BlackMetalViking

Coffee Can

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Here is a picture of the air tank I will be using for my forge. As well as the Coffee can forge I slapped together this week to keep me occupied while I build the big one. I am already thinking of upgrading to a better designed little knife maker with dedicated burners, any thoughts on using a spent fire extinguisher as a body? 

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Shell doesn't really matter that much.  I've seen a professional smith who needed a large forge for a project who just rolled the kaowool out to the correct diameter and used baling wire to hold it and stuck the burners into that.

Now a heavier shell helps resist erosion/corrosion of the steel where it comes into contact with hot gasses and you can also use it to weld various bells and whistles to---like a sliding third hand to help hold longer but not tipping over long pieces in the forge.

But it's not necessary.

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I don't have anything to add to what Thomas said except maybe I really like stainless steel stove pipe for cylindrical forge shells but that's a long post. ;)

About the coffee can forge. Lose the piece of water pipe, all it is doing is introducing excess air (oxygen) to the fire. Pull the torch tip far enough back in the liner it can get combustion air and it will keep cooler as well. Another indicator the pipe is hurting performance is it turning blue, that's heat wasted.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty! I've already made a couple of improvements which have made a huge difference. I bought a new torch that fits very snug into the pipe nipple, which itself has been significantly shortened, I just use it as a mount now. I'll post a couple more pictures with the improvements. I can say that its functionality has improved tenfold. 

Viking

 

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My pleasure. I look forward to seeing pics and reading about how it goes.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Here are a couple pictures of the improvements I made, including the new torch. It works perfect for arrowheads (that's what is in the forge). I'm sure I can pound out a couple knives with the thing, but I think I'll need an upgrade very soon for that.

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On 6/30/2016 at 6:12 PM, Frosty said:

 

I really like stainless steel stove pipe for cylindrical forge shells but that's a long post. ;)

 

I'd be interested to hear some more on this Frosty, if its not too much trouble. I'm always looking for a better way to do something!   

 

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Looks like you're getting good heat. You need to pull your torch tip back out of the chamber entirely or it's going to burn off. Also, it's aimed directly into the angle made by the vault and the floor, aim your burner upwards a few degrees so the flame impacts the liner across the top. Firing into the corner makes unnecessary back pressure reducing the burner's efficiency.

I like Stainless, (SS) for a couple reasons. It's tougher so it's less likely to deform or warp from escaping heat or weight. It IS a little harder to work with but not a lot. SS is much more IR reflective than plain steel so more heat is reflected back into the forge. I pay for that heat I want it to stay where it's supposed to!

A 10" dia. cylindrical forge made with black stove pipe using 2" kaowool and after an hour's use you can touch the shell it's about like a fresh cup of coffee. A SS shell on the other hand is warm. All things being equal.

I didn't have access to good furnace building information or I should say I didn't look based on the preconception a forge wasn't just a furnace. They are just furnaces the only differences are tweaks to make them more efficient for specific uses. Anyway, in the day I thought I was one clever hombre when I washed the inside of my Kaowool forge with Kaolin clay. Welding flux just make the Kaowool go away on contact and the kaolin kiln wash was a whole lot more durable. Still not terribly good but WAY better.

I haven't made a cylindrical forge to use in I don't know how many years but I've been thinking about a vaulted forge for the superior circulation the shape lends. Tristan has also made a darned good argument for using updraft burners by demonstrating how well one works. His 2 brick forge's burner is aligned tangentially to the left side aimed almost straight UP.

Your forge is coming along nicely. Still room for tweaks of course but all round, well done.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I can't tell from the pics; but do you have the adapter to run the torch off a BBQ sized tank?  MUCH cheaper!  And I agree on pulling it out so just the flame enters the side hole.

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Please consider coating your refractory blanket with some type of sealant (even colloidal silica is better than nothing) to reduce the fibers being blown into the air.  Take this advise from someone who didn't for 10 years of regular glass blowing and now has scarred lungs to show for it.

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Thanks for all the great advice! As I said in the first post, I have bigger plans for the future and I will definitely be taking all this info with me to the drawing board! I'm just happy to be heating metal more efficiently, before the coffee can I'd just heat a half inch at a time with a pencil flame torch, needless to say, I'm cruising now! But now I'm really looking forward to the next one! 

Thomas; I don't have it hooked up remotely at the moment, I'm just using up a bottle of camping propane while I begin work on my next forge, which will have dedicated burners and a regulator set up. 

Thanks again all!

Viking

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I used a small set up a bit like that to be able to forge in my basement in the winter---lugging the bottle up and outside was a low price for being able to forge inside during an Ohio winter.  A bigger set up I would not be willing to accept the CO produced to use it in a "confined space"   You may want to keep that one around as a "bad weather backup".

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Here's something Thomas does or did NOBODY should. Do NOT use a propane forge in a basement!! Propane's heavier than air and WILL collect in low spots till . . . :o

I'm leaving out the unlesses and excepts from a really general statement. Just don't do it it's no good sharing the house with the whole neighborhood.

DO kiln wash the ceramic blanket, a rigidizer at least, mesotheleoma and related conditions can really mes up your retirement or speed it along.

Frosty The Lucky.

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The propane forge I used was run from the same propane torch I used to to solder my copper water pipes in that same basement.  As I mentioned I did not have a propane tank down there when I was not actively using it.

Frosty how should I have soldered my pipes?

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The hot water heater in my basement is fueled with propane and has been since before I moved in.  The potential problem is leaks not the use of propane itself IMO. A hand held torch cylinder or bbq tank forge system checked for leaks and not stored in the basement when not in use should not present any kind of explosion hazard.  If the tank in the space is a concern then the tank could be kept outside and copper line with a shutoff valve could be run through a small opening for other pipes or vents or a window that most basements have.

No one should ever be leaving a running forge unattended, so there shouldn't be any risk of a flameout and any troubling amount of unburned propane collecting in the low spots. There is always a risk when using a highly flammable gas, but to me it can be handled properly, much like the risk of fire from hot sparks given off while forging.

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good point currently my kitchen stove is propane---I ran the pipes myself---against my wife's wishes.  The propane company tested it and told her I had done an excellent job (and saved several hundred dollars as the pipe had to deviate around a door.)

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For now, I only run it in my garage with both doors open and a small fan on the floor(I am working on plans to build a separate shop shed, for a solid fuel, and my gasies).

There aren't many things that scare me when it comes to using tools or working in a shop, but working with explosive gasses is definitely one that I am always cautious with. I have a very active imagination, and a very sharp memory, I remember every shop video, story, or example of when things go wrong. It can get pretty graphic in my head, so I have nothing but respect for the danger that may present itself, I'm always thinking about worst case. (I'm a bit safety paranoid due to my OCD, anxiety, and the previously stated imagination)

I've had experience with a floor on fire from propane, my friend tested his potato cannon(turns out he doesn't know how to make a potato cannon). Fortunately I always have blankets/oil free rags and a fire extinguisher hand. This one wasn't at all bad, it burned itself out in about two seconds, but I did tell him to test his contraptions at his own house from now on. Plus side, I didn't have to sweep up any dog hair that week.

Viking 

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Have you seen any dust explosions?  I had a friend who did woodwork and used to rag me about "explosive gasses" till I pointed him at "dust explosion" and asked what he was doing to prevent that in his shop.

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I have only ever seen one on TV or online, Mythbusters did a couple of these. I hate being covered in sawdust, so if I do any wood work, I do as much as I can at once. I like to make sure I have a few days in between my wood days and metal days, for that exact reason.

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I didn't see that show; but I read an old Vietnam era US Army TM discussing all the things you could make go boom about 45 years ago and a nice NOVA program "Kaboom!"  part of which was filmed within hearing distance of my house ("Today Ground Zero is a test range of the New Mexico Technical Institute" )...Out here in the desert it's a danger to be respected. When we have single digit humidities ignition is a scary thing.  I once demonstrated it to a visiting friend  by lighting our wood stove where the smallest piece of wood in it wa 4" in diameter---no kindling needed!  Tumbleweeds are almost a dust explosion in a vegetable form.

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I think 2% is the lowest humidity I have seen down here.  We're in our "monsoon" season when we got most of our water as random thunderstorms so it's a swampy 26% humidity right now.  Not bad temps though it's only supposed to get to 102 degF today---I'm going to teach an after work smithing class tonight.

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You'd hate it up here! I'd say it feels swampy at around 65-70%. We've had a few days of rain and are sitting at about 43%, I would venture to say we bottom out in the high twenties percentile. I think we hit 34C (93F) once so far this year, and that was in early mid may. That's about the ceiling for our heat. But a few hours west into BC and it gets hotter. I was in the Kamloops area once when I was a kid I think it hit around 48C (113F) at maybe 10-20%. That's probably the hottest and driest I've experienced. Although, I did take a trip to Florida in August once, that was a totally different experience of heat. 

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