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  1. Hello all! First off, this is my first post to this site, and I'm super excited to join this community! Recently, I became enthralled with the idea of casting my own waffle iron (hence the name Madam Waffles), so I set off to design my own foundry to cast iron. Below I have briefly described my idea and design up to this point. I would greatly appreciate some feedback on the design! If there's something glaringly wrong, I'd like to know before I start the build. Additionally, my specific questions are as follow: What are the rough calculations you do to determine the size of your foundry? (I don't want to have to go in with the heat equation, material properties, etc. Is there a rule of thumb for the combo of insulation materials I'll be using?) Will this actually get hot enough to melt cast iron? Is 20-gauge steel over-engineering the outside? Lol Does the little table thing I have for the crucible make sense? Is it necessary? The Design I'm planning on making this propane-fueled with a forced air burner. The following screenshots show the bare-bones structure. It is to be made of 20-gauge steel sheets, 1-inch, and 2-inch square pipes. I want to weld those things together (I'm a xxxx welder though--just starting out, so that'll be fun). The weird piping coming off the side is the air blower (I got lazy with the CAD so did rough estimates for layout/dimensions. That's why it's square and then cylindrical.). I did not show the gas line piping, but it'll be a combination of brass fittings with a solenoid valve for safety (connected to the blower) and a needle valve. The hook things on the side are for a thermometer. I plan on finding smaller ones, but those were the only ones on McMaster that were close to what I wanted (I wanted the CAD). Dimensions Height ~22.5 inches Diameter ~18 inches Burner Diameter: 1-1/2 inches Insulation I want to have two 1-inch ceramic blankets with 1/2-inch of refractory on the sides (3/4'' on the lid and bottom). Additionally, I want to put a kiln brick(?) (the white bricks that are good insulators--not fire brick) under the crucible on the little table thing in the center. Pictures Final Notes Sorry in advance for lack of jargon, newbiness, etc. I appreciate and welcome all comments, questions, and concerns! Thank you!
  2. So the TL:DR version, has anyone had any experience making crucible steel with propane burners I've been toying with the idea of building a foundry, and i have had a pretty niffty oppotunity come up. My workplace where I am an apprentice fitter and turner for a high end fabrication company, they have some 335mm (~13") (australian, sorry) with 10mm (13/32) wall thickness, which to me is already starting to look like a foundry to me. I also am able to use all the tools materials and resources my shop has available, which is alot, so I should be able to make as great a foundry as possible. All the times any of you guys have imagined. That being said I do have some design constraints, or at least some preferences. First and foremost I do want to on, occasion be able to get the forge hot enough to make (good) crucible steel, which I understand is a tall order as is but i would like to try and do it with 3 venturi propane jet burners, or at least a forced air that runs off of an air compressor or something similar. Or mayb e a combination of, (2 ventri, 1 forced, etc). I am not set on anything by any means, Just a l was launching pad. So if I need 1, 2, 4 or 10 burners for example let me know what you think. The next major consideration is i will be storing it on my parents farm, and they are a bit sensitive about space so i would like to make this as small as possible, height and foot print. I dont so much mind how heavy it is. My initial thoughts on this, I would like to stack the burners vertically. I have access to a CNC lazer cutter, accurate to 1/1000th That I'm keen to use to locate my burner holes, and shape the to accommodate the parralax, set my tangent angles. Etc. I'd like to know how much of the length of the burners I can have submerged in the insulation. Or more accurately what's the minimum amount pertuding out I can have, I will be able to machine any specific specs so the only parameter is performance and type. I have a bit of chemical engineering history behind me so if you want to give me the numbers for nerds, go for it Also want some suggestions on lid mechanisms I'd like it to be handleable by one person. I've seen some cam/lever mechanisms that seem nice, offer patial opening (hieght) to adjust temperature and back pressure, but also takes up space so... ? Let's hear your favourites. As far as insulation, pretty straight foward 2 or 3 inch layers, 1/2-1" castable refractory, and i was going to put a coat or two of "Mathew's reactor wash", closest thing to a film wash available down here. I'd take suggestions on the specifics on floor and lid, I'm not so well versed there. My gut would say similar but thicker refractory layer(?) I have alot to address here and I'm sorry I know I could have found all this information In existing posts but all of a sudden I have been given some time pressure. I simply won't keep up on my own, I'll continue to try. Everyone if you have anything to offer here I'll definitley appreciate it. I've got some plans and diagrams coming that I didn't have ready (need the help in a hurry) to show you what I have in mind so far. Hopefully things comes out really well, and love to keep everyone up on the progress. Thanks in advance! Nick
  3. Hello there! New member here, me and my dad are in the middle of building a propane tank forge. So far it is all put together, cut open and ready for refractories. Here's our issue: He have some ceramic wool to line the inside, 1" thick. We know that it is better to do 2", and I think we have enough for 2". We Also have 2 5-gallon buckets of unknown refractory cement (We don't know what kind/brand it is, we just know that it is refractory cement). Our original plan was to line the forge with the wool, and then coat it with the refractory. But as I've been reading and looking around, I've heard about rigidizer and that wool insulates better, etc. So we are wondering what we should do. I think we are going to line it and try a thin layer of the cement on the bottom to test the cement and to see how well it adheres and such to the wool. We just need advice and tips, what we should do, etc... We haven't built one of theses before (Obviously) but we have built a brake drum open forge. The other thing we want to do is to use a blower and coal rather then propane because we have a TON of coal. We are making it so we can use coal or we will be able to switch out the fan for a propane burner. We are going to have a rounded bottom in the forge, rather then flat so that when we put coal in it the coal will make a flat bed to put the steel/knives/etc. on top of it. We have put the face of the forge on a hinge so we can open it and clean it out, shovel the coal out, etc. Thoughts on this? The last thing for right now is that we have seen people put a hole in the back of the forge, and we aren't sure if it is for anything other then just long pieces of bar stock, so insight on this would be great. And, literally anything you could tell me about blacksmithing! Any tips, tricks, advice, literally anything would be helpful. We have a shop with lots of tools and machines, and we have both done a bit of blacksmithing, but I want to really expand my blacksmithing knowledge and skill this year, Thanks!
  4. Hi all; I'm new to "I Forge Iron". Currently i'm setting up a hobby smithy in my shed. I recently purchased a gas forge and now i'm looking into how to get the propane. So my question is this. If you have your own forge, how did you go about setting up your propane needs?
  5. I found this site a couple weeks ago while searching metal art images. Having acquired a few related tools already, I decided to try making a forge and see where this takes me. The body is 12" casing, the ends from an old water heater, various pieces from the scrap barrel. The insulation material is in and I still need to rigidize and coat it. The plan is to place one K-26 firebrick (possibly coated?) as a replaceable interior base. The brick will end up at the height of the end cut outs. The burner is slotted 3/4" iron pipe with .030 mig tip for orifice. I haven't tried a choke on it as of yet. It lights up and roars pretty good in the free air but testing in the forge is yet to happen. The sleeve around the burner was intended as a bushing to stabilize the burner in the holder. Once the inside gets coated the volume should end up just under 350 cu. inches minus the volume of a 1.25 x 4.5 x 9" brick. I need to get colloidal silica and Kast O Lite coming to complete this. A buddy says he has some castable refractory but I don't want to risk getting something that isn't right. Comments a criticism would be greatly appreciated. Burner size? end openings? ??
  6. Hi All, I am new and from Ontario Canada. I just started gathering the pieces to construct my first burner for my 20lb propane tank forge. i got 14T mig tips but they seem like they will be too small for the 1/8" schedule 80 pipe and that's before threading. what should I do? I'm having trouble finding a 1.25" x 1.25" x .75" reducing tee. And I have red handle plumbing ball valves,can I use those or do I need to find gas ball valves .25". I will probably come up with more questions.
  7. I am going to go see about building a forced air burner, Using the design off of this burner I have here. I would like to know if anyone has done one like this before and the problems they ran into? If i build it exactly as shown will is work well and safely? Also for the flared end i was going to take the 1 1/4 and forge it into the flared fitting described here with a 1 1/2 opening. Thanks and merry smithing, Matthew
  8. Hello all. I have been browsing and trying to find just a general answer for the question, “How thick should the ceramic blanket be?” i have been looking around I’ve seen for sale anything from 1/2” to 2” blankets. I am repurposing an old #40 propane tank into a forge. I will be cutting a small rear access and a door up front with a shelf to rest fire bricks. What thickness should I be using and would this be a two burner project in your opinion? thank you for your time!!
  9. Hello all, Wanted to share my first build with you guys so I can hopefully get it done in a good way the first time. I am still working on getting supplies together. I don't have a bunch of fab equipment, so I am trying to re-purpose this old stainless sink. I am looking to create a really basic forge so I can get to heating steel relatively quickly, both in the sense of a easy build, but also a build that is well insulated. One thing I am still thinking out is the angle of the burner. I know a 10/15 degree offset is recommended. I am going to try the Zoeller sidearm burner, which I know is rated for ~350cu/in, so I will work on get the insulation sized correctly. Any tips or critiques, please send them. Thanks, Mic
  10. . Author's Note: This thread talks about activities and techniques that are DANGEROUS. You use this information at your own risk. I suggest you read the entire thread before embarking on the build. It should be noted that is not a project for a beginner. Look into brick pile forges and building venturi burners to get some experience before tackling something like this. In my previous thread "Ribbon Burner Build" I created a square ribbon burner and learned a lot of things about what makes these things work. One thing that I neglected to include in my calculations was Bernouli's Principle; which states that a gas exiting a small tube into a large tube results in a larger pressure in the bigger tube but slower velocity. When we consider a ribbon burner, this means that the plenum doesn't need to be pressurized by back pressure building in the burner but rather its a natural result of the principle. What it also explains is the performance of the final burner. The numerous 5/16" holes on the exit of the burner are essentially one exit pipe since all will be backed by the same plenum pressure. So applying the principle we see that our 14 holes 5/16" wide comprise an exit pipe about a third of the input pipe. Applying Bernouli's principle it is clear that this means that the exit from the plenum will be three times the velocity (and a third of the pressure) of the gas inflow. Thus the reason that the burner has such a high velocity and hard time staying lit. Furthermore, since each jet is a flat casted tube, the burner lacks the dynamics of the traditional burner's flare to slow down the gas and balance flame front velocity. Another lesson learned is the cumbersome nature of a square burner. With the square burner, the forge dimensions must be accurate on all four sides to accommodate the burner. This leaves us with precious little tolerance for fitting. A perfectly round burner would work better. Additionally the structure of burner requires that there is little contact surface between the castable and the burner itself, only a small ridge and ¾" of metal around the edge. This will weaken the burner's ability to handle thermal shock. Also with the way it is cast, the square burner is prone to error in the depth and efficiency it is set in the castable; if a builder makes a small adjustment or the castable doesn't flow and resettle over the burner properly, it won't work properly and could break. A potential castable failure is another problem of that design. With the manner in which it is cast, a catastrophic castable failure would result in a complete failure of the plenum enclosure and thus a very bad result. as propane is dumped in at high pressure. The forge could suddenly burst in propane resulting in bad consequences. So clearly we need to work on a superior design. Thus is the Three Inch Round Pressurized Plenum Multi-Jet Burner (Ribbon Burner) Born. I started on my cad system planning the Burner. I planned to use a 3" inside diameter pipe (3.5" outside) as the size. The burner would be fed by a 1" feed tube and would be built to learn all the past lessons. The burner will have 9 jets that are ⅜" in diameter with ½" flares for each jet. The reason for the calculation of size results from the calculation of feed pipe input to burner jet output pipe size. So I wanted to make sure the jets comprised at least the same area in sum as the feed pipe. The calculation is fairly simply derived from the formula for the area of a circle. Area = πr2. So we want to know how many pipes of diameter x will take to equal a feed pipe of diameter y so: π(y/2)2 / π(x/2)2 ==> (y/2)2 / (x/2)2 ==> (y2/4) / (x2/4) ==> (y2/4) * (4/x2) ==> y2 / x2. From the complex we derive a simple equation courtesy of a little algebra. Putting the numbers in for a 1" feed pipe and a ⅜" output pipe, we get 12 / (⅜)2 ==> 1 / (9/64) ==> 1 * 64/9 ==> 7.111111 jets. So we would need 8 jets to accomplish a jet total diameter equivalent to the feed pipe. Wow. Is Everyone's brain hurting now? Stuffing all of this into my CAD system you have the following Burner. You may note that I included not 8 but 9 jets. The reason is that I wanted to make sure I really had enough output flow to slow it down. In retrospect I might have gone with 8 or even 7. Although the burner works good with 9, as you see later it seems to lack a little velocity. This is a pretty spiffy model but how do we construct it in real life? Well those that use CAD systems know that the easiest way to do a model like this is to whip up a cross section, create a single object from it and then extrude that cross section for the 3d model. I did exactly that and here are the cross sections for the Baffle, Flare and metering plate respectively. The fuel/air mixture enters through the feed pipe in the back then passes through the baffle which is designed to cause turbulence in the stream and make sure the mix is as complete as possible. The fuel/air is then forced through the metering tubes and is forced out into the flare. The flare jets are half inch in diameter, which is the outside diameter of each metering tube. The casted flare will now grip the metering plate, and the edge of the plenum as well as the wall of each of the metering tubes. The metal metering tubes also are a safety mechanism. If the flare were to crack catastrophically and drop into the forge, the metering tubes would still be working as jets and give you time to shut down the burner safely rather than a whole mess of pressurized propane bursting into the forge. To build this burner I selected 3" inside diameter ¼" wall mild steel pipe with ¼" x 4" wide plate to use for the baffle, metering and back plates. The metering tubes are ⅜" inside diameter by 1/16" wall tubing equaling ½" outside diameter. The very heavy materials will let us repeatedly recast the flare as needed. We can even hit a damaged flare with a hammer to break it off due to the plenum's strength. Now its time to build it. We start by cutting 4" of the pipe to serve as the plenum and 12" of the ¼" x 4" flat stock. For the baffle and metering plates we trace the inside of the pipe on the flat stock with the welding pencil. For the back plate we trace the outside of the pipe. Now we take a center punch and clearly mark the drawn circles with push marks. Later when working with the plates, we will be putting the metal under a lot of heat and the pencil or chalk lines could rub off. The punch marks will endure despite OA torch work or anything short of grinding them off. Also note that if you don't have a welding pencil, a permanent marker will do the trick. I have marked over my welding pencil lines in the images with the marker to demonstrate. Use a thin marker or your lines will be erratic. Now the task is to find the middle of the circle and then draw the 45º angle lines which will help us align the punch marks for drilling the holes. At this time I was estimating the best I could for how to do the center so it was slightly off. A day after I had drilled everything I found a geometric and easy way way to find the exact center of any circle. I will talk about that method later so don't start marking yet. My marks were reasonably accurate though I can see them a tiny bit off. I chose the best marked plate to punch for the metering tubes. I measured in along each line from the outside circle one half an inch and punched a mark. For the metering plate, I punched a mark in the middle as well. Now its time to drill the holes for the metering tubes and baffle. You might notice that i haven't cut apart the plates yet. You shouldn't either. The long plate makes it easy to clamp to the drill press securely. Clamping the individual circles would be very difficult. Drill first, then cut. When it comes to drilling I have put a piece of scrap plywood under the plate and adjusted the drill press to stop halfway through the plywood. That way I can make sure I get all the way through the metal as well as not hit my drill press table. I am using Dewalt Titanium drill bits because, frankly, they are awesome. You could theoretically do this with a hand drill but your accuracy will suffer badly. If you don't have a drill press, borrow one. Now its time to cut the hole for the feed pipe in the back plate. A bimetal saw will do this as long as you have a good lead drill bit to guide the hole saw. This will generate a TON of noise and vibration and so I recommend you put on as many clamps as you can and put them on tight. Unfortunately my hole saw rig was damaged and I couldn't use a lead bit. As a result the hole saw wandered off center and skipped a bit. The result would still be acceptable as the burner doesn't have to be centered. However, I am something of a perfectionist for this and I will correct it later. Now we can separate the plates first with a chop saw and then with an OA torch we rough cut out the outer circle of each plate. After that we use an angle grinder and clamp each plate in a vise and then grind down to the dots we punched for the circle (all welder's pencil and ink marks will be long gone). We just keep grinding down and turning the plates in the vise until they are right. To make sure they fit, test fit them in the pipe and grind down as needed. Don't forget to grind a slot for the seam inside the pipe. Then grind the plates clean and shiny for better welding. Now we can install the metering tubes. Cut off a 1 inch piece of tubing for each metering tube and then use a round file to clean off any metal burrs and grind a small bevel in one end of each of the tubes. Then take a hammer and set the beveled end in the metering plate and tap them down with the hammer but don't crush them. If they won't go, file out the hole a bit to make it work. It should be tight and take a hammer to set them but they should go in. Tap each tube down til it hits the metal underneath. All tubes should be flush with the back of the plate. Now using a MIG welder carefully weld around the outside of the metering tubes on the back of the plate. Try not to fill in the tubes too much or you will be filing for a while. Make good welds. Although they don't absolutely need to be gas tight, if you can weld them that way, all the better. Once welded, use a grinder to smooth off the back of the metering plate flat. The picture shows this in progress. Next take a round file and file out the inside of each tube to round again to get rid of any weld material. Now the metering plate is done. You can see the basic "Gatling Gun" structure and the lights from behind show the metering tubes are smooth inside and not obstructed. Now we put the plenum on a flat piece of metal that is at least as wide as the plenum and drop in the metering plate facing down and make sure it is sitting flat. Then we gently tack weld the metering plate in place. Now flip over the plenum and inspect it. The metering tubes should all be in flat with all tubes flush with the edge of the plenum. If it all is good then weld around the side of the plate to permanently mount it in the plenum. Take care to make good welds as gas tight would be beneficial. Try not to obstruct a tube with weld material or you will have to file that out with the round file. Its hard to brush off welds down in the pipe to make it look good but the principles of the weld are important, not its appearance. Now we are back to the problem of the back plate. Recall earlier I had a problem cutting the feed tube hole. I decided to redo it and this time i used my new method to find the center of a circle. It seems that geometrically any chord of a circle can be used to help find its center. A line passing through the halfway point of any chord and perpendicular to the chord must pass through the circle. So once you have pushed the circle, take a ruler and draw a chord exactly two inches long. Mark the 1" center of that chord. Then using a right angle draw a line passing clear through the circle. I used a cheap $5 adjustable metal protractor from Home Depot. Repeat this process and where the two perpendicular lines intersect is the exact center of the circle. Neat huh? I punch a mark at the center and drill a half inch hole (largest drill bit I have) in the middle. Then I draw out a one inch circle centered on the drilled hole. If you have a locking compass this should be easier to do before you drill out the center. Finally I punch the center circle with a center punch and then use the OA torch to cut it out. I file it as smooth as I can get it and then use the OA torch to cut the outside, and then grind it as before. in retrospect a Dremel might have made better work of the center but it doesn't have to be precise as turbulence is actually desired. I could have, of course, just bought another hole saw but now you have two ways to do it. Now its time to install the baffle plate. We measure down 1" into the plenum and mark it with a welding pencil. Then my helper (my son) holds the plate with some needle nose vise grips at the lines and flat so I can tack it in. We check the fit and then weld it in permanently. Next I weld the feed tube to the back plate. For the tube we used a 1" black pipe connector. Do not use a nipple or you will not have much material to weld to. Its better to use a straight connector for its greater metal mass. This weld MUST be gas tight and we will insure that later. Once this is done, we fit it on the plenum and then weld the back plate to the plenum. For this weld make sure you use high heat and probably two passes. Next I pass over the back plate and feed tube welds with an OA torch with a number 3 welding tip. The goal here is just to walk the weld puddle around the plenum and tube. If there are pinholes, they will be filled. If there are voids they will collapse and can be filled from welding rod in your hand. We dipped it in the water to cool it off after it was black again. The dead cricket in the water seems to help. Now I did something a bit boneheaded. Or rather ill timed. We decided to paint the plenum to resist rusting. Good idea to use an engine approved paint for 500º as the plenum shouldn't ever get that hot. So we crafted a box and painted it nicely. It looks great. Except we forgot later we will have to shove the thing in a forge and that will burn off our paint job. Oh well, live and learn. We will paint it again later when it is done. And now the plenum is done! Time to work on the flare. The flare will be cast out of Kastolyte 30 reinforced with stainless steel needles. In retrospect I might have used something a bit more dense but with the same rating. I don't know if a base of kastolyte with a Mizzou last inch would hold together. It might be worth a try. The problem is the kastolyte is an insulating refractory that is soft and the jets at the flare end might be prone to fracturing. Perhaps less jets and more space between jets would help. At any rate, to cast the flare we have to keep castable from getting inside the plenum and also cast ½" jets centered right over the metering tubes. We accomplished this by first trying to epoxy in ⅜" dowels into the plenum and then epoxying ½" dowels on top of the metering tubes. This is shown below but it didn't work well because it was nearly impossible to get the top dowels centered properly and remain perfectly vertical. Back to the drawing board. We took our half inch dowels and sanded them off and drilled out or pressed out the ⅜" dowels inserted in the metering tubes. If they go inside that is ok because they will burn out later. We then throw the plenum in the forge and burn it clean, burning epoxy as well as wood. This is NASTY so have a good ventilation fan! Oh yeah, the paint didn't hold up to the forge. We then decided to glue the ⅜" inserts to the dowel rods first and let them cure 24 hours first. In the meantime we experimented with making a tool out of the tubing used on metering tubes and a drill press. We also tried using sandpaper like a lathe since we only had to take off 1/16". These didn't work as well. I am sure there is a better way to do this to keep the tube perfectly straight but I haven't found one. At any rate our glued dowels worked. One thing we would have done is to sharpen the "up" points of the dowels so the castable would fall easier in between the dowels later. Make sure your dowels clear the top of the flare by at least 3.5". We glue them into the metering tubes with two part epoxy and let cure at least 24 hours. In retrospect would have also made a top plate out of thin wood with holes cut for the dowels for perfect alignment fit after the castable is poured. The pattern for the metering plate would have worked nicely with a larger outside diameter; for materials use the thin wood that you can get from the hardware store with a shiny side. To create the form for the outside of the flare we will use poster board and duct tape. We cut a 5" long slice out of poster board and roll it around the flare so the shiny side is inside. It should roll around several times. Get it nice and tight and tape the roll end. Now slide the new poster board tube up the plenum to make a depth of exactly 3 inches from the plenum pipe edge to the top of the poster board. Its possible you might be able to use a shorter cast but this looked good for insulation reasons. We duct tape the form in place on the plenum then later duct tape to reinforce the poster board all the way up the form. Now its time to mix the castable. We put on respirators (this stuff is bad for you to be breathing) and then my son opens the can we store Kastolyte 30 in and scoops it out into a drywall mud pan for mixing. We then get a couple of handfuls of stainless steel needles that will help reinforce the castable and put them in the dry castable. Now we add water VERY SLOWLY to the pan using a small plastic cup. You will be astonished at how a few drops can change the mix. Put a very small amount in, mix it up like crazy and then very slowly add a thimble full of water at a time. The final consistency should be like thick peanut butter. Now its time to pour. Scoop out the castable and put it right on top of the dowels. If I had sanded them into cones like pencils on top, this would have been easier. Fill the form until its full. Periodically you will have to pick up the burner and rap it solidly against the table repeatedly. This will force the castable mix to settle and fill all gaps. The vibration tamping is important. Without this you could end up with large voids. Just pick it up, keep it upright and rap it against the table several times and add more castable until it is full and even a bit overflowing. Once the form is full you can put on the top alignment form (not shown) tap down the form until its flush against the top of the poster board tube (some castable may squish out but that is ok). Then rap the whole thing against the table a few more times to settle the castable around any rods you have moved. Now you have to wait three days; if its cold where you live, bring it inside where temperature is constant. After three days you can peel off the duct tape and unroll the poster board off the flare. This will let the bottom parts of the flare cure faster. Leave the top plate of the form in place as removing it now could crack the cast. After another day drying its time to bake it. Put the whole thing in a forge you have currently operating or a brick pile quick forge. It doesn't have to be that efficient of a forge. Put the flare in the forge when the forge is cold. Light the forge and let the thing bake. The wood dowels, top plate and epoxy will burn out. This will be NASTY so have good powered ventilation. Now we let it cool in the forge a couple of minutes and use a shop vac in blower mode to blow out ash and charcoal. Keep an eye on where embers go and put them out quickly. A friend helps for this part. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy if needed. DO NOT VACCUM THE EMBERS INTO YOUR SHOP VAC. If you do, you are courting a bad fire later. Eventually you might have one or two holes plugged. Use a spare welding rod or metal or whatever to clean it out. At the end you should be able to see smooth bores for the flare and the top of the metering tubes. Now we let the burner cool and very carefully, very gently touch any extraneous ridges with an angle grinder. The grinder will eat through the castable like it is air so be very gentle and quick. There may be some stainless steel needles on top of the flare but they will burn away later so don't stress over them. Now it is time to build the supply pipe. We take a ⅛" brass pipe plug and chuck it in the drill with the dimple side up. Make sure to get the ones with the centered dimple. It will save you some time. We drill a small hole for the propane jet. As will all blown burners the exact size isn't that important. Then we screw that plug into a straight connector, that into a pipe nipple, pass the pipe nipple through a 1" to ½" black or galvanized reducer and through a ½" inch brass plug that has been drilled out to be almost exactly the outside diameter of the brass pipe nipple. We attach the other end of the nipple to a ¼" to ⅛" reducer and an elbow. This assembly we attach to the supply assembly. This consists of a propane hose to the regulator attached to a propane flashback suppressor, then a fuel to pipe thread converter than a ball valve and finally a ¼" brass nipple to the jet assembly. Use propane sealant on all brass connections and check for leaks with child's bubble solution while pressurized. Now we attach our blower (clamp it) to the a pipe to feed the air in. The feed plate is a 2" black iron pip nipple welded to a plate with a 2" hole in it. Then attach the blower feed to a bell reducer then to a gate valve using some pipe nipples and then to an elbow and then another long nipple. The propane feed assembly is attached to the top of a T fitting, the pipe from the blower enters on the leg of the T and the nipple leading to the plenum is on the other leg. This setup allows you to adjust the position of the jet, though I haven't really noticed a difference so I will probably go down to a shorter brass pipe nipple in the jet assembly. Any space around the pipe nipple will leak fuel /air unless you seal it off with duct tape or something else. I am working on a better config that isn't so leaky. Now we attach another elbow and then another nipple and then finally the plenum with its cast flare. We are now ready to test. We start a plumber's torch, set propane to 5 psi, turn on the blower and open the ball valve with the plumber's torch in front of the flare and WHOOSH, it lights. My son is waiting with his hand on the bottle valve, ready to cut the propane if anything bad happens. The flare really roars, all 9 jets are firing. We end up feeling like we aren't getting enough air velocity but even as imperfect as it is, its awesome in its functionality. It totally blows the normal blown burners to heck. I might try plugging one or two jets and seeing what the result is in velocity. The video is sort of on it's side so I hope you will pardon the roughness. I should have filmed it in landscape. Oops. Next we go to test it in a brick pile forge. We rig up a support arm, use hose clamps to attach the feed tube to the arm, mount the blower and move our brick pile to center up the burner. This is not the optimal forge for this burner but it will make a nice test. We close up the forge and shove pieces of insulating block to accommodate the roundness of the burner in the square forge. The burner is a bit low in the forge but for now its fine. We put the plumber's torch flame in the forge and open the ball valve (with the blower on). The burner really rocks the forge. You can see the blue jets in the picture. This forge was running hotter than it ever has and heating up very quick with only 2.5 to 3 psi of propane! After we play around and run it a bout 20 minutes, we see that it heats awesomely. We cut the propane, waited for all to cool, and the took apart the forge to examine the flare. There is some minor breaking around one jet but nothing serious. This is the reason I was thinking of a denser castable next time. When running we heard a couple of times a thump and then a low rumbling. I am not entirely sure what is causing it and I will investigate it. It was a low pitched ruble. This flare could be covered with ITC-100 and used. The extra stainless wires will degrade quickly. I might experiment with fewer jets and tinker with the castable process but the burner performs magnificently. The burner is easy to build, low cost and very durable. If you drop it and break it or the castable cracks due to wear, you can recast it easily. It uses a fraction of the propane of my old blown and venturi burner and the increased surface area of flame allows much better heat transfer into the forge. It is a resounding success.
  11. I came across a kiln that a neighbour was throwing out, and decided to make a forge. Finally! What I always needed! So I have 51 soft bricks(4.5x2.5x9) to work with. I can pick up some hard bricks without hurting the bank account too badly. 5.99 each at home hardware. About half of my free, soft bricks are cracked, and the other half aren't. The is photo is the first idea I had. Feel free to add your two cents. I'll be seating the final design in a metal frame, but am playing lego on this piece of ply for convenience sake. I wondered about mixing a thinnest style mix to coat the interior floor of the forge to protect the soft bricks. I'll also be adding a propane head source, but thought I'd start with the box. The chamber itself is 7"wide, 4.5" tall, and I think I could go three bricks deep if I wanted, I think 27". I've also got a million red bricks I could use. Which I considered as the base layer of the forge, which would be cost effective(ie. Cheap.
  12. I found this youtube video on making a simple burner for a gas forge. I have made a burner to melt aluminum in a foundry before. With most burners (and the one I made) I find that they cost a lot to make or require a lot of up-keep. This one seems almost too simple. What do y'all think? I'm not looking for it to last my whole life but to just get started in gas forges. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=67rxU02fv6o (P.S. I would make quite a few modifications like an air flow regulator and such.) Your boi, Jacob
  13. I am looking to upgrade from my coke forge to a gas forge, and I don't quite know what to do. I can buy one of those fancy centaur forge ones for half a grand, buy one of those ebay ones for 150$, or make my own. It would be hard to get enough money to afford the 500$ ones, and I don't have access to a welding machine currently. What do I do? Thanks, Jacob
  14. Hello all, I know I'm probably like the hundredth post about building my first forge, but here I am following suit. Firstly, it was my first time using a mig welder and didn't know that you use it as any other welder, whoops Secondly, I haven't done the most research because I'm on a time crunch for Christmas, but i have done some thanks a lot to your site and Youtube. Thirdly, I'm very close to being broke so hopefully any major adjustments aren't needed. Fourthly, I'm grateful for any and all responses and advice. Alright so, My forge doesn't get hot enough, like not even to where the metal gets a little glowing, just turns them black and kinda blue after 30 minutes. It will get kind of red hot if i hold a piece of steel outside the opening. If i close the opening with that loose fire brick it will snuff the burner out, but i will still get flames that will shoot out of the air holes in the burner (not safe). It's a propane burner from Harbor Freight, I don't have a regulator on it, and i never adjusted any tip or anything like that. They are hard fire bricks from Menards 9 x 4.5 x 1.25. I already had to use some J. B. Weld on the top and sides where a ton of flames were escaping. I also don't have a bottom plate only a bar welded in the middle to hold the bricks in place. I think the problem I had is i tried a few too many different methods and combined them and threw out the hard and/or expensive parts. I'm just trying to heat treat knives that I cut from pieces of weldable steel, yeah i know i cheated. I've seen the posts where everyone suggests those kaowool blankets so that'll be my next step, but should i put them inside or outside or both? tl;dr - I don't know what I'm doing, please help me, I'm broke, too far along, and Christmas is in 13 days.
  15. I am a machinist by trade (although I no longer do that for a living) and I have an interest in adding light duty blacksmithing capabilities to my small shop. Lately I do art work involving lots of CAD design, general machining, CNC plasma cutting, and other general metal fabrication. I have various welding capabilities (MIG, TIG) and oxy/acetylene rig. I just purchased a Peddinghaus 165 lb anvil and leg vise. And now I need a forge! My preference is to buy, not build. I want something self-contained, fairly portable, and safe and easy to operate. My shop is currently in a garage under a house. Could I operate a small propane forge indoors, or should I pull it out into the concrete driveway? Should I pull the anvil out there too? I'm still not entirely sure how practical my plan is. I've successfully done lots of welding and machining in my shop, but not hot work with forge and anvil! These are some forges I have looked at: 3 BURNER MULTI-PURPOSE / FARRIER DELUXE from http://www.majesticforge.com $500 Model 50000 Blacksmith forge from http://www.forgemaster.com/ $775 2-burner MetalSmith Forge from http://www.diamondbackironworks.com/2_burner_metalsmith.html $625 I can justify spending the money on any of these. Any recommendations for a newbie blacksmith who wants to do sculpture / artwork are most welcome. I suspect the heaviest work I might want to do is drawing a 1" diameter bar of mild steel out to a point. Thank you!
  16. Finally got my gas forge up + running! Have a standard 20# grill tank on it and have been considering a larger one but am looking for advice. The 20's are readily available & easily refilled, but don't last real long and can freeze up. Been thinking of either a 30, 40, or 100# size- I like the capacity of the 100, but have a few reservations and would like to hear others experiences.
  17. Hello all, I am in the process of building my own propane forge and tested it and it work however a friend suggested i look into a flashback arrestor. I just wondered if this was recommended without oxygen being added to the mix. Thank Zack
  18. I recently picked up a new forge from a local knife maker to replace my old one. It's a peice of 10" pipe 24" long mounted vertically on 1" plate. He was using it as a salt pot to heat treat in before he built a new one and gave me this along with a Bag of 1" koa-wool insulation to reline it with. For a burner he was using a 2x1 swedge with tubing going through with a hole drilled in the tube. I was wondering whether that burner would have the right atmosphere for regular forging? He had no way to adjust it at all that I could see. Should I make a burner like that or would I be better off using my 3/4 frosty t burner? Thanks in advance.
  19. So I have been using a hand crank coal forge for some time now and have been getting tired of starting and maintaining the fire. I've been looking into buying a gas forge and have looked at Majestic Forge and Diamondback forges. After reading some threads in here I decided magestic was poorly made and couldn't weld easily. I looked at Chile ones too but that is out of my budget. I want to know if any of you have had problems with a diamondback Forge (I want the 2 burner blacksmith model). Or if you think it would be worth my time and money to just make one and buy the burners then any advice on insulation would be great. Also, I want a forge that can do some good welding. I want to try some Damascus in a few months.
  20. Ok so i have looked through this forum for the past two days and i cant find the answer to my question. i am currently planning my first blown propane forge while i am out to sea so i can build it when i return home. I was wondering what diameter of pipe is best used for the mixing pipe that leads into the forge. i have seen people use all the way up to 2.5 in pipe. that seems a little large for me. i think that i will be making the forge out of a 7 gallon or so airtank. i have been thinking of running a dual burner set up mainly for better heat distribution. i would have valves on each individual burner to be able to control them individually. Also is using the precision nozzle like in a venturi burner required for a blown burner or will simply a piece of 1/4in. pipe sufficient. I think i will be building something similar to a peot forge. what is everyone thoughts?
  21. Hey there I need some help with hooking up the burners to my forge. Im new to smithing and this is my first attempt at a forge. My forge has 3 trex burners and my goal is to be able to use them independantly or all together. I have researched how the propane distribution block should look and came up with this. Pics attached. My issue is to go from the distrobution block to the burners i need to use flexible copper tubing and to connect it im using compression fittings, the issue is the compression fittings keep leaking ive tried a hundred times and i just cant get them not to leak propane a bit. Is there a special way to do this? Any help would be great. Thanks
  22. Ladies and gents - I am building a gas forge this winter. Planning to use Michael Porter's basic propane cylinder design. Because it is already piped to my property, I would like to use natural gas. This would eliminate the need for bottles, and for keeping them changed. Is it possible to use natural gas instead of propane with a simple, naturally aspirated forge? Are there any cons to doing so? Do you know of any guides or FAQs about doing so? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  23. Forgehermet

    T burner

    I have recently follow frosty's T burner plans and have one problem,my burner will be running good with dark and light blue flames it will suddenly go out and I would have to re light it. any advice on how to fix this would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance
  24. I was recently looking through instructable and stumbled upon this image and was wondering if it would be a suitable burner for a long and low heat treat/bladesmithing forge? Also here is the link to the instructable. http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-BBQ-Burner/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email im mostly wondering if it would be able to get up to temperature or what modifications would be needed. I already own a small home built forge so this is strictly outta curiosity. thanks in advance
  25. Forgehermet


    In my previous post I learned that my oddball burners probably would not get hot enough for a forge so now I am wondering what the cheapest burner design that runs on propane is. My forge is 28"x8"x8", and I would also like to know how many burners I should have in my new forges construction.
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