Frosty

T Burner Illustrated Directions

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Hello All! 

My name is Nick from Omaha, NE. I've been working on designing a forge for a few months now. Initially I intended to just buy a commercial burner or perhaps a modified side-arm burner from Zoller Forge, but then I stumbled across Frosty's design and was surprised by how straight forward it was and how clear and easy to follow the instructions were (I suppose we have Spanky to thank for that!). It gave me the confidence to go ahead and try and make one for myself, so here is my take on a 1/2 inch T-burner. Feel free to tell me the flare is absurd, I spent a long time on here last night reading, trying to decide if I even needed one , and how I'd go about attaching one without welding equipment. So that's what I came up with, probably way too long, but it should have the 1:12 ratio. Great thing is, if it sucks, just unscrew it.  

I just wanted to thank everyone on here for all of the discussions and wisdom, there is a ridiculous amount of information here and I can't wait to start putting it to use! Maybe I will start a thread about the forge build. 

-Cheers! 

20190428_180112.jpg

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Welcome aboard Nick, glad to have you. It should work a lot better if you lose the nipple after the bell reducer. The mixing tube looks long too, it SI more than 4". Yes? Tsk tsk.  By the look it should probably run rich as is but that's just a tuning detail. 

8 minutes ago, nconoan said:

there is a ridiculous amount of information here

There's a significant amount of ridiculous information here too. :rolleyes: Not that I'm a perpetrator thereof. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Easy enough fix, will do. I know earlier either in this thread or burners 101 you (or maybe Mike) mentioned that bell reducers make poor flares due to excessive turbulence, so should I just lose the whole flare altogether? Originally I was going to, (you mention you run yours without)  but then saw Mike's post about the importance of flame control....perhaps a difference of opinions here?   Hahaha, impressive eye (it's like you've built a few of these or something :lol:) Yeah, I went with a 5," was trying to err on on the long side, but at 10*D I might have gone too far. I think I can find 4" at the hardware store. 

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I was probably more outspoken about bell reducers being poor flares but in the face of so many burners running beautifully using bell reducers as flares I shut up about dis-proven . . . "knowledge".

Yes, I use thread protectors instead of a "flare" I get them by the bucket from the local plumbing shop for free. It costs more to scrap them than they're worth. Thread protectors only LOOK like couplers, they're screwed onto the ends of lengths of pipe to protect the threads in transit. They make nice "flarelike thingies" but in truth I use them as mounts, I weld them to flanges or forge shells or the plenum on multiple outlet burners. I tune the burner to not need a flare so they don't.

Mike and I tune our burners differently, he fine tunes his be moving the flare in or out, I trim the jet farther back from the throat of the mixing tube to draw more combustion air. His can be adjusted as necessary. Mine gets tuned and that's it they don't even have chokes. In either case we control the flames, it's not a difference of opinion we work with different machines with different methods. Both work to our standards.

Mike aimed to make as effective a burner as reasonably possible. I aimed to make an effective burner that required the minimum shop tools or shop skills. Mikes burners are hotter and with a more neutral flame. Mine takes a drill press, tap set and about 15-20 minutes to build start to final tune.

Glad I reread your post. Another tip that makes building these things much easier. Buy plumbing at a plumbing or HVAC supply NOT a big box or hardware store. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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11 hours ago, Frosty said:

Glad I reread your post. Another tip that makes building these things much easier. Buy plumbing at a plumbing or HVAC supply NOT a big box or hardware store.

Yes, I can see why you recommend this, the castings really are low quality. One of the brass fittings I got actually has CHINA in big raised lettering on the inside wall! I will see if this one does what I need it to, and if not I will definitely source better parts for version 2.0. Thanks!

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Lit it up last night, with a different mig tip than the one shown and with the other changes you suggested, Frosty! It is running extremely rich in open air (green hue at the end of the primary flame) So I will start cutting the tip back. Time to order ceramic blanket and refractory/kiln wash! :D

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38 minutes ago, nconoan said:

(green hue at the end of the primary flame) So I will start cutting the tip back.

That's RICH alright! :o If you have a couple mig tips so you can replace mistakes I'd make the first cut just under 1/2 way back as seen through the intake ports. Final tuning should be in really small increments, 1/16" is a BIG trim. 

Oh, I highly recommend you tune it IN THE FORGE.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Dangerously so! Yeah, I have a bag of 5 and can easily get more. I shall start there then! Definitely, will do final tuning in the forge, I just want to get it somewhat leaned out beforehand. 

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Yeah, get it close then tune, it can be a PITA pulling the burner every time you want to make an adjustment. You have your torch files yes? Burrs B A D.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yup, I picked up some torch files along with my mig tips at a local welding supply shop. 

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When you deburr the jet after shortening it BE GENTLE or you'll enlarge or distort it. If you distort it the gas jet will not be a uniform cone and won't induce combustion air properly. Heck, I like pushing the file through from the threaded end. 

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Yes, this is an excellent point! I believe I did exactly that on the first jet, which would explain why it ran just about as rich (still green tipped) after being trimmed. I have cut another one down, being much more careful this time. I should be able to fire it up tonight. My hole in the T fitting also isn't very well aligned (see below) so I am wondering if that also is causing poor induction. If the tip I just cut down doesn't lean it out then I will go back to square one and get a better alignment. 

20190507_222457.jpg

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Being that far out of alignment will hurt induction as well. However you MIGHT be able to bend it straight GENTLY with flat screw driver. Be careful, the threaded section will break off if you push too hard. It also makes it problematical if you have to trim it again as it won't screw in as easily nor as straight.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yes, it is pretty clear that I will need to make a second, better constructed iteration in the near future, but I finally got the flame leaned out so for now, onwards with putting the forge together and then I will see how it is performing in its natural environment! Thank you for all the tips so far! 

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You're welcome, it's my pleasure. Being nice to so many people gets me some slack when I go curmudgeon on a knothead. :ph34r:

Keep us in the loop please.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hahaha, I have seen that happen a few times, and I am usually cracking up when it does! Haven't seen it where the guy didn't deserve it yet. Will do, just got my package from Glenn with Kaowool, rigidizer, and kiln wash. I would have gotten the Kast-o-lite from him too if I hadn't already ordered a castable refractory from elsewhere. Regretting that now, cause if I would have gone through Glenn it would have been here already! 

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Thanks for al the info,

Here is the burner i made from parts i had around.

Photo

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Looks to be working pretty well Harm though it's hard to tell outside of the forge. I don't recommend the bushing reducer between the T and mixing tube, they don't transition smoothly enough to avoid detrimental turbulence. I've had my best luck using 1" x 3/4" T fittings.

Looks good, not going to argue with success.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yeah, but it tried to find the right parts, but sometimes you have to do with what you got.
Now i have to build my forge so I can test it in the forge and see what it does.

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Working with what you have and making it work is the essence of the blacksmith. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Well done.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, I see the general rule of thumb everywhere of 350 cu in of volume per burner, which raises a question: With my current penciled-up forge plans (9x9x16 shell, two layers of wool, Kast-O-Lite, Matrikote, and a 1/2" high alumina kiln shelf floor, I'm ciphering almost exactly 350 cu in of volume. That puts me right on the fence between one or two burners. I'll do mostly hammering out knives and small work, but would like to have the option to learn to forge weld, with an eye toward eventually doing some San Mar sandwich knives, maybe trying some bicycle chain or ball bearing damascus, and even experimenting with layered kitchen cutlery a la Japanese style.  Since I'm sitting on this 350ci volume fence, which way ought I be leaning? I don't want to simply waste fuel most of the time, and a simple single burner setup is very attractive in my mind, but I'm concerned I might run out of horsepower when I get into trying to forge weld and I don't want to limit capability to do that right out of the gate. Sage advice, please?

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If you need more heat than your burner can make in the volume you have the easy work around is reduce the volume. A movable end wall, perhaps something you can insert in one end or my favorite raise the floor. A kiln shelf can be raised by inserting a few pieces of kaowool under it. Roll them to the needed thickness. IF that is you CAN lift the floor without damaging it. Then perhaps split Morgan, K 26 IFB will do it without reducing it too much.

However if your working chamber is 16" long I think two, 1/2" burners will develop more even temperatures and the output is close enough to the same as to be insignificant.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Thank you, Frosty. In the last hour or so I did a little exercise. I totaled up the projected cost of actual materials, item by item, including shipping costs, tax, etc. of everything I could think of that I'd need to buy in order to build a two-burner forge (purchasing everything new, without scrounging around for junk parts, using salvage materials, cutting up barrels or old tanks, etc.). The total, which was quite an eye-opener, came to just about $400.

A Diamondback 2-burner "Knifemaker/Welding" model is $440 plus about $50 shipping, delivered to my door by Fedex and ready to hook up to a tank and use. Considering the time and effort required to put my home built version together, even if I had all the materials sitting in front of me right now, and considering that my end product may or may not work well and efficiently because I've never done this, it makes no economic sense whatsoever to continue down this home-built path for my first forge, when for about the same money I could be actually forging next week with a well-known and proven commercial unit. So I think I'm gonna order a Diamondback and start learning to forge instead of learning to build forges.

When I have gained enough experience and skill down the road to see a reasonable need for a second "specialty" forge of some type in my shop, I should be able to build what I need quickly and with a lot of confidence it will work. But for now, I think it makes more sense to actually learn to forge starting right away using a good, proven forge rather than spend a lot of money and effort to build one myself over the next month or two, especially given the economic considerations.

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On 4/28/2019 at 6:41 PM, nconoan said:

I know earlier either in this thread or burners 101 you (or maybe Mike) mentioned that bell reducers make poor flares due to excessive turbulence

I maintain that bell reducers aren't the best choice for flame retention nozzles because they give very limited choice of shape. That doesn't mean they can't serve the purpose, just that it's something of a gamble :)

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