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I Forge Iron

Kcrucible's furnace

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Well, burner is done as documented in the previous thread... :)

The basic shell

Top cap is now fully welded, painted, and insulation is now cast. The arm on the back has electrical conduit welded to it to form a 90 degree bend for a pivot/handle which will join with a bottom sleeve. You can almost see it in the picture at the back.


Bottom shell has a burner port now welded in and the pivot hardware designed but not yet welded on. More to come!

(I swear I enjoy the building more than I'll enjoy the using...)

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Nice job KC - Keep the pics coming!

What kind of casting are you going to do?


First I'll start with some aluminum to get my "sea legs." After that, a bit of copper and brass. Eventually I plan to get up to iron and glass. Glass is wonderful... beautiful and basically free. Perfect for art projects! (Not so great for machinery.)

I used to cast silver and tin on a much smaller scale... looking forward to goin-large.

Currently I have 3 small (4"x3") faces that I molded out of Baby Bell wax cheese wrappers from my wife's pregnancy (she ate a lot of cheese) that I've wanted to get into a more permanent form. I had also created a pretty detailed mobile carved from wood that I think would be good in aluminum. The same shape would also make a good wall hanging or interesting picture frame. Maybe I'll go into business. :)

I've debated casting my own anvil with a lot of pretty decent high carbon steel scrap I have, but given some horror stories may not if I can line up a decent anvil at cheap price. :) Yes, I'm interested in pretty much everything involving high heat. Casting, smithing, etc.

Full process is documented on my blog which you can get to by clicking the picture.
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And the pictures with the foam forms pulled out, after a little dressing up. Notice the arch over the forge ports for a little strength. Under that is 1" of inswool for extra insulation. The vents go up the sides around the forge ports. This is with the cap turned upside down, so we're looking "up".


I'm pretty pleased. That could have gone horribly wrong.

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Well, I've got the base mostly-cast as of this morning.

Stage 1: The bottom. 2" of inswool topped with 1" of kastolite 30. drain plug opposite the burner tube for metal spils. Foam blocks to reduce weight and amount of refractory by a small amount where it isn't really needed.


Stage 2: Build the forms using inswool and copper flashing, with foam to block off the parts where we don't want the castable to go, such as the burner inlet.


Stage 3: Filled in and curing


Stage 4: To be continued... filling in the gap with more inswool and then putting a refractory cap over top so that the lid can rest on it as well as seal in and protect the fibers.

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Nearly done now... approaching the moment of truth.


A bit more welding, stablization, and grinding to get everything to fit properly... I was less concerned about "pretty" on the welding basket than I probably should be. :) The extra bar for strength really helps total rigidity.


And a shot with the lid open, showing the finished insides. This hasn't been pre-baked yet so the refractory is still "green" but pretty dry.


After that, time for some magic!

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Thanks Bob.

There's a few more features that aren't shown here yet (and some not yet complete.)

1) I have plugs for the forge ports if I'm just doing a crucible melt
2) I have plugs for the top exhausts if I want to do a slow annealing, etc.
3) I will be making "spacers" for the sides to lift up the top if I need a very large opening (similar in theory to opening a clamshell forge I guess)
4) A smaller burn-out chamber on top that gets fueled from the exhaust gasses to preheat my smaller molds, etc.

My blog has a lot more deliberation/thinking about the various design features, how things work, etc, than I put here.

chyan, pictures will be forthcoming!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I FINALLY got some time to refill my propane, put it all together, and give it a go... bear in mind that this was a first firing/burnout so no ITC-100 yet.

As it was coming up to heat. That's a steel can with some aluminum in it and a graphite rod that accidently snapped and fell inside on the left.


Now I'll try the forge


And a couple of whacks on the anvil later...


Orange metal deforms much more easily than I thought it would. Hehe!

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