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Mellin

My first projects

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I am new at this and wanted to add forging capabilities to my metal shop so I decided to start small and work my way up from a soup can forge. Any and all recommendations are appreciated and if I am doing something wrong I always like to know.

The soup can is lined with some kao-wool I got from a local pottery store, they did not stock any refractories, rigidizers, or products like plistix or itc 100 however the gentleman kindly advised me of a mix of fireclay with sodium silicate and water. My main concern was stopping the degradation of the kaowool which is evidently a heath problem.

I don't have a lot of pictures of the building of the first forge because it was actually really quick and I also think I combined multiple plans.

I used a short fatter soup can and drilled 2 holes in the side for mounting to a piece of stock that I had bent a 90 degree bend into and a slightly larger hole than the half inch nipple I use to hold the burner at about 2 o'clock when looking into the can. I lined the inside with 1 inch of kaowool on the bottom and sides using the seam of the side to allow the burner to come into the chamber tucked into the cloth. After I had the can bolted to the stand and the liner in place I mixed the clay, sodium silicate and water to a chocolate milk consistency and poured onto the fabric in a very thin layer which was aided by the thin viscosity of the mix. I took my mappro torch and with the lightest flame setting and dried the surface of the clay then put the torch in the burner port and heated it up to essentially what you hopefully see in my picture. To avoid flames coming out the mouth of the can I have to run the torch on its pretty much lowest setting but It still will get a nail glowing hot in a minute or less.

My conclusion from this little can forge is I love working with it but I wanted to be able to work larger stock. So I got working on another project the box forge I added some extra features I thought I would like but I didn't know how to account for the difference in volumes of chambers. I made the case out of 20 and 18 gauge sheet, made a door, handmade the crude hinges and made a base with a white firebrick which I later changed to the lighter style. I have problems with losing too much heat and am pretty sure I would need to upgrade to a real burner setup.

 

Any advice on next steps would be greatly appreciated

P.s. that hunk of ash will possibly be my anvil stand 

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case forge.jpg

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Your flame should be blue; not yellow. You need enough space all the way around the torch to allow secondary air to pass by the torch body, where it can reach the flame; use a larger pipe, and hold the burner in its center with at least three thumbscrews in a line; two lines of three are better.

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13 hours ago, Mellin said:

I have problems with losing too much heat and am pretty sure I would need to upgrade to a real burner setup.

Agreed.  Take a little time to read through some of the pinned topics in the gas forge section.  There are some that deal specifically with the burner to forge volume issue.  Without knowing the dimensions and insulating materials of you new forge I can't recommend the burner(s) size, but I can guess that the torch will no longer be sufficient for your needs.

The Forges 101 and Burners 101 topics are very active and contain answers to almost any question you can imagine regarding the construction of forges and burners.  However, they are a bit lengthy so you need to grab a comfy chair, some snacks, and a cold beverage when you have a few hours to invest in learning the details.

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Thank you for the responses everyone Its really appreciated. 

Mikey I am using a 1/2 in nipple and floor flange

Buzz as for your recommended reading I am in the process of reading both of them about 5 pages into each there is a lot of info there. My dimensions are 6.5in x 8 in x 8 in with an additional 1 inch deep door in the back that is insulated. For the insulation I believe the gentleman at the pottery store said that it was 8 pound 2300 degree rated. 1 inch around top and sides and a 2.5 inch tall insulating soft white brick. I did get to looking at the forums more and realize my 1 inch of insulation is not preferred.

Question am I calculating total forge interior as in 6.5x8x9= 468 cubic inches or am I calculating the volume of the forge chamber which is 2.5x2.5x8=50 cubic inches I'm assuming the former.

I would have put in more information and pictures and a bit of a backround on me but I had plans for my anniversary so I had to make the right choice on that one. :)

I have almost bit the bullet and decided to build a Frosty T or "tee" burner. I called the local welding supply stores and they were quoting over 100 dollars for regulator and gauge after I had looked through the forums more I saw a few blacksmithing suppliers who sell the regulator and gauge for half of that. I have the capabilities to drill holes centered 

I didn't know the comparison between a bernzomatic torch versus a Frosty "Tee" versus a zoeller side arm ill look more into that tonight.

I don't know if I have real original plans for a tee burner, http://www.blacksmither.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/T-Burner-Directions-finished-1.pd

The directions seem SLIGHTLY different than what I have already found on IFI.

Also in the link above they connect the burner to the forge body with floor flanges, Question in a frosty tee does the top/tee provide all the necessary air so I don't need additional air intakes like in my current box setup? Does the additional nipple, flange and whatever else inside the case change the ratios? I don't have access to thread protectors what should I use for flare.

 

Note for pictures: this was the first day of building and I have changed the heat sucking brick out from the bottom

 

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Welcome aboard Mellin, glad to have you.

A couple things about finding what you need. Go to a REAL plumbing supply to buy plumbing parts. Go to the Propane dealer to buy your regulator, gauges, hose, needle valves, etc. they're much cheaper than elsewhere and it's all rated for propane. 

Things have changes since I posted the T burner instructions, I can no longer find the brass fitting I used in the instructions. Take the drill bit used to pilot for a 1/4" 28 straight thread and use it as a gauge for the inside of the brass fittings. The IDs aren't consistent so you need to check. If it's too large the fittings won't be snug enough to retain alignment in the burner.

Instead of the pottery supply, check with HVAC service companies, especially the ones who do commercial work. If they don't sell materials they WILL know who does ad if you're charming enough they might let you pick through their scraps. Federal Fire Code in America forbids using anything but new material off the roll in furnaces. This means a service company will have lots of scrap ceramic blanket refractories. The guys I go to typically have a couple dumpsters of scrap Kaowool.

OR you can order small quantities of everything you need to build a forge from Wayne Coe's web site. He breaks store bought size quantities down to reasonable sizes. No reason to buy a 55 lb. sack of KastOLite 30 when Wayne will mail you 10 lbs.

Get hooked up with the local blacksmithing organization for many reasons. A little time spent with experienced folk will save you many MANY times the time figuring it out yourself.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thank you Frosty.

1 hour ago, Frosty said:

Things have changes since I posted the T burner instructions, I can no longer find the brass fitting I used in the instructions. Take the drill bit used to pilot for a 1/4" 28 straight thread and use it as a gauge for the inside of the brass fittings. The IDs aren't consistent so you need to check. If it's too large the fittings won't be snug enough to retain alignment in the burner.

is the connection/fittings you are referring to the brass fitting to mig tip connection?

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Yes, I speced  brass 1/8" MPT x 1/4" flare fitting but it's getting darned hard to find the 1/8" pipe version. The threads on the 1/4" flare side are a common screw thread size though I don't recall what. What I did was buy the brass fitting I could thread for the mig tip then take it to the hardware store and try it in nuts till I found the one it screwed into smoothly and used that tap in the pipe T.

None of this is set in stone there are guys making versions I would've sworn couldn't work let alone work better than my version. Just don't get fancy and try modifying more than you must till you understand how the things work. They're simple machines but take a degree or precision to work well. I shot for a version that only required basic shop skills.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Update:  per Mikey I switched to a larger size inlet pipe and used set screws. The flame changed from yellow to blue and will get a camshaft hot to the core. Also using bricks for front door.

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"So far so good..."

Seriously, you have done well, but try to build a "T" burner soon, to keep your torch from overheating; they aren't built to be mounted on heating equipment. Also read up on re-emissive coatings, to get more heat out of your forge. The choice of good coatings are generous; ask Wayne how to do the job the easy way :D

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So I checked all the local propane suppliers and only one stocks a regulator 0-15 pounds with gauge, they want 50 dollars for that nothing else.

Buying 2 flares, plistix 900 and a connection kit from larry zoeller seems like the easiest way to get them for a reasonable price in small quantities. I don't see propane accessories on wayne coes website or I would consider ordering there. 

I picked up a 1-1/2 x 4 nipple and floor for burner port, 3/4 x 6 nipple, 1x3/4x1 tee, 1 to 3/4 in reducer, .35 mig tips, the flare to pipe thread fitting, and the taps with bits. so I think I am ready to start building the tee burner but ill have no way to connect it to propane.

I just don't know which way to go for the other stuff.

 

Now on to my main question

I will be finishing this little forge out then going on to build a more refined design and I was just wanting some final clarification on insulating layers I'm 17 pages through the forges 101 thread so I might not have retained everything I read.

from what I remember the order should be if I were to do it over correctly?

CASE - for support

then

kao-wool - as insulation

then

sodium silicate - rigidizer

then

castable refractory - as insulation and support

then

plistix or itc 100 - as internal heat re-emitting coating

 

however I build my forge this way

case------>wool----->sodium silicate/fireclay/water mix. it stiffened the blanket a little bit on the side it was applied to but it doesn't sound like the process where someone would spray just the sodium silicate on with dye or soak the blanket.  The fireclay pretty much just wants to flake off since it isn't getting as hot as the little soup can I made first.

I total spent 5 dollars on clay 10 on sodium silicate and 10 on 8 feet of 12inch 2300 degree wool 

Is forge interior volume vs burner size calculated using the size of the case as dimensions or the work area not including insulation

the dimensions of the case are 6.5x8x9= 468 cubic inches

the usable work area inside is 2.5x2.5x8=50 cubic inches

 

Again I just want to reiterate I really do appreciate all the advice and I am trying to read and understand the burners and forges 101 I just ask questions to supplement what could get me into trouble

 

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A 0-15 psi regulator isn't going to do it, just not enough. Before you go online check local industrial hardware stores for weed burners with regulators. Here you can buy one with a 0-30 Red hat regulator for about $50 and you get a needle valve and hose too. Pretty good deal. 

The fancy one with a flow indicator and longer hose is $36. with Amazon Prime free shipping.

This was on page 1 of a bunch using, " 0-30 psi propane regulator) for search terms.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Sodium silicate as rigidizer? NO; a thousand times no! Heck no to the max!!!

Sodium silicate is only employed on a secondary or tertiary (outer) layers of insulation; it melts at 1900 F; it is heavy, expensive, and caustic.

Use colloidal silica (fumed silica in water); it is cheap; use rated for 2300 F; light; and can be ordered from eBay, and ship for very little cost. Colloidal silica is also easy to spritz on ceramic fiber. 

Sodium silica became popular for gluing Perlite together to create lightweight sigid outside tertiary insulation layers

 

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Oh no I've built mine wrong,  because it is in the blanket and in the clay mix that the potter supply store said they would use to fix kilns with.

I also asked if they carry itc 100 to which they replied " the company that makes itc went under a few years ago and none of our suppliers carry a similar product BUT what we use for a substitute is water, sodium silicate, and fireclay it will stiffen the blanket and make a fire proof face because the fireclay is rated at 3200 degrees." 

I do appreciate their time though

I don't plan on using a layer of perlite for insulation currently if 2 inches of kaowool correctly rigidized and internally protected with castable will work. so what should I do with this bottle of sodium silicate. 

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I found the correct fitting I believe. It came from orielly auto parts. Edelman part no. 148420. It has the small inside diameter which I can bore to the correct size and tap.

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I messed up when trying to drill the hole  in the tee so the mig tip is off center. I will go pick up a new tee tomorrow. I went to every single commercial and farm supply and none had high pressure regulators with gauges so I ordered one and a quart of fumed silica. While typing this I also remember that I wanted a 1 inch ball bearing so I will order that too.

 

I also took my die grinder to one of the cast iron 1 inch to 3/4 reducers and totally smoothed the outside but left the threads inside the flare. It is now small enough to fit through the floor and pipe burner mount I have.

My next build will either be an 18 gauge d shaped 2 burner or I can use my old air tank.

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I just realized that I didn't include the pictures also the mig tip wiggles in the nozzle till it hits the shoulder is that normal?

tank.jpg

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A MIG tip that wiggles before being seated by its shoulder jamming against the gas fitting's thread is a sure sign that you need to use some pipe goop to prevent it from leaking...

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Pipe goo I can get, however I also looked at the tweeco website and evidently the tips I bought come with a m6x1 pattern which would explain the bad fit. in my case I think its cheaper to go re buy the right part instead of buying a different tap to fix the problem.

tweeco 11 series has the m6x1.0 pitch I bought these because they are shorter and should have had less cutting

tweeco 15 series has 1/4x28 these are longer but have the pitch called for in the directions

I will probably just eyeball my angles for drilling the hole in the tee maybe get a better holesaw since 

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I don't know if I can delete my previous comment or if someone could delete it for me but it should be tweeco 14 series tips have the correct pitch. 

Pipe goo I can get, however I also looked at the tweeco website and evidently the tips I bought come with a m6x1 pattern which would explain the bad fit. in my case I think its cheaper to go re buy the right part instead of buying a different tap to fix the problem.

tweeco 11 series has the m6x1.0 pitch I bought these because they are shorter and should have had less cutting

tweeco 14 series has 1/4x28 these are longer but have the pitch called for in the directions

I will probably just eyeball my angles for drilling the hole in the tee maybe get a better holesaw

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10 minutes ago, Mellin said:

I don't know if I can delete my previous comment

Mellin, you have about seven minutes to go and edit your post - you have an hour from the time of posting to edit your stuff.

Robert Taylor

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Alas by the time I tried to edit it would not let me, my fat fingers will forever tarnish the information in this post

 

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The thread is actually 1/4-27. I started using 1/4-28 taps two decades ago when 1/4-27 taps were expensive and hard to order. Becuase the MIG tips are pure copper a slightly mismatched thread is easily got away with. However  1/4-27 taps are now cheap, and you can even buy them on eBay these days. 

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 mike I read through the section of burners 101 where the thread pitch variations was discussed, I should have thought that you would have already researched the subject. my only other thought is that based on the size and available threading on the actual tips really any of the options is not going to interfere until past the point at which it is threadable on the tip, hence my m6x1 thread tip screwing down all the way to the shoulder without being stopped. I used to go by the two turn rule when trying to compare thread pitches but that was evidently set on fire by these small diameter oddballs.

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Thank you everyone who has been helping me and I apologise for being that newbie who has all the resources but neglected to look into then thoroughly enough before starting.

I have done allot more digging and found resources locally for getting the t burner built and getting a new efficient forge built. I even found a 12x24 inch  silicon carbide kiln shelf locally for 50 dollars which I read is the holy grail of sturdy floors but it seems a little too big and I will never be able to cut it myself I'm still dreaming though.

I love the burner and forge 101s however I wish they were more condensed i will probably take the threads put them into a word file and format it to a nicely paced read and I am looking for a copy of mikes book. 

I really would like to be able to incorporate the fancy kiln shelf to the next forge but without making an excessively large forge for my needs or exposing the shelf to the case with less or no insulation I don't see it happening.

Thank you again for your time.

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