C.I.TR3

Forge Build - My First Welding Project

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I have always wanted to learn to weld in addition to learning to forge metal so i figured what better way to start than to build my own forge.  I have had an absolute blast researching what to build and doing the actual construction.  I built this based around a 12" long piece of 10" diameter pipe.  The forge will be lined with Kaowool and coated with ITC 100 which I am waiting to arrive.  It will be powered with a blown burner that I am working on putting together.  Not sure what to do about a floor/shelf inside.  Any recommendations?

 

Its amazing what a lot of grinding and a coat of black paint can do to cover up all my beginner mistakes.  What can I build next?

 

 

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Nice looking forge. Did you stick weld or mig weld it?

 

There are all sorts of welding related projects. In addition to those mentioned, a steel layout table, vise stand, bending forks, guillotine fuller, hardy tools, tongs ( forge the jaws and arc weld the reins ) Or you could use welding to assemble larger projects from forged parts. Shelf brackets, pot  and plant hangers pieces of a gate before you collar them...

 

You get better thru practice. If you want some help, fell free to post up some picts of your unground but cleaned welds and the information to go with them, Machine used, rod type/size, amps, (wire size with wire speed and volts if mig)  material thickness etc and I'll be glad to help.

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I have always wanted to learn to weld in addition to learning to forge metal so i figured what better way to start than to build my own forge.  I have had an absolute blast researching what to build and doing the actual construction.  I built this based around a 12" long piece of 10" diameter pipe.  The forge will be lined with Kaowool and coated with ITC 100 which I am waiting to arrive.  It will be powered with a blown burner that I am working on putting together.  Not sure what to do about a floor/shelf inside.  Any recommendations?

 

Its amazing what a lot of grinding and a coat of black paint can do to cover up all my beginner mistakes.  What can I build next?

 

Good looking forge. WOW that is one heavy duty shell. Ceramic kiln shelf or fire brick works nicely. I used refractory mortar in a mold I made to fit my forge. The mortar needs to dry thoroughly before firing and even then, mine blistered a bit the first time I used it (May not have been as dry as it should have) 

 

Anvil stand, treadle hammer, solid fuel forge....
Just wait, when your better half gets the idea, "you a blacksmith right?" All kinds of cool and chalanging honey does.

 

Personally, IMHO, I would wait on something like a treadle hammer until you have a bit more experience behind the stinger ;) Forges are one thing but something that potentially could cause serious injury or worse.... Even an anvil stand, while it might not yield the injury a treadle hammer could, you wouldn't want your anvil falling on you foot while wailing away on hot steel. :)

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Thanks everyone.  Yes, the forge ended up being overkill but the length of pipe was a scrap I was able to get locally so I figured why not.  I agree that at this point I am going to focus on welding projects where the structural integrity is not critical to safety.  As I am just getting started my focus is going to be on learning to make tools that I need.

 

Also the welder is a Miller wire feed.  I have had a good friend give me a few lessons on welding so I at least know what I am shooting for in my welds.  It was fun to see them improve even over the span of this short project.

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That is a Hawg of a forge and looks fine as frog hair it should serve you very well with a good lining. what type of burner will you be using with it ?

 

Sam

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Biggest issues I see with new mig students is that they try and hold the gun too far away from the material and go too fast.

 

Holding the gun too far away often comes from not using the gun well. With gas mig generally you want to push the weld, with the gun pointing in the direction of travel. This means you need to lean out in front of the gun slightly so you can "look down the barrel" and weld towards you slightly. You can't sit behind the gun and try to see thru the nozzle. If you are doing FC wire, you drag instead. You still need to lean out in front of the nozzle though so you can see down the barrel and see what's happening. You don't need to lean out quite as far though using FC.

 

With mig the closer to the work you hold the gun, the "hotter" the weld is. The farther away, the colder the weld is.  You can have all the settings on Wire feed and volts correct and still have a lousy weld if you hold the gun back to far and have too much "stickout". 1/4" to 3/8" distance is usually pretty good distance for newer welders. As you crank up the amps with bigger machines the distance can be increased a bit more as you go into spray mode.

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Pushed weld are the easiest to make nice looking weldments for the beginner, however, in most cases, you actually get better penetration by pulling the weld because you are aiming the molten wire stream directly into the weld puddle. At the company I worked for, on some product, we were required by manufacturing specs to pull the welds (From a spec book the engineers published) However this takes more practice and careful selection of wire speed. Pulled welds can build up and become ropey rather quickly for the beginner. This was light pole and traffic standards and the poles and traffic arms were welded in a rotisserie (a motorized machine where the pole is turned by laying between two tire like wheels. So, basically you're welding a moving target. This further increases the challenge of making good welds ;)

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Be careful building burners if you are new to welding. Blown burners need to be gas tight and that is not simple. Last thing you need is a jet of hot propane out the top of the forge. I build ribbon burners but after I mig the seams, I take another pass with oxy acetylene torch to remelt the weld and flow it so it is gas tight. A TIG rig would do as well but I don't have the cash for that. :)

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Sorry Dodge, that was said with a bit of tounge and cheek.
I'm by no means a pro like Dodge and DSW, but from a ammitures point of view don't forget weld prep, especially on the thicker stock. If you find your self at the far end of the welders capability preheat will improve penetration as well. I also find that a bit of daylight between the parts (not much over 2x wire D) helps too.
Destructive testing is your friend when first learning. Some of my ugglyest welds were far stronger than my prettiest.
I also find that a good strong work light aimed at the work zone helps, as dose covering the back of your helmet, I also resort to chalking the edges of the material so I can see what I'm doing.

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:D
 

Sorry Dodge, that was said with a bit of tounge and cheek.
I'm by no means a pro like Dodge and DSW, but from a ammitures point of view don't forget weld prep, especially on the thicker stock. If you find your self at the far end of the welders capability preheat will improve penetration as well. I also find that a bit of daylight between the parts (not much over 2x wire D) helps too.
Destructive testing is your friend when first learning. Some of my ugglyest welds were far stronger than my prettiest.
I also find that a good strong work light aimed at the work zone helps, as dose covering the back of your helmet, I also resort to chalking the edges of the material so I can see what I'm doing.

No problem, Charles. I agree on the the air gap between parts. In fact AWS prescribes  procedure for fitment in depth. And yes, you can make a gap too big so that filling it actually can cause fatigue in the weld. However, we used to say; mostly joking of course, "if I can jump across it, I can fill it with weld!"  :D

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