or T fitting for the propane tank and run 2 hoses and regulators (prefer not to have too many hoses)? for 5A, are there any variables I should consider for the flared 3/8 side of the needle valve? For 5F, are there any special considerations for the 3/8" connection to the propane hose besides flared? At the end of the day, I'm not opposed to having multiple hoses and just moving the hoses between burners as necessary. Photo of my current assembly is attached. Any assistance/advice is greatly appreciated. Comments on other parts of my design are also welcome.