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First forge, first post. forge not heating (Taking a long time)

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Hi all,

I spent some time browsing this forum while I was already building my 2 brick forge and I'm really happy with how much information I could scrounge. I am not new to hot metal but I am new to the forging and hammering part. I'll include some pictures of my project below.

I am planning to use the the forge for small knifes/chisels or to make small part for small scissors/shears. Anything small and metal that needs heating :)


Now for my question: I do get a nice even heat on whatever I put in but it will not go any hotter than the picture below (as long as I ran it during my 2 test burns, say 15 minutes. see pictures) After pounding the stock with a hammer and researching the steel colours, I think I need to get my stock hotter. Could this be the torch I am using or the gas? I do get the same glow all over the chamber, also a nice hot spot. I know the 1300 degrees rating on the torch is for the flame itself and I am doubting on how much heat I need to get the entire chamber to warm up. Any help would be appreciated :)

Some info:

  • Top halve is a half cylinder
  • Bottom half is rectangular, flat bottom
  • Back port is smaller than front
  • Burner is a soldering torch rated to 1300 degrees C (2372 Fahrenheit,  butane propane mixture though I think mostly butane)
  • Burner is angled to the front (larger) opening and into the arch of the ceiling
  • Glowing part of the stock in image is the entire length of what was in the chamber
  • Size of the brick is 23 x 11.4 x 6 x64 Cm ( 9.1 x 4.5 x 2.6")

 

IMG_20160206_200804.thumb.jpg.d6a14864b4IMG_20160206_200653(1).thumb.jpg.077d22eIMG_20160206_200636.thumb.jpg.4296bfb9d5IMG-20160206-WA0041.thumb.jpg.0b7a06ba20IMG-20160206-WA0043.thumb.jpeg.7ea42bcbfIMG-20160206-WA0040.thumb.jpg.7bf0eb8dfe

 

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your problem is not the quality of the heat but the quantity.   In short you are not burning enough gas fast enough to do what you want to do. 

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I figured something like that. Thank you. I guess for now I could try enlarging the orifice on the torch burner. Not something I have ever done before, but, I got some drills. Maybe even better get another burner head for this torch or a tank/hose burner. I was trying to make due with what I had at hand and what I could find. Does anyone have tips on what kind of burner would work well for this small forge?

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Drilling your current orifice out is a bad idea..  There are a number of alternatives but propane torches generally have larger heat output.    If Propane is not readily available to you check with your local people that do plumbing and see what they have available to for their pipe work.   The set ups for gas/ air burners can be rather critical in the smaller sizes.

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It's a while since I played with a 2BF. On mine, I used a similar torch to yours, but made the hole where it feeds into the forge tapered: bigger on the outside, smaller on the inside. 

This allowed me to move the torch in and out, varying the amount of air drawn in along with the main flame. 

The flame from the mouth of the forge suggests that you are not getting enough air in to completely burn the gas, so there is probably something to be gained by increasing the airflow.

I agree with Charlotte that you'd be better off with a higher-output torch though.

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No, drilling out the orifice in the jet will result in too rich a flame and less heat with more Co. Those burners are already tuned for a proper burn if turning up the gas pressure isn't enough you might look at a higher output torch or maybe building a forge burner.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks, all,  for the quick responses. I'll spend some time reading up on burners, other threads had some pretty good suggestions. I will experiment with burner position with my current setup later today. I should be able to move it back out a bit further. Also I found This burner online but are unable to find specifications so I'll put that on hold for now.

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Instead of buying any torches I think, if it were me, that my time would be better spent building a t burner and a somewhat larger forge. You will likely find that what you have is no longer large enough after a short time and have to redo everything so it would be better to do it once now and it last longer and work better than just throwing money at it and hoping to get lucky.

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Probably the easiest burner to build is Frosty's T burner.  There is a lot of info on this forum, just search for it.  Also Frosty is on here every day.

Go to the attachments on the Forge Supplies page at www.WayneCoeArtistBlacksmith and check out the attachments there.  That will show you how I like to build a forge.

Let me know if I can help you,

Wayne

 

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Yes the T Burner seems the way to go. Has anybody built one a bit smaller, say 1/2'? I would like to keep things small for now. I figured if I can build one, I can build a bigger one later.
 

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One other side note.  The holes for the air on your torch are very near the burner tip.  It's quite possible that you are at least partially blocking/restricting the air that is supposed to be mixing with the fuel.  From what I've seen the recommendation for using a torch is to get one (like the one in the picture you linked to) which has the air ports further away from the burner tip to avoid that problem.

I have only personally built 3/4" Frosty designed T burners, but he has stated many times that 1/2" burners work fine.  You drop down to a .023 mig tip for those and use a 3/4 to 1/2 T IIRC.  The burner tube length is shorter as well, since it is a multiple of the tube diameter.  I believe the factor is 9 (roughly) so that would give you a 4.5 inch tube on a 1/2 inch burner.  If I've gotten any of that wrong hopefully Frosty will correct me.

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@Charlotte, @Frosty, Never seen anyone modifying a plumbers torch orifice, thanks for pointing out not to do it and why.

@Michael Cochran You make a good point and I will construct a burner, as for throwing money at it: I did reserve a small budget for this project. I have most but not all of the tools I need. Ran into that while doing house work as well. Any tool I have bought has been reused, I imagine that will not stop now. In this specific case it means I need a Tank (at the least) and some hoses. I have some extra bricks (soft) .Also the hard ones I got for almost nothing and turned out to be the wrong kind (and I could use for the floor and maybe outer shell? )

@Buzzkill I noticed this as well, good point. have not been able to test with other burner positions due to crazy high winds. I'll let you know how it pans out, if the wind lets down before I can build a new burner. Thanks for pointing out the 1/2 " burner possibility.

And everyone else, thank you!

Sorry if this is long winded and the @ 's . I'll keep you posted on my progress, might even write a proper introduction. For now, I'll wait for my MIG contact tips and try not to go crazy by imperial/metric conversion :)

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website called onlineconversion will help with lots of things

if you can only get metric fittings then you just need the correct formula from frosty's instructions ( maybe then you can post the details for those who use metric )

note pipe and fitting sizes are by nominal pipe bore, a 1/2" fitting has a thread of near 7/8" ( 12mm and 22mm ).

here in the UK pipe and fittings are still in inches but metric is used for most things

 

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A Frosty "T" burner will be the easiest to build, but be warned that nothing larger than a 3/8" burner is likely to have sufficient turn down range to work well in such a small forge. You can find how-to text posted for my 1/4" and 3/8" burners somewhere in this forum. If you can get instructions from someone who has built a 3/8" "T" burner, that would be more convenient for you, as small Mikey burners would require you to buy a hand operated rotary tool.

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A T burner isn't going to work well in high winds, more than light gusts tends to mess them up.

A 1/2" T works nicely and I've never built smaller, mig tips don't come smaller than 0.023" that I've seen. Mike uses Leurlocks (sp?) for jets and can get them in a huge variety of ID.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Mikey  Yes I could build it smaller but I would, like frosty says probably need a smaller mig tip. smallest size I could find was .6 mm which is 0.0.23" I read up on  your burners as well. Unfortunately they are not  not within my current capabilities , tool and skill-wise(until I try). 

Frosty 1/2 is about the smallest T or any fitting  I can get here which is still rated in inches( that is at any walk in hardware store). Ill let all of you know if I can get to a metric analogue. For now I will just stick as close to the specs as I can to get something that works for me. And about the wind... This is a temporary issue until I get some walls up in my garden. Just don want to burn a forge in my kitchen.

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Good evening,

this is my first post in this forum, and sorry if I'm being inconvenient with my ignorance.

I want to build a small forge like the very popular coffee can forge. I want it for tempering metal (knives), and I want to use

a butane blow torch. Will the butane blow torch take my metal to non magnetic stage? And the forge need to be opened on both 

sides?

Thank you

Paulo

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Barreira,

You want to use a propane torch. No butane torch will hold its pressure (which is low to begine with) long enough to provide sufficient heat fo run even a collee-can forge.

MonkeyForge,

It isn't easy to tell from your photo, but if that is a butane torch you're using, switch to air/propane

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On 2/9/2016 at 5:22 PM, Mikey98118 said:

Timgunn, I like that idea; very practical way to vary secondary air intake.

Thanks Mikey,  I pm'ed him with more or less the same comment.  I was reluctant to say it in the forum since the heavy hitters were already taking their cuts.  I hope he tries it and reports the results.

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Hi Mikey98118,

I asked, because where I live (Portugal) the Butane blow torchs are much cheaper than the Propane one's.

Thank you for your advice.

Regards

Paulo

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HI, a small update The torch in the picture is indeed butane (mixed with propane, but in a negligible ratio) I have since acquired a small propane burner, which I still need to test. The winds have died down So I should be able to burn it soon. @timgunn1962 I have modified the burner opening slightly, I'll let you know how it works out.

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Europe, has been moving away from straight butane torches, to butane/propane mixtures, for quite a few years now; it solves the low pressure problem...mostly. The only value straight butane torches have is their ability to form needle flames for silver brazing jewelry.

I hope by burner opening you are not referring to the gas jet orifice, because increasing it will almost certainly mess up performance.

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2 hours ago, Mikey98118 said:

Europe, has been moving away from straight butane torches, to butane/propane mixtures

I hope by burner opening you are not referring to the gas jet orifice, because increasing it will almost certainly mess up performance.

Mikey and Timgunn; most roofing and welding set ups will be propane, the torch I had was readily available and, to be honest, I did not research enough when I got it. By the time I fired it into the bricks for the first time I already knew it was likely not to be enough. I followed recommendations in this thread and left the orifice on both burners alone. What I did modify is this:

IMG_20160210_204344.thumb.jpg.49aadb0b0c

It was a bit tricky because I have the opening angled up toward the ceiling of the forge but the circumference of the inside opening is still about the size of the torch end.

How it looks in the dark:

IMG_20160210_212906.thumb.jpg.a4a477f3ca

With flash:

IMG-20160210-WA0008.thumb.jpg.7fb40c0f4b

And with some blue flame at the front that cleared after moving the brick blocking the back to create some draft:

IMG_20160210_213823.thumb.jpg.432a84c0d8

And after 10 minutes:

IMG_20160210_214208.thumb.jpg.0f34e0da39

So with the propane it gets hotter and it gets hot faster. I also got my mig contact tips today so I can start shopping for plumbing.

@the iron dwarf Thanks. I also found this link seems accurate. I Found the we do have the black (cast) iron pipes here, all measured in inches. Most of them are galvanised but the plain black ones are available as well. Shows that just walking into the store ore phoning them can be more fruitful than searching the web....

 

Again, thank you all.

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I believe you can safely get even more heat transferred from the torch into your forge, by finding pipe or  tubing that will slip over the torch as a short extension, and which  can then be moved a short way into the opening, without overheating the torch tip; worth trying, anyway.

Also, Chinese made gasoline or kerosene burning torches are now available with steel burner heads, that can be used this way (poked a short way into an entrance hole); they only cost about $39 in the USA, and should be cheaper in Europe. Such torches are often underated for heating potential becuase no attempt to control secondary air intake is possible with old fashioned brass heads.

Good luck, and keep on posting your results.

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