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I Forge Iron

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Do you have the 2 center bricks on the top held in place by something in addition to the squeezing being applied by the all thread? The lightweight bricks I have used in the past shrink over time but I don't know if it would be enough to cause any issues.
Thats a monster forge!

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I used HT Super 32 from Hitemp Ceramics as a mortar between the bricks. I will be coating the inside of the forge with a layer of the super 32 as well. I made this forge to be simple to rebuild (no welds will have to be redone) because all bricks fail over time. 

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Just a thought. I've pinned firebrick forges together with welding rod to give them a bit more structural integrity.


I tend to use 2.4mm (3/32") stainless gas/tig rods as the pins.


I grind away half of the end 10mm (3/8") or so to make a rudimentary D-bit.


I get a bit of scrap wood a couple of inches thick and drill a hole through it on the drill press to get a guide hole at 90 degrees to the face, hold this on the brick with enough of the welding rod in it to go all the way through the guide block and the workpiece, chuck the rod in a battery drill and just drill through. When the rod comes out the other side, I snip the excess off and leave the pin in. 


It works well on Insulating Fire Bricks because they are soft and the waste just seems to get packed into the pores so there's no need to peck. As they are single-use, there's no need for a hardened tip. The longest I've drilled and pinned through IFB is 19 1/2", but the limit is probably the length of rod available.


Incidentally, D-bits work well on other materials too, though they are usually best made from drill rod and hardened.


They'll drill deep straight holes (though they need a *lot* of pecking due to the absence of flutes) and cut flat-bottomed holes. Used with care (slowly and with lots of pecking to minimize heat buildup), they will drill through holes in wood blocks for stick tangs at a fraction of the cost of an extra-length drill.


Shop-made D-bits were a mainstay of British model engineering until low-cost drills and milling cutters started arriving from the Far East. They are still very useful for one-offs and some of the more specialized jobs. If you've not come across them, they are worth Googling.

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