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T Burner Illustrated Directions

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Thanks. I've looked at the DB website a few times. The thing that I was curious about was they said they're forges were lined with " lightweight refractory" which I thought would be ceramic fiber board but you never can tell.  Light weight refractory is a pretty vague term. I appreciate the link.

I guess I should have just asked Picker77 did it come lined with ceramic fiber board?


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Yep, sure did. I can't tell you much about floor longevity because I covered the floor with a piece of 5/8" thick kiln shelf cut to fit. The kiln shelf held up fine so far, although it did get cratered a bit (maybe 1/8" or so in the center) by flux the one time I tried flux welding in it. Since then what welding I've done has been dry. The ceramic board that DB uses is pretty stiff and reasonably solid, but it will still shred up a little if you get rough with it. I've never tried doing castable for a floor, so can't really tell you if the kiln shelf is better than that or not. The big advantage is the KS is (fairly) easy to cut to size, and quickly replaceable by just sliding in a new shelf on top of the ceramic board the DB came with. The downside, of course, is you lose 5/8" of height from an already pretty restricted working space. So far, I'm very happy with this DB forge, although I'm beginning to wish I'd gone with the two burner version, simply for convenience when heat treating longer knife stock (I don't have a heat treat oven). But for 99% of what I do it's perfect. Easy to light, heats quickly, just works as expected. A bonus is it seems to be very frugal on gas usage. I'm using a lot less fuel than I expected to need. The idle circuit helps, but even without that the forge lining seems to hold heat quite well at pretty low gas pressures.

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Another Frankenburner,

Yes, that was the second of two videos by two separate guys about relining their old Diamondback forges. This is the one that interested most at the time, because he was upgrading the ceramic fiberboard to something new. Looking at the video again, what stands out is how equally handy it is for both people who are thinking about buying, and those thinking about building a forge :D

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6 hours ago, pnut said:

did you put a coat of plistix or other IR reflective coating on the interior or does it even need it?  It seems like it couldn't hurt.

I painted Matrikote on the walls, but not the ceiling, and when I put the kiln shelf floor in I painted that with Matrikote first (too thick, it flaked some later). But the big thing was borax flux immediately ate a shallow crater in the middle of the kiln shelf (actually, I made the 2x3x1/8" crater when I later chipped off the hardened/stuck flux). I put in another 4-1/2 x 9" shelf piece, (uncoated), and that has held up fine since, mainly because I do not use flux any more. When I do pattern welds they are done dry. I've never tried any exotic super-multi-layer folded patterns, only simple non-folded minimal layer count billets. The Matrikote on the walls has held up ok, but has flaked some, I tried to put it on too thick, should have listened to Frosty. The ceramic board is pretty firm to the touch, but if treated roughly it will gouge and pill up some in little mini-rolls of fiber. Coating helps of course but as I said some of my coating flaked off. I just try to stay away from the walls.

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Sorry pnut, this is a useful hijack. It may seem the current portion of the thread should be in Forges 101 but forges and burners are all so interrelated if we aren't talking about both at once we're missing a major point.

Just now we've learned at least some kiln shelf is NOT proof against welding flux, this is really valuable info. We need to make sure the kiln shelf we use for a forge floor is high alumina and not largely silica based. There's silica in almost any refractory or ceramic product but the % makes a big difference so look for high % alumina or phosphate bonded, the last being the more desirable.

The kiln wash, Plistex or Matrikote being the current easily available and proven products are a final layer of armor for your forge. These two are poor conductors of heat so they are strong IR re-radiators, this is different from reflector. They don't reflect IR so much as they don't pass heat to the next material so well so they get HOTTER and radiate IR. Being one side is blocked by another refractory the side facing the forge if free to radiate IR back to the interior.

Again, lots of thin coats is more durable than a thick coat. It's applied very thin so the high moisture content causes shrinkage as it dries. Plistex and Matrikote don't hydrate like Kastolite, they dry and fire like the ceramic they are, it's an entirely different chemistry and requires different treatment. It also works best with a slower heat cure process than Kastolite 30. 

Bummer about the wash flaking Picker. Good info regarding the kiln shelf, that possibility didn't even occur to me, gives me something to read about today. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Pnut, here's what I cut up to 4-1/2 x 9 to use for my floor. [Commercial link removed per TOS.]

Cuts easily with a 7" diamond circular saw blade (and breathing apparatus, of course). Cordierite is NOT high alumina as Frosty pointed out, but even coated with Matrikote it suffered from flux adherence, which kind of surprised me.BTW, Frosty, I did remove the hard brick floor piece when I put in the kiln shelf. FWIW, overall, I've been very happy with my DB forge, my only mild regret being maybe I should have sprung for the two-burner. But that's a good excuse to build one.  Have fun!!

Edited by Mod34
Commercial link removed per TOS
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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

I'm coming back to this after having to put my forge and t burners on hold for quite a while.

I have 2 related questions. I have searched here on IFI and on the net at large and I keep getting different answers for these questions (mainly the second one), and one depends on the other.

Can anyone please tell me:

1. Is 1/4" SAE flare fitting designated that size by the I.D. of the copper pipe/tube that goes into it? This was my understanding but I want to confirm this to get the right fittings for copper pipe/tube that I have).


2. If I have the above correct, what is the thread size on a 1/4" SAE flare fitting? Is it 7/16" - 14? or 7/16" - 20? or something totally different? I have to confirm this so I can hunt down the right size tap to tap the back of my T burner to take one end of a 1/4" SAE flare double union which will then be tapped to hold the mig tip (as per Frosty's recommendation about 3 pages back).

All help greatly appreciated.



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I used these which was designated by 1/4” OD tubing.


I’m not understanding your second question.  The MiG tips I used was 1/4-20 which you tap on the inside of the 1/8” NPT side of the 1/8” NPT x 1/4” flare fitting with 1/4” side going to gas.   The top of the 3/4x1x3/4 T gets drilled and tapped  1/8” NPT which is bigger than you would expect because it’s Pipe so that’s ID.

hardest part was sourcing 1/4” flare to 3/8” flare to attach to my gas.  Couldn’t find the fitting at Home Depot or my local propane supplier.  I found a solution at Lowe’s where I went 1/4” flare to 1/4” NPT, 1/4” NPT tp 3/8” NPT, 3/8” NPT to 3/8” flare.  

hopefully this helps and I didn’t misunderstand or confuse you worse.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Frosty, I hope all is well. 
 I have a quick question. If I run my single regulator and hose from my propane tank, T it off to two separate burners is that going to give me the same amount of pressure then just having one burner? Because it’s going to cut the pressure in half right? Another words what’s the point in having two burners if I’m running from one regulator and one tank?I’m actually out and in the process of picking up material to build me a dual t burner as we speak. I need to know if I need to go get me another regulator and hose to where I can run from two tanks or the ladder?

 As always I appreciate your help, Chris

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It is a pressure regulator, it regulates the pressure to a specific level - no matter if it feeds one or 10 burners, as long as it can keep up with the gas demand the pressure fed to the burner(s) will be the same. 
If it was a simple restricting valve it could work as you say with more burners meaning less pressure (at the same valve adjustment), but the regulator is built to give a constant pressure, regardless of how much gas is used. Again, until you exceed its capacity.

If I recall, the benefit of multiple small burners instead of one large is that you can get more even heat in the forge, and the smaller burner flames are shorter and slow down quicker, meaning you get to keep more of the heat inside the forge. Ribbon burners with lots of small flames takes the same concept further.

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I guess what I’m trying to achieve is more heat. I’ve had this Forge Designed for about 10 years. It’s a propane bottle forge. It has one burner and it’s the same style burner that came with the original plans. It’s an old style and maybe Which has forced air. I live in Colorado so I was told 10 years ago when I made this forge that that’s what you had to have here. Well, things are different now. There are burner designs that work just fine here in Higher altitudes that are atmospheric. I’ll just go ahead and biuld me two nice T burners. Hopefully I can get up to welding temp pretty easy with that. I haven’t been able to get up to efficient welding temp in a long time and I’m about to just give up on my propane forge all the gather and go back to coal full time. I guess I’ll give this one more shot and build a new burner system. Wish me luck and thanks for everything, Chris

Btw If anybody lives close to Englewood Colorado please let me know I could sure use some Forging buddies.





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Chris: As  G-son says, multiple burners won't cause a pressure drop in the propane until you exceed the volume capacity of the regulator. My too large shop forge runs up to four 3/4" T burners at once without problem. My regulator is at least 35 yrs old, 0-20psi adjustable. More recently 0-30 psi are the norm.

If you have questions building T burners give me a shout.

As a last note, the burner in the above pics above is burning rich, back off the gas a little it should get much hotter. However if the liner is freshly made from a high alumina hard refractory SOME of the orange "dragon's breath" is the refractory's calcite binder oxidizing. However the amount of dragon's breath and "feathery" nature says to me there is fuel burning OUTSIDE the forge doing you no good. Ease off the psi a little at a time, it should get much hotter.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Ok I have video this time. I fired it upFor the first time and this is what I got. I’m using .030 tips instead of .025 which of what was recommended because of my altitude but I’m thinking more like.035 like the original plans say. I cut my nipples down to 6” instead of 8”. Pretty much everything is at original plans specs. 
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I didn’t change the length of the length of the mix tubes to a different length than from the plans I actually cut them down to the length in the plans. 8” to 6”. I’ll send some pics. Basically one of the flare tubes that go into T and receive the mig  tips is stripped out. So it not being tight is messing things up. That particular burner is burning way too rich. I switched back out to a.025 and it was worse that with .030. I’m thinking I should try a.035 trimmed down tomorrow after I get a new T and flare. I’m hoping the actual T is not stripped out but I think I threaded it too deep and it made the whole too big since the tap is tapered. 










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OK I have a feeling that my Forge is losing way too much heat and that’s why I cannot get up to welding temperature because my forge will not hold in heat. Also I finally got my Venturi burners working and I think their tune pretty OK. Again I still wish I had somebody here that can help me in person but it is what it is. I am using .025 tips cut down about 1/16” so that the Meg tip is about halfway through the T. Whenever I run it on about 8 to 10 psi flames shoot up through the holes that the nipples are in but they’re not going up into the tease at least. They are trying to sputter every great once in a while though. I am still thinking about usingWhenever I run it on about 8 to 10 psi flames shoot up to the holes that the nipples are in but they’re not going up into the tease at least. They are trying to sputter every great once in a while though. I am still thinking about using trying the .030 tips just to see. Monday I will be going to the blacksmith Monday I will be going to the blacksmith  and farrier shop to get Either more wall either more kao wool or some bricks or both. I’m thinking about squaring off the inside of the forge. Anyways, more to come and more to forge. 










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