kraythe

The Brick Pile Forge (A Guide for those new to Gas Forges)

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Great guide. I'm in the process of making a gas forge right now. The brake drum forge just wasn't cutting it. I'm thinking I might use your burner design for the new one. It'll be a two burner forge. Not sure how many cubic inches yet but bigger than your brick pile forge.


The brick pile is not meant to be a super-forge. It is, however, cheap and highly effective. I can melt brass in it. After you go to all that work and toil, you will likely find flaws in the design and that is why the brick pile forge is genius for people learning. I spent nearly 1000 dollars trying to cast my first forges or create them with KAO Wool and so on. And in the end I found that they all had flaws. If I had started with the brick pile, life would have been easier and I could have spent that money on other goodies.

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I have a question about this. Why do you cut the tips off the mig tips? How much should I cut off? Just enough to get me a flat end? Or more? Won't the length need to be adjusted anyway? Why not try it out as is? How do I tell when I've cut it too short?
I'm still trying to get a high pressure regulator and gauge but have most all of the fittings assembled now (still need the flashback suppressor).

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I have a question about this. Why do you cut the tips off the mig tips?

to adjust the air/fuel mixture by making the burner draw more air

How much should I cut off? Just enough to get me a flat end? Or more? Won't the length need to be adjusted anyway? Why not try it out as is? How do I tell when I've cut it too short?

You cut off enough to get a neutral flame. I have about 1/2 inch extending into the burner. No reason to not try it out before cutting. The burner will be lean and not neutral if you cut it too short.

You may need torch tip files to clean up the tip after cutting. A burr will cause flame to swirl in wrong places.

http://ronreil.abana.org/design1.shtml

there is a good picture of the different flames on this page, tilted "rich to lean flame image", but I am not allowed to re-post the photo directly.


I'm still trying to get a high pressure regulator and gauge but have most all of the fittings assembled now (still need the flashback suppressor).


sounds like you are well on your way.

Phil

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Is the flashback suppressor required?


In my opinion, and the opinion of propane grill and propane turkey fryer makers, No. Propane will not ignite unless there is adequate oxygen present. The flame will not explosively propagate up an isolated propane fuel hose.

With doubled hoses in a oxy-fuel setup it is possible to have the fuel and oxygen burn back inside the hoses since the heat can perforate the hoses as it goes along so a flashback arrestor is a very good idea. Apparently acetylene will ignite with very little oxygen present. The arrestor is installed immediately downstream of the valves to protect the tanks as the hoses can be damaged relatively easily.

Phil

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Well after reading this I think I will start building me one. I am finished with building my charcoal forge with the exception of the blower . I may have that completed by the end of the week end (may be) and the propane forge will keep the AQMD and CARB off of my back.
Thanks for the teaching lessons

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Is the flashback suppressor required?


Required? No. 3$ to have cheap insurance to save the house and potentially the family? Sold!

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I am planning to build a "brick pile" type of forge to get a feel for blacksmithing. I am a newly retired metal fabricator/welder. But have very little blacksmithing experience. I know the characteristics of soft and hard firebrick, but I don't understand when one is a better choice than the other when building a forge. Can someone enlighten me ?

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When I built my forge, from what I read you want the hard firebrick for the bottom of the forge. Because it's more durable, (sliding metal in and out of the forge) and the soft brick for the sides because they are better insulators and hold the heat better making your forge more efficient. 

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flash back suppressors on a propane system with no high pressure oxygen involved?  With Acetylene they are required since Acetylene will "exothermically disassociate" even without the presence of oxygen.  Propane doesn't.  So it's HUGELY more dangerous to park your car in your house's garage than to use an aspirated propane forge without flashback surpressors

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Thanks for bringing this thread back to the fore. The brick pile tutorial is an excellent piece of writing all round and with fiddly bit nit picks just about what I'd say.

 

Is this a sticky in the getting started section? Would that be a good idea?

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I agree with his views about the utility of a brick pile forge. Perhaps its greatest value is in providing a good way to heat metal, so you have more time to decide on what kind of permanent shape forge to construct.

Porter

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How much did you spend on the project? I'm fairly new to blacksmithing (a little less than a year so far) and I just relocated to Indiana from Georgia.  Now I'm in a neighborhood and am trying to avoid using coal for the neighbors' sake, even though the coal up here is very nice compared to what I'm used to working with.  That said, after SOFA last weekend, my bank account is hurting. I may have access to firebrick, but not sure.  

 

Also, would it work with a different burner? I've had people swear on a particular burner type that was being sold at SOFA, but I had already spent what I had allowed myself to spend.

 

I know you said it can melt brass, but can do you know if it can melt steel? Or at least reach forge welding temperature?

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