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JABOD forge melt the concrete coating?


Brian Evans

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I made a JABOD design forge and decided to have the final coating be refractory cement instead of dirt. (Hercules brand refractory cement/mortar) Due to the very flowy nature of the cement I wanted to fire it before I made it look nice (hence the ridges and bumps). After waiting 2 days (4 hours to dry was recommended) I lit it up and afterwards the fire pot was green and looked like it was glass almost. Have any of you encountered this? Should I worry?

Yes I know it looks hideous at the moment.

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Looks a lot like the results I got when using a refractory mortar for the lining of a gas forge.  It was supposed to be rated to 3000 degrees F, but at high temperatures it got sticky, kind of like peanut butter, and when it cooled it was glass-like.  You don't really need something like that in a solid fuel forge anyway.  Dirt/clay/ash should do fine without any refractory coating.

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Not sure about a "best way" A steel bucket with a lid or a clamp top drum. You put a few air holes around the bottom and a tight fitting lid with one small hole. Start a fire, and pack the can with wood, when it's all lit put in the lid and plug the bottom holes. 

A Google search will show you what the black powder guys are doing

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Does it matter if the best way costs more than your house and involves several years of getting Government permits and inspections and employs 32 people?

Best is a useless term without more information.

When I lived inside the city in OKC I would start a wood fire in a stainless steel sink and once it was going well (experience!), put a matching sink over it and plug any holes.  I'd get at least 50% efficiency and often more using scrap wood.

Now I generally just light a fire in my raised firepit and transfer hot coals over using a shaker shovel as needed.  I also sift the ashes from my airtight woodstove each time I clean it and dump the cold charcoal in a 55 gallon drum with a good sealing top.

Don't claim any of these are "best" though; I'm more interested in "easy" and "cheap"!

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The last time that I stayed at a campground I went to all of the unoccupied sites and collected the charcoal. Had to dry some of it out, but it worked fine. I would recommend a relatively  airtight metal container for this. How many times have you heard "I thought it was out".

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I've had that happen with coal; thought it was out and dumped the firepot into a steel 5 gallon bucket and loaded the truck and trucked.  Driving along I look in my rearview mirror and see the side of the bucket glowing red.....oops!   No damage though and that time the coke was floating....I've heard of a smith having a truck fire that way too---and charcoal is even worse!

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