Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Recommended Posts

i have recently become interested in blacksmithing and i have been looking into forge ideas. i know about gas and coal forges, but i was wondering, can you make a solar forge? i am interested in what the blacksmithing community has to say about this. the idea came from a youtube video about a solar death ray made out of an old tv.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

These are just my uneducated thoughts and are subject to be proven wrong. I imagine that if you were able to concentrate the suns rays you could just about heat or burn a hole through anything. But what you would have to do to acheive that would be rather immense and impracticle.

Plus if you have heighbors, they may object to you accidently lasering their shed.

But they said if God had meant man to fly he would have given him wings and look at us now.

A blacksmith with his own death ray. Hmmmmmm

 

Mark <><

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would be immensely difficult to judge temperature by color if the interior of your forge chamber is blown out by all that concentrated sunlight.  that said, it certainly seems like its possible, solar collectors are employed for power generation and waste disposal.  its just a matter of a lot of logistics, you can choose to do the math on the optics, or just 'eyeball' it until something starts melting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

notice also all the tinted eyewear and long sleeves, if there ever was a place for the use of all the heavily shaded/tinted safety glasses under discussion over in the safety thread, THIS is it! :)

 

and yea, that's a pretty involved reflector array too XD

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard, glad to have you. Please put your location in the header so folk living within visiting distance will know so they can invite you over, etc.

 

Solar forges have been proposed and maybe used for a lonnnnng time. I think it was maybe Archimedes who was supposed to have had the local army use their polished shields to concentrate the sunlight to destroy an attacking fleet. I don't remember the details like who and where but the story is legend.

 

A modern solar forge is not only possible but being done, it's a cumbersome mechanism to control it and it's very dangerous. VERY

 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the math: the amount of available energy per sq foot produced by sunlight is well knownl convert to BTUs and compare to forging fuels.

 

I wanted to build one using the sq foot mirror tiles they sell and use a sun tracking holder based on one in the Mother earth News; then I lived through a typical NM spring time with sustained straight line winds up to 80 mph and realized that I could not build one that could survive local weather

Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you for your responses. my idea was to build a small box with an open top, then i could direct the beam from the giant magnifying glass into the box, thus heating it up to the point that i could heat metal to the point of being able to shape it. i know this idea would be somewhat cumbersome and would need to be adjusted regularly, but i thought it would be neat to build something that i could use without needing to stoke a fire, or buy gas. granted, i wouldn't be able to use it on a cloudy day, but i think it would be neat to use. I don't have any neighbors so i don't have to worry about burning down anyones house. my shop is located on top of a open hill allowing for lots of sunlight. the type of magnifying glass is said to get up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and can be found in old projection TVs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

build yourself a set of rails, or some other kind of guided system that mimics the suns (general) path of travel, and maybe a less robust system to account for seasonal variation in the orbit.  something like an arched rail slider with a spring clamp on it so you can grip, slide, release and keep forging throughout the day without needing to shuffle a whole bunch of structure around.

 

definitely a cool idea, just make sure you respect the amount of energy you are harnessing :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

One idea I had was to alight the box so that the focal point would travel along a slot in the box.  As a grace note you could put a chunk of saphire scanner window over the slot to help hold the heat in.  Insulate box with kaowool and ITC and have a black absorption layer along the bottom.

 

With the slot aligned you get more time working and less time fiddling!

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 safety ideas:

  1. Put a barrier of filter curtain/glass between the forge and your eyes.
  2. Completely isolate the focusing path from the user with non-flammable materials, in order to prevent stray IR/UV/overly intense visual spectrum rays
  3. Make sure there is a way to block light from reaching even the first reflector, like a black sheet, so that the mirrors can't accidentally focus on something while not in use.
  4. NEVER put your hand in the dang thing, unless you are dead certain it is off.  I could just see someone pulling a Johnny Knoxville with this thing. :P

Also, would there be a problem with scaling, since it's in direct contact with unburned oxygen as it's heating?

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was playing around with the idea I figured a shutter system between the lenses and the sun was the best bet. that way there is NO intense light unless it's heating.

 

I like Thomas's idea of a solar path slit in the chamber. I'd planned on a phototropic mirror, columnating lense system, kind of why I gave it up for a game for slack time.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

 I also know that if u use the plastic screen on the video it won't last long, most plastics degrades under uv unless protected, which the protection wouldn't let the sun go throe it as well XD. So it mostlikely would only last 1 month of use and then turn black and crack. nasa tried to make a tether cable out of kevlar but it broke half way to space becuase kevlar only lasts like 1 hour under the sun with out protection.

 

 And one way to destroy diamonds is from the sun, it really eats away at stuff, like wood, stone, plastic, humans, eyes, hands.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

Wow, this is pretty brilliant.

 

Do you think you could increase the power of it if you combined several of these from multiple TV's? This would be the epitome of cheap forges to build at home.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The amount of energy per sq ft on the surface of the earth is a known fact.  You can make the calculations of how much you have to play around with.  Just remember that no mirror or lens is perfect and at some point the loss factors may exceed the material survivability factors!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only magic about a solar forge, melter, etc. is remembering the beam is invisible and staying OUT of it. I believe the guys on Mythbusters built a solar iron melter with a Fresnel lens a few seasons ago.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...