Hello everyone! I'm a high schooler and a beginner to blacksmithing. I'm making my own forge this summer, and would really appreciate any advice or suggestions about my forge design before I commit.
I'm thinking about making a 24" long forge, with a forging volume of 1,370 cubic inches. The opening is an 8 x 4 rectangle with a half-circle on top of it (radius of 4). There are 4 inches of insulation around the chamber (2" of Superwool, with 2" of castable refractory on top of it). The floor bed is 4" of castable refractory, on top of 2" of Superwool. All the metal is 1/8" steel sheet.
I am planning on using three 3/4" or 1" burners (maybe T-Rex burners, or I'll make my own standard Venturi burners). Is this too few to reach welding temps, or does the overkill insulation make up for it?
I know this forge is huge, but I'd like to be able to grow into the forge, instead of making new designs as I progress as a blacksmith. I'm planning on using it to make mostly knives/swords, but also custom parts and some art pieces (hence the large size). As another reason for the size, I would also like to be able to potentially have multiple people using it at once. However, most of the time, I'm planning on only using 1-2 burners, and using fire bricks and placing a castable refractory slab on the floor to decrease the volume. Lastly, would it be possible to use it as a foundry, for melting aluminum and/or copper?
I've attached some CAD renderings I made, as well as the blueprint of the design to make it easier to visualize.
Thanks in advance for any help and advice.