smilyjoe

Building a gas forge

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I've officially started building my first gas forge.

Honestly, I've never done something like this. Most of what I know about smithing comes from the black hole known as the Internet. So, I'm reaching out. I'm starting a thread to get input from the community as I run into problems. Here's what I got so far:

It's a propane tank with a big hole cut into the top. I made the hole approximately 8" in diameter. I did this to make it easier to insulate the thing, and light it up later on. Notice, I've sanded all the paint and little rust down to bare metal. I plan to use high heat primer and paint on it later on.

Please note - the 8" hole is not the forge opening. I plan to mount a hinge somewhere on the top of the forge, and connect a 8" saw blade to it. The saw blade will have a single layer of 1" Kaowool, and 1/4" of Satanite on it. The center of the saw blade will have a 3.5" hole in the center to allow forge gasses to vent out proportionately. 

The inside of the forge will be lined with 2" of kaowool, and 1/4" to 1/2" of Satanite (whatever feels right when I'm putting it on). I'll also have a sacrificial firebrick floor which will be replaced when needed.

I haven't finished building my burners yet, but they are coming. They will be two 300,000 BTU 3/4" propane jet burners with machined orifices (not torch tips). My math says that this thing should be able to get to forge welding heat with little to no problem. I'll also have a small door in the back (hinged on/ stainless) which will only open when an object is passed through it. 

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Questions I have for the community:

  • I'm still not sure where the burner placement should be. Should I go directly on top? I understand some people put the burners at 15 degrees off dead center to provide a swirl of some sort. What is this swirl? Can someone take a photo of it for me so I can better understand what I'm actually trying to accomplish?
  • How do I attach the burners to the forge? I don't have a welder. I'm thinking some short black pipe nipples and corresponding nuts? Just not sure.

I'm sure I'm going to come up with lots of more questions in the future. I'll ask on this thread as stuff comes up. Thanks for the help!

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How much have you read in the Iforge gas forge section? Everything you ask has been explained, discussed, even argued over. The what, how and why of vortex generation has a lot to do with what the smith is making. That's discussed in depth as well.

Most recently there has been a long discussion about lining gas forges with pretty solid reasoning for using kiln shelf rather than fire brick for a gas forge floor. The reasoning is hard to argue with, it's sound and compelling. Kiln washes are also discussed in depth.

In the same series of threads there is long discussion about why one should use openings as small as possible in conjunction with baffles to reflect the IR radiation back into the forge chamber.

While I could answer your questions directly to a degree you will gain a lot more from doing some reading in the Iforge archives, there are probably thousands of posts of valuable information. Just the gas forge section contains many hours of good solid research. Please take notes and look things up if you need to.

Just cruising the internet puts you in a position of trying to sift through posts by people who know a great deal of what they speak from people who's only qualification as experts is a video camera and connection.

So far you haven't done anything to your forge shell that can't be corrected but I highly recommend you don't continue till you've gotten a good handle on what's what. When you gain enough knowledge to ask good questions and understand the answers there are a bunch of us here who'll be happy to give you a hand. But honest to Pete you have to have a base knowledge that isn't social medial . . . stuff.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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21 minutes ago, Frosty said:

How much have you read in the Iforge gas forge section? Everything you ask has been explained, discussed, even argued over. The what, how and why of vortex generation has a lot to do with what the smith is making. That's discussed in depth as well.

Most recently there has been a long discussion about lining gas forges with pretty solid reasoning for using kiln shelf rather than fire brick for a gas forge floor. The reasoning is hard to argue with, it's sound and compelling. Kiln washes are also discussed in depth.

In the same series of threads there is long discussion about why one should use openings as small as possible in conjunction with baffles to reflect the IR radiation back into the forge chamber.

While I could answer your questions directly to a degree you will gain a lot more from doing some reading in the Iforge archives, there are probably thousands of posts of valuable information. Just the gas forge section contains many hours of good solid research. Please take notes and look things up if you need to.

Just cruising the internet puts you in a position of trying to sift through posts by people who know a great deal of what they speak from people who's only qualification as experts is a video camera and connection.

So far you haven't done anything to your forge shell that can't be corrected but I highly recommend you don't continue till you've gotten a good handle on what's what. When you gain enough knowledge to ask good questions and understand the answers there are a bunch of us here who'll be happy to give you a hand. But honest to Pete you have to have a base knowledge that isn't social medial . . . stuff.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Considering that I only discovered this forum last weekend, and joined as recently as Monday at 7:52 PM... I haven't read much in the iForge gas section. I'll be honest with you - I'm not asking to sift through people arguing with each other on what they think is right.

Here is my problem - I don't understand the gas vortex thing. Nobody has taken a picture anywhere on this form that I have found, I don't have thousands of hours to read other people's comments. So, I'm asking if someone might be willing to entertain the idea of helping me make a decision on where I should put my gas burners, and explain why they think that? It's like... a decent question for the gas forge section... right?

Oh, and as I've stated above. I'm using firebrick flooring for the floor. If I had the materials to do more, I would. I'm working with what I have. From other projects, I somehow magically have a small stack of firebrick sitting in my work room. I don't have kiln. I have firebrick. So, in light of what I have, this is the basis for this decision.

I'm building my forge for a purpose, Frosty. I appreciate that you think there is something wrong with it, and that something (i.e. opening) needs to be corrected. It won't be corrected. It's part of my design.

 

Here's my quote for the night, in response to your comment on questions...

"The only poor question is a question never asked."

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To directly answer your question we need additional information, such as forge design, how you are going to use the forge, and what is the type, size, and configuration of the project you want to build. For instance a single brick forge is very different from a 4 or 6  or more burner industrial forge.

Specifics such as burner type, burner size, burner placement, lining materials, etc all influence the gas vortex and the operation of the forge. Reading is not a bad thing as it both discusses the subject and adds new ideas that you can incorporate into your forge.

Please build any type or style forge you want, but do it safely. Please provide us with information so we can better answer your questions. When you finish your build, please report back as to your design and how it works so we can add that to the knowledge base of the site for others to find.

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The book Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces & Kilns by Michael Porter is another good reference. Mr. Porter is a member if IFI.

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Guys here tell seem to tell all the newbies "read the old threads... I don't have time for you." It's a valid response sometimes, but a downright xxxxxxx waste of bandwidth other times.

There is a lot to read and learn here, but the bummer about this place is the old threads are all missing the pictures. Most of those threads are 3/4 worthless without them. Just try reading the Knifemaking 101 class without pictures... I quit after 2 or 3, because they are incomplete, thus marginally useful to me.

 

I can't help you, OP, but I'm glad some people did.

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45 minutes ago, Firestarter said:

Guys here tell seem to tell all the newbies "read the old threads... I don't have time for you." It's a valid response sometimes, but a downright $####ty waste of bandwidth other times.

There is a lot to read and learn here, but the bummer about this place is the old threads are all missing the pictures. Most of those threads are 3/4 worthless without them. Just try reading the Knifemaking 101 class without pictures... I quit after 2 or 3, because they are incomplete, thus marginally useful to me.

 

I can't help you, OP, but I'm glad some people did.

I see, providing the questioner the place to look and the search terms to find specific answers to the question is a blankety blank waste of bandwidth? Please provide a link to a post where I said I don't have time for you. You feel my time is less valuable than people who won't do their own work eh? It's a free country, feel how you like.

Perhaps I shouldn't waste any more time or bandwidth. Certainly not on this thread.

 

 

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Can you find a picture of what a swirl flame looks like in the old threads? I know I'm not going to go look for one. It's probably there somewhere, but sorting through 10 threads with missing pictures isn't worth the trouble to me, and I wouldn't expect anyone else to do that either.

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It would seem that no one wants to read already posted material, or take the time to assist the original poster. Those that do make suggestions are scolded for referring to information that has been already posted instead of writing the same material over and over again.

Consideration was also given to the original posters comments on this and other threads.

The thread is now closed.

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