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I Forge Iron

What do you wish you knew before using a Gas Forge?


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Yes, single Ron Reil style 3/4 inch burner, in a Freon tank gas forge, there is only a single inch of Kaowool insulating, ITC coating and a kiln shelf floor   I used a #57 drill bit when I drilled the lamp tube that runs thru the bell housing, and have been thinking I need to step that down to a smaller bit. 


Been having so much fun with the gas forge that I didn't want to take the burner apart just yet. Very happy that I haven't run into any gas leak problems or tuning issues, just using a lot of gas. At $21 for a trade in tank or $16 to get it really full at the propane dealer (weekdays only), forging for $5/hour seems like cheap entertainment, but not if others are getting 10 hours from a tank!

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4 hrs on 20lbs is pretty low mileage. I run a 100lb./25gl. tank on mine and it'll go a couple weeks if I'm at it much. I've never accounted for it in hours, I should. However if I'm doing something that's going to be out of the fire long enough for me to not want to waste the gas I just turn it off. The interior will be more than hot enough to relight when I turn the valve for well better than an hour. If I leave it off for say 15-20 minutes the interior is still orange and will come back to yellow in a couple minutes tops, far faster than the work is going to heat anyway. Mine is mostly Kaowool or insulating fire bricks with a split, 3,000f hard fire brick deck all kiln washed. Even being mostly insulating (low specific heat) materials it stays hot quite a while. I typically use it to anneal projects as it's hot enough to grill a skewered steak a couple hours after shut down provided I close it up of course.


I remember Ron developing a simple idle circuit and liked the idea but have never needed one myself. I think they're a good idea for a number of reasons, primarily economy but another is an idling forge is good for soaking heavier section stock.


Michael: your burner is a gas hog and a #57 jet shouldn't consume more than 2x what most burners built to the same specs do. On the other hand if the flame is right and it's either neutral or slightly rich, I'd be pleased as punch. There is one thing and one thing only that determines how hot a gasser gets and that's how many cu/feet of proper ratio fuel air get's burned per hr/min/sec.


With that high performance a burner just shut it off while you're at the anvil. If you're going to be out for say 15mins. just turn it back on a minute before you're going to take another heat so the forge will be back up to temp. Provided you have a reasonably neutral/rich fire you've built a screaming HOT burner. A 3/4" burner that's cranking better than double the BTUs us regular burner folk have. If it's "Right" you may have built the holy grail of gas burners.


Frosty The Lucky.

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