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Boy do I have a point Mike. Glass blower's glasses are dydimium and filter sodium yellow and are a expense that has no benefit at the forge. Even borax flame falls largely outside dydimium's filtering range. 

If you want the super effective expensive safety glasses you want to buy the gold lenses. They reduce the light level without effecting color at all. I have a gold coat shield in my  supplied air Helmet welding the ONE I can actually call a welding helmet and be correct. :) Anyway, the gold lens is equivalent to a #10 shade but color neutral. Spendy though,  I bought an auto darkening shield for less than a new lens. Here's the corker for gold shield lenses, they scratch easily and you're looking directly at the unfiltered light through the scratch. I doubled the clear plastic guard lenses inside and out on my gold shield.

I don't have safety shades anymore, not since I had to start wearing glasses to see they're safety glasses with side shields but unshaded. I just don't stare into the forge. I look often you bet but I don't stare.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I am talking about lightly filtered safety glasses; not welding lenses. I did already state that glassblowers glasses are pricey.  Dydimium is only one of a number of special glasses that artists doing hot work, including hot glass, use. They are all expensive, and are most easily found by doing a word search using "glassblower's spectacles." I believe half filter (top and half bottom) lenses, along with Shott clear I.R. filtering lenses, were just as popular as  dydimium when I was looking into the subject a decade ago. Who knows how much there is out there now.However, shade #2 safety glasses are still cheap and easy, and so is a green LED flood light. Still, I am more interested in providing choices than pushing people to do one thing or another.  

 

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On 7/1/2017 at 3:00 PM, Mikey98118 said:

Secondary Air: Merely Bad or outright awful?

Massive quote removed

Hmmm... I have zero secondary air coming into my forge around the burner. The refractory is sealed right against the nozzle. I did open the choke a bit from how it was adjusted for free air. This might explain why my mild steel nozzles have such a long life.

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4 hours ago, bluesman7 said:

Hmmm... I have zero secondary air coming into my forge around the burner. The refractory is sealed right against the nozzle. I did open the choke a bit from how it was adjusted for free air. This might explain why my mild steel nozzles have such a long life.

It couldn't hurt.

 

Brazing is NOT mysterious!

Over the last sixty odd years, the steady pressure that advances in welding technology placed on manufacturers of brazing products, have forced them to fight back with ever better fluxes and joining alloys. At the same time advances in materials science have allowed trace elements to be extracted from metal ores more perfectly than ever before, and then to become available to be redistributed in other metals, so that materials, which could not be brazed in the past, can now be brazed with relative ease by modern joining alloys.

The only impediment to brazing as he poor man's answer to “TIG” welding, comes from the mistaken impression that the subject is a mystery; the last generation kept it as mysterious as possible, as so many other subjects were. And like other subjects, a cloak of mystery still surrounds it. But, nowadays that is due to simple ignorance. Manufacturers are trying hard to reach out, and make the average guy understand brazing to be a straightforward process, which does requires proper preparation of the parts, but negligible skill.

Take for instance the task of plumbing your gas equipment. You have a choice of fittings to choose from.

Compression fittings hardly ever maintain a seal on gas connections. Flare fittings work when done by someone who is practiced in making them, and has the right tools. Otherwise, they are a crap-shoot. If you look at a flare fitting and compare it to a POL fitting, you find that they both form the same type of joint, except that the POL fitting is a machined brass part, with a much larger mating surface, which was developed to be dependable under high pressure and sever conditions, while copper flare fittings were designed for low pressure water joints. Nevertheless, working with copper refrigeration tube is the fast and easy way to plumb forgesunless something goes wrong.

POL fittings are set up for pipe connections and fuel hose, and have to  by cut and fit for use in copper tube; that will also involve silver brazing some joints. You may be making an assumption. Namely that silver brazing is hard or needs something you don't have; this is wrong. There are three main types of silver brazing; all of them are easy, but two of them have special requirements.

(1) Standard silver brazing alloys are all good for use with brass, copper, and mild steel alloys.

(2) Phos-copper rods, some of which include silver, are good on brass and copper alloys; they are self fluxing on copper, but need flux on brass; they can be used to "sweat" hidden joints and/or to form fillet beads (similar to welding) on open joints. Phos-copper cannot be used on ferrous metals, as it "poisons them" creating cracks. Phos-copper is the surest, and cheapest way, to braze brass and copper parts, BUT, you MUST follow the package directions about cleaning the parts afterward; the higher temperatures this alloy requires (compared with silver braze) creates scale on and INSIDE the parts, which must be removed, or it may eventually break lose, and clog your gas jet.

 

(3) Stainless steel parts require a minimum of 50% percent silver content in the joining alloy, and special (highly active) flux; they are also the best alloys for wetting metal surfaces, because of that same high silver content. This means that by paying a little more for high silver content brazing alloys, other metals than stainless steel becomes easier to braze too.

Silver brazing merely requires the correct preparation of the joint and the right rod and flux for the alloy you are joining. You can find directions for sliver brazing stainless steel in Burners 101.

You can also find endless tutorials on the various types of brazing online. You already have the perfect heating tool for silver brazing; your burner. So, there is no reason to feel intimidated. Your plumbing choices boil down to what technique you will feel most comfortable with.

POL fittings can be purchased online and through a welding supply store; not a hardware store. Harris white stainless steel brazing flux can be purchased online, or maybe at your welding supply store (they tend to favor one brand over another). There are also black flux available but they require higher temperatures, which is no disadvantage in brazing stainless steel, but will cause scale on copper and brass alloys. Also, Harris white stainless steel flux, is enough less active than the flack flux that it can be used on stainless steel capillary tube, without danger of eating through the tube wall; that may become important to you, if you keep playing with burners.

Rio Grande online has the best silver braze prices I have run across so far. Two things to keep in mind are: The higher the silver content the better the alloy will "wet" part surfaces; the lower its melting range the less scale that can be created.

But suppose you really want to use flare fittings, even though you are having problems with them. In some areas copper flare fittings must be made by a certified plumber, in order to comply with local building codes; and because of that, you can purchase them as fittings from some plumbing stores. Of course you will still want to silver braze them in place, for safety; these are gas fittingsnot water pipe.

 

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Finally; a worthwhile homemade refractory formula

I downloaded the following formula from the Digitalfire websilte; it would seem to be the ultimate low tech homemade tough refractory formula for hot-face armor cladding, and should provide a very high degree of insulation between heat sources and fragile ceramic fiber insulation.

“zircopax kiln shelf: It is 5 mm thick (compared to the 17mm of the cordierite one). It weighs 650 grams (vs. 1700 grams). It will perform at any temperature that any kiln that I have will generate and far in excess of that. It is made from a plastic body having the recipe 80% Zircopax Plus, 16.5% 60-80 Molochite grog and 3.5% Veegum T. The body is plastic and easy to roll and had 4.2% drying shrinkage at 15.3% water. The shelf warped slightly during drying, so care is needed. First-firing at cone 4 yielded a firing shrinkage of 1%). Notice that cone on the shelf: It is not stuck so no kiln wash is needed! Zircopax is super refractory! It is held together by sinter bonding, so the higher the temperature you can fire to the stronger it will be.”

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6 hours ago, Mikey98118 said:

If art is greater than crafts, than what painting or statue is greater than a Stradivarius?

Any painting or sculpture is art for the sake of art; any Stradivarius (however beautiful) is a tool to create art.

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True, but if it is not played, it loses value: not only because it is not being used for its true purpose, but because violins actually deteriorate if they are not played. 

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And pictures and sculpture deteriorate if they are not stored correctly too---Ask the Venus de Milo or the Winged Victory of Samothrace to "lend you a hand!"

What I find more interesting is that top quality instruments are built to be maintained.  They are expected to need re-work over the years and centuries and so glues are types that can be unglued without damaging the instrument.

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12 hours ago, Mikey98118 said:

It will do. POL fittings would also do. Sooner or later a guy puts down his money, and takes his chances ;)

Ok it will do !  LoL !  Since the Double Female Connector is machine assembled, I thought it might be a good flare fitting.

My problem is coming from not being able to locate any POLs except the valve of a Propane Tank ?!?

I have been looking for POL Fittings, under many different names, under many different fitting types, and have not come up with anything except Tank Valves.

Mikey,

Please do me a favor and send me a message or post somewhere, the links necessary to do a proper POL connection in a Propane feed line ?  Assume you are replacing a soft copper tubing feed line, from a manifold, with compression fittings on both ends.

Also, at this juncture I do not need the actual brazing or soldering methods.

I am not inept on the web, I have built many computers and operating systems, written a program or two, put together data base collection/retreval systems and have searched the web with good results for many items, BUT these POL Fittings are slippery little devils and I can not seem to get my hands on them.

Thanks

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25 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

What I find more interesting is that top quality instruments are built to be maintained.  They are expected to need re-work over the years and centuries and so glues are types that can be unglued without damaging the instrument.

Hmm...that's true that hot glue has those properties, but I think it's more a matter of it *continuing* to be used on that account rather than having been *chosen* on that account. After all, it was the primary adhesive for most woodworking for centuries before it was used for violins.

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Perhaps that's a better wording.  The old methods are continued as they allow rework with less stress to the instrument.

I am a big believer in design for maintenance even in smithing. I would prefer mounting methods that avoid arc welding so a piece can be removed for maintenance without having to cut it apart.

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No etymology buffs participating in the thread? Art is one of those words with so many meanings it's kind of funny game trying convincing anybody of just one. At it's most basic "art" is anything made by humans, artifact being the noun, artists being us. That's the direction of the game I get off on etymology. Among it's many meanings is as . . . decoration is too small a word. 

We ply art in more ways than we define it, it's the manifestation of the hand of man. Be it the sentences we compose or the ink on a page or the electron pathways we compose to make words appear on monitor screens around the world. The screens of course, the chair, on and on. People lament the loss of art seen in old machinery much of which is decorated wonderfully, I think it's sort of a celebration of making the machine or something.

Where'd the machine art go? It's IN the machines and it's in the machines that make the machines in the efficiency they make . .  our artifacts. Ever seen bottles or cans running through a canning or bottling plant? Like little silver soldiers marching in close file at 100mph. not even slowing down as the roll of sheet stock gets, split into strips, cut, rolled soldered while another strip goes through being turned into bottoms and tops which are crimped and soldered in place too fast for the eye to see. 

A giant machine, covering blocks being supplied by semi or train loads of raw materials while case after case is loaded on trucks, trains, ships to be hauled to market. To what magnificent purpose? Hunt's baked beans? Pepsi or coke product? Does it matter it's magnificent living art.

A truly sad state of the art is needing to keep the factories running so we invented planned obsolescence, it's easy to make things last a long LONG time but the factories would stop being needed. Can't have that you  know.

Okay, enough yammering from me. We frequently try defining something that's such an integral part of us it really can't be. It's a good game though, well worth playing for it's own sake. Following is my definition of art.

Art is transcendent craft.

Frosty The Lucky.

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the one small worry that lots of copper tubing, and idler circuits bring to mind, is that they both work as heat exchanges. On a cold day in the shop, this is good. But there is an outside chance that, with an extra thick insulating forge wall, the burner won't stay above ignition temperature in the mixing tube. Should this unlikely event occur, the plumbing would require the hard rubber insulating hose, used in cooling systems; just saying...

2 hours ago, Frosty said:

Art is transcendent craft.

Agreed!

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I have read a few attempts at pigeonholing what is art and what is craft and what is industrial and any shades in between, and consequently trying to place the artist, the craftsman, the artisan, the tradesman, the engineer etc in a hierarchy scale.  

Not easy and usually futile. 

As a way of example, I learned to make decorative stuff from a blacksmith who had broken away from the tradition of joining scrolls and bars with invisible rivets and used OA and later even an electric welder ... and who used jigs to make repeat scrolls all the same size. And I have heard people saying that this takes away from the artistic value of the piece. Why? 

if Michelangelo had made himself a stamp of sorts to start a face and assure proportions would that take away from his work? What about making a support for his hand rather than paint freehand?

There is this notion that art is unique, that it has to be impossible to reproduce exactly the same and that in such uniqueness lays it's value.  And there is truth in that. I play the piano and prefer to improvise. The music is not written, it is in my head somewhere and it comes out. Sometimes they ask me to play what I played last week and I can not do it. I may play something similar, but it is not the same. Does that make it more valuable? I doubt it.

An industrial process in it's apparent dry and cold method requires a lot of individual input that is very much like the one of the artist painting, forging or writing. Especially the inventive side, the inspiration in creating a new a novel approach to solve a problem. A lot of art in that If I may use the expression. 

And the same can be applied to the artisan or craftsman and even the tradesman that each in their own way add from their own self to the final product to make it a unique product of their hands and intellect. 

The artistic value or the lack of it, lays in the amount of human input the object displays, and the way this human input resonates with those that see it, hear it, eat it or use it.The value is purely subjective as proven by artists who died paupers, unappreciated in their time only to be 'discovered' later.

Anyway, that took longer that I though haha Poetic license I call it. :)

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A lot of discussion has been done on "the workmanship of risk vs the workmanship of certainty"

The Negrolis' armour was workmanship of risk.  If a fancy die had been made where a unskilled labourer could press out many copies he would be doing the workmanship of certainty.  The idea being that the skills of the maker come into major play on whether the piece will turn out ok.

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Pye, yes, interesting. 

However he talks about the artist and his work.

 I was thinking more in the notion of what or rather why, something is regarded as art when something else may not. 

Is a Stradivarius violin art for a deaf person? Hardly since they do look rather ordinary. Paintings to a blind person?

The assessment that something is art as opposed to something else who is allegedly not art, is purely subjective. Sure, there are generally accepted norms that conform with our beliefs in aesthetics and pleasant sounds, or taste.

The definition of what is art or artistic or who is an artist, still is out there and can hardly be defined without using lots of words and achieving very little. :) 

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 Tuning is about planning ahead

A “perfect” flame is a chemical process, and an ongoing contained explosion; it is contained in a single wave front, also called a flame envelope. More commonly there are two, or even three successive wave fronts, called primary and secondary flames; the occasional third front has been called a “tertiary” flame by Frosty; I don’t know if that is an official term, but it’s more than good enough to run with.

 

So, if the burner is built well enough, how likely is the flame to be perfect? Strictly speaking, no flame is perfect; they are ongoing processes, and your eye can’t follow every moment of action, so you could not prove it, even to yourself, if your burner achieves a perfect flame. Even from a perfect burner, the incoming stream of fuel can have variations in cold weather; this effects the burner’s performance, moment by moment. Your burner isn’t being turned out on a factory assembly line. No two hand crafted burners run exactly the same. With all these factors operating against you, it’s wise to shoot for almost perfect.

 

“Shoot for” implies a goal, but don’t bet the farm on it; its not a serious goal; let’s call it a guiding principle. If you succeed, then that part of your equipment is taken care of; you can put it behind you, and move on to the next step of building your heating equipment. If not, then you may have a problem—and you may not. What you do need is a good enough flame. What that takes isn’t going to be clear until your equipment is built and running; this is the real push behind “perfect” flames, and why almost perfect is perfect enough. If you don’t muff the rest of your forge build, good enough is all you need. To be happy with your forge, it needs to work as a radiant oven. So, if you are looking for success, the better the burner the farther you are toward your goal. Building your forge is kind of like watching a relay race; the better you do with one part the more momentum you build for the team.

 

Finally, we come to tuning the forge; the moment of truth. You may see a joy forever, or a sorry mess. Remember the relay race? It only ends up as a sorry mess if the coach doesn’t choose the team well; not because a runner stumbles. Choosing well requires a good burner design mounted in a good forge design; do that and your sorry mess insurance is all payed up. You can still feel dissatisfied with the moment of truth; but then you can go back over your steps (parts), and adjust your work, until you discover what minor factor is giving you problems.

So, can't a poorly designed forge still end up working well? That's a likely as your chance of winning the lotto.

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