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I Forge Iron


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  1. Thanks everyone for the excellent advice and warm welcomes! The new test piece just finished curing and being fired and seems to be a bit stronger, however it still snaps in half with minimal effort. What I used for a mold was one of those disposable foam square plates that have the plastic coating on them, so no water was siphoned from the test piece. You're probably right about that. 1/4" seems WAY too thin for this refractory in particular. My ultimate goal is to line the rigidized kaowool in my drum barrel forge with the stuff, however it seems I may need to rethink how thick I need to make said lining. Yea I noticed when I tried to get some of my new batch of kast-o-lite to stick to a small test piece of DRY rigidized kaowool, It wouldn't stick. It just kinda.. fell off. Well now I know that the contact surface has to be wet. Thanks! First off, huge fan of your work an experimentation with zircopax and veegum. It's what inspired me to make my own furnace as well as experiment with my own mixtures! Also, thanks for the info on adding my general location. Ill do that once I figure out how. Second, I had no idea that I had to actually compact the stuff so aggressively! I have just been pressing it with my fingers a bit. Sounds like that might be partially contributing to my test piece's weakness. I greatly appreciate all your advice!
  2. Ah okay. Ill try to mix it with less water this time and let you know how that goes when it cures tomorrow. Thanks!
  3. Hi! I've been lurking around these forums for a while now but just decided today to create an account so I can be involved more in the blacksmithing community. Anyways, I have a question about kast-o-lite 30 LI. Just yesterday, I mixed some up with just enough water for the refractory to hold its own shape without slumping over. However, after I let it cure for 24 hours, with a damp towel over it, fire cured it, then tested its bending strength, it just broke in half with little effort. It felt soft like a fresh baked sugar cookie that sat out for about half a day. Is that normal? The refractory was molded into a 6x6" 1/4" thick wafer when I tested it. Also, the refractory itself arrived at my house about 4 days ago and Ive been keeping it in my garage. If it is normal, should I mix in some Veegum T or Bentonite to add strength?
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