markknx

New with old questions

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Hi guys new here and trying to learn and understand blacksmith work. Right out of the gate pros and cons of gas vs solid fuel? also If I build a gas forge where is a good source for ceramic wool? would the refractory cement used to line steel mill crucible work to cote the wool? is the wool necessary if this refractory is used? I'm sure you guys have heard all this before. I may end up buying it will depend on what I learn here. Thank you for any help.

Mark

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Hi Mark, and welcome!

There is an entire section dedicated to gas forges: http://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/65-gas-forges/

in the 1000+ topics you may find the answers.

There is an other section about solid fuel forges with almost 1500 topics in it, some answers can be found there, too:

http://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/64-solid-fuel-forges/

Just be patient and do the work. 

Well, and answering any "where"-kind questions requires the knowledge about your whereabouts. Even in these global times it will not help you much if I tell the ceramic wool sources of Hungary while you live in Australia. 

But to at least one actual answer of your questions: I personally use coal, because it is way cheaper here, the forge structure is simpler and almost no maintaince is needed on it. It has its downside: it's slower then a good gas forge, but I'm just a hobbyist, so whatever. Plus I like the smell of it.:)

Bests:

Gergely

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Gergely,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes that was a bit slow of me to not say where I am located. I am in the USA just outside of the city of Chicago. (My great grandparents came over from Huugary) Yes a source in Hungary would not work well for me.

With coal is there any usable gain in carbon?

Thank you again,

Mark

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Good Morning Mark,

There are a HUGE amount of Blacksmiths in the Chicago Area. Some of the most knowledgeable in the world. Go to the ABANA web-site and check out the Blacksmith Association in your area. Go to their get togethers and I am positive you will receive all the answers to any question you may have or don't even know to ask about. Please add your location to your avatar (the area where you enter your information in this forum/web-site)

Some people like coal because they think it is cheap. When you figure out where you have to go to get coal and where you will be able to store it in enough quantity to make your trips worthwhile and how you are going to dispose of the clinker and ash. You will then also begin to understand the attraction of using natural gas or propane.

Welcome to our world. The world where there is no end to the learning.

Neil

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For some coal is tough to get, for others it is pretty simple. I drive past a coal seller on my way to and from work in Utah. Last time I checked it was $130 a ton . Seeing as I have 2 AC ,storage of a ton isn't a problem.

Everyone's situation will differ some, so what works for me, may not be the best choice for you. I have always used coal due to where I work-outside. Propane is around $3 a gallon here. I also like the fact I can toss some firewood on the forge if I happen to run out of coal, and keep working.

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My great grandparents came over from Huugary

​Man! We are practically relatives then!:lol:

I think Neil's suggestion about going to local blacksmiths' meetings is the best you can start with. There is so much you can see and understand in an hour that would take weeks alone. 

Take care and be safe!

Gergely

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Coal, coke, wood, charcoal, cow chips, peat, corn, propane, natural gas, fuel oil, electricity...

most of us have more than one!

gaas and electricity are clean, but gas forges deteriate much faster than others, insulation and ir reflectibility are important parts of a gas forge. But refractories break down over time, and fluxes are detrimental to their longevity. Expect periotic relining of your forge. The up side is fast starts and les skill in adjusting and maintaining a particular heat. Simply, you can trotle back to kaintain forging heat with out burning up forgoten stock.

insulation is a good thing in gas forges, heacy refractory takes a long time to get to temp, so it takes a long time to ge the forge to temp. 

Much easier to burn up stock with solid fuel and you have to learn to manage the fire (but who dosnt like llaying with the fire?!) a large solid fuel forge is bery versital, wile most folks will have several gas forges

 

 

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Mark,  you could check with your local HVAC service company too, especially the ones that work on oil furnaces.  We have used a moldable ceramic fiber blanket for years for rebuilding,  creating , and lining existing brick combustion chambers.  It comes wet, and looks just like a cloth diaper.  Once formed into place and fired dry, it is the consistency of Styrofoam, and reflects the heat of the flame back in on itself for efficiency purposes.  I haven't used it in this application because I like coal, but it's in the back of my mind to use because coal is getting scarcer for me.

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Coal, coke, wood, charcoal, cow chips, peat, corn, propane, natural gas, fuel oil, electricity...

most of us have more than one!

 

Eat Beans, my Natural Gas Station!!!!!!;);)

Neil

 

 

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Thanks to all who posted advice! I have made some small move based on this advice and other sources. I raided a couple local scrap yards for materials to build both a small gas and solid fuel forge (love scrap yards) I came up with a brake drum and Harlow disk for a small solid forge. small and may or may not work, I have a small low volume electric blower  I think will work.

For the gas Forge I grabbed a 30lbs propane tank and will do the basic chop and weld job on that. I have a friend (you guys will be jealous) that does refractory work for a major steel mill. He is donating some ceramic blanket and refractory Called super 3000 it is a premixed mortar he says can be used to coat the blanket. (does this sound like it will work) I will have to get my own ridgeding  agent. My plan is to line with the blanket then coat with the mortar. How thick is the question. I am thinking I don't want the inside to be any bigger than 8" x 12" For the sake of not needing two burners and fuel waste. Even that may be larger than I need. I will leave a small door on the back for longer work. Also a fire brick floor.

I have seen designs where 2 fire bricks have been used as sliding doors on the front and back of the forge any advantage or disadvantage here?

Last thing A burner. to buy or build. I have a pretty good metal working shop set up with a lathe and mill so building is not out of the question . I would just need some education and plans. will a BBQ grill regulator work. I think a choke is a must to keep a neutral flame at different heats. Yes?

Where am I thinking wrong guys? what should I change or look out for ? Any other advice?

I looked up ABANA They show no Chapters with in 100 miles of me My thought is to try to find someone local that will help at a renaissance fair or civil war reenacting.

Thanks again, Mark

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​Man! We are practically relatives then!:lol:

I think Neil's suggestion about going to local blacksmiths' meetings is the best you can start with. There is so much you can see and understand in an hour that would take weeks alone. 

Take care and be safe!

Gergely

​Your last name isn't Demko is it?:rolleyes:

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No, it's not. - But this is a very small country so from a distant perspective we are all the same kind;)

Bests:

Gergely

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