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16 hours ago, Andy98 said:

Are you judging efficiency just by psi? That doesn't tell you the full picture. You need to know flowrate (by mass or volume). Your low-input-pressure burner might have a big orifus and thus still be delivering a high volume of gas.

Yes i am aware of these facts. But for lack of equipment and having a "lab" lol. I just tracked how much fuel I used every day and how I used a stopwatch to track the time I ran for. I did this for 14 days with each forge.  The orifice on the venturi and ribbon burners were the same size by volume.( I had a 4 burner venturi) The only difference in size was the size forge the ribbon burner was 1145 ci and the venturi forge was 432 ci. To maintain the volume of fuel It took 4 venturi burners. But to heat the steel as fast as the ribbon forge I had to make the venturi forge smaller.  I know its not all even across the board but I wasn't about to spend the money. I gained enough info to realize there was a very big difference fuel consumption. I could not tho match the fuel volume for the same size forge to heat my 1145 ci forge to the same consistency as my ribbon burner did it, took 6 venturi burners. So in conclusion. To heat the same size forge to the same consistency takes over at least 50% more fuel using venturi burners then if you use a forced air ribbon burner.  I know use a forge that is almost 2.5 time bigger, I use half the fuel I did before, can heat larger stock quicker, with a far more consistent heat.    

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3 hours ago, David Kailey said:

 The only difference in size was the size forge the ribbon burner was 1145 ci and the venturi forge was 432 ci. To maintain the volume of fuel It took 4 venturi burners. But to heat the steel as fast as the ribbon forge I had to make the venturi forge smaller.  

Hi David, thanks for taking the time to write your impressions about your ribbon burner.  I definitely have plans to make one in the future.  To clarify, are you saying you used 4 naturally aspirated burners in a 432 CI forge?  What kind of "venturi" burner did you use?  I understand you were comparing volume of fuel, however one good 3/4" to 1" naturally aspirated burner should be  able to heat 350 CI to forge  welding temperature.  

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19 hours ago, David Kailey said:

But for lack of equipment and having a "lab" lol. I just tracked how much fuel I used every day

Hi  - Thanks! I saw your post in the other thread with the actual fuel consumption estimations too. Interesting stuff.

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18 hours ago, ede said:

Hi David, thanks for taking the time to write your impressions about your ribbon burner.  I definitely have plans to make one in the future.  To clarify, are you saying you used 4 naturally aspirated burners in a 432 CI forge?  What kind of "venturi" burner did you use?  I understand you were comparing volume of fuel, however one good 3/4" to 1" naturally aspirated burner should be  able to heat 350 CI to forge  welding temperature.  

They also said artificial sweeteners were safe, WMD's were in Iraq, and Anna Nicole married for love.  lol.   Yes naturally aspirated. The numbers may say 1 will work but I know of no blacksmith or forge company that uses only one in a forge a forge that size. Even if it did a 4x4 would heat a slightly bigger forge while burning less fuel. Ironically my very first forge was about 320 ci and the first thing i realized was I needed to install a 2nd burner. My experience says it dose not and will not. There will be a good hot spot about 3" around but the rest of the forge will not have the same heat. I do production work I may have up to a dozen pieces of steel in the forge it would never keep up, even 4-6 burners still left me with not enough heat at the ends of my forge. I also forge a lot of big handles from 1" bar stock that will have a twists up to 15" long, no matter how many or any configuration would be able to achieve equal heat using equal fuel. I had burners that I had bought for from a company that built forges and also use plans building them from pipe and bell reducers. The burners I had were 5/8".the forge I use now is 8" x 18" it took no less then 6 burners to get the same heat as 1 ribbon burner that is 2" x 12". Feel free to spend the same time and money I have. You will come to this conclusion...........venturi burners suck..........a whole lotta fuel.  I can work for 30-35 hours on a single 100lb tank of propane. But all I can do is share my experience ultimately its your call.

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Dave, I like reading what professional blacksmiths encounter and how they react to the needs of their work. It helps me with my understanding of my needs which are for the most part on a much different scale, but the bottom line still being the same.... economy and performance.   thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.   I have to agree with everything you have said except the cost of switching to a blown burner for my 500ci forge.   I calculate the cost at $360 to modify my forge, that includes the blower, pipe/fittings, more refractory, more IR coating, and the burner refractory as well.  After reading your posts I have decided to spend the money and make the switch.  I don't know how long it will take me to recover the costs of the switch, but I know I want more performance and easy of adjustments.

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I think both Frosty and I have written on our mutual beliefs that ceramic ribbon burners have the potential to heat more stock for less money than any other burner design does. I personally suspect that the larger the forge the better those numbers will get. I, as the "competition" am perfectly content with this situation. Why should that be? Since my book cam out in 2004, I have been forced to repeat my firm belief that there is no such thing as the perfect burner for everyone, or for every use. It was true when I had the hottest burner around, it is still true with ribbon burners, and it will remain true, when my Vortex burners take back the lead from ribbon burners; and when it does, I will go right on saying that "there is no such thing as the perfect burner". So far, I'm personally the most impressed by "T" burners; this is because they are the easiest burner for most guys to build, and that is why it is Frosty's "T" burner that I concentrate most of my effort on bettering, rather than pushing my new Vortex burners. Today, there are so many hot burner designs to choose from that "hottest burner" has gotten from the blue ribbon to honorable mention :)

Look out Frosty; Mikey is sneaking up right behind you...

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Thanks for the warning Mikey, I'll up my bean intake for when you get close. 

Efficiency has more factors than fuel consumption, temperature and recovery rate. A number of variables effect everything and in different ways. It's just too confusing for my dented head to try and analyze why one person likes this as opposed to that. 

I've come to realize that hang time in the forge for the fire makes a BIG difference in efficiency so slowing the through put is a biggy.

However BTUs are simple arithmetic, fuel burned / hr. Period Dot. Unfortunately BTUs and absolute temperature are two related but different things.

Multi outlet burners be they: ribbons, buttons, rings, whatever distribute the flame over a wide area. The same volume of anything moving over a larger volume, area x depth, has a lower velocity. The flame has a longer hang time in the furnace so transfers more heat to the liner to re-radiate into the stock.

There's no magic it's simple arithmetic.

From my limited time messing with ribbons I observe what I thought was and the NARB bears out my opinion that folk are  pushing too much pressure through them, air and gas. I believe they're looking for what I used to in a well tuned burner, "dragon's breath." 

T burners roar, Side arms roar, commercially made burners roar, so guys are making ribbon burners that roar. The original NARB and it's sibling NARB II  whisper, you have to look to see if they're burning unless you're standing within about 5', you can hear one of the Ts burning IN the shop from the house porch about 120' away.

A T doesn't work against back pressure so I had to provide enough outlets to reduce back pressure as much as possible without slowing the air:fuel mix below it's rate of propagation or it just burns back into the plenum and T.

What surprised me most when I fired up the first ceramic NARB was how stable it is, it'll run the full stop to stop range of my 0-20psi regulator. I can back the regulator screw out till it's completely off the diaphragm and it's not reading on the gauge at all and the ribbon burns beautifully. OR I can turn the reg up till the screw bottoms out, gauge reading 22psi and the ribbon is stable as a desk top.

The darned thing is so stable across the range I got carried away at a meeting and ran it at so low a psi there wasn't enough air:fuel flowing through it to keep it cool so it overheated and started burning back.

Just remember boys and girls multiple outlet burners have been around since before gas light days, just take a look under your gas range.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I once used a large forge up around 7000 feet above sea level. It used a ribbon burner and the professional smith ran it at welding heat---we know this as the 2.5" sq stock 3' long I was heating got accidentally forge welded to a piece of 3/4" round stock another smith sharing the forge was working---as in we had to use a sledge hammer to separate them---no flux involved either.

That impressed me. I'm slowly building a largeish billet welder to use a ribbon burner while my teaching forge uses plain old venturi burners---well for the last 15+ years...

Without a bunch of details THERE IS NO BEST *ANYTHING*!

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If building a 3"x3"x6" ribbon burner, any reason I shouldn't, for the inlet, use a 1.5" pipe instead of the 2" described in Emmerling's instructions? It should create slightly more pressure into the plenum, yes? I don't see that being a bad thing necessarily. Thoughts?

Thanks,

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I almost have all the materials I need. Getting the paint off of the propane tank is really not fun. At this  point i'm using a knotted wire wheel on an angle grinder followed by a flap  disk.   Even then the paint just gets smeared around a lot before finally coming off. I haven't  yet tried paint remover, but maybe that  would be the proper way to accomplish this efficiently? 

Here are some process pictures of the ribbon burner so far. Square pipe is 3"x3"x6", 1/8" wall thickness. The inlet hole is 2.25" diameter to accept a 2" pipe (which I believe measures 2 3/8" OD)

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I am going to continue posting questions on this thread, but I figure maybe I will start a new thread dedicated to photos of the building process of the burner and forge. So look out for that soon I guess.

Thanks,

Eric

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Hmmm...

I cast the ribbon burner and  messed it up when I tried to remove the bottom piece of the form. Knocked it with a hammer over the edge of a table and the casting disconnected from the steel. The cast had sit 3 days before I touched it. Any tips  on getting that bottom  piece off without breaking the cast?

Another question. On the first casting and now the second as well- if I  add  too much water it will be weak, so I try to minimize my water ratio as per the instructions (peanut butter consistency).  With less water however it becomes  extremely hard to push the steel body down into the mizzou. I need to put my weight behind it and rock  it back and forth.  Even then its  hard for me to be sure it really pushing up behind the steel completely. Should it be this hard to set the steel down into the castable? Or should it actually just be more wet? It seems like  "peanut butter" might not be an appropriate description?

 

Thoughts by those who  have experience? Thanks,

Eric

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I found old Crisco made a good release agent and it helps if you take the mold apart rather than just try knocking it off. The base of mine is on a sanded painted 2" x 6" with crayon receiver holes drilled a bit over size. The sides are sanded and painted 2" x 2" screwed in two L shape halves. The leg is the correct length for the mold width, ID that is. The long part is a few inches longer than the longest block I cast.

The long parts allow me to adjust the block length as needed by sliding back and forth and not effect the casting width.The sides just screw down to the base.

I apply the Crisco liberally, if it squeezes out of receiver holes when I insert the crayons, PERFECT, the crayons will come out of the base easily. If you get enough on the crayons they'll just slip out of the WARMED block once set. The holes in the base are drilled deep enough the crayons make the stop to get the plenum embedded correctly.

I've had the best luck with Kast-O-Lite 30 it has finer aggregate in it as the bubbles make the larger particles unnecessary.  I use a putty knife to work the refractory down between the crayons. It works better to tap the plenum in than pushing it in, vibrating doesn't help getting the plenum in the mud, it brings the air bubbles to the surface and gets the refractory into all the small spaces. I discovered if you mix the refractory too wet the aggregate separates out and you end up with the largest particles in the bottom of the mold with the fines running out the top so ou can't get the plenum to seat completely.

Once the block is set for a day or so I unscrew the sides of the form and tap them away from the block on the inside of the long part. Once the sides are off you can just lift the block off the base. Leaving crayons in the base IF you're lucky.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Super useful ! Thank you both for the quick replies. After the cast is released do you do any curing cycling with heat or do you just let it sit until hard enough? From what I understand mizzou benefits from various curing cycles in a heated environment? Or am I simply trying to force the moisture out?

Eric

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What Frosty said.... plus...  I used a polyurethane spray on the wood, let that dry a day than coated it in a paste wax.  Just don't let the refractory soak into the wood.  Wayne may tell you that I am the one that when fitting the burner into the forge I fumble fingered it and dropped it onto a concrete floor.  That broke it very nice so don't do that either. 

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On 5/20/2017 at 1:03 PM, edennis said:

I almost have all the materials I need. Getting the paint off of the propane tank is really not fun. At this  point i'm using a knotted wire wheel on an angle grinder followed by a flap  disk.   Even then the paint just gets smeared around a lot before finally coming off. I haven't  yet tried paint remover, but maybe that  would be the proper way to accomplish this efficiently? 

Paint removal from fuel cylinders of various types: Open cylinder ends. Place cylinder on dirt, in barbecue, etc., and load in half a bag of self lighting charcoal from the grocery store; drop in lit ball of crumpled paper; heat until charcoal has turned to ash, and paint has mostly turned to dust. Now, employ emply sandpaper disc in angle grinder for tend to twenty minutes, and turn cylinder all sparkly, the easy way:ph34r:

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Gee THANKS Mike I was really enjoying all the WAY too MUCH WORK methods the guys were coming up with. There goes the fun now!

Just funnin, I miss the obvious all the time or I would've mentioned burning the paint off a long time ago. Do it on bare mineral soil away from flammable stuff and where the smoke won't bother folk. You can stuff it full of sticks and branches or just toss it on a burn pile. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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but but but we could spall the paint off using a CO2 laser tied to a blueprint printer with the cylinder hooked to an old wind up victrola to spin it slowly; probably work even better if we put it in a strong vacuum!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Making progress.

Here are some pictures of the casting process. I made the castable a little too thick as it was hard to press down the metal, but it seems to have turned out ok. I will post some pictures soon of the casting all dried out.

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Here are some pictures showing progress on the ribbon burner and forge. I fabricated two plates for the front and back to hold the insulating bricks for doors (two per side). My worries after making them however is that the heat exiting the forge will warp the 16 gauge steel. Thoughts? I just finished installing the first layer of ceramic wool and rigidized via spaying. I wasn't totally sure how much to use so I pre-wet the surfaces with water and then sprayed the rigidizer until it seemed equally covered. Do I really want to soak the wool or is "damp" alright? I understand capillary action will pull it in, however I have a hard time imagining how much is needed to coat all the fibers. Is two coats preferable for durability or unnecessary.

Thanks for looking. Comments and critiques certainly welcome. 

Eric

 

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