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I Forge Iron

Modifing/Improving an old NC tool forge


Michael Cochran

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After reading a recent discussion about burners with bends and also being told the kit they sell to reline it is $140 plus shipping I've decided to go a different route. The forge in question is a "whisper deluxe model 1" which is the old one with the right angle burners on it. I was going to do a completely new build and use this one as a backup but decided I might as well just modify this one to keep costs down. What I'm looking at doing is cutting openings in the metal body on both ends and using soft firebrick to reline it. I will not permanently close the wide front opening but will plug it with firebrick when I'm not using it. I also want to take the right angle bend out of the burners if I can. My understanding from the other discussion where I read bends were bad is that I'll probably need to change the gas jet. I also think I'll need to change the way the gas is fed to the burners. With the gas fed from one end of a rail the second burner doesn't seem to get quite the same amount of gas. I'm thinking about building a new manifold so I'll be looking into that as well. Before I start cutting and end up messing up what I have that works well enough, I wanted input from our resident geniuses and gas wizards.

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Okay. What are you proposing? I'm not getting a clear picture of your plan, it's sort of iffy temporary, I'm going to change it any . . . ish.

Can you modify a NC forge? Oh yeah some more successfully than others. In the bottom far right of the attached pic is a  2 burner "Whisper Moma" with the 45* angles in the two burners. I made the host of the first Sandbox Shindig a 1" T burner. Rich mounted it in the end of his forge and it made the whole thing hotter than the factory burners. Warped his bench and set the wood timbers to smoldering but that was a matter of making it a stand.

This was taken before the accident and I don't remember the year.

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Frosty The Lucky.

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I shouldn't try typing while my son is running around, I get distracted. What I meant was I was to make some modifications to both the body/liner and the burners.

What I'm thinking for the burners is to make them straight and let them enter at a slight angle. I also think I should cut off the existing gas inlet for the supply rail weld it shut and drill and tap a new hole centered between the burners.

For the body/liner, I want access to a longer fire (instead of the wide fire) so I was thinking about cutting holes in the sides to allow heating the middle of long items. I'm not going to permanently close the wide front opening in case I am working on a curved piece.

Hopefully that makes a little more sense, if not tell me and I'll sketch my ideas.

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Ah, that's much better. Two burners entering through the roof at a downward angle to induce a vortex? The general consensus is to have the flame aim point just short of center of the floor.

Uneven pressure between burners is a sign of too small a manifold or a partially blocked jet. Drilled holes tend to block more easily than lonnng jets like mig tips. Mike originally called them accelerator tubes and I believe the effect makes them less prone to blockage. Propane isn't as clean as we'd like it can leave a waxy residue or maybe worse. Steel propane tanks can have rust scale or construction residue that can block a jet. Steel pipe drilled for a jet is more susceptible to rusting closed.

First thing I'd try is use larger tubing for the manifold. Well, okay the second thing, first would be clean the jets with a torch tip cleaner.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Looks like I'll have to find some tip cleaners next time I go to the store. I didn't even think of a possible blockage on the tip. I just assumed since it is the further of the burners it wasn't getting quite the same pressure. 

Yes I was going for a little bit of vortex or swirl instead of the straight down flames like it currently has. I this that would help prevent the new floor burning up like the current one has.

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I was already planning to get some of that when the time came. I also was looking at a way to contain the inevitable flux puddle by carving a small depression into the kiln shelf.

Right now I'm hung up on trying to find soft brick locally without it being a special order. Seriously, if I wanted to 'special order' something from the store why wouldn't I just order it online and have it shipped directly to my house?

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