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WT-Fab

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Hey guys, brand new to the site and I figured I'd throw out there what I'm doing with my Forge. This is my first time building a forge and I really don't know what I'm doing other than what I've seen in YouTube videos and on line forums like this. I've built a burner similar to something that I've seen kind of like a t style burner. This is sort of just a trial and error burner seems to work okay I don't know how hot the inner chamber will get. The main tube for the burner is 1 inch by 12 inch long  black pipe nipple  both Bell ends are 1 inch to inch and a half couplers  with the threads machined out of them. the forge body itself I'm using the drum out of an old furnace and coating the inside with a readily available refractory cement and perlite mixture. The refractory cement is rated to 3000 degrees so I figured it would be alright for a first-time shot worst case scenario I chip it out and start over. I'm curious as to how thick the refractory layer should be on a chamber that will be roughly 11in in diameter and 12in deep. I will be using a 5 gallon bucket as a form for the inner chamber I figured the tapered sides of the bucket would release nicely from the inside of the chamber. I'm also wondering on Burner placement if it should be at an angle or straight down towards the bottom or floor of the burn chamber. I planned on getting a couple of fire bricks to sit in the floor to help with wear and tear on the forge itself. I would truly appreciate any insight that anybody would be willing to give also I take all criticism is constructive and only use it to better what I'm looking to do with this project. Check out the pictures and let me know what you guys think!

Thanks!

As an afterthought I wanted to see how well the back of the forge or the bottom would set up before I got too far into setting my burner placement and buying a whole lot of extra refractory cement. Thanks again guys I'm really looking forward to comments and any advice anybody is willing to give!

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First the good.  Your burner flame looks great (at least to what i see mikey may give some advice to reach perfection but it's pretty darn good now)

 

now the bad.  Perlite is a horrable idea.  Search for wayncoe artist blacksmith.  He has forge plans you can follow and sales all the supplies you need to build a forge for reasonable prices.

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The perlite will get coated with waterglass and aluminum oxide mix.

What is the downfall to perlite? 

I only ask questions to better the product.

Thanks!

As far as the burner goes it has an astounding amount of adjustability. First actually successful burner I've made, so I appreciate that!

 

I will refine parts as I learn more, this is just another thing that has always intrigued me. I am not wanting to spend inordinate amount of time on things until I know what I'm doing... ; )

 

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well first waterglass melts at around 1900 so your forge will fall apart on you using that as the binder.  Perlite doesnt hold heat for crap so you will go through a lot of fuel in order to get your binder to melt and your forge to fall apart.  I speak of these things from experience dont feel bad i listened to the youtube "experts" and built a perlite Waterglass forge before coming here and gettimg advice from people with actual practicle knowledge.  Since then ive built a lot of forges because i like to tinker.  What works best for one application doesnt work best for the next.  Also each persons own forging style i assume also makes a differance on what build type is best for them.  What every forge i build has in common is they all use 2 1" layers of 8# fiberglass blanket each one ridgidized also every forge i use has a coating of matrikote as a kiln wash (i have made several without matrikote for testing purpose and there is 0 reason to not use it and a lot of possitives to using it)

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Good info, I'm not above scrapping the 30 bucks in refractory I have used. I'd rather do it better the first time. Ill be looking into these things. I truly want to get to forge welding temp and do some Damascus stuff. I want to build something that isn't going to collapse on me. It will drop right out after it's hardened. I like the size of my shell so I'm keeping that. 

 

I'm more or less just wanting to do knives and other small things. Damascus intrigues me as do other challenges. What would be the best "bang for the buck" refractory while staying as "safe" as possible... I mean asbestos would be a great refractory right? I'm not a fan of cancer...

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Wayne the genrleman above me sells everyrhing you need im still new to damascus and most times its more of a blob then something useable.  However the forge i like to ise for an attempt at damaacus is 2 1" layers of 8# blanket ( wayne sells it at 9 per 2 sq feet) a 1 1/2" thick casting of kastolite (this is thick it takes a while to get to temp but once there it stays nicely and heats metal quick wich for damascus is good.  Wayne sells kastolite at 15 for 5#) i then coat it in a matrikote kiln wash to reflect heat better(wayne sells at 20 a pint) the internal chamber size is 5"×5" 10" long so a 3/4" burner has no issue bringing to fprge weld temp.

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22 hours ago, WT-Fab said:

a chamber that will be roughly 11in in diameter and 12in deep.

21 hours ago, WT-Fab said:

I'm more or less just wanting to do knives and other small things.

Most of us who have built our own forges started with one that was  bigger than needed.  It's common to think "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it."   However, that's a pretty big forge chamber for your expressed intentions.  The larger the chamber the more you spend on building materials, but that's just the first issue.  It takes more fuel to keep that chamber hot - especially if you want to forge weld.   In addition to that you have to think about your fuel delivery. Running a one inch diameter burner from a bbq sized propane tank will almost certainly result in quickly cooling the tank to the point where the pressure drops and the burner no longer functions correctly, for instance.  If you have multiple tanks linked together or a significantly bigger tank it may not be an issue, but it will still be more expensive to operate than a well built forge with a smaller chamber.

22 hours ago, WT-Fab said:

I'm also wondering on Burner placement if it should be at an angle or straight down towards the bottom or floor of the burn chamber.

This is an area where personal preference comes into play.   The area directly across from the burner gets more abuse than the rest of the forge.  That's one of the reasons you will see a lot of forges with burners pointed straight down from the top.  The floor is usually designed to take more abuse than the walls, whether it be cast thicker or a removable slab of brick or kiln shelf.  A vertical burner will also experience a "chimney effect" when you shut down, and unless you remove the burner or have a choke to seal it, hot air will rise through the burner and that can cause issues with the burner, hoses, or fittings. 

However, some of the better refractories do hold up fairly well, and flame swirl is generally considered beneficial in a forge, so which is better can come down to a matter of opinion and forge chamber materials.

22 hours ago, WT-Fab said:

I planned on getting a couple of fire bricks to sit in the floor to help with wear and tear on the forge itself.

Standard fire bricks can help with the wear and tear, but hard fire bricks absorb and transfer heat rather than insulate, so it takes more fuel and time to heat up a forge with those on the floor.  Casting a floor of insulating refractory or using relatively thin slabs of high alumina kiln shelf are a better way to go.

21 hours ago, WT-Fab said:

I truly want to get to forge welding temp and do some Damascus stuff.

Then your forge needs to be designed well to hold the heat that your burner puts in (and obviously your burner needs to be hot enough to begin with).  For me that would mean abandoning the perlite and refractory cement idea.  Binesman has already given you the generally preferred insulation and lining construction materials.   You also need to be able to close the openings as much as you reasonably can to help hold the heat in.  I block off the rear pass-through opening and close off the front opening so it's just big enough to comfortably move the billet in and out of the forge when I forge weld. 

All of this stuff has been covered well in the Forges 101 and Burners 101 threads.  In my opinion it's worth the time to read through those topics before spending a lot of time and money on things that may be less than ideal for your goals.  One other thing, if you're like a lot of us you will not build just one propane forge.  You'll build one, use it, and think about what you could have done to make it better.  Then you'll build another one.  This is another reason I'd recommend starting smaller than you've indicated.  It's a lot cheaper and less painful to discard smaller mistakes.

 

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No problem; all of us will get there if we're *lucky*.  Having a couple of concussions last year sped me up a bit I know.

Just wanted to make it clear to possible new folks---shoot some of them even believe in what they are told on youtube with no idea if the source is good or bogus!

One of the virtues of IFI is that we tend to correct each other to keep things fairly accurate for the folks without the background and experience.

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