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  1. I'm trying to design a new forge since my first one is a pile of bricks from menards that barely heats to 2200 degrees F. After reading this forum for hours, I'm coming close to my design. Hoping to get some advice before I build anything. Plus maybe someone else can use what I do wrong in the future. The shape kind of takes after video removed dur to advertising by alec steele, but with 1 burner and significantly smaller. The burner is a Mikey style 3/4 Venturi Burner from his book. Its as advanced and tuned as we were able to get it. I planned on having it pointing at one of the sides of the inside of the dome to get the swirl. I know where to find the post about how deep to put it. The forge is a bottom with a dome shape on top, with 12 gauge steel. It would have 2, 1" ceramic blanket layers (with the rigidizer), followed up by 1/2in Kastolite 30 (With kiln wash). All with a kiln shelf floor. I was thinking to build it in 2 parts, the top and bottom. Then have the arch sitting on either kastolite or blanket to seal the gaps. For ease of construction. The limiting factors I've found are that I only have 1 burner, and I've already purchased 10lbs of kastolite so I'm trying not to need more Is there anything wrong with my design? Do you have any advice with the way im building it? Should I make it longer? Its at 261 In^3 with 10 inches length. So according to the 300in^3 per burner I could add a little. I haven't thought about what I should do for any sort of forge doors. We have firebrick but I've read that it sucks in heat. Will it provide enough heat with this setup? I want to make this forge as nice as I can, so it can last a long time and provide what I need.
  2. Ok so, trying to get into the apparently less frustrating world of gas burning forges (I'm coming from a good bit of working with coal in a brakedrum). Here is my issue, I don't have enough money. I bought a Bernzomatic TS4000 a while back for some soldering I had to do. Now, for the time it will take me to save up for the materials for a 2 burner propane forge I decided to go with the 2 brick forge using the TS4000 as my heat source. My issue is with the torch, it's not burning the way it used to. When it was new it burned all very close to the tip with a bright(ish) blue flame and an audible woosh (I'll not call it a roar). However now there is a large, low pressure plume of gas around the central burn, less roar and WAY less heat. Also, when I put it in the burner hole in the brick, it freaks out and starts sputtering and having all sorts of issues, and theres a yellow flame in the forge itself. Based on what I know of burners (not much) it's a gas/air mix issue and theres not enough air. Does anyone know if this can be fixed/adjusted? Should I just scrap it until I get a decent forge going? Anyone got some kaowool burning a hole in thier pocket? (kind of a pun) Really appreciate your input.
  3. This is my gas forge. When i started sevenish years ago, this forum taught me anything i needed to know. Thanks a bunch everyone. I have now finished my newest forge. Hopefully it lasts. Roughly 1 1/2" thick cast with 1" wool wrap for added measure. Measures 10" wide on the floor by 8 " tall by 14" deep. I made the ribbon burner as many others have. With my 27 hole (i beleive) at 5/16", it has a 2" opening in which the air and fuel are stuffed. The gas orifice is 1/16". I have yet to fully bring it up to temp.
  4. I started a few weeks ago building my first forge. I’m wanting to start bladesmithing/tool making. I've built a box forge out of 3/16 plate steel. The internal diameter is 5” x 7” x 12”. Insulated with 2” of rigidized kawool and then 3/4” of Kasto-Lite 30. I am going to cover it with ITC-100 Kiln wash. I had already bought this before learning Plistex would’ve been better. I chose to build a 8” ribbon burner. I used the Wayne Coe instructions for the burner with a few changes. I used his spacing but used drinking straws instead of crayons. And made the pipe entrance from the side instead of rear to save space. I also elected to put the burner on the side and at the top of the forge wall. I had a hard time finding how to pipe it so after lots of looking I finally figured it out. I chose to run 2” pipe down to the blower. The blower is a 2” blower from blacksmith depot. I added a gate valve for air control. The gas entrance is 1/4” piping that I am going to drill and tap into the 2” pipe above the gate valve. The gas pipe will be as follows. 1/4” MPT/FPT 90–>1/4”x3” NPT nipple—>1/4”NPT tee with a 0-30 PSI gauge—>1/4”X2” NPT nipple—>1/4”FPT to FPT needle valve—>1/4” MPT to FPT ball valve—>1/4”x3” Nipple—>1/4” Union—>1/4” MPT to 3/8 Flare Fitting. All the pipe was galvanized so I soaked it in vinegar to remove galvanization prior to welding or heating. I will run from the gas connection to the tank with a 12’ braided 0-30 psi regulator with the gauge. I opted to have the additional gauge on the regulator and after the needle valve to be able to measure and duplicate the tuning as easily as possible. I still need add surround to hold burner and finish the stand. I hope to have it burning be next weekend. If anyone knows where to find the best info on tuning and the proper colors for temps that would be greatly appreciated. I’ve been reading just hasn’t find it yet.
  5. I was recently given an older and very used Johnson Gas Forge. See pictures. I don’t have access to natural gas. Is it possible to safely convert it to propane? This is all very new to me. I have tinkered around with a homemade coal forge but know nothing about the workings and mechanics of gas forges. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
  6. Hi , let me start saying my english may not be good enough , so let me know if something is not clear . I been forging with my charcoal forge for half a year now , but wanted les time consuming , so i'm starting my first gas forge build. Resources are not really available in Argentina , so I been doing some research and trying to pull out some design that may work with what I have. First gas . Propane is too expensive here so , it has to be methane. People here use bottled methane for their gas forges , and works pretty well but a 10kg bottle is a bit out of my budget so i'm gonna give a shot at a natural gas forge. From my research a gathered 2 thing about Natural Gas , is not that hot , and doesn't have much pressure, so insulation and burner performance are key ( as in every other forge , i know). For this reason I've chosen a Forced air Ribbon burner. Now , insulation , I know you probably are not gonna like this . For my insulation Im using K-26 insulating brick and that's it . Being my first build I didn't want to spend much so I bought 8 k-26 bricks( the factory gifted me 3 extra so I have 11 ) , and 10kg of 60% alumina castable refractory to coat the inside . The build . my idea is making a box forge with 6 bricks (2 for the sealing 2 for the floor , 1 for each wall ) and cast a 1/2 inch in the interior. The box made with the bricks ( without the refractory ) would have a volume of 161 cubic inches. For the burner my first idea was to cast it in refractory but then I had the problem as to where attach it to the forge , and the fear that it will lose to much heat because it will have no insulation behind it , so my new idea is to carve one of the wall brick , drill it and insert the plenum there , and then seal it with refractory (I thought high temp silicon my work to ) and make some kind of support so it doesn't puts to much stress in the brick an the refractory . the forge is rather small so I was thinking of a plenum of 2x2 inches with a 3/4 mixing tube . I am under the impression that more flare holes will make shorter flares , so i was thinking of making as much as I can , without surpassing the 13:1 ratio for the burner block , and without surpassing the area of the mixing tube , to not lose pressure. So let me know what do you think
  7. So I have an idea for a forge. I have a 400,000 BTU natural gas heater for my pool that had the heat exchange develop a leak. I rarely use it so it is not worth fixing it. It has a ¾ inch natural gas supply and the heat ex changer is stainless steel. It has a blower unit for the flame, and there is a “flame tube” in the assembly drawing. (item 11), I am thinking of making it into a forge. Take the front plastic panel off, but keep the rest to keep it weather tight. I will make the front panel so I can take it off to use the forge, but drop it back in to keep it weather tight. Take out the heat exchanger and use the opening for the door. I have some fire brick to use for a door. I have a Kilm shelf that I can use for the floor and top (just because I have and and do not want to spend money unless it works) I have extra light fire brick that I got from a kilm manufacturer when I was there for a class on kilm repair that can use for the walls I will keep the existing exhaust setup. (it is already balanced to the blower) I might replace the flame tube with a ribon burner. (item 11 in the parts break down below) But for the first firing I can use the existing flame tube. I will keep the existing controls including the self igniter, and gas control valve. I will just put the thermo couple that normally measures the water heat in the air (or a glass of cool water) and I can use the control to turn the burner on and off. I could try to rewire it to a switch, but the existing controls already turn on the ignitor and have the safety interlocks built in, so it is pretty easy to reuse them. I will build a stand to move it up to a comfortable level. I may reuse the outside cabinet, just to keep it weather tight,. (since I do not have a shed built yet) In reality it will be a year before I get around to it, it is already 100F here in Texas, to hot to get a forge going right now. And I have other projects to get done first. A basic newbe question. If I want to replace the flame tube with a ribbon burner, I assume I need to keep the area of the holes for the ribbons equale to the area of the existing tube so the blower and flame front are balanced. Is that correct? Any other pointers for the ribbon burner design? I have not taken it apart yet but from the general size of things, I assume that the flame tube is about 4 inches in diameter. The outside housing (which is stainless steel) is about 24 inches in diameter. (rough guess. I did not measure it) Am I wasting my time on this, or does it have possibilities? .
  8. Hey All, I've done a bit of reading into electrolysis and gassifiers for a more cost effective way to forge. Since the main cost of running a forge is the fuel I'm trying to cut down on that, especially being on a limited income. From my relatively limited research I've concluded that a gassifier is much more practical and most-likely safer then electrolysis, however there may be some potential to automate fuel production with electrolysis that a gassifier doesn't have the feasibility of doing. I really like the idea of hooking my forge up to a water line and never having to go out for propane again. Going back on topic, I've done some reading on the forums in regards to gassifiers and it appears that a cleaning system (ie radiator and cyclone containers) aren't nessisary for a gassifier with the intention of powering a forge because water vapor and tar don't matter like they would in a combustion engine. If I do build it I plan to run it off of wood chips because I have about a lifetime supply of them, save them decomposing. However not having prototyped anything yet I would like to hear people's opinions who are a whole lot older and wiser than mine. Is this feasible and if it is what are the obstacles in building and using this contraption that I should be aware of? Thanks -Will
  9. I am looking for itc-100 and cant find any. I have a gas forge that barely gets to welding heat and i would like to get it hotter so i can forge weld better, I live in new Cealand and cant find a place that either sells in new Zealand or ships to new Zealand I don't mind buying from overseas. i am aware that there probably aren't many people who are open right now because of Covid-19 but am looking for someone to buy from after normal life resumes. thanks!
  10. Need some help troubleshooting. The burner I made is basically a carbon copy of this one here. I used a .035” welding tip, and from the brass I connected a 10ft propane hose rated for home use I believe, and from there I have a hose to connect to my 5 gallon propane tank. Is this a pressure issue? Is my regulator not giving enough propane or is this an air intake issue? It sputters and doesn’t roar like the others I’ve seen. IMG_0604.MOV IMG_0605.MOV
  11. I finally started building my forge. After much reading, some kind advice from this forum and a fair amount of tinkering and some testing in a brick pile. I built a burner i was happy with. It is a 2800F fire brick in a plenum with a Frosty 3/4 T burner for the injector. The brick was drilled with 1/8 holes on a 1/2 inch pattern . I started with a 12" air tank I posted some pictures ion the burner in the NARB section when i built the test burner. But here are a couple of pictures of the burner. I plan on having 2 burners and having a removable partition in the center of the forge so i can use one side for small things and open it up if I need to.
  12. Just fired it up for the first time. Noticed burner getting hot may need to insulate port better. Only one burner of two on and barely gased.
  13. G'day, I recently bought my self a pro forge 200 and have run into a bunch of troubles with it, first thing was it had no lining on the door, and once I got that sorted it started falling apart, and it's only been used 10 or so times. I'm hoping the supplier will refund me. Question is does anyone have any recommendations for a new forge? I need it for forge welding large pieces of steel and horseshoes, making horseshoes, and hot shoeing. Thanks in advance.
  14. 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?
  15. I need some opinions. I have finished the shell of my new forge and will soon be starting to fill it with the insulation. I know its over kill but I'm using 2''Kao Wool with hardener to help support the 2'' ITC 100 HT. The outside dimensions are 14L x 13W x 13H. The final inside dimensions will be 14x5x5 350ci total for a 3/4'' single burner Ron Reil design (might change to a ''Mikey burner'' if I can get the time to go ta a buddy's machine shop to build it). I have been thinking of casting the flare cone into the refractory instead of a standard hole for it to fit down in. I'm thinking the mixing tube will be inserted through the top and 2'' of hardened Kao Wool then the end of the tube would come in contact with the start of the refractory and sit flush against it. The first 1/2'' - 1'' of the refractory would be cast at the 3/4 diameter of the tube then the last 1'' -1.5'' of refractory would be flared as the cone shape ( I thought I would just use a piece of plastic from a milk jug glued or tapped together as the mold to form the refractory around) . I'm thinking doing it this way would allow for me not to have to change flare cone periodically due to heat exposure and cycling. I've included a picture of the shell, material thickness is 1/8''. For those of Y'all that have more experience than me (probably everyone on here) would this work? Would you change anything? What length would you cast the flare cone 1'' or 1.5'' or would it matter? I would just like to have some other people opinions / expert advice before I proceed any further. I can change the interior design if needed or something would work better. I also wondered if maybe an oval shaped interior would work better than rectangular? Or maybe even Bowl shaped? The base is separate from the top so I can shape it any way that I want and for ease of maintenance. Thanks in advance!!
  16. I give you my Ugly Metal Box. I know its ugly. I have never welded anything other than a few pieces of scrap to get used to the process. This is literally my first time welding, cutting metal (both sheet and angle), using a drill press or a tap. But it is solid and I promise it will not be lit without testing all the gas fittings. All or the parts for the box are salvaged from around my property as were most of the fittings for the burners. And the fire brick was gifted from a friend who had ordered too many while building a kiln. I wanted to share it because even without having attempted anything like this before I was able to slowly make something hideous, but that i am proud of none the less. Videos to follow once i have checked for gas leaks and moved it to a safe outdoor location. I really would appreciate all CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. And promise not to get hurt by it.
  17. Hello,I'm planning on redoing the insulation in my forge (a 20 pound propane tank with a single venturi burner)I'm planning on using ceramic fiber which I understand can be tricky to work with. My questions *Will sealing the blanket with refractory cement (meeco 610) keep fibers from being blown around and offer enough support to keep the lining from collapsing *Is a 2 inch thick sheet over kill for a relatively small forge *Do I need some sort of ridgidizer for the blanket * What kind of resporator do I need to work with the blanket.
  18. Hi guys I'm looking at building my own gas forge and I'm planning on using a small sized helium tank as my forge body. Seeing that I only need an opening of 7-8inches wide and 5inches tall (aprox) I'm wondering what I can use as a filler between the sides of the tank and the ceramic blanket I plan on buying. It would be too expensive to go ceramic blanket the entire way so I'm wondering what, if anything would be a good material to use to build up the sides to my desired size. Would a plaster of paris & sand mixture be acceptable? Any imput is really appreciated! Thanks
  19. I have recently built a Frosty Tee Burner for a gas forge of mine. Is it absolutely imperative to have a regulator attaching to the propane tank? There is already a valve on the burner. If I do absolutely need one, can someone point me to where I could get a cheap and good one? Thanks, Jacob
  20. 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? ??
  21. So there's a lot of talk about building burners and which design is better, but not so much about the box you put the burner in. To me, the box in the more important part. No matter how efficient your burner is, it is the box that will largely determine how hot the forge gets, how quickly you can get to work, how long you wait for heats, and how scaly your metal gets. Here are some of the things I want in a gas forge, and why I want them (Your desires may be different, and you'd want a different design. The design I'll show is not the one I'd build for example if I were a knife maker or if I only had a half-hour at a time to forge.): It should get hot and stay hot when I fill it with metal. Insulation is key, but so is thermal mass. I want enough of a heat sink to make sure the metal heats and re-heats quickly rather than the forge cooling significantly when I add the mass of metal. It should be durable. Who wants to spend lots of time building and fixing forges instead of using them? You should be able to adjust the atmosphere, at least from neutral to rich. Too much oxygen makes heavy scale and makes welding hard to accomplish. The burner matters here, but also, a forge should have doors. Without doors, it is hard to control the atmosphere except by gas pressure, which is wasteful. Doors should not prevent access to the whole chamber when necessary. Why build and heat a volume you can't access? If you use ceramic fiber blanket, it should not be where it can be abraded. If your forge or doors use a steel shell, keep the steel out of the flame path as much as possible. This goes to durability. when your steel burns up, does it expose fiber insulation? Does it open a gap around the burner? Will your roof buckle and cave in when heat gets between the insulation and the shell? None of these are good in my book. Quiet is nice. The shop is loud enough. For all of the reasons above, I cast forges from commonly available refractory materials and use ribbon burners. In the pictures attached, the arch is cast from 3000 degree lightweight insulating castable and the floor and burner head are cast from 3000 degree dense castable. The entire box is surrounded by 2" of fiber insulation. You can't see it on the arch because I made the castings slightly proud of the frax to keep the fiber out of the flame/abrasion path. The casting is also proud of the steel shell so that there is no steel to erode in the flame path and open gaps. This may look like a lot of work, but with assembled materials, it all took well less than three days, elapsed including the stand and plumbing. Not so bad when I have other forges built this way that have lasted close to ten years. For this rather small forge I did push the limits of casting with sections as thin as 1" for the floor but I think it'll hold up and I didn't want it to take forever to heat up. I did build the ribbon burner but there are other people here more expert than I am. It is 2" x 6" with 11 crayola size jets. I used a needle valve on the gas and a homemade butterfly on the air and it is very tunable and quiet. Image notes: 1 have a plan. 2 the base for the casting form. Note 3/8" blocks to lift steel shell off of floor and allow casting to extend beyond the steel shell. 3 the outside shell. Holes drilled are to wire the frax to the shell. Flange secures mold and will ultimately be bolted to stand. 4 outer shell in mold. Note that top of mold is also proud of shell so that casting will go beyond steel. 5-6 the outside of the shell mold. 2x4s support the shell and keep it from bowing out. 7-8 the inner shell- arch form. This will not be part of the finished forge. Don't forget the mold release. 9 the two halves of the mold mocked up. 10 the "core" for the burner. 11 the core mounted and caulked to the inner form. 12 DON'T FORGET MOLD RELEASE 13 the (not yet caulked) burner core fit to the inner arch and through the outer form. 14 opening for the burner core cut into the outer shell. 15-16 the frax wired onto the outer shell, and with the burner opening cut out. Note that the frax is shy of the top and bottom of the steel shell so that in the finished casting the frax will all be encapsulated in castable. 17 the nearly ready assembly. What this doesn't show clearly is that there is a little more than an inch of clear space between the frax and the inner arch. I will ram the castable onto the frax which will compress and compromise it some but will still leave me with more than 2" of insulation all around. 18 the casting in the mold. Be sure to really ram the castable into the bottom to fill in the lee of the burner core. 19 very simple mold for the floor. 1/2" plywood core makes the lip on which the arch will rest and gives me a seamless floor. 20 the floor casting sitting on 2" fiber board. (forgot mold release: cracked casting slightly. Sairset to the rescue.) 21 dry stacked and ready to burn in gently. 22 Ta daa. Bright lights mess with photography but it really is that hot. Forge floor is 8" x 12" and the opening is small enough to use a brick for doors. I'll probably eventually build doors that are easier to move around but I can get to work for now.
  22. Hi Everyone, Looking to buy my first gas forge. Making my own forge is just not something I want to take on at this time. I am planning on making knives. I was initially looking pretty hard at the Diamondback Ironworks Single Burner Knifemakers forge. I then came across Gizmo's Fabrications St. Helen's Inferno Forge. This particular forge has some options to choose from. One of which is burner placement. You can have it vertically or horizontally. In doing some research on this site, I found discussions on burners mounted vertically or on an angle (both of which still has the flame hitting the floor of the forge). What are the benefits (or non-benefits) of having a horizontally mounted burner? Also, does anyone have any experience with Gizmo's Fabrications Forges? I have read some people's opinions on Diamondback Ironworks forges on this site, but I was unable to find anything about Gizmo's forges on here. Thanks!
  23. Here's my gas forge build its made of a 40 dollar air compressor tank. Has two mikey style burners which the kind folks on here have help me improve, and 2 inches of kaowool with rigidzer and refactory. Its inside deminsions are 18 in length 7 inchs wide and tall. I had to order some more refractory and will be finishing shortly.
  24. Hi Guys Finally got around to finishing up my new gas forge. More of a Blue flame coming from the mouth of the forge. Does this look right??
  25. Hi, this is my first post here. First of all, thank you for an impressive amount of information. I have been reading through most of the pinned threads here and am deligted to find so much good information. For those of you who don't care to read a long post, please skip to the text in bold below. This is what I really want to get input on. I have started a rather slow process of getting started with blacksmithing. I am not in a rush as it is winter and I am yet to build a new workshop since we moved. Most things are clear to me by now, but getting the materials is a real pain in the neck here in Noway. We have a very small domestic market, and since we're outside the EU many products are expensive to ship. I have located reasonable sources of most of the things I need. Some I will order from Wayne here at the forum and some I have found on ebay. But the refractory I would like to get here. I have not been able to find anyone selling Cast-O-Lite 30, but there is a local producer that makes a product called Borgcast 85. It compares well to Cast-O-lite 30 in most aspects apart from the thermal conductivity: 1.9 W/m*K at 1000C for Borgcast 85 vs 0.65 W/m*K for Kast-o-lite 30. Can anyone comment on whether this will be an issue? I am planning to insulate with 2" Kaowool, but am worried about the liner becoming a heat sink if I use Borgcast 85. For those curius, here are the rest of the numbers: (Borgcast 85 vs Cast-O-lite 30) -Alumina content: 83% vs 56.6% for for Kast-o-lite 30. -Maximum recommended temperature 1700C/3092F. vs 1650°C/3000F -Permanent Linear Change Borgcast 85: - after firing at 110C: 0% - after firing at 1200C: -0.3% - after firing at 1400C -0,4% - after firing at 1600C: -0,4% Kast-o-lite: After 220°F (105°C) Nil After 1500°F (815°C) -0.2 After 2000°F (1095°C) -0.2 After 2500°F (1370°C) +2.0 After 2910°F (1599°C) +1.0 -Modulus of Rupture and Cold crushing strength CCS: 130MPa vs 17.2MPa for Kast-O-Lite 30 MoR: 16-20 vs 5.5MPa For the rest of the forge the plan is as follows: Shell: Helium tank or other empty vessel I can get hold of. Gas tanks are expensive here (>$100), so that is not an option. Insulation: Kaowool from WAYNE COE Rigidizer: Fumed silica from ebay (Cab-O-Sil M5). Dissolved in water with food coloring and spritzed on the insulation. Then fire with the burner to set. Kiln wash: Plistix IR reflective from Wayne, or Zirconium silicate (Zirkosil) from a domestic provider. Burner: Black pipe and fittings are not easy to get here. We use plastic for water pipes and there is no residential gas. In an eager moment I bought a 1" burner from Alec Steele. Yada yada! But I found his site first, and it was his enthusiasm that eventually brought me here! I later realized that I could probably buy stainless pipes and fittings from china and make one myself for much cheaper, but done is done... Regulator: Propane regulator from local gas supplier. Using 11L barbecue tanks it will supply up to 30 psi and a bit more than 2kg per hour. Using industrial tanks is as far as I understand not practical/possible for private persons here. I am in any case limited in tank size, as the tanks have to be carried up steep stairs from the road. If I get trouble with freezing I can connect two tanks in parallel. I have verified that parts for that are available here. Hoping I have done my homework well, and looking forward to your input! Borgcast 85.pdf
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