Mellin

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If you want a vault shaped forge how about making a more plastic mix, rolling a sheet to compress it then wrapping a form. Once bisque fired embed it partially on a flat floor that's been rolled and fire again. 

A muffler is a convenient shape but it's not hard at all making a vault. A sono-tube (cardboard tube, concrete pile form) can be cut and attached to a board or multiple layers of poster board. Once dry just burn the form out. This is how I made the hard liner for my first pipe forge. Stripping the sonotube from the inside was nearly impossible even after slitting it with a utility knife so I dropped 4-5 charcoal briquettes in and let it burn. Worked a treat.

Doing a vault I'm thinking leave the outside in open air and building a brick pile "kiln" over it and firing it green. 

What's really impressed me about bentonite is it's ability to harden and fire in a cupola melter fro tooth paste wet to hammer it out with difficulty using a spud bar hard.  I collected some pieces and it's more than bisque fired, straight from nearly liquid limit to rock in a 2,700 f melter's tap hole.

An acquaintance of mine has a kiln he uses for mokume gane and firing forge liners. I'm dying to do some experiments I just need some Zicopax, bentonite and Veegum.

I realize I could be WAY off but I believe the mix will fire from wet to screaming hot forge liner.

Frosty The Lucky.

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So while at the hardware store today I came across this paint mixer and thought to myself how nice it looked for mixing veegum if only I had a tube I could slide over it and cut some holes in. So I walked over to the pvc fittings and found a 2inch coupler that only needed a little ridge reamed out and the vanes fit perfectly in. I will cut some holes on the side in the shape of long rectangles or maybe holes like a cheese grater. I’m basically just making a cup around a vane mixer to create shear force. I’m no expert but the shear created should be substantial as the speed of the outside pvc cup will be zero and the vane mixer inside will be powered by a drill. I have an electric weed whacker i would be willing to bet spins quicker if I ever took it apart to see if I could use that motor.

0BC11F8F-F854-45D4-B014-509CEAB65EBA.jpeg

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Wrong tool, might as well use a spoon in a hand drill. 

Find a yard, garage, etc. sale food processor or blender. Cavitation behind the blades will shatter the clay into solution. Pushing it around with flat blades does little or nothing to mix the bentonite group and Veegum makes bentonite look like Alka-Seltzer for mixing. 

Drilling we'd have to use bentonite drill mud once in a while and used to  mix it in the mud tub with shovels, then concrete hoes, then the trash pump. The trash pump worked best but it was still in unvarnished PITA. The impeller in a trash pump looks like your device and it worked poorly. At a driller's workshop a crew demonstrated their method of mixing mud. They used a hydraulic motor with a shaft extension and a flat bar welded on the end. It spun flat like a lawn mower blade. It wasn't very big, maybe 8" long 3/8" thick and 1" wide. This thing turned 55g/ of water and 50 lbs. of bentonite into thick gravy in about 30 seconds.

The very idea of putting 50 lbs. of bentonite in only 55lg. of water and expecting anything but a sticky lump was laughably crazy but it worked fast and well. It was the cavitation behind the steel bar that did the magic.

A food processor, grind any taper off the trailing edge of the blade. Drill a couple holes through the blade being careful to get them the same distance from the center and positioned the same on both blades or you'll throw it out of balance. This will make a normally violent cavitation machine even more violent. It's the collapse of the vacuum chamber that is cavitation that does the mixing. 

I don't know how well the thick mix you're thinking about making would work in a food processor. I think it's a good idea but I don't know how well it'd mix. Worth a try for sure.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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https://www.vanderbiltminerals.com/assets/uploads/Documents/Technical/VAN_GEL_VEEGUM_Industrial_Applications_Web.pdf

A rep on a ceramics forum said to use a device called a rotor stator homogenizer basically a lab grade immersion blender. However with this device I created a mix thicker than mashed potatoes but almost perfectly smooth with no lumps. 500 grams water 100 grams Veegum. I warmed the water 4 mins in microwave. There are multiple correct ways to get a job done some just aren’t by the book.

Of all the things I didn't take a better picture of. I'll have one showing just how thick this stuff is outside the jar.

20180406_232702.jpg

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18 hours ago, Frosty said:

Wrong tool, might as well use a spoon in a hand drill. 

Find a yard, garage, etc. sale food processor or blender. Cavitation behind the blades will shatter the clay into solution. Pushing it around with flat blades does little or nothing to mix the bentonite group and Veegum makes bentonite look like Alka-Seltzer for mixing. 

Drilling we'd have to use bentonite drill mud once in a while and used to  mix it in the mud tub with shovels, then concrete hoes, then the trash pump. The trash pump worked best but it was still in unvarnished PITA. The impeller in a trash pump looks like your device and it worked poorly. At a driller's workshop a crew demonstrated their method of mixing mud. They used a hydraulic motor with a shaft extension and a flat bar welded on the end. It spun flat like a lawn mower blade. It wasn't very big, maybe 8" long 3/8" thick and 1" wide. This thing turned 55g/ of water and 50 lbs. of bentonite into thick gravy in about 30 seconds.

The very idea of putting 50 lbs. of bentonite in only 55lg. of water and expecting anything but a sticky lump was laughably crazy but it worked fast and well. It was the cavitation behind the steel bar that did the magic.

A food processor, grind any taper off the trailing edge of the blade. Drill a couple holes through the blade being careful to get them the same distance from the center and positioned the same on both blades or you'll throw it out of balance. This will make a normally violent cavitation machine even more violent. It's the collapse of the vacuum chamber that is cavitation that does the mixing. 

I don't know how well the thick mix you're thinking about making would work in a food processor. I think it's a good idea but I don't know how well it'd mix. Worth a try for sure.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

This is how thick I got it.  It was probably a little more fluid last night.

2018-04-07 19.37.40.jpg

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It'll continue to thicken as it hydrates ALL the particles equally. Keep it in a sealed jar or it WILL absorb more water from the air and you'll never get even hydration.

Those are the rules for especially tricky bentonite mixes and from what I read Veegum is far harder to hydrate.

Frosty The Lucky.

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It was very hard to get hydrated i need a cloned of myself to help around the garage. I made a batch of mud This mix when dry will be approximately 96 percent zircopax plus and 4 percent veegum t it is extremely thick, while moist it has not changed shape since last night

2018-04-07 20.31.59.jpg

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I’m waiting on this mix to dewater and I didn’t get to the garage today there was supposed to be a blizzard that turned out to be nothing terrible at all. I am going to do a dry mix of the zircax next time to see if I get similar results for consistency if I do I’ll leave this troublesome process as a note in my journal. Upon rereading through the Vanderbilt guide it says you can mix dry, I misinterpreted that as being for a different product but I think I am mistaken.

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I guess i burnt my Firebrick? The cerium oxide on the edges seems to be protecting the brick.

20180412_193643.jpg

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Doesn't look like it's protecting it at all. The reason the edges are in better condition is the kaowool sides are shielding them. Less surface area in flame contact.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I coated the inside of my first box forge with zircopax and letting it dry. I have just under a quart of it made and saved in a jar. 

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