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23 hours ago, Mikey98118 said:

The only side-arm burners I'm aware of on the Reil site is a terrible design; they are the reason for Larry Zoeler's redesign, which he dubbed modified side-arm burners; he then discovered his hotter and easier to construct "Z" burners. Reil's original burner design is a better burner than an unmodified side-arm burner; if you include the MIG tip modification I posted on his site, his burner will blow any side-am burner off the road. So will a Frosty "T" burner. Does this give you a heavy handed clue as to what is probably wrong with your forge?:)

I misspoke earlier, the burners that I built initially were the modified side-arm burners. He added a note to the side-arm section saying that the original design was there for informational purposes only and he advised either doing the modified side-arm plans or ordering a "Z" burner from Larry. I did all this before discovering IFI and since then I have figured out just how ill-equipped and ill-informed I actually was!! Next I'm going to replace the modified side-arm burners I have with "T" burners and when I build my smaller forge I'm toying with the idea of making a ribbon burner. I have most of the materials that I need now I'm just waiting on my zircopax plus from The Ceramic Shop.

After reading all the wonderful information on these discussions, thanks for all your input by the way, I figured out that the problem with my forge is two fold; underperforming burners and inadequately lined forge body. Right now I only have two inches of Cerachem blanket as my insulation and a few half bricks as my floor. I'll be sure to photo document the rebuild of my "way-too-big" forge, as Frosty would call it, and the initial build of my smaller forge. Oh and the burners of course ^_^

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You think you were uninformed? You should've been there when we were trying to build these things before the internet. I was SUPER lucky when a coffee shop buddy gave me a large folder of information about induction devices. People have been using linear inducers for centuries some on grand scales to circulate fresh air and dewater mines even.

EVERYBODY builds a too big forge to start except that rare individual who builds a too small one. Heck, my  most recent forge is too big, not 4x too big but still. . .  <Sigh>

Learning about these things doesn't end till we stop fiddling. 

Fiddle on! 

Frosty The Lucky.

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 Frosty,

I think it is Robert Grauman who contributed the flame photos of his original side-arm burners, which are featured on Ron's site. The photo has been there since late in 1999, when I first saw it; how much longer than that, I don't know. I was not impressed with the flames I saw in the photos, and tried building one of that design; it was puny. From all Ive heard since, Larry's modified side-arm burner is a big improvement, and he himself states on his web site that his "Z" (made with a simple Y fitting) burns hotter than his modified side-arm burner. I don't really like talking about this, because my impression is that Mr. Grauman is a nice guy; unfortunately that does nothing to improve his burner design.

On the other hand, that burner design is pushing twenty year old; I'm sure he has moved on quite a ways.

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13 hours ago, Frosty said:

Uhhhhhh. . . :huh:

 

‘NO one provokes me with impunity’ or ‘Nemo me impune lacessit’ is the national motto of the Kingdom of Scotland. Often translated into the Scots ‘Wha duar meddle wi me’ (in Scottish Gaelic ‘Cha togar m’ fhearg gun dìoladh’), it is loosely translated as ‘No one can harm me unpunished’.

Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/people-places/scottish-fact-of-the-day-nemo-me-impune-lacessit-1-3655817

 

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If it's a pipe T, a bushing reducer, lamp rod and mig tip, it's probably Robert's first version. I don't post pics of my first T burner and wish that series of concept drawings would disappear for being as poor a design as they are.

Robert's a great guy and he's as much a tinkerer as we are. I doubt strongly he's still using his first version of a side arm if he's using one at all. We took the drive down Turnagain Arm 19 years ago, I remember it well. Deb and I were finishing the house, Robert and his wife were in their camper and parked close enough to hook up to the elec.

That day trip was the last time I tried describing a mechanical contraption without drawing pictures, I carry graph paper now for scale drawings.

Good memories, those were good times.

Frosty The Lucky.

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1 hour ago, Buzzkill said:

Wow!  A "Dirty Dancing" reference in Latin on a blacksmith forum in a gas forge thread.  Whooda thunk?

Not surprised are you?

"Thunk." Is the sound your head makes when something made of wood hits it. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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As to side-arm burners;that's the problem with posting anything; it never goes away, and newbies seldom understand how dated it is. On the other hand, they could try a little harder and dig a little deeper, if they want to learn something worth knowing. The more things change the more they stay the same:P

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20 minutes ago, Frosty said:

Not surprised are you?

"Thunk." Is the sound your head makes when something made of wood hits it. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Surprised?  Not really.  It was just one of those "how did we get here from there?" moments.  I have them frequently when I start watching blacksmithing videos on YouTube and end up somewhere completely unrelated within an hour or so.

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A truer thing was neve said Mike, I know I hated it when Dad told me to figure it out instead of just telling me. 

Naw Buzz, wandering thoughts are how new ideas happen, having a large group of eclectically educated individuals to help threads wander is a good version of heaven.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Some of the why and how-to of first forges

 

Thousands of people have already built forges from used five gallon propane cylinders since Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces, & Kilns was published.  Instead, I would suggest that you start with a mini-forge. It take more fuel to heat the larger forges; even once you have occasional use for one of them, you will want to use the smaller forge whenever possible to keep costs down—not to mention the heat levels in your shop.

Mini-forges are usually made from a two gallon non-refillable helium or Freon cylinder; these have been employed as knife maker's forges even longer than five gallon propane cylinder forges have been around. You could make a half-muffler oval forge, or  shape a "D"  forge from sheet metal in this size, but there is much less information available about constructing them, and so the Freon or helium cylinder forge is usually recommended to newbies.

    Free used Freon cylinders are available from HVAC dealers, and used helium cylinders from party stores; it is illegal to reuse these cylinders. So once you let business owners know what you want them for, it’s easy to procure them. You will want two 3/8" (most efficient) or one 1/2" burner (good enough for most people) to heat a mini-forge. Forget using an angle grinder for cutting and grinding on the forge and burner(s). Rotary tools are now available at low prices, and are better suited, and safer, for working on small parts with.

    What about a two-brick, or a coffee-can forge instead? I only recommend them for people who want to build and fix hand tools, or as aa introductory forge for people with no commitment beyond cutting costs to the bone. Since free insulation in the form of ceramic fiber scraps can be glued together with cheap fumed silica dissolved in water, which is spritzed from a used cleaner bottle.

    Unless you want to frequently use your burner as a hand torch, the canister mount torches employed by some in two-brick and coffee-can forges are also an economic mirage. By spending $20 on a 0 -20 PSI variable regulator, and borrowing your barbecue's five gallon propane cylinder, you can outstrip the false economy of fuel canisters in a single hour's use.   

    Walmart carries several brands of variable (adjustable) “high pressure” propane regulators from as low $10 without hose and on sale, to around $25 average with a short hose. Expect that high pressure to top out at 20 PSI, which is more than enough pressure. Walmart also carries at least one natural gas regulator to be avoided.

Variable regulators at Walmart: https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&site=&source=hp&q=propane+regulator+at+walmart&oq=prop&gs_l=hp.1.1.35i39k1l2j0i20k1l2j0l2j0i131k1j0l3.3624.4661.0.10501.5.5.0.0.0.0.214.540.4j0j1.5.0....0...1c.1.64.hp..0.4.322.0..46j0i46k1.N7z3o7uhNRE    

Ceramic fiber blanket: Your single largest expense will be the ceramic fiber insulating blanket, but only if you purchase it. Your local HVAC, furnace, or boiler shops all collect remnants of ceramic blanket that they cannot use (code prevent them from using “drops”; they have to employ fresh material from the roll), so they have to pay to have odds and ends of these refractory rolls hauled away. Let them know what you are up to, and be friendly, and garbage bags of the stuff could be yours for a box of donuts and a smile. The same rigidizer you use to stiffen ceramic blanket can be used to glue remnants together. If you have to buy it anyway, the added expense of getting 8 lb. density and minim of 2400 °F rating isn’t much: https://www.amazon.com/Ceramic-Insulation-Ceramics-CM-Ceramics-Instructions/dp/B015GD0QCW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1485880667&sr=8-2&keywords=ceramic+blanket  

Super Wool fiber blanket (continuous use rated for 2,372 F (1,300 °C) for $4 per square foot for 8 lb. density and 1” thick. ($32 minimum order, plus shipping): http://www.bigceramicstore.com/superwool-fiber-blanket-8-1-thick-2-feet-wide-linear-foot-2sq-ft.html

Perlite is usually "glued" together with sodium silicate to form a monolithic (solid) secondary insulating layer, or is used as an insulating ingredient in castable refractory, much the same way sawdust used to be, before home equipment builders wised up; nothing prevents it from being packed and trapped into a confined area, where it can support considerable weight, so long it is spread out.

Colloidal silica rigidizer: The meaning of the term “colloidal” is a material that can stay suspended in water; most minerals, including silica, will do so if its particles are ground small enough. Fumed silica, a very light an economical substance, is colloidal. It is also easily obtained through eBay and Amazon.com. If you have a local pottery supply store, a spritzer topped bottle of rigidizer is a minor expense; otherwise, you are better off to buy fumed silica and mix it into water to make your own rigidizer, rather than paying for shipping. Food coloring is used in the commercial mixtures as a visual aid for seeing how far the silica has penetrated into the ceramic blanket; it then burns out during firing. Do not allow your rigidizer mixture to freeze, or it will be ruined. Colloidal silica rigidizer is use rated to 2300 °F; above that temperature it slowly begins to break down. Bit doesn’t melt below 3000 °F.

     Silica solutions are unstable at pH levels between 4 and 7.2. The results of pH levels are accelerated in particulates small enough to be colloidal; also in highly concentrated solutions. How acidic tap water is varies from place to place; it isn’t uncommon for it to be seven on the pH scale. Here we see the two probable reasons for warnings of shelf life on colloidal silica products. I bought a bottle of silica based rigidizer many years ago from Seattle Pottery Supply, and it is still good. But if a seller didn't include the right amount of acid to a  concentrated product, when thinning it down for resale, a much shorter shelf life would result; ditto for the concentrate that is allowed to sit long before being thinned with additional water. What to do? Buy your fumed silica in dry form, and only mix up as much at a time as you plan to use over a short period.  Technical information: https://web.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/?id=434046&part=2&auth=co&disp=i   

Sodium silicate (AKA water glass): This is any of a number of glassy alkaline silicates dissolved in water. How thick the mixture is depends of the amount of solids to water used. Sodium silicate makes an excellent binding and adhesive agent for Perlite; it melts at 1900 °F, which is also Perlite’s melting temperature. Due to its sodium content it forms a mildly caustic base. Rather than heat, carbon dioxide in the air is used to slowly cure the silicate in position, or carbon dioxide, as compressed gas or dry ice, can be used to rapidly solidify it. Because of its use as a sealant for concrete sodium silicate is available from large hardware stores, like Home Depot.

A high alumina elastic hot-face formula (good down to 3/16” thick layers) can be made with a mixture of 96% calcined (fired) alumina to 4% bentonite clay. It must be allowed to dry thoroughly before being fired to yellow incandescence to bring it to hot strength; it is not as resistant to cracks from thermal cycling as commercial high alumina refractories, or high alumina kiln shelves. Note that this formula also works just fine for mixing up with Stabilized zirconia flour (very fine particles) to make a tough heat resisting thin coating.

Microspheres as lightweight refractory insulating fillers have the advantage over traditional insulating fillers of increasing, instead of decreasing, compression strength in the finish product. 

    The present king of refractory microspheres is bubble alumina; unfortunately it is hideously expensive. There is such a thing as silica-alumina spheres (a lower grade product for less money), but if you can’t buy it by the ton, you’re out of luck. Fortunately, hollow silica microspheres are CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!!! And, silica microspheres can be had in small quantities. Naturally we would all use alumina spheres, but second best is better than too expensive to use:

http://www.pilotshop.com/catalog/cmpages/bubbles.php?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=01-14600&gclid=CjwKEAjwrMzHBRDW3saA88aT80MSJACbvo1TsEAqmKE6j6dw_HPx_aedQY4QdYk9gvcHc6jQ9TbfdxoCBm7w_wcB https://www.systemthree.com/products/glass-microspheres?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=13268254340&gclid=CjwKEAjwrMzHBRDW3saA88aT80MSJACbvo1TKf-AIBRBrHxTO3Ymqi_-BI-7HJAyFre6P2kFHca9vBoC-OPw_wcB

How much can you use them? Originally hollow microspheres (AKA microballoons) were mixed into plastic to create composites known as syntactic foams; later they were mixed into metal foams, and finally into ceramic foams. Of course, ceramic foam isn’t likely to be very sturdy. Probably the best refractory to microspheres balance will be reached somewhere between 25% and 40% by volume for a nice balance of lower density, higher specific strength, and lower coefficient of thermal expansion (which lowers a refractory’s exposure to cracking from thermal cycling). How strong would the refractory end up? These spheres are used to lighten structural concrete; that tough enough? Let the debate begin…

High alumina ceramic boards, maximum service temperature rated to 2822° F  (1550° C) http://www.rath-usa.com/kvr.php

Zircar has several types of ceramic high alumina and zirconia-alumina fiber boards: https://zircarzirconia.com/alumina-zirconia-boards/ 

And: http://www.zircarceramics.com/pages/rigidmaterials/aluminaproducts.htm  

Thin high alumina tiles: http://ceresist.com/products/alumina/plain-tile-cementable

High alumina bricks; better quality fiberboard, and blanket: http://stores.ebay.com/simondstore

3000 F ceramic foam and foam products: http://www.cotronics.com/vo/cotr/pdf/58 310M 311.pdf

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Backup boards

http://store.armilcfs.com/pdf/super_isol.pdf

Calcium silicate boards first became popular as a lightweight fireproof replacement for drywall in skyscrapers; it is use rated for 1835 F. CS board can be employed in forge construction as a low cost lightweight rigid replacement for other secondary insulation layers, such as Perlite. in box shaped forges, since it is easily cut, drilled, and shaped with files or wood rasps. Calcium silicate board is perfect as an outer layer behind an inner hot-face layer of ceramic fiberboard, since it installs in a similar manner. Never use this product as primary insulation. By cutting strips on an angle, calcium board can be used  in tube, oval, and "D" forge walls as an outer form for castable refractory.

 

That should read "... as an outer form for castable refractory. "

That should read "... as an inner form for castable refractory. " Tim to go get coffee:wacko:

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