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I Forge Iron

Guidance & Personal Opinion Needed


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I finally finished all of my coursework needed for my master's(4.0 GPA, woo hoo!). In addition to that I have also finished writing the proposal for my research thesis and now I need to have some fun before I spend the winter conducting research and writing about it!

The fun I need to have is to make something out of metal and last week I decided to start a new project, a gas forge with a support cart. I currently have a NC Whisper Momma that needs a relining. I never even fired it up but I can tell you it is in pretty bad shape right now. I took it apart last week straightened it out and was about to buy the reline kit when I started searching for other ideas/models. There is a bunch out there and I think some might be better suited for general blacksmithing than the forge I have. I have also seen some cheaper re-line kits than the ones offered at NC; Diamondback kits are about half as much. Knowing all of this and the fact that I have a complete metal & wood shop at my disposal I got to thinking, would it be better to build a new forge or just reline the one I have.

This is my thoughts:

If I reline the one I have I will move the openings from the middle of the forge to the ends and patch up the existing openings as well as to move the gas line away from the end. This will give me a firebox for longer stuff and possibly make it a bit more efficient by taking the ports from the middle to the end. I called NC last week and they quoted me $8 for the cast sleeves needed for the ends and 14 for the sleeves with flaps. Therefore, moving them is really not a problem or costly. The total then for this option would be $159 plus ship.

The other option I see would be to make a new case, line it, and use burners from the momma and make the firebox a bit higher and shorter. The Momma's case is made from 14g sheet and I have the tools to work it, but would have to buy the steel. I do have a full sheet of 16g that might work for a new case or I could use 1/8" plate and just weld it together.

I guess what I really need to know is will the Momma work to weld in? And how is the space inside the forge, should it be higher? I have a full coal forge setup and I use it for larger items. This gas forge would be used for knives, tomahawks, and other things that can fit inside or need forge welded.

Any thoughts

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Why not contact your local refractory place and ask if they have any throw offs. I stoped into a local one and scored 3 sheet 24" X 39 1/2" and 3" thick for te low price of free. Swing in and tell them what you are using it for. Never know unless you ask. As to placement of the burners what is wrong with the current location? Are you changing the size of the things you are working with? Maybe look at what you do and if it will still suit your purpose.

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