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Rex_Swank

Scored our first forge - need setup tips

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My son and I just found our first forge after months of searching. :D  Craigslist to the rescue! Only had to pay $250 for the whole thing!

 

I was very happy to find this complete setup in what I think is great condition as there are no cracks or rust through, and the blower system runs! My next step is to effect repairs and get this working. My son is really interested in blacksmithing and knife making so now we start on a new hobby together.

 

Now the questions:

1) The firepot used to have a surrounding material that brought the table level with the pot and also matched the slope into the tapered sides into the fire area. What do I use to build this up again. I hope the photos will help see what I mean. Something needs to be there as the edges of the pot are 1 to 2 inched higher than the table.

 

2) Do I need to do the entire table surface or just a surround of the pot, then level the rest with a firebrick/sand(or nothing) ? I would think the entire surface should be essentially flat and level to make moving coal into the pot easier.

 

3) What is the original purpose of the accessory bin that hangs on the side of the forge table? Was it to hold more coal, or as a quenchant/water  trough, or tool holder?

 

I keep browsing this site and others for tips but these little setup things are eluding me right now. I am sure other questions will arise over time but I will start small right now.post-38181-0-58977400-1363579629_thumb.jpost-38181-0-27714500-1363579628_thumb.jpost-38181-0-71980000-1363579626_thumb.j

 

Thanks for any assistance.

Rex and Derek

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castable refractory around the fire pot and fire brick for the rest of the field; both can be found on ebay reseasonable prices.

 

that's a quench tank on the side.

 

sweet set up you have should last a long time

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Thanks for the reply Brian. I picked up some castable refractory at Menards,seemed good enough for this use, and it was 16 bucks for 25lb bucket of mix. Meecos Red Devil and the MSDS says trade name is

KS-4 Plus. Problem is I need warmer temps to mix and cure it than the 20's we are seeing right now. Gonna be tough to wait for warmer temps!

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Greetings Rex.

 

I don't know if you know it or not but you have what I feel is one of the best firepots ever made... Wirlwind... It alone is worth what you paid...  You will find that the hood stinks but you can adapt a nice side draft to it....   I also would suggest to forget the reostat that you have and wire in a more modern on with a switch....   Complete as Brian said with the refractiory..

 

Forge on   Jim

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Hello Rex.  Is that the forge from Kirklin?  Looks very nice.  Makes me wish I had less will power (more money), I drove through there a couple of times while that was up. I'm sorry that I don't have any setup tips.  I'm sure you guys will have lots of fun using it.  If you haven't already found them, the Indiana Blacksmithing Association has lots of good information and people, http://indianablacksmithing.org/  . 

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I have something very close to that as my forge too.  

 1. That is pretty small for a quench tank.  It is also a little small for coal.  I'd just get rid of it.

 2. I agree with Jim about the reostat.  Mine went up in a poof of smoke.  Just use a regular switch and a blast gate on the blower to control air.  You can rig one up to the input side of the blower instead of the output if that is easier.

 3. With the castable - let it dry for a long time!  It will skin over and seem all hard, but the center will still be soft.  If you heat it too much with a soft center it will blow pits out at you.

 4.  One layer of fire brick will be enough.

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Yep, from Kirklin. I ran as fast as I could to grab it when I was told it was still there! I may just use the "tank" as a convienient tool holder for now. I also plan on using a single layer of brick to line it and only put castable refractory around the pot so I can match the profile into the pot. I have been reading up on the "curing" of castable and it does look like it needs some TLC if you want it done right.

 

I like the idea of a blast gate for air control and a switch for the motor. Seems like the motor would be more effecient that way. Also may look into making a side draft hood in place of the sheet metal one on it now. I am having lots of fun reading online but I am spending WAY too much time late at night doing it at the cost of sleep. Oh well.

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Rex,

Fire clay or fire brick are unnecessary for the table. A properly maintained fire will never get the the bed hot enough to damage it.

I use mortar mix to level my forge table.  I use just enough water for a good mix- uniformly damp, not wet.  This mix can withstand the the wide and sudden changes of heat and humidity.  I also applied 1/8" of (red) automotive high temperature silicone to the outside of the cast iron fire pot where it contacts the concrete, to reduce the stress of expansion and contracion of the dissimilar materials.  This regime will last for years of work.  Do not line the fire pot with anything.  It will just make clinkers.

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Rex,the tank probably is too small for blacksmithing,but if your son wants to make knives it should be plenty big for that. I just got a similar set up and I'm going to use a separate bucket of water for blacksmithing and the small tank will hold oil for quenching knives.

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