Sander Huff

Found antique forge

69 posts in this topic

53 minutes ago, SReynolds said:

I would never control a steel or iron forge fire with water as it can damage the forge not to mention it produces sulfuric acid. But it is yours and you are welcome to forge anyway you like.

Then what do you do for fire management?

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I don't know. It just does. I don't think about it. Like riding a bike or playing guitar. It just happens.  

I guess if I had to describe it; fuel management equates to fire management.  You need the air to make the fire hot. So I guess I use fuel to manage the size of fire. I'm guessing here. 

I do not use water to manage the fire in the brick and stone forge. I have. But soon realized it isn't necessary. The water helps control the size of fire by wetting the coal that was transformed into coke. Keep it wet; it wont burn. 

Maybe I'm such a wizard at this it just happens for me. I really don't know. 

A quality tuyere plate or clinker breaker?  Don't know. I was told you want the coal surrounding the fire wet. It obviously is a wives tale like the old blacksmith books say you can't weld with clinker in the fire and all work must be scarfed. And fluxed. That is obviously a lie but it's in print. In well known/popular smithing books.

Don't believe everything you read. Find out for yourself. 

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4 minutes ago, SReynolds said:

Don't believe everything you read. Find out for yourself. 

Except for "Don't use cinder blocks because they can explode." You do NOT want to find that out for yourself.

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Haven't blown up yet, they've crumbled but not gone explosive. Hope it doesn't hurt when it does haha. But probably won't use them unless I'm doing smaller work. I'll try the water method the next time I fire it up. I ran out of coal.

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Okay, fire management is all about three things: fuel production, heat generation, and waste removal.

Fuel production is using the heat of the fire to convert coal to coke (if you're using bituminous). Proper fire management = don't put green (uncoked) coal directly in the fire.

Waste removal is getting the unburned coal residue out of the fire so that it doesn't block the air supply or act as a heat sink. Proper fire management = get the clinker out of your fire.

Heat generation is (in simplest terms) a function of air and fuel. Very generally, the more fuel you have and the more air you put in, the larger and hotter your fire will be. Leaving aside the issue of air supply management, the simplest way to manage the size of your fireball is manage how much space it is physically able to occupy in your forge.

Now, you can do that by watering down your coal around the fire, to limit how much coal is allowed to burn. However, this is a waste of time and water and (as SReynolds points out above) can degrade the forge over time.

A much better way to manage the fireball can occupy is to use some object to limit its physical space. This is what you did with your cinder blocks, so you can see how well it works in theory. However, because cinder blocks can't take the heat (whether they explode or crumble), you want something much more heat-resistant. This can be clay like I use, a brake drum like Jim Coke suggested, or pieces of firebrick. Firebrick has the advantage of being adjustable: close together (with limited air) for a small fire, and farther apart (with more air) for a large fire. Again, find what works for YOU and the work that YOU will be doing.

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Thanks so much for the info. I'd like to have the entire pan full of coal but I don't see a way to do fire mangement since I don't have a firepot and I shouldn't use water. I may try firebrick if it's not too expensive. And I'm new to all this info of blacksmithing but why shouldn't I put green coal deirectly onto the fire? I did it yesterday and it worked fine.

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with that particular forge I fill the entire pan with coal. In fact, some years ago, I added a sheet metal hoop around the inside and fastened it to the sides of the original to make it 3 inches taller. Gives a nice deep fire. (6 inches I'd say) I have cut-outs opposite one another to allow long sections to pass through. 

if your thinking the entire forge will become engulfed in flames, it don't, just the center of the forge has the coke fire-ball.

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8 minutes ago, Sander Huff said:

[W]hy shouldn't I put green coal deirectly onto the fire? I did it yesterday and it worked fine.

If you're burning bituminous, the coal burns cleaner and hotter once the volatiles have cooked out and burned off, leaving behind almost pure carbon (coke). This is why you add green coal to the outside of the fire and push it in towards the middle as it cokes. Adding green coal directly to the fire makes for a cooler, dirtier fire. 

This doesn't apply if you're burning anthracite, which doesn't coke the same way bituminous does.

13 minutes ago, Sander Huff said:

I may try firebrick if it's not too expensive.

You can get new firebricks from big box stores like Home Depot. If there are any fireplace stores near you, ask if they have any broken pieces you can have; also, check the Yellow Pages for chimneysweeps and ask them.

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It didn't seem that cool of a fire, I melted a 1/2" steel rod within 30 seconds. The impurities burned off. The greenish smoke was gone after a minute or so.

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Might want to ease off on the air flow, then.

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Sure, but it's all about "What is appropriate for this precise application?" Sure, you want your stock to come to working heat quickly, but (write this down, please) Control is better than speed. If you're working on a piece and have to take a minute between operations to set up tooling or fetch something, you don't want all your hard work to go up in sparklers. Trust me, I've burned more pieces than I care to think about, and it's the ones that you've already invested a lot of time and effort in that hurt the most.

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Thanks. Glad mine is a hand crank and not an automatic, I can control it a little better

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On 1/18/2017 at 1:26 AM, SReynolds said:

Champion 145-18

Used in my blacksmithing class.

 

 

 

 

 Where do you find the markings on these?

 I have a cast iron Champion forge that looks just like this one. It has a Champion 40 blower and says to clay before use (cast proud on the floor of the pan).

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Thanks Sander.

 I goofed, the forge has a smaller Champion blower, it looks just like the one in SReynolds pic. the 40 is the one I use on my brake drum forge.

Edited by Elemental Metal Creations
added info

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On 1/16/2017 at 3:30 AM, SReynolds said:

Check these out. 

To answer your question;  size of pan.

How about that retro look with the sheet steel cabinet, huh? I kill for that. 

 

 

 

SReynolds,

 Is there prices listed in this catalog? The pictures are to blurry on my computer to read. I would love to know what the 145-18 cost new in 1940.

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You do not need any special fire brick. Any clay brick (even home made) is OK since the temperature at the edge of the forge is not that high. They must be dry, however.

The problem with cement and blocks held together with cement is that cement, that has solidified, contains crystal water. If suddenly heated, the water will boil off and will cause some kind of explosion or at least make it crumble. What happens, depends upon the type of product.

A mixture of sand and clay has been used as mortar for stoves made from bricks for a very long time. Probabyly since antiquity. 

You control the fire by the amount of air you blow in and by the size of your fuel. Small size fuel will keep the fire ball small and concentrate the heat. Excess air will cool down the center of the fire ball and move its limits outwards.

My experience is that if the air pressure is high and the enterance holes into the forge are small, they will not be blocked by clinker even in a bottom draft forge. The clinker will form a doughnut that can be fished out every couple of hours. I use a blower that runs continuously. 

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33 minutes ago, gote said:

The problem with cement and blocks held together with cement is that cement, that has solidified, contains crystal water. If suddenly heated, the water will boil off and will cause some kind of explosion or at least make it crumble. What happens, depends upon the type of product.

More precisely, cement gets its strength from hydrates (crystals made of minerals bound to water molecules), mostly calcium silicate hydrate. At higher temperatures (450-550C), these hydrates break apart, the water evaporates, and the cement crumbles. 

With clay, on the other hand, the water simply evaporates out when the clay dries; it does not remain in the clay as part of its chemical composition. 

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