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I Forge Iron

New gas forge


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I've been looking for the bits to make a new forge for a while but, without spending a fortune, nothing appeared. A farmer friend of mine happened to mention that a not particularly community minded gentleman, not the exact words, but explained to me in proper old devonian, had deposited an unwanted bit of scrap in one of his hedges!

I was now the proud owner of an old and abused, and definitely defunct, clarke compressor!

Once I got it home, I stripped off all the extraneous stuff and was left with this.



Welded some legs on it,


Added 50mm of Kaowool and an inlet for the burner,



Welded the front back on with an access hole cut, and installed a burner,


Sprayed the inside with rigidizer, plaxed some home made firebricks in the base, waited for the rigidizer to dry and fired it up!




The door is lined internally with fireclay and swings shut to retain the heat. It doesn't fit the access hole, but has a fair sized gap around the outside to allow the forge to breath. I would it up to 40 bar and my thermocouple went off the scale. Further evidence that it gets plenty hot enough was the melted section of EN45 that I left in the forge just a bit too long!

I think it would benefit from two smaller burners rather than the one its got, so, once the world recovers from Christmas, I think I'll build a couple of Amal based burners which timgunn referred to in an earlier thread.

On the whole I'm well pleased with the end result. What do you think, guys?

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Nice forge! NJ has a point about an additional burner, however I have found merit in having a single burner in a long forge. Properly lined the whole forge gets hot enough, but you rarely need to heat the entire length of a piece as you can only beat so much steel before it needs reheating. Heat treating would benefit with 2 or more burners evenly spaced but with the one, you have a good hot focal point to get steel up to heat quickly and the rest of the forge for soaking. There are pros and cons for about any forge.


My suggestion would be to coat the wool with some sort of rigidizer such as refractory mortar or similar coating to contain the ceramic fibers that will indeed get blasted out of the forge and into your personal space. You usually can't see them as they are so small but they are crafty little devils that can, in time wreak havoc on your (or innocent bystander's) respiratory system. YMMV



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The Kaowool has already got a good coat of rigidizer, you can tap it and it rings! You're right about the fibres, Dodge, they can, and will, do all sorts of harm to the respiratory system so anybody considering using ceramic fibre needs to be aware of that! When I change the burner for a two burner system, I'll also fit a ball valve to allow operation with just one burner if required. I'm going for the Amal based Venturi burners that timgunn was talking about recently.

Thanks for looking!

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Another burner and that should be plenty of forge. You might give some thought to making up a little sign that says something like, "litterbug" for the fellow who told you about the dumped compressor. That way if he ever finds out who the lazy, cheap,litterbug, he can put something in HIS hedge.


Okay, forge the sign AFTER you make something nice for your friend.


Frosty The Lucky.

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