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Panik

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About Panik

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  1. Panik

    Burners 101

    Thomas, Frosty - I agree with you both you and didn’t intend for anything I wrote this morning as a refutation of your thoughts. I’m reasonably certain I was among the last to be taught how to use a stereoscope and interpret stereoscopic aerial photos at the water management district I worked at before they switched to fully digital databases of aerial mapping. It was a shame because there are skills in interpreting stereoscopic images that can inform analyzing digital images. My post was more about reminding myself, and anyone else willing to come along for the ride, that there is still a lot of cool “chit” happening out there.... even if it is largely absent from big businesses. Back to more topically relevant posting...
  2. Panik

    Burners 101

    Not that everything is rosie (no riveter puns intended), but not everything is lost either: - I’m 43 and I remember my dad arguing numbers and design for laminar flow with his partner while building custom composite free style canoes. (Was about the same time as the first Olympic kerfuffle about low drag suits.) These were the folks that produced Canoesport Journal, which eventually became Paddler magazine) - it’s my understanding that smokejumpers still sew and pack their own chutes, as well as fabricate their own gear. Most of the after market equipment supply companies catering to that industry are founded by former wildland fire personnel who want to combine personal experience with materials science to provide more ergonomic end user products. - I watched a high school educated friend not more than two years ago teach himself architectural design principles as well as CNC/CAD so that he could expand his business further into the restoration of historic wooden structures. It’s been a neat melding if technical skills, computer guided production and theory. While a lot has been shifted to menu driven computer algorithms there’s still cool stuff happening in the strange eddies and back currents of tech..... this forum and AFB’s printed mixing tubes and nozzles as example? Heck, while end users may have to wade thru 27 thousand menus to create a torus in a design programs, algorithm design for such programs (especially for open source programming) still requires grass roots understanding and manipulation of concepts) I’m not necessarily disagreeing that much technical expertise have been lost to the average person due computer aided product development...... I‘ve seen and been a part of it generationally..... more its just I’d very much like to believe it’s not fully a black and white thing. Aside from the obvious fire bug on my back, the above is one of the reasons I very much enjoy prescribed fire. There’s two very separate sides of that field that come together in a Venn Diagram. There’s is a side that strives to be driven objectively and by discrete data collection (duff accumulation measurements, material drying rates, flame speed, micro-macro atmospherics, etc ad nauesum). However, much like weather broad scale predictive capabilities are coming along but fine granularity in predictive capability On the other hand that still leaves wide space for, what is to me, the spiritual side.......intuitive understanding based upon both experience and hard science....That sometimes unconscious decision making that says “If I put fire here, it may burn hotter and therefore create room 6 months down the road for species X to better thrive”. At least in the SE US you’ll still regularly hear about the idea of “painting the landscape using fire as your palette” In any case, I have once again been writing prior to finishing my first cup of coffee and somehow managed to muddle empiricism and the idea of spirituality in the strictest sense (i.e profound respect for that which we don’t fully understand). Apparently I’ve been listening to Mike and the Mechanics on Pandora too much. Feel free to call my BS.
  3. Panik

    Forges 101

    Aside from drooling over the pretty (rich), vortical forge atmosphere, I was wondering if you were using wool in that forge or is it a solid cast of refractory?
  4. Panik

    Forges 101

    LOL, never been a driller, well a well driller anyway.... worked with a bunch as a project scientist for a chemical remediation company straight out of college.... I was a pretty sheltered kid and it was an fun education working with them, especially since I was technically supposed to be in charge. Kinda the rougher version of a staff sargent dealing with a lieutenant straight out of OCS. You're not the first person to accuse me of overthinking.... it's a blessing and curse Not a blacksmith yet... more dilettante at the moment but interestingly enough when I bought a 2nd hand planer it came with a beast of a stand that is perfect for supporting an overhanging top. Things to think about definitely... just would need to not get caught up in watching the flame swirl in the forge without actually doing anything.
  5. Panik

    Burners 101

    Thank you for sharing! I'm excerpting your text because there is a lot of absorb and a GREAT DEAL that is going to be spinning in my mind for some to come.. even then I'm not going to say I'll be able to process all of it. Something that did come immediately to mind when you brought up the issue of exhaust path and burn out casting methods were tire treads and tire grooving tools. I certainly don't know the pattern necessary, but would it be possible to use raised ridges to both work as a spacer and to channel the exhaust as it travels through the annulus Or would doing so create the need for a greater induction force than a NARB or blown burner can produce?
  6. Panik

    Forges 101

    So I finished a forge that was a bit of a qualified success and have already been thinking putting what I learned to use building something slightly larger and a bit more refined. I have been reading and re-reading through parts of the Forges 101 thread today and I had a question about a forge design I saw. There are a couple instances that someone has built a flat-bottomed, half-round forge where the burner port came up through the bottom of the floor, adjacent to where the arch wall meets the floor, and at the back of the forge. In looking at it the thoughts that pop into my head are: - Within reason, half-round/oval shaped forges tend to maximize floor space while reducing excess "open" volume... at least as compared to rectilinear forge bodies (Thanks Frosty) - The burner location induces the flame to follow a path along the ceiling and create a swirling atmosphere that may increase flame/hot gas hang time. - As a corollary, I want to believe that such an arrangement would lend itself a less turbulent environment and as a result create less back pressure than if the flame were to impinge on a wall in a perpendicular fashion. - Burning propane creates a chemical active environment and locating the burner in such a manner would make it difficult to use any replaceable materials (kiln shelf) to protect the refractory at the point where the flame impacts the wall. - There might be some logistics to navigate in mounting a forge to a stand when the burner is projecting out the bottom. I don't want to bash anyone's efforts, because I think it is a really neat design..... especially because swirling hot flames/gases are cool to watch. (Don't judge, I'm a prescribed fire junkie and any day is a fun day when you can watch fire whirls from a safe distance). I was hoping for a bit better understanding towards any additional pros and cons I might have missed in such a design.
  7. A quick comment I should have included earlier. I very much appreciate y’all being willing to share encouragement, knowledge and critics. My thanks!
  8. Good catch on the Kaowool! I hadn't noticed it until you mentioned it. I would swear up and down that I buttered and rigidized each layer as I put them in..... Apparently that's not the case, or I didn't use enough. On the plus side with the back off I can wet and then reapply rigidizer and cap the whole thing with Cast-o-Lite. I have seen online many nice examples of hand lay ups and I may again try it sometime, but for now I'm liking the idea of all the figidity stuff being front loaded in making the forms and filling them being limited to making sure the wet stuff gets to where it needs to be with a proper tamping. Lol, yup.... the back wall was actually tamped with a dowel. I still like the idea of mini forges.... but when the inside volume is roughly the diameter of my closed fist and I'm having to work around two pipes being used a forms for ports it got really difficult for me to appropriately tamp the side walls. Working with it is an interesting mix between working with clay and concrete. I kinda shot myself in the foot with limiting the amount of space I had to work with when coating the interior. Ehh, it was a great learning experience for doing better next time and with some tweaks I should still have a reasonably functional first forge.
  9. Last night was the first time I’ve been able to run the forge since completing the full curing process and I figured I would take this as an opportunity to document how things turned out. While it is not an unmitigated failure, in retrospect, there are certainly things I would have done different in order to have a better end result. The Positives: 1) Even without washing the interior with Metrikote the forge seems to come up to temp pretty quickly and get pretty hot. 2) With such a small size it appears to be a gas sipper. I was able to maintain it pretty close to its high temp (as estimated by interior color) using 0.5-1.0 PSI. 3) The door configuration actually meshes with the body correctly and prevents the edges of the inner stainless inner lip and the outer edge of the forge shell from burning up. The Negatives: 1) I really disliked trying to get Kast-o-Lite to adhere to Kaowool, especially since there wasn't a lot of working room…. It didn't come out nearly as neat and tidy as I would have liked. (I might have been able to mitigate this with a ever so slightly wetter mix – I adhered pretty closely to the recommended ratio) 2) The roll crimp stove cap I used for the back wall of the forge failed. Due to differentials in expansion the flat portion of the stove cap popped out of the crimp and fell on the ground, leaving rigidized, but uncoated Kaowool exposed to air. (Note – forge exterior, not inside the chamber) 3) I apparently oversized the port for the burner, as I had small flames coming out of the gap between the burner and port walls. 4) The forge is too small for the kiln shelf I purchased to use as a flame face. 5) While I am very pleased the door arrangement actually functions as envisioned, I will also happily concede I should have followed advice from others and integrated some form of adjustable baffle for the work port of the forge. It would have been much simpler and would have allowed me a greater amount of flexibility. (Still remains a fun puzzle to have worked through though) The Pleasant Surprise: I had/have a great deal of difficulty interpreting flame color and it’s implication on whether a burner is running rich/neutral/lean. I get tripped up because what I see in person is significantly different than how my camera phone renders the same colors. It leads me to question my ability to compare what I am seeing in person to exemplary flames found online. I also had a very frustrating time accurately drilling and tapping the requisite holes without a drill press. As a result, I did a fair bit of experimentation with ad hoc drill guides and different fittings in an effort to reduce my chances of error while assembling a functional burner. I have several different burner bodies constructed, including several of Frosty’s T-burner designs. The first burner I tried in the forge was an offshoot experiment that uses a ½” 5-way fitting with the air intakes bored out using an electrician’s step/knockout bit. After a bit of alignment adjusting within the burner channel, I was very pleasantly surprised to hear the classic jet engine noise. Even better, when I put a piece of old Nicholson file in the forge it started forming scale very slowly. For me, it is nice to see what an oxidizing forge environment looks like in person, as everything I have made to date seems to produce a very rich flame when run on a test bench. Hopefully, a little bit of fiddling with an air choke I can get it to produce a slightly neutral flame. Where To Go From Here: 1) Before running the forge again, I am going to remove the remnants of the stove pipe cap back wall. The exposed Kaowool on the exterior of the forge does not appear to be in direct contact with any flame and I did not see any evidence of it pyrolyzing. However, I would feel much more comfortable with all material being sealed away regardless of where it is on the forge. Plus, it will look better without the insulation being visible. The plan is to get a new stove cap to use as a form for the back wall. I want to lay in an inch or so of wet Cast-o-Lite in the bottom of the cap and secure the whole thing by slipping the collar of the cap over the outside of the forge body and then screwing the whole thing together. Hopefully, if the end cap falls off a second time the Cast-o-Lite wall will stay attached to the forge and protect the Kaowool. After the new cap is secured and tested against failure, I will wash the inside of the forge with Metrikote and put it into use again. 2) I need to adjust the current burner closer to neutral, as well play with the other burner attempts to see if any work better/run more efficiently than the one currently in place. 3) I want to see if there is any use in baffling the burner port to reduce the amount of heat moving towards the burner body. 4) I am already thinking about constructing a moderately larger forge. Although I may not yet have the requisite skills, I am sucker for clean lines. I am very intrigued by the idea of using forms to separately ram cast all of the forge components (inner shell, outer shell, front and back wall). If I can work out the fine details, I would like to use a series of negative impressions in the front and back wall as a register to support the edges of both shells and then use thread-all and angle iron to hold the entire arrangement together with gentle pressure. If everything comes together and works as designed I can always go back and use refractory to adhrere the edges of the forge shells to the front and back wall. My one major concern outside of construction details is that a forge built in this way be very fragile. Some Suggestions To A Fellow New Person: 1) If you are without a drill press and do not have the skills to tap fittings freehand, with stubbornness/patience it is entirely possible to creatively cobble together fittings to work as a pretty accurate guides for drilling and tapping both the hole in the back of a T-fitting, as well as the hole receiving the Mig tip. I believe this is mentioned elsewhere but it deserves being brought up. Given my lack of a drill press, I tapped the hole in the T-fitting from the inside of the fitting and used reducer bushings as a guide to insure I was accurately drilling and threading that hole. You do have to be careful not to over tap that hole because only the first couple of threads on the outside face of the T-fitting will be holding the Mig tip holder in alignment. 2) I very much agree with Frosty’s recommendation to drill and tap the requisite holes all in one go. However, I also tripped myself up using this methodology. If you are having alignment difficulties, evaluate the fitment of Mig tip holder and T-fitting as two separate items. When I was concentrating, I found that it is entirely possible to drill and tap one of the required holes correctly and screw up the alignment of the other hole without realizing it. A 3/8”X1/8” plug style reducer bushing is a wonderful tool to evaluate whether the Mig tip is threading straight into the Mig tip holder. You don’t have to look through the openings in a T-fitting to determine alignment and it is much easier to see if things are seated correctly in all planes. Pictures: 1) At start-up (Looks rich to me) 2) At operating temps (Seems to have settled into an oxidizing environment..... maybe there was a bit of curing/water removal to be done?) 3) First heat treat and resulting scale formation 4) First pic of cap failure 5) Cap failure 2 If anyone has read this far please, I would appreciate any criticism, suggestions or other knowledge you might be willing to share.
  10. Panik

    Burners 101

    Thank you for understanding and thank you indulging my theoretical question! I have had a mental image of the burner stuttering until things get up to operating temp for some reason. It's nice to know I might just not be completely off base in my thinking. Your input has also helped me to better be able to formulate my thoughts....... something the about colder denser air inside the annulus creating increased back pressure and impeding a smooth flow of exhaust gases through the entire forge as things come up to temp tickles my mind. Even if does not have actual bearing on the how a forge functions at temperature, for me it is fun to think about. My first attempt at forge is up and running. With some small changes and a bit of tuning I think it will work okay for a small heat treat and experimental forge. However, I'm already thinking of something a little larger and more solidly built. Broad stoke, I've been kicking around the idea of using Cast-o-Lite to cast the inner and outer shell and a front and back wall as separate pieces. Specifically, I would love to make forms so that the front and back wall have negative impressions; serving as a register to support the two shells. It doesn't help that yesterday my coworker threw away a large amount of heavy picture mounting stock that, along with wax paper and framing, would making great backing for building forms. I am still thinking through the burner port and its alignment for casting, but were I to use thread-all and angle iron to hold all four pieces together with gentle pressure, I could then easily disassemble it. The ability to take it apart implies that I could, potentially, have the ability to play with using the clear annulus as a means to increase the distance exhaust has to travel before leaving the forge body, while still leaving open the ability to insulate that space. Do I have any idea of how judge the annulus volume or the port sizing necessary to create an effective recuperative forge? Not in the slightest, and it would be wildly egotistical for me to claim otherwise.... especially since I am still learning how to tune a burner. Heck, if I attempt something like the above I could easily fail wildly in just casting the forge walls. On the other hand and with no experience, I built a very functional, gravity fed 5ga sand filter for work using plexiglass and spare parts a couple weeks ago. In and of itself, stuff like this is captivating for me and a fun puzzle to think about as a distraction from everything else going on in the world these days.
  11. Panik

    Burners 101

    Frosty – my apologies and thank you for having patience… sometimes when I get excited about an idea my mind runs faster than the man at the gate in front my mouth can check to make sure what I am saying makes sense. I was diagnosed with written language disorder as a child and while I have worked at compensate it still trips me up occasionally. Not a complaint or an excuse, rather an explanation. Usually, I am able to express myself in writing pretty well, but it also frequently takes me longer the others to figure out how to arrange my thoughts into writing. When I rush because I am excited about a concept and also haven’t had my morning coffee things tend to come out in a jumbled mush. I was thinking about how changes in temperature, as a regenerative forge comes up to operating temp, might impact the flow of gases in the forge and through the annulus. I can’t exactly conceptualize in order explain to fully explain my thought process, but there is part of me that wonders if the flow of gas from the forge interior through the annulus might be more turbulent while the forge is cold or coming up to temperature, as opposed to when it is running at its operating temperature. I was hoping you might be able to help me verify or correct my thinking.
  12. Panik

    Burners 101

    Missed the timeframe for editing my last post so please excuse the 2nd consecutive post...... I think my follow up question would be: If you painted the outermost wall of the annulus space with Plistex or similar material, would the double wall + annular induction exhaust arrangement be a potentially efficient enough insulator and re-radiator that, at a hobbyist scale, someone could potentially get away without skinning the whole forge in Kaowool? (I think I am correct in understanding the answer is in part determined by individual goals in terms of refractory wall thickness, operational time and patience in the forge coming up to temperature) * Please feel free to tell me to leave off if appropriate.... as stuff like this can occupy my mind and get it spinning in neat directions - as a diversion from day to day stress.... kinda like doing crossword puzzles)
  13. Panik

    Burners 101

    Honest thanks for blowing my mind this morning! The concept of using the low pressure created by the passage of the flame to induce exhaust to flow into the the annulus is a beautifully elegant concept. Given the idea of "path of of shortest or least resistance", its the only way I can imagine inducing a significant amount of exhaust to flow through the annulus without having to almost completely occlude the port for the work piece. I'm not even going to attempt to claim I can fully visualize that. However, I did have a question for my understanding if you don't mind? Assuming an eventual and ideal end state (forging temperature) inside the forge, would I be wrong to think that there might be a period of system wide gas+exhaust chaotic flow to over come while the annulus and forge interior come up to an equilibrium operating temperature?
  14. Panik

    Burners 101

    That makes a great deal of sense and answers my question. I was thinking of a baffle in the sense of a permanent obstruction in the path of exhaust rather than a moveable object used for reducing heat loss by re-radiating heat (i.e a temporary wall) Lol, I'm learning slowly... at least I can better recognize my shallow understanding I can see the simple (as in I am missing fine detail) steps necessary to separately ram cast two cylindrical, nesting forms, with the necessary porting for exhaust to flow into a clear annulus. I can also see how someone could use a 3D printer to create the accurately dimensioned shapes necessary to press into the casts of the front and back wall; creating negative impressions that will support each end of both cylinders. (I am unfortunately behind the tech curve in that I don't have a 3D printer... and still cursing the fact that we almost bought one at work before quarantine) Where I get hung up is how to create accurately aligned ports to accommodate the tube required to both hold and isolate the burner from the annulus.
  15. Panik

    Burners 101

    I may be taking what you are saying out of context or otherwise misunderstanding the concept, please forgive me if I am. In taking into consideration balancing back pressure with exhaust exit speed, I was wondering if there would ever be any benefit to be gained by hobbyists in using a simple baffle in front of ports in order to slow down exhaust gas and increase its "hang time" in a forge? Put another way, I think I am contemplating whether there would be a situation where a baffled exhaust port would function better than just employing a smaller exhaust vent.
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