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I Forge Iron

Superwool HT


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First time post.

I've been poking through the forum, and I've seen differing information and opinions regarding Superwool. I know Wayne Coe on his website says he's had low demand for it, and that it has a lower constant operating temperature than kaowool. But I've also seen others that love it and say it has a higher temp rating than kaowool. I thought I'd start a thread dedicated to it to collate all the opinions and information.

I'm slowly aquiring materials and components to build my first forge from a 20lb propane tank with Frosty's T-burner.

The reason I'm asking specifically about the Superwool is I found a potter's supply store in Portland, OR that sells 8# Superwool at about $10 a YARD (by 24" wide)! This is WAY more affordable than any source of kaowool that I've found (besides getting it for free, but I've been having trouble finding a source here.)

I picked up 2 yards of it today, because I figured "Hey, $20?!? Why not? If it burns up, I'm not out too much." Also got 2 lbs of zircopax and a pound of kaolin EPK to try out Frosty's ITC-alike.

Once I get my forge up and running, I'll post my opinion of the Superwool, but I'm interested to hear everyone else's experiences with and opinions on it.

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Welcome aboard Panzer, glad to have you. I've seen stat sheets on Superwool and there are different grades same as Kaowool, they tend to dice back and forth on working temperatures.

I pick up  my Kaowool from a company that does HVAC service and supply. Code says materials going into a furnace have to be new so the company has piles of Kaowool rems and scraps they let me load up on. I have to want something special to have to buy it. Great guys and funny how guys who work on and build furnaces LIKE fire and know what they're talking about. Heck they give the whole club a commercial discount and free Kaowool scraps.

Sounds like you're getting a pretty good deal, lots of guys feel lucky to get ceramic blanket for less than $3.00 a sq/ft. I still think you'll do better at a furnace service and supply outfit, they carry all the good stuff. I'll be looking forward to your reports and PICS, we want PICS!

Frosty's ITC-alike? :huh: All I did was read the MSDS. I mixed zircopax with Cast-O-Lite 30 as kiln wash and it seems to be holding up well so far.

What hard refractory are you using for the inner liner (Flame face)?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty!

ITC must have changed the MSDS. Under the Composition heading it now reads "Non-toxic ceramic components; Proprietary formulation".

I haven't committed to a refractory for the flame face yet. There's so many choices. I have been considering Meeco's Red Devil furnace cement, as it's rated to 3000°F, as it's cheap, readily available and it some folks have reported that it works.

Here's a picture of what I've got going so far. I left part of the handle flange attached to the tank. I figured I could place half a fire brick there as a porch.


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I don't know about Meeco products but a refractory CEMEMT is for sticking things like bricks together. Being IN the fire is a different thing. 

Get away from ceramic suppliers for your refractories if possible, they're generally much more expensive as they have an "elite" clientele and limited through put. The more quantity a company moves the less they charge. 

Wayne sells small quantities for reasonable $. You don't want to have to buy 50lbs. if you only need 5 or 10lbs. Whatever refractory you use you need either a high alumina or a phosphate bonded refractory if you're going to be using flux in it. I believe Wayne carries Cast-O-Lite-30 water setting castable bubble refractory. It has a working temp in the 3,000f. range. The bubbles are vacuum (filled) spheres that make it lighter, less susceptible to thermal cycling and decrease thermal conductivity. It's what I use though I do have leftovers I keep in sealed plastic buckets, bought a pair with screw on gasketed lids from Home Depot. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I let the forge come up to temperature last night and heated a RR spike in it. Got up to a low yellow heat! Probably could have gotten it hotter still. Superwool is holding up so far. Meeco's cement works, but isn't the best. Will probably have to scrape it out and apply something else sooner than later.

I came up with a solution for tuning the Frosty T-burner I built, that kind of came about by accident. I purchased the wrong brass fitting to hold the MIG tip, and the opening was too large for the 1/4-28 thread on the top. So I came up with the idea of threading the length of the tip and the inside of the fitting, allowing me to thread it in/out. (Threading a copper MIG tip with a die is a PITA, but can be done!) Little bit of TEF paste to hold and seal it. Worked great!  



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