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I Forge Iron

Door insulation on a forge

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I'm in the process of getting some materials together to build a forge and I pretty well have the body of it planned out but have some questions about the front door and how I can do it.
I'd like to have the front with a smaller opening for doing most work but have the ability to open the front right up to get odd shaped or large pieces in. I've seen quite a few posted (but haven't been able to make out the details) that do this and it seems quite common but the questions I have are:

If using Kaowool, what keeps it in the door, is it rigid enough that a squeeze fit will hold it, some sort of ceramic cement, small tabs on the edges?

How about the temperature of the Wool? 2300 degrees seems pretty easy to come by but I've also seen 2600. Is 2300 enough if you were doing forge welding (ITC-100 coated)?

Any pro or cons to using Duraboard as opposed to wool?


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A friction fit as described would work just fine. I used some HT ceramic cement (ACE Hardware, I think) between the Kaowool and the door just in case. I also spread some refractory cement over the Kaowool once installed. It's probably over kill but I feel pretty confident it will stay put.


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That's all mine is rated for, I have a coating, but I fired without coating first. Coatings help reduce airborn particles as well as reflect IR and protect from flux (at least some). There are a lot of forges in use without coatings and the same 2300F wool and they work fine. I can fagot weld, but I am still learning, can't drop the tongs weld yet.


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If you find the friction fit doesn't work ( I had a ForgeMaster door that just wouldn't hold onto the wool), Try SS bolts and washers.

Drill a couple holes in the door - Install with the washer on the inside against the wool and the nuts on the outside of the door. They don't need to be tight, just enough to hold the wool in place. They'll need to be replaced periodically but it works well for keeping everything where it belongs.

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I built a tunnel forge with openings at both ends for long stock. When I'm working short pieces (most of what I do) I stuff a piece of KaoWool in the opening and the friction keeps it in place. Thats all, no glue, frame or perfect fit. Just a piece of scrap stuffed in the opening. As you use the wool (heat and cool) it becomes stiffer and holds the shape better. If you will be operating the door often, I would frame it like NC Tools does. I use the 2600 Deg. wool. Theres a guy in Portland Or. who sells it on flebay, he seems reasonable in his price and has great service.
Kaowool Ceramic Fiber Blank 2300 1"x24"x25' 8# dens rl - eBay (item 130344096145 end time Nov-19-09 06:41:06 PST)

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