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20# Propane tank-forced air ribbon burner build


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Hello, all. New member, and kinda new to forging guy here. I have a job where I work six months on, six off, My six month 'vacation'  is just about here. I have been planning a propane tank forge build for a while. I had planned on using the T burner plans for my heat delivery, but started looking more and more into the ribbon burners. I have the ceramic blanket, refractory, and IR paint, most of which I acquired from Wayne Coe. I also ordered the other refractory needed for the ribbon burner head. I also bought the blower Wayne recommended from a certain blacksmith supply company. I saw on Wayne's website that he recommends a six inch burner for the 20# tank. Here are my questions, (for now).  Does the burner have to be three inches wide to perform at it's peak? Could you make the burner head, say, 2 1/2", or 2" wide? Also, to get the air from the blower to the forge, could you use 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" pipe?

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Alrighty, then. Got some work done on it today. Got some holes cut, and the tank cut. Got the Kaowool installed, and the ends coated with Kastolite. Also got the legs/feet made. Looking forward to working on it again. I'll give it a few days for the refractory to set up. Seems pretty hard already, but it will get at least five days to set while I work.





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Hello. Welcome!  I'm in the process of figuring out what to make still.  I'm going with a simple IFB forge for now.

You can technically make the burner head any size but you will want to keep the the number out outlets the same as the standard 3x6.  I don't know how a narrow and longer one will work (like 2 rows of holes but 9" long instead of 3 rows and 6") as it will depend how the internal baffling is.  If you go in from the side instead of directly behind, may not need baffle (I don't think PineRidge uses a baffle like these) but you may have to experiment.. but why change something that work well for what you are doing?

For air supply, 2 or 2.5" from what I see.  WayneCoe plans are for 2".  Some that can be purchased are either 2 or 2.5" inlet.  Smaller will just be too restrictive.  There are a few that have used PVC from blower to the gate valve for adjustment.  I don't know if you can get a good PCV gate valve so that will be black pipe from there on for ease of making a gas inlet.  Could technically do PVC with thread ends in-between the gas inlet and gate but iron pipe will be stronger.  There was a forge just posted that has all the bells and whistles and used some PVC but looked like it was actually 3" or larger from the blower.. which is likely better for flow to even out.  .. DWH's build in this section.

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I am currently using a single row 10 outlet forced air ribbon burner (2" wide) which works superbly. This burner is coming in at 90 degrees to the tangent of the radius of a cylindrical chamber, which causes the gases to swirl. This keeps the heat in the forge longer and increases efficiency (among other benefits).

2" is plenty big enough for your air supply. If you build an efficient forge you'll need very little air! I found that putting a 2" exhaust port in the center rear of the forge, and doors in the front, works quite well. The heat goes out the back and it's very comfortable working in front of the forge.

A lot of us have found that propane and air don't mix very well. For a smooth flame I have installed a perforated nozzle, which extends out into the air flow, as well as a screen and a twisted piece of sheet metal with holes in it to cause as much turbulence and mixing as possible before the burner. This comes after two forges and 5 or 6 rebuilds.

A blower with a sheet metal cover over the inlet is much easier and simpler to control than a butterfly valve. They're easy to build if your blower doesn't have one. 

Hope this helps, good luck with your build!



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Made some progress. Hard to find time to work on it at the end of our work season, but had a few hours yesterday. I got the refractory in a few nights ago, welded it together, and got some legs on it that I made. It's really stable. Still have the reflective stuff to put on the inside.






I made a 2 1/2" x 6" burner head. I'm going to try 1 1/2" pipe as the delivery system for air and fuel. I saw a video on youtube, (I know), where a guy used 1 1/4" pipe with good results. The downside is, I was in a rush, and forgot to use a release agent on the wood before I put the mizzou in. We'll see how that works out for me.


Roscoe and Ginger couldn't care any less.




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1 hour ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

I have to ask, where did you get the connector for the blower outlet? I have a Champion 140 hand crank blower that has a 3 inch outlet that I want to reduce like yours.

I bought a 3" rubber end cap, and a 3" to 1 1/2" reducer. I cut a half inch wide strip of the end cap out, then put it around the 2 1/2" opening of my blower, then put the 3" top 1 1/2" reducer over it. Tight as a bug in a rug.


Apparently a releasing agent is not needed. took the screws of my form out, and the wood pieces popped off with very little effort.




1 hour ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

I have to ask, where did you get the connector for the blower outlet? I have a Champion 140 hand crank blower that has a 3 inch outlet that I want to reduce like yours.

I got mine at Menards

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Finished this up this morning. Sputtered for a minute, and I started adjusting the air/fuel mix via the gate valve and needle valve. Sounds good, and gets very hot. A few of the holes don't seem to have a steady flame on one end. I don't know if maybe there's a piece of straw in the hole(s) or what. Still, I'm quite ecstatic that it's working. The experience sure helped my welds.





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