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evfreek

Replacing the old paint can

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Hi. I built a gas forge from a paint can. A lot of shortcuts were taken to save time and money. Many things were not done quite right according to helpful posts in this subgroup. The forge was lined with a homemade refractory composed of fireclay, grog, perlite, wood ash, and concrete. When it was first built, it could barely weld mild steel. Since it was outside, it eventually rusted through and the refractory collapsed. Even after repairs, it wouldn't weld. Some colleagues wanted to use it, so it looked like time for a new one.

 

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Since mild steel welds at a higher temperature than high carbon steel that first statement seems off.  Using a not very insulative refractory it's not a surprise you have trouble with welding unless you really over amp the burners for it.

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

Since mild steel welds at a higher temperature than high carbon steel that first statement seems off.  Using a not very insulative refractory it's not a surprise you have trouble with welding unless you really over amp the burners for it.

NOT surprising Thomas? Isn't that non performing mess about what we predicted? I'm glad he wasn't injured or burned out by it. I question whether he learned this lesson seeing as he's minimizing ignoring the advice of folk who KNOW what they're doing. To quote, "Many things were not done quite right according to helpful posts in this subgroup." Not QUITE right. Heh, heh, heh.

Well good luck on your next forge build. Let us know how it works for you.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hi Thomas and Frosty. This actually was a good little forge. It was a step up from my solid fuel forge. I built this forge when I had to produce some product to sell at a craft fair. It even made it to our annual conference and was used during Mark Aspery's tools workshop. I still have the punch and chisel from back then, and they are some of my favorite tools. This forge was an expedient for when I first started selling, and it was made in a rush from info I found on the Internet. It has lasted 10 years and has served its purpose well.

As for forge welding, I really meant that it can weld, not that it does weld. I have only done four welds in that forge, and only two are in finished product. The two items are still in use, though. I prefer to weld in a charcoal or coal fire.

The advice for building gas forges provided in this forum is really great. My new one will use ceramic wool, rigidizer, and mortar hotface. It will be interesting if it works better for welding.

 

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I take it by your statement you've never used a properly lined gas forge. When you say "good little forge" by what standards do you judge?

Sorry, I don't want to get your back up, if it did what you needed then it is a good enough forge. I'll let it lay now let us know if you have any questions on your next one.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hi Thomas and Frosty.  I have used a proper forge before, but it was a long time ago. It was at a friend's house. He had Ron Reil personally instruct him on building it. It used T-Rex burners and was lined with kaowool and ITC-100. It used a silicon carbide kiln shelf piece for the floor. This was a bit out of range in terms of cost for me. When I look back over the years, the expense does not seem that bad. At the time, I didn't know if I would stick with it. We made a few small leaves, and it was a good experience, but it seemed to be overkill.

The posts in this sub-forum are excellent, and I don't have many questions. I did have one, but I just decided to go about it my way and see if things worked out.  Instead of using bubble alumina or Kastolite to coat the wool, I made another homemade cost saving concoction. The ceramics store in the neighborhood only sells full bags, and the crowd around here is pretty tough, so you don't get much for a mostly full bag on Craigslist. Likewise, if you want a partial bag, you pay and pay. So I used some leftover firebrick mortar like Tenax thinned with water and sodium silicate. Should this work out ok? The mortar worked out great in my ceramic kiln, so it is good at temperature. Also the composition did look similar to satanite from the MSDS.

Here are a couple of photos of the mortar going in. There are still patches of rigidized but uncoated wool in the back. By the way, the rigidizer worked just great and did not mat the wool at all.

 

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Too late to take Wayne Coe up on his willingness to sell small quantities for reasonable $.

Have fun experimenting I hope you come up with something that works.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks, Frosty. I'll report back after the firing and the get together. The mortar is a bit uncertain, but it started with a commercial mix. At least that insulating wool looks pretty stable now. By the way, that friend with the properly built forge has given up on blacksmithing. Unless he sells out to a real thrasher, his high quality job will end up outlasting any of my efforts.

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43 minutes ago, evfreek said:

 By the way, that friend with the properly built forge has given up on blacksmithing. 

Why don't you try to get his? Then you won't be throwing money at experiments that might go nowhere when there's so many better ways to spend hard earned money.

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Report on forge.  The forge has been working OK for the past 2+ years.  Not great.  It is not as hot as I would like, but still hot enough for forging (the metal gets that sweaty look in the hot spot).  No forge welding, though.  If it had a door, it probably would hit forge welding temperatures.  My homemade rigidizer has been OK, but not great.  It has started to crack off the front of the forge.  I did precoat the wool with rigidizer, and it is running outside, so I am not too worried about fibers.  It is out in the rain and ice, and has withstood some abuse, as well as some beginners working in it.  All in all, I am satisfied with it.  It may be time for a little repair and renovation, though.  Last night's forging session was good, but it was raining before and during the session.  The rain froze last night, so this is also hard on the forge.  If I get a couple of more years out of it, I'll be satisfied.

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