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  1. So, I currently run a charcoal side blast forge. I basically filled it with clay and then the actual firebox has a cob lining made of refined earth clay, grass clippings, grob and a small amount of lime to act as a plasticizer (less water required to make the mixture wet). I get very good heat from it, some would say a little too good, So much so that the clay actually melts. like not little particles and clinkers but actual viscous, honey like liquid slag at the bottom of my forge. This doesn't overly affect the forging too much, as the tuyere is above the slag, but I don't like having to rebuild it every 2-3 forging sessions. Does anyone know a good liner or recipe, whether it be store bought or made (like my cob mixture) that could work better and melt less? Bonus points if it is refractory and doesn't draw heat away from the work piece. Thanks in advance
  2. So I understand that in a solid fuel forge, the refractory material for the forge lining isn't as important as for a gas forge, however, I've made a mix to line my new side blast JABOD style forge and I'd like some of you guy's opinions and advise on the matter. The mix is 2 parts clay, 2 parts lime and 1 part wood ash. I'm thinking the clay and lime will form a solid and tough structure and the wood ash and lime will help to increase the temperature I can reach without starting the melt the lining. Would this work? Or should I add something else to the mix?
  3. Hi everyone! Please, I know, before you bash me, this has been asked hundreds of times. The problem I have is that I have ABSOLUTELY no access to any of the 2000C° plus refractory linings. I live on a small island in Portugal, there are no blacksmith, no forges, so no forge related stores. And due to EU regulations, most refractories contain chemicals not really suitable for exportation/importation so any outside shops I find, don't ship them here. I managed to buy a decent amount of ceramic blanket, but I'll be getting my cancer through smoking, so I need to coat it. So I was thinking if I could basically make a thick steel box, stuff as much blanket as possible in there and make another square box thing to use as the inside walls of the forge. I wonder if the heat would cause so much warpage that the steel would just unweld itself, also thought about expanding gases inside the insulation so I would drill tiny hole just to vent the extra pressure so it wouldn't blow up on me. Any help, someone who could send me some castable refractory, is greatly appreciated. TL;DR : Can I use steel plates as my forge lining?
  4. Just got done with a great visit to Wayne Coe’s place. Picked up some refractory, allot of good information and my wife and kids enjoy themselves. Seeing a ribbon burner first hand tempted me to start over, however that’s a significantly larger investment...... Ok bad jokes aside I’m sticking with my plan for a 20# propane tank build using 2) 3/4” T burners (thank you for the emails Frosty.) Follow the directions and go shopping without the distraction of 3 children and you can’t go wrong. Spent $60 on hardware I didn’t have or could get from a friend to make 2 burners. Waiting on my American made 30psi regulator with a gauge and stainless covered line to get here. I’m also waiting on fumed silica for rigidizing the wool and stainless flares. Considering using stainless for the mounting bracket but I haven’t decided if the extra cost is going to be that great of a long term investment. I’ve already got plans to build a ribbon burner and make the mounts redundant so share your thoughts. Finished internal volume I’m guessing will be close to 400 cubic inches give or take. This forge should be enough to get me tong and tooled up since last I heard everything from my pre USMC days are gone for good. It will also give me time to build a ribbon burner the right way.
  5. Hey, i'm planning on making a small foundry for aluminum, I plan on using a mixture of Fire mortarclay, portland cement, and silica sand. Can anyone suggest a ratio and amount of water i should use.
  6. Hey, I'm new to the world of smelting, I'm going to turn an my useless 23'' Weber BBQ into a Foundry. My question is, what should my refractory solution be? I have a 50lbs bag of Mortar Fire Clay. I look online, and i can not find silica sand. perlite also seems really expensive. I'm looking for any suggestions, as I could us it graciously.
  7. I am wondering if anyone out there knows if you can use your broken insulating firebricks to make or improve refractory cement? They are so brittle and crumble easily and I was wondering if make them into powder then make your own refractory cement or improve existing cement?
  8. So many rigidizing is some strictly rigidized some help glue the ceramic blanket to the outside walls some reflect the heat back already have some plistex for a reflective thermal product because I’m too cheap for ITC but would rather rigidizevfirst and then apply a thermal reflective product as well as looking into some kind of sodium silicate for a way to glue the two -3 inches of ceramic blanket to the walls of them ribbon forge I’m about to be buildingOr should I just get some Mizzou cast a light and call it a day
  9. In the search for itc 100 replacements(price) I had learned the original formula was near 70 percent zircopax and 30 percent kaolin. When shopping i came across a high zirconia kiln wash from "The Ceramic Shop" and went to thinking. It has already been tested and formulated and its cheaper per pound.... So i bought a box and some zircopax and kaolin. My recipe was one cup wash, a third cup zircopax and one sixth cup kaolin. The mixture dried rock hard and seems to be very durable.
  10. Hey guys and gals! This question may have been answered already but I have searched on this forum and google and haven’t found an answer so here it goes! I’ve been trying to find a source for kast-o-lite or the equivalent up here in west central Saskatchewan but haven’t been able to find a source. I’ve looked online and have found it for sale but the shipping scares me! I was wondering if any fellow Canadians knew of an equivalent available here ? Or a source in the city of Saskatoon as I’ll be there tomorrow. thanks! Rylan
  11. 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
  12. Hello, i wanna start by saying I’m brand new to this site so sorry if this is in the wrong forum. I’m just looking for some general information. I have a propane and fire brick forge currently but a few of my bricks have cracked and crumbled. I live in SW Florida and it’s literally impossible to find fire brick. I’ve searched high and low and nothing. I’ve decided to cast my own. The best recipe I can find is consisting of Portland cement I/II, hydrated lime, crushed silica and perlite. Im just wondering if anyone has tried the recipe and if so any tips on it. Thank you!
  13. Hello again, I've had some time to do research on different kinds of refractory material and I really like how the Kast-O-Lite 30Li sounds at first glance. I was wondering if I should coat the Kast-O-Lite in an IR refractory like ITC-100 (a little too pricey for me...) or Meeco's Red Devil 610 refractory cement (well with in my price range but unsure about efficacy). I have attached a ROUGH drawing of the front of the forge. Here is an overall idea of what I'm shooting for: Brushed stainless metal trash can for the shell (H=12" Dia=8") Hoping to do 2" of Kast-O-Lite to make a chamber of about 4" x 11" and have an exhaust port at the rear about 1.5" Hard fire brick as the floor (4.5"x9"x1ish") No refractory on these. Planning on having the burner pipe cast with the material then holding it in place with bolts. What say you fine folks? Any and all wisdom is greatly appreciated. I'm hoping to get this bad boy up to welding temps but we'll see. As always thanks for all the advice. Cheers! Big Jim (p.s. please excuse the horrible drawing in the image... I swear my 6 year old can draw better than me) Oh and I was also thinking of using the lid as a door to make the front opening smaller to retain more heat when I'm trying to weld. Kombae! Big Jim
  14. How long does one inch thick castable refractory take to dry
  15. Hello all, I am going to start building my forge and I am just finishing ordering everything, I have a few questions about insulation. From what I have read, it seems like using ceramic wool is the easiest way to insulate a gas forge, I know it needs to be replaced once in a while because it wears down. Is it best to have 2" of insulation? And are you supposed to line the wool with refractory cement? Or just use straight wool? I know the stuff is bad for your lungs and I was wondering if it lets particles off in the air while it's burning. I plan on laying fire bricks on the very bottom of my forge. Thanks in advance.
  16. Friend of mine gave me two bags of refractory cement, no info on them about mixing etc help a youngbuck out gentlemen.
  17. Sorry if this is already posted somewhere. I've searched and can't seem to find what I'm lookin for... Question/situation is that I live close to a ceramics/pottery supply place which carries all different raw materials i.e. Alumina Hydrate, Kaolin, kiln wash, zircopax, sodium silicate, fire clay etc. literally 75-100 different raw materials. Building another forge and instead of paying small fortune shipping a bag of refractory (ideally castable) or buying ITC 100, is there a way to make a homemade batch of this stuff? I understand ITC 100 is gonna be tough to beat but even if I could make something that would be half as good that would offset the price to buy and ship online. Forge I'm building is just a small portable propane forge, lined with 2" of Kaowool. Also , talked to someone at this pottery place few times and they didn't even know what ITC 100 was ... Haha Thanks!
  18. Hi everyone, new here and hope you can help. It took me 20 years but I finally talked my Dad out of his old forges. They need some work but I'm excited to do it. My plan is to put 2" ceramic blanket covered with 3/8" of refractory cement in these. The question is should I put anything on the hood? Worried about creating something too hot to move material in and out of. Any ideas? ill try to post pics of them.
  19. Hi all, I've got a Buffalo rivet forge that's the brink of death; the blower is a little champ but the hearth pan is another story. If I don't do something to line the pan is gonna be a goner for sure. I found a picture of a forge almost identical to my own on ebay. (see picture) When I asked the seller how he went about lining the pan he reported to using tile mortar; which seemed dubious to me. So I delved into the iforge forums and found two promising posts. The fist, complements of Charles R. Stevens: He suggested "...buy powderd clay, (fire clay) and mix it with sand use the waterglass to wet it, then case it (place it in a coverd container and let the moisture even out) if it's to wet leave the lid off till its the right consistancy..." I replied to his comment, but I'm new to posting on here, I'm not sure if it went through. Charles, if you see this, how much of each of these ingredients do you estimate I would need? And what consistency should the mix be for application? It is like pancake batter, putty or play-dough? Does any one else have suggestions on this? Another promising recipe from HWooldridge was posted a couple of years ago. He says: "I recently lined a Buffalo forge that has the lips an inch or so above the iron hearth and it turned out well. The process is based on something I learned years ago when I used to help my grandpa build houses. In addition to carpentry, he did some rock work and one thing we would do occasionally is reline fireplaces. On horizontal areas, he would make up a mix, apply it dry and level, then spray water on top. This would rock up in a day or so without cracking. The mix I used (based on his recipe) was 3 parts mortar, 3 parts clean sand, 1 part fireclay and 1 part dry lime. I mixed it, poured in the hearth to a depth that was flush to the top of the firepot and raked it smooth, then sprayed only enough water on it until the surface was wet. I let sit two days before making a fire and it had hardened nicely with no visible cracks anywhere. I think the minimal amount of water helps eliminate the cracking." I'm assuming he is referring to wetted mortar? But what type would be preferable? Any suggestions on this? I'm kind of lost... I apologize for posting a new topic on a subject that's been posted before; but while scouring these forums, I feel like I'm getting lost in all of the content. Please help! Here is a photo of the restored forge with a tile mortar lining: Thanks you guys, you all are always my first stop when I have a Blacksmithing question or problem to solve. -Kat
  20. Here it is simply, I've built a few forges, all worked grand. Now im trying a charcoal forge however i'm putting no money into it. Ive built what would seem like a whitlox v ripoff. All i have. Is fire repair cement, not actual fire cement. Are there any known problems with using only repair cement (also labelled fire brick mortar). Im not too knowledgable about refract cements.
  21. I've been planning for a while now to rework my brake drum forge. The drum I used is off an old house trailer and has a 13 1/2" inner diameter and a depth of 3 1/2" it just burned too much coal. It helped after a while that I had built up a good bit of coal ash and such filling in thecorners and making it more of a bowk, but it still was too spread out for my liking. I had been given most of a bag of PacoCast 28 li castable refractory and had been planning to use it to make a more restricted and slope sided firepot. Well Friday I gave half of the refractory to a young guy I met who works at the local Walgreen's that is getting into smithing so he could use it to help him get a better forge going than what he described to me. (I've also recommended ifi to him several times.) Anyway, I went ahead yesterday (Saturday) and mixed up some refractory and did what you see in the pic. The top is about 7" x 7" and has about a 50º slope down to about 4" × 4" at the bottom. Did I mess up doing this? What's you guys' opinion? I've already built a small propane forge and do believe my next one will probably be a welded firepot side blast.
  22. I purchased a point of ITC 100 from Anvilfire and followed the instructions very carefully. I did have a few questions and I asked Jock and did what he said. After I coded it I let it air dry with a lightbulb for five days and then did a firing my furnace is a propane furnace that holds a number six crucible. Today's the first day I saw it since the filing and on the interior of the furnace the coating has separated and some of it is falling off I can't get in touch with jock. Seems somethings wrong with his website wondering if anybody has any suggestions kind of bummed because that stuff is really expensive. I want to put a picture but I can't figure out how
  23. Hey everyone I'm new here. I want to start by saying I've learned a lot already. That being said building the ole first forge and I have not seen a ton of info about combining insulating methods. I was going to try pearlite and refractory to close the cavity in my 22 propane tank. Then an inch fiber blanket soaked in sanite. Once hardened coat with cement. Just for knife making maybe forge welding down the road. Not sure I saw this combo anywhere. Is the pearlite all bad news? I heard it can sag.
  24. Has anyone used this stuff? http://www.rescoproducts.com/docs/PDS/Pacocast%2028LI%20PDS.pdf According to the data sheet, it is rated at 2800f. Would that be sufficient for coating over kaowool in a forge being set up for welding small pw billets?
  25. I was given about ten to fifteen pounds of Kastolite 23 LI Plus. Everything I can find on here referencing Kastolite is Kastolite 30. Is there anything I could do to make it worth using in a gas forge?
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