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I Forge Iron

A Decent Refractory Cement?

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Welcome aboard The, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the Iforge gang live within visiting distance.

I don't know how to answer your question without asking a few myself. What do you want refractory cement for? If you're thinking of lining a forge, cement is NOT the stuff you need. Cement is for sticking masonry together and is unsuited for life in a propane forge fire. 

If you wish to make a refractory forge liner silica is a poor component especially if you want to weld in it. Garnet is a maybe, I'd have to look it up but there are better materials for reasonable $ and you don't have to mix your own. Experimentation and developing something new could take years in a good lab. There are refractory companies with large full time staffs developing refractories.

Before you just dive into the questions you'll do yourself a huge favor by reading some of the material in the forge section, solid forges refer to coal, coke, charcoal, etc. and propane forge refers to a whole bunch of designs and opinions. It'll also give you a grounding in the terminology and usage so you can ask good questions and understand the answers.

I'm not trying to put you off but so much has been done and written about here it's a shame to have to make your own mistakes. I gladly offer you ours so you don't have to repeat them.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I guess I should start our by clarifying what I'm trying to do, huh? XD

Well, for starters, some friends and I made a steel bucket foundry. And, as I predicted, three used of the quikrete lined bucket later, it cracked, and the fire extinguisher bottom we were using as a crucible melted right through. So, i went to the dump to salvage. I found a gas water heater, and cut the top off. From there, I cut about 14 inches out of the body of the tank, creating a shorter, lighter version of the tank. Now that it no longer weighed like a sack of rocks it was manageable. I bought kaowool and a nice crucible for it, and was promised 100 lbs of industrial grade refractory cement. But... that promise fell through. I'm now trying to ask around for cheap alternatives that won't be biting my xxxx after twenty uses. If this metalworking gig becomes a thing, a bigger, better foundry is in order. I need a hot face, as I can insulate with kaowool. Something important to note is that I would like the burn used motor oil, because it's free, and I have an insane amount of it. I have the plumbing and blower figured out, but now, I need a working foundry. I'm reading the xxxx out of these forums, and there's more great advice here than anywhere else! If you know about clays and what not to line the foundry with, could you point me to a good thread on that? I'm reading up on advice to newbies! A good place to start, right? :P

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Watch your language please, this is a family site and Admin will XXX bad language for a little while then they'll  put you on moderated. We all get XXXed now and again it happens but we really try to keep it clean enough our grand kids can read and we don't need to explain things. 

Portland cement is a DANGEROUSLY bad refractory. A number of the gang cast but we're mostly hammer hot steel folk. One of the guys in our local club is a bronze caster and his melter's flame faces are the same silica (something or other) he uses for lost wax, foam, etc. molds. DARN, I can't recall what you call the liquid slip you dip the form in. It's a not a caster thing, I have to remind him of blacksmithing terms. 

His melters are backed with Kaowool, then an intermediary of soft fire brick, then flame face is the ceramic and sand he uses to make the molds.

I use Kast-O-Lite 30 for the flame face in my forge, 50lb. sack runs about $100, shipping included in Anchorage Ak. 

Your best bet to learn how to use oil for fuel is talk to a HVAC service guy if he will. There are liability issues where they're concerned, if you take a suggestion and blow yourself up or burn yourself out they could lose everything. Waste oil, especially motor oil has EPA issues too. It'll probably cost too much to burn free fuel. That sounds silly but it's not.

Hopefully some casters will jump in here. I know enough about casting to know who to ask.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I strongly suggest you visit alloyavenue.com which is where the old backyardmetalcasting.com moved.  It's a series of forums dedicated to casting and foundry work whereas we are focused mainly on blacksmithing with the other stuff peripheral to our focus.

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