Elvirth

Buttering and refractory coating application

Recommended Posts

Ok, more questions. I'm not trying to be annoying, I just keep stumbling across concepts that I need to know that seem to already be known to many members of the forum and thus explanations are necessary for the uninitiated, like me.

I've seen a few references to "buttering" the kaowool liner before applying compounds like ITC-100, and while the concept was vaguely expanded upon by Frosty in one thread I didn't really find it clear enough to understand exactly what's going on and how to do it. I got my #10 can from work today and popped a little window hole in the back in prep for lining it once I find a suitable ceramic blanket supplier (ebay is looking best right now at around 25 for a 1x12x24 chunk). Right now I just would like to get all the steps I need to take to be safe in lining it and avoid silicosis and the like down on paper so I can do it as safely and correctly as possible the first time around.

So basically, my question is, how do you "butter" kaowool to prep it for compound? It seemed like it involved wetting the wool and possibly any firebricks that are getting a coat, but I'm not really clear on whether it's like, damp, or soaked, or what. Also do I apply the refractory while the materials are wet, or do I wait for them to dry out a bit?

(On a side note, I am still looking for soft firebricks, I would like to put one on the bottom of my forge for a nice flat surface and can't seem to find a supplier who lists the brick specs and also takes non-bulk orders, so suggestions would be great).

Thanks fellas. I'm really getting excited to start putting all this together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC is applied as a slip. Enough water is added so it can be painted on. Then let it dry overnight so most of the moisture can evaporate before firing. 

Insulating firebrick is probably a poor idea. The crumble easily and you will just have a mess of a floor. Pretty much everyone uses a hard brick for a floor if you are welding you may need to prop your item up off the for to getting the heat you need.

that being saiid I use a tiny forge a lot that is made from only 2 insulating bricks with the centers cut out with a hole saw down the length.They are held together in a frame to reduce cracking and I am careful with the floor. So it can be done but won't last long loose.

Look in the yellow pages for refractory. You should be able to find a contractor that does commercial jobs and is willing to sell you some. Ej bartells sells us them here. They have an office in Spokane but that would be a long haul for you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My neighbour had several boxes of the red clay tiles for making a fake brick wall by your fire place.  They are only maybe a 1/4" thick.  after the second or third heat they crumble .  but they make for a nice disposable surface on the bottom of the forge and the heat doesn't appear to travel very far into it.  Another advantage is when the flux pools somewhere on the floor of the forge you can usually just take out the lump and spread things flat again.  Will also work as grog if you need to add to cheap fireclay from the hardware store to patch or cover some deeper damage from poking a wall.  May be worth a shot if they are cheap or found at a yard sale somewhere along the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITC is applied as a slip. Enough water is added so it can be painted on. Then let it dry overnight so most of the moisture can evaporate before firing. 

Insulating firebrick is probably a poor idea. The crumble easily and you will just have a mess of a floor. Pretty much everyone uses a hard brick for a floor if you are welding you may need to prop your item up off the for to getting the heat you need.

that being saiid I use a tiny forge a lot that is made from only 2 insulating bricks with the centers cut out with a hole saw down the length.They are held together in a frame to reduce cracking and I am careful with the floor. So it can be done but won't last long loose.

Look in the yellow pages for refractory. You should be able to find a contractor that does commercial jobs and is willing to sell you some. Ej bartells sells us them here. They have an office in Spokane but that would be a long haul for you.

 

Exactly what am I looking for in the yellow pages as far as professions and supply houses that would sell such things?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An alternative to kaowool is Superwool.  Check out Axner's site.  They have it for $3 per square foot for 1" thickness (so $6 for the size you were referring to) and it's supposed to be good for 2300 F continual use.  It's under kiln building and repair.  They also have both soft and hard firebricks at an ok price in the same spot. I have not ordered anything from them yet, but am planning to soon.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buttering ceramic wool or fire brick is to prevent it from sucking the water out of the kiln wash on contact. If that happens it will form a dry layer on the surface and the wash can't stick properly and will flake off when you fire it.

A kiln wash is a coating to protect a furnace's contact surfaces. A forge is a furnace. A contact surface is any surface in the furnace the fire contacts. A bit of jargon so you'll know what I'm talking about.

ITC-100 is a high end kiln wash with good IR reflectivity and is very resistant to fluxes. It can be applied as a slip, simply take some from the can and add water till it's gravy consistency and brush it on. Keep stirring it though or the zirconia will settle out and that's the magic stuff you WANT on the forge walls.

Just take a spray bottle of water and wet everything you're going to wash and YES apply the kiln wash to a wet surface.

There are other good kiln washes especially for ceramic blanket refractories, a good rigidizer is a real benefit. that goes on before an IR reflector like ITC-100. Let the rigidizer dry thoroughly, butter and apply the ITC or other brand wash.

The rigidizer will strengthen the blanket make it rigid and will encapsulate the fibers so they can't drift around and make friends with your lungs.

Mesotheleoma isn't going to happen unless you make a habit of breathing hazardous dust like asbestos, quartz dust, ceramic fiber dust, etc. Once or a few times isn't going to hurt you unless your one seriously unlucky person. Wear a dust mask and take a shower after you work with it but don't panic it's not like stepping on a bear cub while moma is napping.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly what am I looking for in the yellow pages as far as professions and supply houses that would sell such things?

look under "refractory" you should see contractors that may be willing to sell you material and you may even find suppliers if you have any in the area. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can check under: HVAC, furnace and boiler servicing. They all deal with fire, refractory and have scraps. to a commercial service company what we call a drop is a scrap because they are prohibited by code sometimes law from using materials that are not off a roll, pallet, sealed bucket or bag. No left overs allowed.

Calling on the phone is easier to locate stuff than doing web searches. The receptionist knows the business better than the boss and if they don't carry what you're looking for will know who does. Be nice, ask if they have a little time for an unusual question, tell them briefly what you're doing and ask their help.

Office people especially love something that breaks up a routine and helping nice people makes everybody feel good.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can check under: HVAC, furnace and boiler servicing. They all deal with fire, refractory and have scraps. to a commercial service company what we call a drop is a scrap because they are prohibited by code sometimes law from using materials that are not off a roll, pallet, sealed bucket or bag. No left overs allowed.

Calling on the phone is easier to locate stuff than doing web searches. The receptionist knows the business better than the boss and if they don't carry what you're looking for will know who does. Be nice, ask if they have a little time for an unusual question, tell them briefly what you're doing and ask their help.

Office people especially love something that breaks up a routine and helping nice people makes everybody feel good.

Frosty The Lucky.

Well, I might give that a try then. I ended up buying a Lithuanian ready-made forge roughly the same size as the coffee can design when i tallied everything up and realized it was roughly the same price as all the parts I needed. Should be here in a few weeks. Thing is, they only use 1 inch of thermal blanket and no interior refractory coating, so I do have some ITC-100 coming my way as well as hard firebricks for forge floors, but I do need a bit of extra wool to insulate it a bit better if I so choose. 

Hopefully my social skills are up to it; some guy called me some nasty names on a youtube comment thread yesterday when I was complaining about people displaying useable anvils as a lawn ornaments, so apparently I'm kind of mean or something. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if he asks just about anyone here, they'll have roughly the same opinion of "yard anvils".

 

Hey Frosty, or anyone who'd know, would one of those "cooling, heating, and air" places have drops of ceramic wool?  I've had horrible luck finding furnace supply/repair places and I just now had a realization that maybe, just maybe, they call 'em something different down here.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully my social skills are up to it; some guy called me some nasty names on a youtube comment thread yesterday when I was complaining about people displaying useable anvils as a lawn ornaments, so apparently I'm kind of mean or something. :P

You'll fit right in around here. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, if he asks just about anyo.  here, they'll have roughly the same opinion of "yard anvils".

 

Hey Frosty, or anyone who'd know, would one of those "cooling, heating, and air" places have drops of ceramic wool?  I've had horrible luck finding furnace supply/repair places and I just now had a realization that maybe, just maybe, they call 'em something different down here.  

the worst they can do is say no. On the other hand they might have what your looking forn or can point you in the right direction.  Check for ceramic supply stores also

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they service furnaces boilers, etc. they'll probably have scraps. They can't "legally around here anyway" use trimmings from one job in another so they usually toss them. I can't buy something from EJ. Bartells without them loading me up on all sorts of stuff.

The furnace and boiler guys live fire every day so telling them you blacksmith and what you need refractories for might make for a nice break from routine for them. The guys at Bartells and I really hit it off, they LIKE fire hotter the better.

Most pros know Kaowool even if they use a different brand. They know what refractory is and temp ratings.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.