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About MaxwellB

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    Chicagoland, IL
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    Green-as-grass hobbyist just starting out.

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  1. Satanite isn't for structure, it's why it's called a "refractory". It's job is to absorb and even out heat in a forge, giving you a more uniform temperature across the cavity if the forge is constructed right. Cement on the outside of firebricks could possibly be ok, but the problem is cement holds moisture, and moisture + high heat = steam. Steam expands, and trapped steam can cause cracks, breaks, and potentially explode and send shrapnel into places you don't want sharp, high velocity chunks of cement flying into. If you're looking to hold everything together, you can use angle iron and bolts, similar to this: If everything is round, depending on the size, you can use hose clamps too.
  2. The more you add, the more fuel it'll take to bring your forge up to temperature. KOL and other refractory cements will soak up the heat. As such you'll use more fuel to get it up, but you can also use less fuel to keep it at temp versus using bare wool. Having a thicker floor than roof is normal, because the floor takes more abuse. I know this post if a few weeks old, and sorry I didn't see it sooner to chime in, but I wouldn't add more to the roof. That'd be in my opinion a waste of materials, and a waste of fuel to heat that extra mass up. Stick with your 1/2" and slightly thicker floor.
  3. I have a 2 burner devil's forge with a door on the butt. I relined it because I was pretty much throwing whatever I could to the wall and see if it stuck. Here's the nitty gritty: The "refractory" they give you, in my opinion, is garbage. There's no mention of what it is, what it's content is, etc. You're better off getting yourself some hydroPHILIC fumed silica off ebay or amazon (I'll link the one I bought if it's allowed) and mixing that with water and food coloring, and rigidizing the blanket on your own. Then you should coat with a known refractory, like kast-o-lite or satanite or any of the others mentioned throughout here and elsewhere on the interwebs. You can probably go about 1/2" thick on it and you'll be fine. Then when it's all set and cured and you're almost ready to go, coat the top of the refractory with an IR reflective coating like Plistix. This is a thin coating, like coating the surface with a layer of paint. This should get you to where you need to be. It sounds daunting, but it's really not that difficult if you can follow directions. The worst part is mixing up the kast-o-lite (if you go with that particular one) because to me it felt like it was too dry, but it held well. There are a few other members here who have the same brand of forge, and I'm sure they'll chime in shortly with their experiences. I actually haven't had time to forge much, settling into a new job and all. But hopefully I'll pick the hammer back up soon. One more thing, and it's something I'll be doing soon... Look into getting a 40lb tank or bigger for your propane. I find that the 20lb grill tanks just don't last me as long as I'd like them too. And since you said you have access to big box stores, you should be able to find propane refill places, which will always come out cheaper than an exchange. IFI sells refractories at Gas Forge Refractories and Supplies
  4. Perhaps "traditional" was the wrong choice of words. A lot of things I've been reading have pointed towards a general shift in using air supply coming from the bottom. Also part of the reason I was inquiring about the use of drums. Seems many designs these days favor air supply coming up from underneath everything. I figure if I'm going to build this, might as well pick a few brains before I commit.
  5. I've browsed the solid fuel section and read the BP on the 55 Forge. I'm planning on putting one together, so I can see if I prefer propane or solid fuel. So my question is simple... Have there been any NECESSARY/NEEDED changes done to a 55 that should be noted, or are they all "operator preference" types of changes? For example, would it be considered a must to go with side-blast over traditional "up from under"? Does a brake drum make things easier/more efficient or does it make things cumbersome? Things like that are questions I have. I have 2 55 steel drums left out of 4 I bought a few seasons ago to turn into burn barrels, and I really don't need 4 burn barrels in the yard. So I figured I would cannibalize one of them and take a shot at the 55.
  6. The reason the floor is thicker is because of the abuse it takes. You're going to be "stabbing" it with stock as you put it in, regardless of how gentle you are. You don't want to chip or gouge that refractory to the point you're having to reline it. Also, depending on the refractory that you're using, it'll hold up to flux to a certain extent. Thinner refractory will get eaten through faster, and then once you get flux on wool it's game over, like water on cotton candy. So you're giving up some thermal efficiency in exchange for durability. As for the ceiling/walls, they're going to heat/cool faster than the floor, and you're going to experience thermal cycle shock to the refractory and cracking will be catastrophic if you're running a thin coat. Just like the floor, thicker is designed for durability. And keep in mind too that the castable doesn't go as far as you think it will. 10lbs of castable seems like a lot, but it's really not.
  7. Late to the party, but I agree with Event... The coating they ship you falls fully into the "no bueno" side of things. I mean, it's probably ok to rigidize the wool, but in no way shape or form should it be classified as a refractory. I have a 2 burner square DF that I actually relined not too far back. And I'm tweaking that lining further. It's kaowool, kast-o-lite 30, and a topcoat of IR reflective. I made it a little too small, so I ripped out the sides (and most of the top came with... c'est la vie) and re-rigidized the exposed wool. Tomorrow I'll slap on the KOL and let it do it's thing. It's functional, but it's just too narrow. So now I eat my crow when I said I didn't see myself working with anything wider than 4"... My bolt tongs are wider than 4". But back on track... Get yourself some real refractory and you'll be solid. A little extra on top of your investment already, but this will be a few steps closer to optimized.
  8. I have 2" of kaowool coated with about 3/8" of KOL. 1/2" should be sufficient since you're covering 2.5" of brick. And since you're going to be coating the KOL, 1/2" should be fine. But definitely take some advice and get an extra bag just to be safe. I ordered 2 bags for when I relined my forge, and I'm glad I did. I didn't have to dip into the second bag, because I went thin on the roof of the forge, but I would have been SOL had I needed to up my thickness at all.
  9. I think one of the best things I've seen here is the willingness to post mistakes, flaws, imperfect items, etc. all without the fear of that BS that others throw around. I recommend this place to everyone I come across who needs info because I know they'll get what they need AND they won't be branded a newb or a moron or anything along those lines.
  10. Oh yeah Frosty, I know about the mockery and good natured "abuse"... But there's a lot of forums that will ridicule and hound someone for honestly not knowing an answer, or doing something other than the "established way" or the way they think it should have been done. Here it's all in the effort of marching forward. Nobody here thinks of themselves as high and mighty, and so far it looks like even there advanced Crafters remember their early projects. I enjoy it here, even if I don't understand half of the conversations.
  11. Everyone makes mistakes the first time. It's what makes this forum great. There's no pointing and giggling when someone (like me) confesses to wasting time and money on things. It just doesn't work out sometimes. Hydrophilic is the fumed silica you want. Remember to spray water on the wool BEFORE the rigidizier so it can penetrate better.
  12. MaxwellB

    Pro forge 200

    Most everything I'm seeing has the port in the door open for exhaust. If you think you're losing too much heat through that you could probably make a plug to take up 1/3 or 1/2 of the open space, just to experiment. Make sure you rigidize the wool before you fire the forge back up. You really don't want silicosis.
  13. Outstanding. Thank you all for your feedback. It's very very much appreciated!
  14. I had put the stuff they sent with first, then when I Greenpatch'd the forge I put it on there. Right now it's just rigidized wool, and I might keep it that way. Or if I find where I put that Greenpatch bucket, I'll put a bit on there just to protect the wool.
  15. Latt - Oh yeah... There was plenty of steam. EVERYWHERE. It was coming out of both ends and looked like a Cheech & Chong video. I was worried at first because it kept coming. But then I thought of all the water in the refractory and the water on the wool I buttered with, and the humid conditions of the day. Event - I had the front choke open a bit more than the back, simply because I wanted to try and bring in more air to negate the hot exhaust getting drawn in. I don't have a welder, so I can't tack a heat shield around the choke like I would like to, or even tack a plate over the top of the front to keep exhaust/dragon's breath diverted. I've gotta see how low the burners are sitting inside and see if I need to bring them down further. Everything I've read say they should be flush with the refractory or recessed slightly, up to 1/8". That might be the ticket. I'd still like to see about that cold spot in the middle. The obvious first troubleshooting step is to turn the burner assembly around and see if the front gets hotter than the back. Then there's an issue with the burner assembly not diverting evenly. If the back still stays hotter, then it's an issue with the design or the reline and I go from there.