Leeknivek

grass forge

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having some trouble finding specific information on building a gas forge. i know the basic gist of it - ceramic wool, sodium silicate, refractory coating, propane, done. but i am looking for some answers on what's actually necessary and why. secondly, i want to use a forced air burner - from what i understand, you can run at a lower psi which means less volume, less gas, less money to operate. currently, for the most part, research is limited to all the random people on youtube, or random forum posts that hit from my search terms - slow process. 

i have a few items that i have scrounged from work or the dump, i have enough ceramic wool for a forge, i have a few candidates for a shell, and i have plenty of pipe and fittings. 

what i am thinking is a chamber between 4-6" in diameter and 8-12" long. i use a 20lb tank currently for my foundry furnace (20gal garbage can lined with kaowool and 18ga stainless hot face)

beyond that i really am not sure what i should buy. i know there are items such as kastolite or satanite, but i am not too particular on buying 55lb bags from the other side of the country on ebay or some other not-really-practical venture. i know there's a stigma to "furnace cement" - but within what limits? has anyone tested to say it will fail at X temperature, or after X hours, etc. i see propane forges listed on ebay for a couple hundred dollars (made in europe, i believe) and they are sold with only a blanket and a single firebrick ... if i remember rightly i have seen those in action on youtube through the past few years performing ok as built. i have also heard that furnace cement will "make do" or "get you started" - the credibility to that, i am not sure, but i do not intend to start production work, rather, i only want a simple and easy to use forge that doesn't require fiddling with a coal fire for half an hour for a 5 minute job. 

so i am wondering if kaowool coated with fire cement and with fire brick cemented on three or four or six sides is an adequate forge for occasional use. i doubt i will do any welding in it, though maybe rarely. once a year, say. keeping the temp somewhere around 1800-2000F for 1.5" and under stock, mostly light work, repair work, maintenance work, basic heat treating. i understand this is not ideal, it's perhaps a terrible idea, but if it works "good enough" and i can KISS it, i can afford to buy new fire bricks every few years, and they're within a couple miles of my house, not in portland oregon. i think this is a fair point, for myself and a lot of others, that if there's a way to make it work, maybe we can explore that. if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. 

anyways - as for blown burners, i have seen simple designs with 1.5" npt pipe, an inexpensive hair dryer, and some sort of nozzle and mixing chamber assembly.
blower > nipple > gate valve > nipple > elbow-with-nozzle-inside > nipple > forge. am i missing anything? are there any rules of thumb to follow? 

sorry for the length, i am trying to be fairly specific so that you guys don't have to ask as many questions. 

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Check out the Build a Gas Forge on the Forge Supplies page of my web-site.  You can get the url and other contact info on my Profile.  I prefer e-mails over PMs.

Let me know if I can help you.

Wayne

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Read Forges 101  and Construction of gas forge in the gas forges section.  All your questions are answered 100fold.  No sodium silicate!!

Please Enlighten yourself at those threads for very specific info. It may take a while to read, but its worth it.  Read Forges 101 first, or at least some of it to get the underlying principles, then check out Condtruction of a gas forge for specific step by steps.  Burners 101 is very good, as well as Ron Riel's website.  That will clear up your information there.  

I asked a looot of questions in construction when i made it, i made my forge with almost exclusively that info and forges 101.  

Best of luck!!!

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Depending on your firebrick, you'll end up replacing far more often than every few years. After a couple sessions, the brick I was using as a door (standard split hard firebrick) split in two. 

A lot of "make do" solutions seem to be the product of impatience, and a desire to go from zero to forging in one afternoon, compounded with the fact that you can often buy things like sand, plaster of Paris, and furnace cement locally. 

I ordered my refractory from Wayne. Good value in reasonable quantities. 

Gas forges really deserve the time to do them right. And please don't use exposed kaowool. It's nasty stuff. 

All that said, I  know you have an aversion to coal, but if you want to go from no forge to burning steel if you aren't careful in a few hours, build thee a JABOD.

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Wayne, thank you, that is an excellent resource and i may be in contact with you soon. 

(M)

Quote

We all tend to discuss the end details, which leads the new guys hard put to keep our "self evident" comments from becoming kind of bewildering, at times.

this is the type of stuff that I am trying to avoid. i haven't seen that thread before, so thanks for bringing it to my attention, but i wasn't able to find much of anything that wasn't obvious within the first few pages, though i did find this^ post from OP. and yes, i know, there might be valuable information on page 16 post #4 or on page 24 towards the bottom, but that's the kind of tedium i am looking to avoid, sorry. i have visited ron reil's site multiple times in the past, reading through most of his site. there was good, clear cut and fairly concise information listed there - the Forges 101 thread i think could use some better organization, because there is useful information, but finding it is nothing beyond "read through 29 pages of arbitrarily-ordered forum discussion and foot notes"

Exo313, i am not interested in building a box of dirt, thanks. i have been doing this a handful of years and i do understand the constant bombardment of obvious questions from instant blacksmiths but i would just like to state that i am not in that category.

now, as to the fire brick you mentioned - that is exactly what i had in mind, though i am wondering it's durability if it is "properly" cemented in place as a hot face, not an open and exposed doorway. i have heard mention of high alumina kiln shelfing, too - perhaps that is an alternative - but what i have in mind is cementing them together as an interior lining; as one solid contiguous piece, not simply sat on the wool. ie, wool, a coating of cement all around exposed surfaces, and the bricks mortared to that cement. i am not married to this idea, but it is inexpensive, available, and i have some idea of what i am actually getting, it isn't some cost-prohibitive exotic ceramic product. as i mentioned before, i understand there is a stigma behind using either of these products - and perhaps it is well justified, i couldn't say -

- but i do know from building up a variety of melting furnaces that i have run setups burning motor oil with a white hot flame (somewhere around 1/2gal-minute) into nothing more than a shallow hole in the ground, a cast iron pipe hot face 12"ø 1/4" wall, and a circular stack of hodge podge 100 year old red house bricks to contain the flame, and a bit of a pile of dirt to surround it. i put more than 50 hours of burn time at or around 2000 degrees, i have had the dirt in the ground glowing red, i have had the interior of the red house bricks glowing orange, and i have had the entire cast iron hot face glowing red. 75,000btu/minute. after a while, the bricks, which were only held in by gravity, began to shatter on the inside (no explosions, but they were heavily cracked) the cast iron warped, and the cast iron melting pot i used had significant blistering - but it worked, and it worked well for 50 hours.

if red bricks, the bane of all forge builders, are capable of that, i am thinking that low end actual refractory materials are plenty capable of what i want to do, if i work around their weak points. if they are absolutely not acceptable, well, then that's one thing - but i would like to have an open discussion on what the limit actually is, instead of [/hyperbole]"well it won't work at all so don't even bother". [hyperbole] 

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Ahh i see.  Sometimes there is some tedium involved.  I personally found that time reading through it well spent.  Its not easy stuff.   

Have you checked out my thread? Its pretty simple, hope it helps

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18 hours ago, Leeknivek said:

random forum posts that hit from my search terms - slow process.

Have you tried searching with your favorite search engine (Google for example) and adding "iforgeiron" in the search terms? That will bring more detailed results than the search function on the forum.

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In fact, enter site:iforgeiron.com followed by your search term in quotes for best results. Where the spaces are in the example below matters, though. Copy this and substitute your own search terms. I use it regularly. 

Example:

site:iforgeiron.com "furnace cement"

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Well, I can see why you would want all your information in one well thought out lump. Yes, that would be very nice indeed; that is sometimes (rarely) found in books, which cost money and don't volunteer to answer questions from individual readers. I wrote the very book you need once, and it only cost twenty bucks--then You can still find used copies of it on Amazon.com; they start at $75 and go right on past $300 most days...

Impatience can be expensive.

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He was asking the same kinds of questions about building a power hammer some time ago too Mike. Didn't know enough about power hammers to ask a good question, just had a list of things he wanted laid out for him. 

If it's too much trouble to read even some of the material here I'm not likely to be much help. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Kathy, the patient one in my house, says it isn't a personal fault, but something encouraged in the latest generation; I almost get what she is saying; then my gorge rises, and something in me shouts " NO; a thousand times no! I refuse to be that darn reasonable!!!"

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3 hours ago, Mikey98118 said:

Kathy, the patient one in my house, says it isn't a personal fault, but something encouraged in the latest generation; I almost get what she is saying; then my gorge rises, and something in me shouts " NO; a thousand times no! I refuse to be that darn reasonable!!!"

I agree with Kathy, it just gets old and I must've been in a crabby mood. I try ignoring things that irritate me unless they're dangerous. 

In fact I apologize for being a crabby old fart, my bad.

Frosty The Lucky.

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15 minutes ago, Frosty said:

 

In fact I apologize for being a crabby old fart, my bad.

Frosty The Lucky.

:D  Here is a chap that might want it all laid out , without too much work required? at least he's asking and trying to find out. 

to the OP. check out wayne's site it is easy and quick and informative , also bear in mind that you get "firebricks " and "firebricks"  like with most things mileage may vary.

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What a disappointment ... and here I was thinking there was new technology to run a forge on grass. :ph34r:

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i know how to use google, thank you. 

you see, this is why i rarely use this site, and often end up worse off than i was before i posted. since this has gone so far off topic and into a critique of my character, i don't feel bad in writing what i am about to write - 

you are all far to quick to write me off as lazy or impatient rather than spending the same amount of time constructing a response that is actually helpful to myself and whomever goes on to read the thread in the future. forgive me for not spending my entire life reading arbitrary forum posts, because i thought the whole point of a forum was to ask questions and receive answers, not the actual lazy way out by answering with  "well just go sift through a 30 page thread, if you can't do that, you're not worth my time". 

Mikey, i'm not suggesting you hand feed me anything, but at least a book has a table of contents in it so i can skip beyond the topics i am already familiar with, and find those that i am not. your thread is literally an amalgamation of short paragraphs with a couple key points, interjecting users asking questions, you replying to those questions - i'm sorry, but it is absolutely a mess. this isn't a critique of your knowledge, mind you, this is a critique of your writing skills. 

Frosty, upon our first interaction, i genuinely appreciated your very first couple of posts in response to me on my power hammer build - you were kind, helpful, patient - and i don't say this lightly, but it meant a lot to me that you took the time to write out what you did. however, it very quickly evolved into something else when it became easier to lay insults on my character, my ability, my resources - yeah, fine, i do things the hard way, i'll give you that, but you aren't helping anyone a whole lot with your sanctimonious blacksmithing advice that is blown across this forum. i may not have read every thread under the sun, but i have read enough to see that you certainly are the curmudgeon - at least you're somewhat honest. 

and i get it - it can be frustrating to have nothing but the same stupid questions thrown at you ad infinitum - though if it's too much trouble for you to answer questions, or have a discussion, then don't. it would probably be much better for the community further if you didn't project that laziness onto the people asking the questions. any single thing that is not within the current preffered method of doing something is instantly written off along with the person in question as lazy and impatient millenial or a forged in fire inspiree or some other excuse as to why you have better things to do than answer questions. yet here you all are, nearly every day of your current lives, shooting down anyone who doesn't know it all right off the bat. give me a break.

you can have your empire of dirt, i'll find the information elsewhere - thanks for pointing me in the right direction. 



 

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11 hours ago, Leeknivek said:

Mikey, i'm not suggesting you hand feed me anything, but at least a book has a table of contents in it so i can skip beyond the topics i am already familiar with, and find those that i am not. your thread is literally an amalgamation of short paragraphs with a couple key points, interjecting users asking questions, you replying to those questions - i'm sorry, but it is absolutely a mess. this isn't a critique of your knowledge, mind you, this is a critique of your writing skills

Again, a thread is not a book. If you want a book, go buy one.

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I stopped trying to help on your last appearance because you argued with everybody who didn't  just give you what you wanted. This appearance appears to be a repeat. But to afford you the benefit of the doubt I'll just tell you outright like an adult. Your list of questions comes across like a list of demands. Worse, demands that make little sense, you haven't done enough basic reading to know what you don't know. 

There's a pretty obvious reason why folk don't want to help you for long. I've never seen anybody get on Mike's nerves as quickly as you and I'm afraid I got myself sucked in for that reason. Otherwise I'd let the gang remember what trying to help you was like last time .

There's a term for folk who just like to stir things up.

 

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11 hours ago, Leeknivek said:

you see, this is why i rarely use this site, and often end up worse off than i was before i posted.

Hmm. Slow learner apparently.  If you rarely get what you want here, why keep posting? its like hitting yourself in the head with a baseball bat repeatedly while complaining of the knots you are getting on your noggin all the while.

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you must have missed the "rarely use this site" part. 

 

First & last warning . Everyone return to the subject  or mass warnings points , member moderation &/or BANNINGS will be involved

Mod 86

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Personally I like the old curmudgeon banter. I learn something from it each time. If you feel they are washed up armchair warriors, then you are mistaken. 

If you spent a little time here you would/ could learn more then you ever wanted. You are the one not trying. What do you want for free?! Do your homework it's here. And quit insulting those that wrote the book. You are rude and will never get anywhere with that attitude. 

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Okay guys I was too subtle, my bad.

Don't feed the trolls.

 

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