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  1. I have tried several different things but my forge just doesn't seem to keep heat. The hottest metal gets is a dull red. Am I doing something wrong? The inside coating is plaster of Paris and sand, which I've been told can suck up a lot of heat. Is that true? I've spent 4 months trying to get this to work but I'm thinking about giving up and getting a propane forge.
  2. I have done quite a bit of research but cannot find a good solution to my issue. I had smelted some iron ore for the first time and am now left with a good amount of small pieces of bloom which I have been trying to figure out how to refine into wrought iron because the pieces are so small I am worried that I will lose a large amount of the iron during the process. I Have amateur experience in forging but I have never forge welded.
  3. The following is a quick summery of the 55 Forge. More in depth design and discussion can be found on the site. The original 55 Forge was bottom blast. The fire shown is a little shallow, so if there is a question, just add more fuel. The tuyere was a piece of auto exhaust pipe with 1/4 inch holes to accept 1/4 inch round bar in a X pattern to form a grate. Lots of open room for air to move up and into the bottom of the fire. The next test modification was to put a brake drum into the 55 forge as a fire pot. You can see the cone shape to the ash and the rim of the fire pot. The bricks were added to give the fire more depth for the project at hand. Ash will build up to the top of the tuyere in the bottom blast in a fire or two. There is a T configuration below the bottom of the forge that is not shown. The T section is close to the bottom of the forge and the down pipe is 12 to 18 inches long (what ever you have on hand). Clinker is not really a problem due to the size of the tuyere. Just let the fire idle for a minute or two and the clinker will solid up and can be hooked out. Ash will at times fill the down pipe and need cleaned out. I have run this forge using coal dust or breeze. Once the fuel starts to coke ( a couple of minutes into the fire ) there is very little fuel that falls into the down pipe. The next modification was to make the 55 Forge a side blast forge. Just cut a slice in the side of the wall and add an air pipe. The depth of the slice was to the top of a house brick laid on its side. It was available. The fire shown is a little shallow, so if there is a question, just add more fuel. I like this design as it is so simple to build and works. That is an aluminum clothes dryer vent pipe being used to transfer air from the blower to the forge. With the side blast version the ash and any clinker builds up under the fire. On either 55 forge, the cut edges of the metal as they are sharp. You can roll them over, or cut a 2 inch piece of metal from the parent drum, fold it in half long ways, and place it over the cut edge of the metal pan. The 55 forge was developed so that any one in any third world country could have a forge with little or no cost. The forge runs on solid fuel, coal, coke, wood, charcoal, lumbar, pallets, etc. As has been stated many times before, Fuel does not make the fire hot, Air makes the fire hot. If there is a question about how hot, then add more fuel and more air. It can and has reached welding heat. It has also melted the metal if you do not pay attention to what your doing. ( Do not ask how I know this as I was not paying attention.) The 55 Forge is a great design that is simple and works. It is easily modified to adjust the size of the fire pot, the depth of the fire pot, different tuyere configurations, and the list goes on and on. Folks thought a brake drum was needed, so I tried both a brake drum and rotor. Each has advantages and disadvantages and in the end were not required. It simply adds a level of complexity to the system and overcomplicates simple. The fun part of the 55 Forge is make one, use it, modify it as you wish. When you finish there is another 55 Forge on the other end of the drum as a spare. The label on a drum is NOT accurate, it only means that is what the drum contained just before the label was applied. I found a empty drum at a auto repair shop. The label said 5W30 motor oil with a brand I immediately recognized. Somehow the top of the drum was hooved or domed a bit. When I removed the bung plug from the bung hole there was release of pressure and an overpowering aroma of gasoline and other very volatile materials. I ask the shop manager about the drum and he said "Oh that was the one they used for racing fuel last weekend." ALWAYS choose a drum that you can pronounce what it contained before you brought it home. NEVER use anything that throws off heat or sparks when you open a closed container or drum. If in doubt, have someone else cut the drum in half while you go get a burger and fries for the both of you for lunch. The 55 Forge is just a way to get you started quickly, so you can play in the fire while you research and plan on what your second forge design will look like.
  4. Hi all, this is my first post on here and I’ve come to quite the conundrum. This is my first time trying to build a forge or any burners. I’m not any sort of propane expert and I’m trying to build a forge burner. I got my design off of youtube and have tried two different ones. Neither of them have worked even though I built them almost identical to the video. I see so many that look exactly like mine and I have tried many different things with airflow, hole size, nipple length, adjusting the psi… nothing works and I was hoping to possibly get some answers on here. Any sort of help would be greatly appreciated and thanks so much if anyone reads this! Side note: sorry if anything about this post is wrong… it’s my first time. Pics attached
  5. I'm currently building a foundry furnace for melting metals. So im curious, what is one feature, design choice, change from common design, or idea, that you wish you added while you were making your current setup. Or what is an existing change you made previously that you really liked and you think other people would benefit from. For example. My forge works great, but I wish I made the doorways longer and more insulated.
  6. Hello, I really appreciate this forum. I am looking to find a school/forge or even a one on one opportunity with an experienced Blacksmith in Ventura County or Santa Barbara area. I work full time but can be flexible if it's closer by. I know Adam's Forge is in Glendale area and they are fantastic, but if I could find anything closer it be great. Any suggestions. Thank you in advance. John
  7. After a year using a JABOD forge (using charcoal), I decided to solidify make a steel fire pot. I was tired of having to reform the sides because they'd crumble. So, inspired by the fire pot that Charles R. Stevens showed us in a different topic, I made my own. I work mostly on small items (hooks, leaves, etc.), so I wanted a shape that would conserve fuel as much as possible. This is why I added a slope on the wall opposite the tuyere. A slightly more complex shape but the bottom is only 2" by 3", while the top is 5" by 10". Total height is 6". First I made a cardboard mockup to be sure my plan worked: Everything looked good, so I proceeded with steel. I used pieces from a wood stove I took apart last year. The plates are 3/16" thick. Should be thick enough to last me a good while, considering that I spend less than 10 hours a week. Overall, it took me about 3 hours to cut the pieces, fit and weld them together. I immediately moved it into place in my existing forge. I only had time for a quick test burn. Worked well, although the sides are higher than what I was using by about an inch. It still took less charcoal to fill than the JABOD. Even better, it was much faster and easier to clean up. I should be able to do more complete testing tomorrow and deteemine whether I need to shorten it a bit. Once that is determined, I may add a rim to finish it. Cheers! Arthur
  8. I acquired this Buffalo Forge, but it's missing the firebox, and I can't figure out how to properly supply it with air. I plan on putting in a new firebox....probably from Centaur Forge. But it would appear that there should be two air inputs...one under the firebox and one under the rear of the forge that helps vent the smoke. It came with the pictured pipe, which has three openings. One of the openings seems to fit the rear of the forge, but that doesn't seem to make sense to me. A close look at 'Vent Pipe 2' indicates that the center opening might be for dumping ashes/debris, as there is a screw with what appears to be the remnants of a pivoting door attached. I can't find any photos of the forge online in it's original setup. If I could find one, that might tell me all I need to know. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  9. So I've been meaning to build a forge for a long time. Around ten years. I finally decided to just do it. I'm trying not to spend too much money, but I have an advantage of having a lot of junk to work with. Total I've spent so far is around $10 on a couple 1/8th pipe fittings I didn't have. Those could probably be optimized, but I went with what I could find at local stores on a Saturday. So what I've got so far is the preliminary forge blower, and the skeleton of the main forge body. The blower is made from a 1" ID x 10" piece of pipe that I found in the junk pile. I flared the ends to make a venturi. This was done with an oxy/propane torch and an old clapped out anvil horn. Then I cut some holes in the back flare, with a plasma cutter, to accommodate some 1/8th" fittings for the propane. A small hole was drilled into a coupler and pointed down the pipe. I'm not sure at the moment if the coupler is blocking too much airflow, But all I had access to the time was 2" nipples so a coupler was necessary. But anyway, these fittings are connected to and old oxy/acetylene torch hose and regulator I had laying around, and plumbed to a propane tank. I plan to solder the fittings in place so they don't move, but only after I'm happy with it. The main forge body I built out of an old air tank that has been condemned. It's not suitable as a pressure vessel anymore. I shortened it and am going to use the end cap as a door that swings up. I have an opening cut out so a hole of about 4 1/2" x 2" is open when the door is shut. I'm going to be lining it with refectory wool, and then covering with KAST-O-LITE 30 LI G PLUS, and then coating with a ceramic refectory coating. The entrance will have a firebrick at the base. I'd love to hear some feedback and suggested improvements.
  10. Guys I am completely new to this and want a hydraulic press to make canister damascus, cannot for the life of me find what im looking for and have come for some help. Where, how much and what am i looking for in my first press.
  11. In short, I've considered my options (I can explain if you want), and I'm planning to make a vertical sword oven using a 100 lb propane tank as the shell. Video 1, Video 2, thread. I don't plan to make it electrically controlled. I want to get swords up to critical temperature for normalizing and the quench. If I can temper them too, that's a bonus. There are some things I want to ask about/confirm. This group suggests 2 inches of kaowool for forges. I assume the same goes for this oven. It would be nice to not have to worry about airborne fibers (I'll wear a respirator if there are), but it would be difficult to apply rigidizer or castable refractory the usual way because of the size. Because this is an oven, I don't think it needs castable refractory. I think I could only use rigidizer and be safe. I think the rigidizer doesn't harden the kaowool immediately, so I think I should be able to apply rigidizer to the pieces while they're flat, then bend them into the shell and let the rigidizer dry/cure. I've read that a gallon of rigidizer will make a hard surface (but not a hard hard interior) on 25 square feet. If I were to rigidize both layers completely, it would be a lot of rigidizer, and I don't know if that would be necessary for this application. My guess is that if I were to harden the surface of all the exposed kaowool, I would be safe from airborne fibers. If that won't work, how do I make it safe? As for ITC-100, it would be a lot, I don't think I could apply it because of the dimensions, and I don't think it's necessary for this application. I have problems with my coal forge, and have been wanting to switch to propane. I thought that while at it building the oven, I could finally build a propane forge from a 20 lb propane tank. I won't be using the forge and the oven at the same time, so I considered buying one high quality burner (rather than 2 cheap burners) and moving the burner (held in with thumb screws) between the forge and the oven as needed, and eventually getting another burner if I think it's worth it. I was thinking of getting a 3/4" t-rex burner for that.
  12. I just got my Toauto 12 KG forge today, Commercial links removed and I have a two main questions It came with a bit of cotton-like material on the underside of the lid, and it is completely blocking the exhaust hole in the top. Is this just shipping protection, or is it supposed to be here? Should I do seasoning of the crucible or the mold to make them last longer or anything? If this has already been answered, sorry. I am a bit new here. Thanks for your help in advance!
  13. Hello everyone, this is my first post on I Forge Iron! Thank you for all the hard work you do both maintaining the site, and responding to questions. It's a relief to a newbie like me to be able to get answers from pros who've been there, rather than guesswork. My question is, are there any gas forges that you would recommend? I don't have any welding experience yet, so I can't make one. I was looking at the Whisper Momma but before I took the plunge, I wanted your input on if there is something better out there, or more suiting, if you're willing. My main focus in blacksmithing will be tool smithing, and general functional blacksmithing rather than artistry/sculpture. Also, I will probably do architectural/artistry work for practice and gifting, but not for public use. What I'd like from a gas forge will probably seem like I'm asking for the moon, but here goes. I'd like a forge that has a clamshell design (not necessary, but seemingly helpful for larger work), or at least a fairly spacious interior that allows for a 7+ inch width, 3+ in height, 5+ in. depth. Basically, enough for small plates (i.e. for coal shovel, smithin' magician), general tools (hammer, tongs) etc. I'd like for the forge to be of a venturi type. I will be working without electricity, so a blown forge and natural gas is a no go. A forge that has enough heat for forgewelding, specifically, hot enough for chain links, basket welds, etc. One that is also safe, reliable, and gas efficient. While not necessary, one that is easy to repair would also be helpful for me. Also, while these don't have to do with picking a forge, they kind of are related safety wise. About how long does it take to cool off once it's shut down? I figured checking hoses, making sure there aren't any leaks, don't tip the propane, stabilize and keep the forge on inflammable materials are all essential practices, but are there any other safety concerns for a gas forge that I should know about? Any particular size of propane tank that you would recommend, and if it isn't too invasive, the typical cost I'd be looking at? I read a couple articles on iforge, about protecting the refractory with stainless steel or kiln shelving. Are there other methods of protecting the refractory from flux, but can still take the heat? Thanks again for your help and your interest, I appreciate it.
  14. I'm looking for some help identifying this forge I recently picked up. Instead of a hand crank, it uses a lever/pump action to move the blower. It's definitely been repaired on top at some point over the years as it looks like the pan probably rusted through. Everything else is in original shape and works great, although the legs are pretty wobbly at this point. Should I restore them and make it usable again or leave it as-is and sell it to someone who needs a decoration? The hand crank mechanism works, ie. it blows a bit of air, but it's a lot more work than turning a hand powered version, even one without a flywheel. Just seems very over complicated and inefficient, which is why I'm wondering if it's not somehow "special." I can't find any identifying marks anywhere except for a 526 and 527 on either side of the tuyere. I hadn't ever seen anything like it and figured it had to be worth something!
  15. I am going to build a dirt box forge and I was wondering what the dimensions of the box should be. Then hopefully when I get feedback I can build this and kickstart my blacksmithing journey. Thank you
  16. I was acquiring pieces for a forge and found this one at the local auction where I have been posting photos of abused anvils that have been showing up and selling for way to much... Its a buffalo Forge fire pot and electric blower . its in very good condition compared to most I've seen..it looks bigger in person then in the photos.. its 30" X 35" X 32" high... I think I got a good deal at $335.63 including fees and tax..
  17. Hi all! I quickly progressed from coal to gas in a matter of trying coal once. we dont agree. Anyrate. Disclaimer: I am 99% self taught so..I followed the plans laid out by a youtuber i made a gas forge and burners out of an old propane tank and some pipe. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiSgR-IJMyk) I am quite proud of myself i learned how to stick weld also. After a couple of small projects (simple tons, knife and Kukhri) im getting more comfortable really cranking the heat. I have since then got a fire brick to go inside and i stack on the backside of the forge. I am running a 30 psi regulator. Being said when i light the forge i steadly increase the gas, when i hear popping i increase it more. At one point just recently i was unable to increase my gas flow and i kept hearing the popping. A couple questions: What do i need to do to stop this? get a higher regulator? I assume my forge was too hot? I also assume if i continue to let the popping happen that is bad? Thanks in advance.
  18. during the drying process the cast-o-lite started to rub off and feel like sand did i do something wrong
  19. I have recently started making Damascus billets and in some of my research ive heard "you have to have compatible metals". I don't really understand what makes two different steels compatible for forge welding. Mainly I'd like to know what I can use out of my scrap pile (since im a farmer with 4 generations worth of scrap). I have tried an old duck foot shovel, ( basically a hoe for plowing ground ) with a stainless saw blade. These haven't really been working and I'm not sure if it's my ability to forge weld or if it's the materials. Thanks.
  20. I've been reading and attempting to internalize everything here and elsewhere while working to build out my first forge attempt. I think overall it went pretty well and I believe I did most of it correctly (feel free to correct me on that) but there are a few things I definitely could have done better. My own observations are around size, I think I made it almost twice as long as it really needed to be and I notice it struggles with even heating. Secondly, I think I've left the inside to large and I lose an enormous amount of heat out the ends. Lastly, I am not entirely certain I have a good coating of refractory in it, it definitely has no loose wool sections but it is uneven in colour so that's a bit weird to me. It's ITC-100 because that's what the local forge and farrier supply stocks, I've noticed comments around not using it but needs must. It does heat up well but takes some time and I'm not entirely sure if I am not pushing it hard enough or if I am being unrealistic but the metal I heat in it (Some 1/4" flat stock I found in a metal recycling bin) loses it's orange colour in under 30 seconds while I'm pounding on it. I don't expect to make anything yet as I'm just pounding on metal and testing the forge but it seems that I may not be getting enough heat. I don't really have a good side picture of how it's built so just ignore the brewing equipment in the background, it's not relevant until after I turn the propane off for the day. Appreciate any feedback on it. I think I'm going to build another one about 1/2 to 2/3 the same of this one and keep this as a momento/future use forge.
  21. I recently purchased a 4kg devil Forge foundry and I was wondering what MPA setting I should have it set on for the following metals Copper Brass Aluminum
  22. OK everything I just wrote dissapeard, Here is my home made power hammer, I am trying to make a living being an artist blacksmith and bronze foundry, I have also made a Pneumatic planshing hammer
  23. I was a prize idiot... I attempted and succeeded in creating a castable refractory liner for the kaowool in the helium tank forge I'm building. I needed to preserve the space inside for the work and in a hurry...I grabbed the first thing I could find. Wait for it... ...a stack of red Solo cups...(yeah, I know). I have read that diesel or gasoline can dissolve them, but I don't want to make another mistake that's WAY more dangerous. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks all!
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