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I Forge Iron

Picture of my new burner


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I have been using a brick forge with one ¾ inch propane burner for a couple years. (I also have a coal forge for stuff that won’t fit in the propane forge.) The brick forge has generally worked fine and is handy. The only struggle with one burner was when I was hardening a longer knife. I would have to move it back and forth a few times to try and get it all hot at the same time. I might have also struggled to heat a longer bar to do a spiral bend. Anyway, I decided a couple weeks ago to make a second burner for the occasion when I want to be running two burners simultaneously. In the picture the far burner is my original one that I bought from Jay Hayes. I finished building the near one this evening and tried them out. They are shown running at about 3 PSI. They run fine from about 1.5 PSI to 20 PSI. I normally run one at about 3 to 5 PSI for my small forge chamber.


I worked a couple changes into the new burner. The new one uses a .030 wire mig contact tip. After I broke about 6 drill bits trying to drill a .040” hole in an 1/8” pipe cap I changed plans and went with the mig contact tip. Also the new burner does not use a nozzle but instead uses a flame stabilizer made from 14 ga sheet metal stuck into the end. The advantage of a flame stabilizer is that it does not heat up so much since the flame is just beyond the end of the pipe. A nozzle slows down the gas and combustion starts inside the nozzle. I heard about flame stabilizers from David Robertson who demonstrated them at last year’s SOFA conference in Troy Ohio. I had to forge a new nozzle to replace the one that came on my original burner last year. It is doing ok but I can see that in another year it might have needed to be replaced again.


I still need to rearrange the bricks and rig up a second burner holder.


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Yes. I used it for some light forging this evening and had no problems over the course of the session. David Robertson puts a 2 1/2" long piece of 1x1x1/8" square tube in the end of his 1 1/4 pipe burners and plug welds it in place from both sides.  Apparently it fits into that size pipe. For a 3/4" burner I tried to proportion that down and made an X out of 14 ga sheet that I cut 1 3/4" long. I don't know that the size matters much. I bent two pieces 90 degrees and put them in to fashion an X shape. Tacked the ends to the pipe. I also used a 10" long pipe nipple with the thought that 8" of it was the normal mixing chamber and the last two inches was the stabilizer. David said that this was really old technology that he had seen in some antique burner equipment. So far the end of the pipe has gotten hot enough for the shiny metal threading to change colors into a dark yellow which my color chart says is about 450-500 F. That is much cooler than the normal dull red glow of a nozzle.

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