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Alcueso

Kettle grill forge plans

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I am planning on building my first forge out of an old kettle style bbq grill. The grill is 22.5 inches round. The plan is to seal up the bottom vent and Macguyver up a way to connect the tuyere through the bottom, probably black pipe and a flange at the top  

My big concern is how to line the forge with refactory. The mix will be 3:3:4:4 Portland Cement: Perlite : Sand : fire clay. I have made a janky sketch of what i think the liner should look like.  I want to ensure enough refactory, but I don't want to be be super heavy either. Was gonna go for a two inches on the bottom, at least an inch around all the sides, and maybe making a bowl / pit near the air pipe. Will this be sufficient? Can I get some feedback on this plan.  

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What fuel do you plan to use? 

You can use dirt or clay to line it with. No need to get fancy untill you know exactly what works for you. 

Also from the sketch, you may want passthrough notches cut out to get stock into the sweet spot of the fire horizontaly. 

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10 hours ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

Drop the Portland Cement (which is dangerous in a forge) and Perlite, all you need is the fire clay & a little sand. What provision for long stock have you made? What type of fuel coal or charcoal?

The plan for now was charcoal. Trying to keep costs low. I know a lot of people try to get into blacksmith and just fizzle out. 

regarding the refactory, is the concern about the cement that I won't bake it out at increasing temps before I try to get it up to forge temps? 

what ratio do you suggest between sand and clay? I assume it's also enough water to get it moist and clumpy but not slurry likeAnd just to make sure - this is the fire clay I mean to use. Hawthorn Bond Fire Clay 35 M 50 pound bag

 I've had a lot of trouble figuring out what this is. 

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Greetings Al, 

         A simple way is make your pipe stick up through the forge about 3inches or so ... sand on the bottom than a few fire bricks to top it off.   Add a grate over the tuyere and your good to go.   Fire bricks are available at most fireplace or wood stove shops.. 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are several ways you could go about making this forge. For keeping costs low you can look through the JABOD (just a box of dirt) forge threads. A side blast will use up less charcoal than a bottom blast forge. It uses less components as well. 

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I used to use wood ashes and creek clay and that worked fine for me.  May want to read over the Washtub Forge  stuff as that's what you are doing with just an oddly shaped washtub...

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14 hours ago, Alcueso said:

regarding the refactory, is the concern about the cement that I won't bake it out at increasing temps before I try to get it up to forge temps? 

The concern about the cement is that forging temperatures will make it degrade at best and explode at worst. Portland cement gets its strength from the formation of calcium silicate hydrates, not from drying. These hydrates degrade between 575°F/300°C and 1830°F/1000°C, well below the well below the working temperature of a blacksmith's forge. When the hydrates degrade, the water they release turns to steam, expands rapidly in volume, and can send shards of concrete and flaming coals some distance with impressive force. You don't want that.

14 hours ago, Alcueso said:

Hawthorn Bond Fire Clay 35 M

This is a pottery clay, not a refractory material.

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I have seen these concerns about using Portland. If the clay i linked isn't the right one, which is the right "fire clay"? and what would be the ratio between the sand and clay?

Edited by Mod34
Excessive quoting

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Don't bother with sourcing a commercial clay; the ground under your feet will probably work just fine. Go read the threads about the JABOD forge; this is discussed at length there.

Worst case if you have to buy something, cheap unscented kitty litter or clay based oil dry would work. 

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Stop obsessing about commercial refractories. Dirt/clay/sand/ash/kitty litter mixes are all perfectly acceptable, low-to-no-cost options, and all you'll be doing with commercial refractories is wasting money (that you could be spending on tools and steel) for something with no appreciable benefit. 

Commercial refractories are best used in gas-fired forges, which are another subject altogether. Please, go read the JABOD threads.

Here, I'll make it easy for you:

Charles R. Stevens's original JABOD thread

My own JABOD

The Mark III JABOD

And that's just for starters. 

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