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I Forge Iron

Another FrankenBurner

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About Another FrankenBurner

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    Senior Member

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    Boise, Idaho
  • Interests
    Tinkering, making things, learning, diagnosing, math/science, programming, cad, CNC, 3D printing, machining, casting, forging, welding, carving.

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  1. The first time I did a smoke test, I immediately learned that I had it all wrong. It flowed completely differently then I had thought. For the forge chamber flow patterns, I laid a sheet of copper across the floor of a cold forge and let it heat. As the plate heated, different portions of the flow went brilliant green. The whole process took only a minute but I had a good idea of where it went after it left the burner.
  2. The propane build up that Mikey mentioned is awful stuff. I worked on a concession trailer which had issues with all of the propane equipment. I ended up determining there was a flow restriction. After testing everything else I could, I dismantled the fuel supply line into the trailer. I found the 30 foot long 1/2 inch pipe completely filled with a yellow greasy waxy goo. I believe it was the stuff they add to propane to give it an odor because it smelled like that's what it was. I don't believe it was due to bad propane, just a long time of condensing this stuff in that section of pipe. It only needs to partially plug the tiny orifice in a burner to change the flame. When you say soot, are you meaning a fine dusty black powder? Like when you place something over a candle. I have worked leaves really thin which then took too much heat afterward and scaled away. I have also burned thin sections. Too many irons in the fire? Another thing which may have nothing to do with anything but when I work with the doors wide open like your photos, I see much more scale buildup than when the doors are more closed.
  3. The foundry pyrometers which I have found are using K type thermocouples with a 2300°F limit. We have built one of these for our foundry but the forge exceeds this limit. I like the available options with carburetor jets but the assortment kits that I have found are all fairly expensive ($150). I purchased a 24 piece 3D printer nozzle assortment for $7. You are right, the carburetor jets would make dialing a burner in much easier. The price is right on the printer nozzles so I tune the burners to work with the available orifice sizes the best I can. Did you find an inexpensive set? The tighter flame of the printer nozzles vs the mig tips is because of fuel ejection velocity. Mig tips have a longer restricted section which slows the fuel down more. I connected both types up to water to test this idea and the printer nozzles ejected water almost twice the distance. If I went to carburetor jets, I would grind the cone shape into the tip though. It probably does not make much of a difference but I streamline everything I can. The one exception would be using pipe with a welded seam. The weld seam makes a difference. It disrupts the vortex and shows in the flame. I've held onto the pipe burner thing because I like the homebrew history of it but tubing is an obvious easy way to improve things. The first few 3D printed burners used thin wall tubing. When I said it was a 3/8" burner, I was using the standard pipe burner designation. The throat of this burner matches the 3/8" pipe used as a partial mix tube so it is nominal(0.493"). The widest part of the burner is the ejection point which is 1.25" which is fairly large. The throughput of this burner is high and because it is 3/8", it is short, so the fuel mix is racing out of the mix tube. It required a large aggressive step up to slow it down enough.
  4. I am not sure about the laser thermometers. I think I remember reading that they can't be trusted at the higher temperatures. I think I have said this before, but I'll say it again and maybe it will be true this time, I think I am close to satisfied with the inspirator tinkering. For now. After that, I will move on to ribbon burners. I am looking forward to playing around with them. I have several experiments already planned. A quieter burner sure sounds nice. The cones are a good idea. Ron Reil used to use them to test. I would love to know the maximum temperature that these burners are pushing but I don't want to push the forge refractory that hard. I was pushing it when I took that photo. The only exception maybe being when we cast the iron pieces. It is tempting to crank it to 20 psi to see what happens. Maybe I could get some nice elephants foot photos to post.
  5. We did not measure the forge temp after it reached 2300°F so that we didn't damage the thermocouple. If only the exotic thermocouples weren't so expensive. I do realize it is too much burner for the forge. We saw it's performance outside of the forge and it got us excited... impatient. So it temporarily made it into the nearest forge which happened to be this guy. We haven't played much. It's low end is below 1 psi so I plan on seeing if it can be dialed back far enough to function well with this forge. After that, it will go into a big forge to see what it does with that. With the 1mm orifice, it is running a purplish flame. We tried a 1.2mm orifice and we had some green show up. We've been playing with FAM ratio attempting to determine the point of too much oxygen to see what the flame looks like. Mostly watching shined metal for scale formation.
  6. We've been pretty focused on forges and burners again. We are very excited about where it is all heading. The forges are starting to function and look awesome. I've been spending a lot of energy on learning more about nozzles. This work has payed off. Here is a 205in³ forge with a 3/8" burner running with a 1mm(.0394in) orifice: This is at 5 psi. It is so bright it is unpleasant to look into and created all the glares on the camera lens. We are referring to it as the super burner currently. At 20psi, this burner is loud and angry. At 25psi we activated the excess flow valve using a 40 lb propane cylinder. The main thing which is so exciting about this is the tiny burner size. My first forge had a 3/4" modified sidearm burner which stuck out like a great moment arm to constantly be hooked or bumped. Here is a picture of that sidearm and the new burner for comparison: We have several forge liners casting. We are also gearing up to cast burners again. We built a thermocouple rig to be more consistent with our pouring temperature. The foundry got a burner upgrade. We built several more flasks. We are having all kinds of fun.
  7. The tubing in that photo is copper. Copper tubing in a cold forge is spectacular for a minute. I was annealing copper tubing to flatten out and make soft jaw covers for the vices. Welcome Panik. Overthink away. You are in good company. The forge does have ceramic blanket. Solid refractory would not be nice to the fuel mileage and I want as many miles as I can get. All of my forges are blanket, Kast-o-lite and Plistex any more. This particular forge was an experiment. It is a monolithic spool shape. Forge chamber with flanged ends. Blanket wrapped around/in the spool. As you see in the picture, the ends cracked which then travelled into the forge. We half expected it with the mono cast. We have another experiment in the works to solve that. This forge was built a while ago and I had forgotten Frosty's advice of buttering the refractory before applying Matrikote. What happened... the dry refractory wicked the moisture from the Matrikote. Frosty got to be right again. If you look at that picture, you can see flakes of the ceiling Matrikote on the floor. Morals of the story, butter the refractory and listen to Frosty. I've also since switched to Plistex but not because of this. It's less expensive and has a higher temperature rating.
  8. I have a good swirl picture. There's a little green in my flame. I wonder if it was running rich that day?
  9. Hello Ernest. A couple of big points first. Do not use 1/4 inch of ITC. It is to be painted on in thin layers. Maybe 1/16 inch total. ITC does not work well with a forge. Most here recommend Plistex or Matrikote. Both are less expensive than ITC and work better. I prefer Plistex because it has higher temperature ratings. You can make a dual purpose forge/foundry but most don't recommend it. Forges and foundries have different operating requirements so a dual purpose will have to compromise on one or both functions. My first forge was a freon cylinder mini forge. I made it full length (12") with a 3/4 inch modified sidearm burner. The 9 inch cylinder, minus 5 for insulation/refractory yields a 4 inch diameter by 12 inch long chamber. In my case, with a central burner. I hated it. In order for metal to be in the hottest zone, 6 inches of metal had to be in the forge. The section I wanted to hold was always hot. If it was in the middle of the stock, 12 inches of metal was being cooked to heat the section I wanted heated. If I were to build it today and wanted to use a freon cylinder, I would cut the length to 7 inches and use a 1/2 inch burner. Less fuel used without loss in much useable forge volume, less over cooked metal, less hot parent stock to hold onto. As to the vent hole size, as Mikey states, variability is great. Movable baffle walls are very versatile and accommodating.
  10. Mikey, I sure didn't refractory coat the bricks. I coated some in Matrikote 90AC but I did not butter the brick when applied so it pealed off in short order making it a poor test. I intended on kastolite facing one but we made the kastolite/blanket half bricks before I got to that experiment. The kastolite bricks are so amazing for my uses that I never looked back at the K26 bricks. The 4 replacement kastolite bricks maybe took 5lbs of kastolite and have outlived an entire case of Morgan Thermal Certamic K26 bricks. A case of bricks costs more than a 50lb bag of kastolite where I am. tinkertim, thanks for the good words. It is a neat little toy burner. Software wise, so long as you don't mind tinkering , you are in luck. I am using FreeCAD. It is a full featured package which kind of works like Fusion360. It is clunky by comparison, free and all. Once I figured out how to work with it, I have no problems producing models. You probably work in metric so that is perfect. I am working with pipe, in standard. Swapping FreeCAD into standard mode is a bad idea, weird things happen. So I convert between metric and standard constantly.
  11. Thank you Mikey. I mostly made the 1/8th inch to see if I could. I imagine the forge it could support would be tiny even by my standards. Nail makers forge. Thomas, the bottom mount burners I have done are in the round edge pointed at 45° ish. I also build with the wider floor space so I keep the metal away from the burner port as much as possible. I have not had a problem with stuff falling in. Here is a previous post with a shot of one of the bottom mounted burners
  12. Been so busy enjoying the forges, we haven't spent much time on R&D. I have a couple of burner experiments which will be showing up soon but we worked on forges. 3D printed forge forms have turned out awesome and now we are again after the unicorn forge. Or maybe we just like lots of forges. Here is the latest mini and big'un. Of course, we have already thought of possible improvements we are plotting on the next one. We are also going to do an in between size as the 3/8 burner can handle it. I have long wanted to play with the idea of a split forge with a bottom mount burner but securing the refractory in the top portion has been our biggest hurdle. Here is a burner size line up:
  13. Good points. As you stated, powered vs atmospheric burners would depend on burner efficiency. By efficiency here, I mean what percent of the available btu's in the provided volume of fuel is actually being liberated in the flame (and how much happens inside the forge). Provided both burners are burning the fuel with the same efficiency, yes, same amount of fuel, same amount of energy. The biggest problem I see with blown ribbon burners is their tuning/construction. You don't have to build carefully to get the amount of air you need so they are often built with no regard to throughput. Some believe you "need" a high pressure blower to make them work. Frosty's NARB work should have put that misconception to sleep. You only need high pressure if you've restricted the flow path. The flip side, sometimes the burner blocks are so wide open that the stream has to be forced to a high volume to maintain a flame. Ever seen a picture of a ribbon burner forge with 3 feet of dragons breath. Just like with atmospheric burners, powered burners can be built fuel efficient or not. There is a lot to be balanced. Both have their application and neither should be disregarded.
  14. Yes, Mikey has pointed out my exact intention with such a small forge. This forge sports a 3/8" burner and reaches welding temperature at 5 psi. I forge at 3 psi and it only sips the fuel. It saves me quite a bit more than a few dollars. I have found that I like the 6 inch length so much that I will be making a shorter large forge as well.
  15. My latest mini forge has a 6 inch length and a 43 in³ volume. It is my go to for anything that will fit in it which is 90% of what I do. This includes a 1.5lb hammer and all of the tooling to produce it. It depends on the kind of work you want to do.
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