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About Frosty

  • Rank
    The improbable Curmudgeon

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Meadow Lakes Alaska
  • Interests
    Metal work, people, puns and other bad jokes.


  • Location
    Meadow Lakes Alaska
  • Biography
    Real name's Jerry Frost. I've lived in Alaska for 37 years. Been a hobby smith since I was maybe 10.
  • Interests
    metal working of all kinds leaning towards blacksmithing.
  • Occupation
    Retired equipment operator
  1. I don't know Charles, folk who've seen Arkie's legs might care. Lou: The martial arts teaches you to index using your skeleton and it can be applied to virtually anything else. Keep those elbows IN! Sensei barks. When I'm having to develop real power in my blows I forge in a front stance. For regular work I'm in a ready stance. Funny how that works eh? Chuck: Don't try to apply all that advice at once and take your time all rushing will do for you is make your mistakes permanent faster. Most importantly have a good time this really is fun. I believe Brian Brazeal has a good leaf video, Youtube I think. Frosty The Lucky.
  2. I forgot to welcome you aboard in the last post. Glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the gang live within visiting distance. Search "bean can forge" and ignore Youtube experts, most are clueless and some are outright dangerous. A soldering torch produces a near perfect flame at the torch tip. Do you think it needs more mixing? That's NOT a shot at you, you don't know how the tings work yet. I'm only trying to point out these things are generally logical and thinking it through is usually worth the effort. It's also to point out what noodleheads most Youtube experts are. Lose the perlite, waterglass and refractory cement. Perlite is only good for about 1,900f before it starts melting, water glass melts much lower temp. Furnace cement is NOT for direct flame contact it's designed to stick bricks and such together. Check out the Iforgeiron. "gas forge" section to get a handle on how the things work. There are two pretty good threads ongoing, one "Forges 101" and "Burners 101". Virtually anything you need to know has been asked, answered and discussed already, there's a good chance you'll learn what you need to make a good bean can forge. If not, you'll have a working handle on the craft jargon and the basics so you can ask good questions and understand the answers. I hate to tell you but what you've obviously put a lot of effort time and money into will be a pretty poor and short lived forge. It CAN be made to work but there are better forges that take less work and work a whole lot better. I'd much rather see you spending time learning the craft than trying to make a poor tool work. Frosty The Lucky.
  3. Yeah, southern manners are a good thing, I'm especially fond of ,"Bless your heart." Being polite to people who irritate you is a good way to get their blood pressure soaring. If I go so far as to get formally polite it's a sure sign you're . . . raw compost in my opinion. Ah, kids your age aren't all . . . unproductive I seem to meet more decent young men and women than gangstahs. Makes me feel good to see folk who are going to leave the place better than they found it. You're already making things better. More people should hang with you and your friends. Frosty The Lucky.
  4. Ayup, that's an issue. Lose the long pipe thing the burner is inserted in, the well adjusted flame from the torch is burning there instead of in the forge. You want the end of the torch a fraction of an inch inside the shell with a LITTLE space around it so it's not touching the liner that will help prevent it burning up. What's the liner made from? Closer pics from a couple angles will help, especially of how your rig is put together. Frosty The Lucky.
  5. I love how it freaks the office folk out. Frosty The Lucky.
  6. Yikes! I replied but hadn't read the whole thread, that'll teach me. Brick pile forges have their place but rarely as a daily user unless you're a commercial operation. As Charles says hard brick is a tremendous heat sink that takes a lot of fuel and time to bring to temperature while having the insulating properties slightly better than an equal thickness of limestone. To give you a handle on that, the insulation rating R1 passes the same amount of heat as 1 foot of limestone. R=rock in the nomenclature. The thermal mass has it's uses as it prevents the furnace temperature from dropping as far with the addition of new steel. The only real advantage to high mass is if you have a high rate of turnover, lots in and lots out. Most commercial furnaces will have a backer liner of light fire brick or refractory blanket. Without it the outside of the furnace gets REALLY HOT. Soft insulating fire brick is a much better insulator, has lower thermal mass but is more fragile. It will come to temperature in maybe 10-15 minutes, depending on the burner volume ratio of course. It requires much less fuel to warm up and maintain temperature, MUCH less. It doesn't have the temperature recovery time though, being less a heat sink heat is drawn down to a greater degree but the fire brings it up faster so . . . It's not till you're moving a lot of material through it quickly, say you were forging a bunch of pry bars from 1" stock, every time you put a cold one in it will absorb IR at a high rate till temperatures equalize. But as a hobbyist I rarely rotate more than 2 occasionally 3 pieces of 1/2" sq. through the forge at one time so minimal thermal mass isn't a factor time wise. The fuel savings on the other hand is significant. I may spend less time forging now than it can take a hard brick forge to get to working temperature. I started taking a brick pile forge to Demos so the audience could see how little special you need to give the craft a try. When I took my shop forge folk got the impression you need something made by a professional fabricator so they'd hang a couple minutes then move on. With a brick pile and a couple home made plumbing parts burners, yeah the Ts, powering it folk are a LOT more encouraged to give it a try. A couple hundred dollars isn't unreasonable for a forge while a custom fabricated 4 burner forge or even a Whisper Moma is obviously more than most folk want to invest of giving something a try. Anyway, I stick two 3/4" T burners in the hard brick pile forge to warm it up, then run it on one burner for the demo. It stil takes a god 20+ minutes to hit high orange. One serious down side to soft fire brick is it's fragile, unless you buy the expensive high temp bricks thermal cycling heating up and cooling down tends to cause them to crumble pretty soon. They're susceptible to being gouged and poked by the work, especially if somebody using it is ham handed. Lastly, hot welding flux dissolves soft fire brick like a sugar cube in hot water, you can literally watch it liquefy as it dissolves. Soft fire brick NEEDS a good kiln wash to save it from flux. It will slow how thermal cycling as well making brick last longer. Not very long but longer. If you were to plaster a soft fire brick forge with say 1/2" of Kast-o-lite 30 and kiln wash that with Plistex or Metricote the liner might hold up pretty well. Unfortunately, 2" of 8lb. ceramic blanket plastered and washed is significantly more efficient and I KNOW will last a long time. Soft brick might last but I've never tried it so I'd be guessing. have I stirred the mud puddle enough yet? Frosty The Lucky.
  7. It's probably going to take quite a while to heat the brick up and the bronze might absorb bad things. I think sprinkling some borax on the melt will take care of that. I wish I remembered what we used to carve molds from in high school. It'll work fine, don't forget the pics please., we LOVE pics. Frosty The Lucky.
  8. Well said Mark, he more you say and show us the better I like you. A while back Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" fame did a "Ted Talk" about how people who do things access danger differently. What a person who works with their hands thinks of as acceptable risk has office frantically types trying to invent laws to protect us from. There was one statement he made that had a profound effect on me. He said, "Don't follow your dreams, take your dreams with you." Come to think about it I think it was an interview Mike did on the Dennis Miller show. Tommie: You've heard the old saying that, "it isn't the years it's the miles." Yes? Well, Mark is putting on some truly excellent miles, I think he has a good map. Frosty The Lucky.
  9. Bronze and copper actually "forge" weld quite easily. However if you have a brazing torch melting them together is really easy. Angle iron makes an easy mold, dust it with talcum powder as the release agent or "smoke it with soot from the acet torch and no oxy. One good thing about angle iron is, if the ingot gets stuck just grind through the angle and you can beat them apart by laying the angle iron (ground off) angle up on a solid surface and smack it with a hammer. So long as you didn't get the mold high red hot the ingot won't be brazed to it and it'll just come apart with some blacksmitherly persuasion. Carved fire brick works well but dust it first so loose particles don't end up in the billet. If you melt the rod in a crucible you can simply make a trench in dry (powder) clay, plaster of paris, etc. and gently pour into it. Lots of ways to do this just be CAREFUL molten metal is inherently dangerous and a steam explosion can maim or cripple you. You'll also want to use good ventilation and respirator, just because the package says what's in it doesn't mean any bronze alloy doesn't contain some zinc. Good PPE, careful handling and good ventilation. Frosty The Lucky.
  10. A lot of people like ITC-100 it's become sort of a traditional kiln wash. However if you read ITC's write ups you'll discover it's not really intended for what we use it. It's primarily a high temp release agent to prevent molten stuff from sticking to the furnace walls. Our resident glass blower and ceramics guys use a number products to prevent stuff sticking where you don't want it. My experience is ITC-100 won't fire to the liner so it rubs off eventually. Otherwise it seems to improve thermal efficiency and resists flux. There are products with equal IR "reflectivity" that bond to and fire a hard durable flame face in a propane forge. Metricote and Plistex being the ones Wayne Coe carries. These two products are more appropriate for gas forge use and much less expensive. Kiln washing a brick pile forge is a good idea, fire brick, hard or soft is susceptible to flux erosion. Soft fire brick tends to be dissolved by molten flux like a sugar cube in warm water. Frosty The Lucky.
  11. You're right. DARN. I was thinking of a different thread where we were talking about ceramic burners. I agree, don't hammer on your forge stand, anvil or not. Frosty The Lucky.
  12. My forge and anvil don't touch. I think a ceramic or sintered burner would be at least as strong as a coffee cup. I don't think anything like normal vibration would effect one, impacts by anything hard would be BAD though. Frosty The Lucky.
  13. Just making suggestions Ryan and I can get carried away. Please don't take it personally, I'm pullin for you. You can to an awful lot without tongs and you'll be surprised how well some simple projects sell. The videos suggested are good and very good how to videos. Go for it, we're with you. Frosty The Lucky.
  14. That's how I learned till I found "The Art of Blacksmithing" on the close out sale table at a local book store, then I had a book too! When the internet went public I discovered there are lots of blacksmiths out there and finally started meeting a few. So, we share a tradition. We passed it to ourselves, it's traditional because we say so. Not so lonely now? Frosty The Lucky.