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I Forge Iron

Brandon Ade

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    Cedar Park, Texas

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  1. The hard firebrick you have in your photo is fine for the interior and it will take longer for the forge to heat up as the bricks absorb heat, but when hot they hold heat very well and will radiate that heat back into the piece. It will also stay warm much longer after turning off the forge so if you come back in say 30 minutes it will still be hot and you can get back up to temperature faster. You will need to wrap the exterior of the bricks with insulating blanket, otherwise the bricks will radiate heat away from the forge and it will be much less efficient. Also the bricks will be very hot and a safety issue if you don't insulate the bricks. My recommendation would be to build the interior flame faces with hard firebrick (or castable refractory like Mizzou or Kastolite 30) and then coat in ITC-100. This provides a very durable surface with the IR benefits of ITC-100. The difference between fiber insulating blanket (coated in Satanite) vs hard firebricks (coated in ITC-100) is time and durability. You can get to working temperature faster with insulating blanket (or soft firebrick K26) but it is fragile and breaks down faster than hard firebrick/castable refractory. Hard firebrick will last longer (esp. when coated with ITC-100 or bubble alumina) but will require longer heat up time, and can be more complicated in the build process depending on design.
  2. OP, FWIW I brushed on ITC-100 to my ribbon burner face without issue. Just keep the holes clear, use a toothpick or q-tip to clean them out quickly after brushing.
  3. Did you ever bring this up to temp? I'm curious how hot the exterior of your casting gets and what curing process you went through? Have you experienced any significant cracking in the casting? P.s. I like your layout and build approach.
  4. What is the distance from your burner face to your floor? You should pack the sides of the burner with insulation to reduce heat travelling up the burner.
  5. OP, the claims that blown ribbon burners can run at low PSI are true. I can run my 4.25"x8.25" ribbon as low as 1.5 PSI (with my 1/4" needle valve fully open) inside a forge chamber of ~1600 cuin. before flame out. However, more typically I set my propane regulator to 5 PSI and use my 1/4" needle valve to dial in flame at higher air volumes. I have not had a need to run above 5PSI as I still have to reduce gas volume with a needle valve. This gets to forging temp in 25 minutes from cold. I have no comparison to the consumption of other designs, so I am only speaking to your first post questioning the low psi claims.
  6. Joman, to your original issue and question, your flame out is occurring because your air volume it too high compared to your gas volume. Either: 1) decrease air flow by controlling blower speed or 2) increase gas supply via larger volume or higher pressure. As a reference I use 5 psi via 1/2" pipe for my blown ribbon burner (4.25"x8.25" burner face). If you can't increase NG pressure or volume, or refuse to switch to propane to achieve higher pressures/volumes, then you will have to decrease your blower speed (i.e. air volume), but this will in turn decrease burner performance and you may find it difficult to reach working temperatures. For brushless motors (ONLY) you can get some level of blower control using a $20 speed controller found on Amazon.
  7. The interior of my monolithic forge is 18" L x 9" W x 10" H, approx. volume of 1600in3 and the appropriate sized burner was the Pine Ridge LP290 with a face of 4.25"x8.25" (perhaps a bit large but it can be dialed down). Will the interior of your 12" pipe be lined with 2" of inswool? Assuming so, that would reduce your interior diameter to 8" x 16" L, approx. volume of 800in3. Perhaps the LP190 at 4.25" x 6.25" is the proper fit? A key installation tip: Total volume is not the most critical design paramater. Instead, make sure the burner face has a minimum of 9" clearance to the flame face. My LP290 has a clearance of 10". This will ensure complete combustion within your chamber, reducing the confusion or need to perfectly match chamber volume to burner size. When you mount the burner make sure to recess the burner back if necessary to give the 9-10" clearance. Install blower speed controls and gas needle valves to allow dialing in the flow of air and gas.
  8. For the archives: my first blown ribbon burner forge based on the Pine Ridge LP290 ribbon burner. Monolithic 4" arch from Kast-o-lite 30, finished with ITC-100. Automatic gas shut-off with loss of air pressure. Reaches forging temperature in 25 minutes.
  9. Arkie, no issue with access. I can get my hips all the way to the face and get as near as I like without bending over. I've worked on similar stands without it bothering my back, even on lower face heights. That's the reason for the large single leg placed at the heel, it allows getting very close. TP, the average of four 1" hardened ball bearing tests was 86%. When the anvil was directly on the ground (concrete) I was getting 90%. So at least for that test I agree I have lost 4%. Something I will just have to accept.
  10. The Mr. T. Fuller description on my original post here. (Warning: picture heavy).
  11. I wanted to share a grateful update on what I finally ended up fabricating and how it went. The final design took on somewhat of a hybrid of the 3-footed tripod and the T-stand, but I can't take credit for this design, it was a shameless rip-off from examples at the school. Previously this design was not possible as I only had access to 4" tube, so I owe an immense thank you to Haley at the ACC shop for allowing me access to some hefty scrap material. Ended up with 1" base plate, 6"/8" round tubes for legs, 8"x6"/8"x4" square tube for supports, and 1/2" plate for the feet. After having so much larger stock available the design could change. It all started comically as this chalk board insanity (feel free to laugh, it's absurd): After getting the material home it was a lot of cutting and grinding to get the pieces to fit. Finally they were ready for dry-fitting and all cavities were filled with sand to add an extra 150# in weight. Designing and cutting took a few weeks, welding less than a day... Caulk laid down on base and 3/8" chain with 1/2" hex bolts used to pinch down: With a coat of black engine enamel I had laying around the stand is finally finished and a happy anvil is ready to roar to life in it's new home: The design maintains the benefit of a triangulated 3-feet footprint which keeps it ultra stable and the extra width of the feet really add an extra dimension of stability. Maybe my next stand will be a tri-pod to compare. Designed the face height to be 34". Had a huge goof up in fabrication and ended up at 34-1/32"...oops. Anvil weight is 267#. Stand ~300#. I didn't put much thought into the finished look (as in I got lazy and just wanted to get it operational), I just used the black paint I had on hand. I wasn't sure how I felt about the zinc plated "gold" chain, but I ended up liking how the gold and silver of the anvil play together, kinda pops and makes me imagine dwarves mining and forging precious metals deep below some mountain somewhere. It makes me laugh because it also reminds me of Mr. T, so maybe I just found it's new name. It sure doesn't have that rustic antique historic look, but I think it will get the job done. Thanks for the earlier input, the best take aways: go big and don't worry so much about the angles.
  12. TP: the anvil is 267#. Face height is 35-1/2". I agree with all comments on why the T-stand needs to disappear. Frosty: thank you for the wise hardy hole suggestion. Back to my original post, what angle is appropriate for the tripod legs? My thought that led me to 11/15 degrees was simply to put the feet at a position outside the main body of the anvil. Is common sense the only math necessary here? Has anyone used an angle on a tripod that didn't work?
  13. I could use some thoughts/advice/experience surrounding the suggested angle on legs placed on a 3-legged metal anvil stand. I like to get my thoughts and measurements down in a simple CAD drawing before fab so attached are a number of photos to get my point across. I am questioning the benefit of a 3-legged metal stand vs. a simple T-shaped stand (see photo). In my mind the simple T-stand is easier in the design, cutting and fabrication and offers less obstruction. Regardless of the type, the question of leg placement becomes important. I included top-down photos of each proposed stand to get an idea of where the legs rest in relation to the anvil. On a tri-pod, what is an acceptable angle for the legs to ensure stability? Here I have mocked up 3 examples showing different angles (from vertical) on the legs, using 11 degrees, 15 degrees, or a combination of 11/15. The single top-down photo of the tri-pod is of the 11/15 combo. Discovering this "best" angle led me to wondering why not go with a simple T-stand? Though again, the placement of the feet becomes a concern so as to prevent tipping and the T-stand raises concerns about stress fractures given a single 4" tube as the connection point (here I am assuming A36 4"x3/8" round tube and 4"x3/8" sq. tube). I would enjoy hearing what others have to say on the matter of leg placement, degrees from vertical, clearance issues, structural integrity, and the like. Cheers!
  14. UPDATE: While web crawling I found an online link that others may also find useful: Link removed per TOS For now he stands in the corner of the shop with headphones on and shade 5 glasses, and can't move until given permission. He gets bored in about 10 minutes then goes and finds trees to whack with a stick...he likes to sweep up metal shavings with a magnet on the end of a file at the end of the day which is quite the help. I am taking local classes that have been thus far tools and home items (e.g. profile pic). I am looking for scrap now to build an anvil stand, with the longer term goal to finish the shop in time to start making knives with my son in a few years, and attend local meetings when they are allowed again. Still time there on the knives, but for now I am working on tooling and building the shop while I continue the classes on the basics. My first home "projects" after the anvil stand will be to complete the "Controlled Hand Forging" lessons to break everything in and start working outside the scope of classes.
  15. Waiting to see when COVID relaxes and Balcones Forge starts having regular monthly meetings again which would be great exposure for my 5 yr old. Until then their FB and webpage have been wonderful resources so thanks for that smart tip. Go local! Duh.
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