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Ugly Metal Box forge

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I give you my Ugly Metal Box. I know its ugly. I have never welded anything other than a few pieces of scrap to get used to the process. This is literally my first time welding, cutting metal (both sheet and angle), using a drill press or a tap. But it is solid and I promise it will not be lit without testing all the gas fittings. 

All or the parts for the box are salvaged from around my property as were most of the fittings for the burners. And the fire brick was gifted from a friend who had ordered too many while building a kiln.

I wanted to share it because even without having attempted anything like this before I was able to slowly make something hideous, but that i am proud of none the less. Videos to follow once i have checked for gas leaks and moved it to a safe outdoor location.

I really would appreciate all CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.  And promise not to get hurt by it. 

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While the welding work is something short of a thing of beauty, it you used heavy tacks, rather than solid seams, so it is far less likely to distort.  So light it up, and send a working picture :)

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Tommorow after work I will post videos. I have to pressurize and soap test the connections. But then it's off to the races. Hoping it's not a dud and I get to see a nice yellow hot forge. :)

And yes my welds are ugly. I'm not sure using a HF flux core welder helped. At least I'm hoping I'm not that bad at welding. Lol

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Flux core wirefeed should have reasonable penetration, so you can always grind the welds flat without cracking them apart.

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Ill give that a try. Now that its cooled down from the welding I can also take a towel and a wire brush and clean down the slag better. Might make it less ugly. 

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I can say from experience the weld doesn't get prettier... just different.  And that's AFTER grinding. 

20181225_121623.jpg

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Another question. Does it seem like the distance of brass there will be enough to keep a rubber propane hose a safe distance. I intend to disconnect it on shutdown to avoid issues with chimney effect.

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Flux core wire is much harder to get pretty welds with and you're not building something structural so don't sweat it. The beauty in a tool is how well it does the job. PERIOD. And as Mike says, being tacked means it has room to move without warping through the thermal cycles. 

I'd cut the steel back around the openings, the IFB (Insulating Fire Brick) is strong as it is and does not need steel covering. The steel however will be in the FIRE and warp. Don't worry about it for now, it might not warp and if it does it's easy enough to trim back later if you wish.

Your propane supply lines is plenty safe from heat and looks to be pretty safe from breaking during use. Maybe a bit of overkill but not excessively so.

All in all, looks good to me. Light that baby up use it a while and send pics! :)

Frosty The Lucky.

 

 

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I posted in your other thread about this too... After seeing the second video, I'm wondering something... Can you shut off the second burner, run the forge with just one? And then run the same test and see if you get the issue? Also, did you do a soapy water test on your fittings, make sure they're sealed properly? I'm thinking that all that heat coming off that forge is causing expansion. As I stated in the other thread, I'm no expert. Does that small of a forge need two burners? If you can independently control the burners, you could eliminate my theory if it still causes an issue on a single burner.

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That is a minor propane leak in one of the joints of your brass fittings. No big dea;; just use gasket seal, pipe dope, or gas rated thread sealant before screwing them together.

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Did a soapy water test. Had a leak. Retightened and no leaks. The heat expansion would make sense to me. I will try turning the back off. I did indeed put a valve on each burner. I will see if that helps.

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For those who read this thread much later. Went down to one burner and blocked the rear of the forge. The exhaust from the forge was suffocating the burners. The forge now heats metal yellow hot.

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Please be advised that if you're going to forge outdoors, the Frosty burner is a bit iffy with strong breezes.  What will really kink things up is when your exhaust coming from the front of the forge gets sucked into the burner intake - you'll have a sputtering and stuttering burner then.  I've largely solved this by installing a sheet metal guard that keeps the exhaust out of the burner intakes.  The current shield is made from a christmas popcorn tin (lid and bottom removed).  the tin is wired to the top of the frosty burner.

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I had been thinking this may be helpful. Especially for times I may want to open the back of the forge partially for longer items. How do you have your shield shaped? 

I have yet to finalize if I will be forging indoor or out. I live in florida so it rains here A LOT.

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I already have a air compressor with no compressor that will be the next forge. :)

I've already learned that I do not like IFB. I had three bricks break converting down to one burner. Time to squerill some money away bit by bit for some wool and castable. Gotta put some walls up in the tiny house first though. 

In the meantime this forge will be a good start and has taught me so much. Both ideas about design and what is good and bad. And also the basic skills with many of my metalworking and welding tools.

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The right bricks are something beautiful in a box forge (Thermal Ceramic K26); all others just don't come up to scratch. But since you will likely be making a tunnel forge, I recommend ceramic fiber and Kast-O-lite 30. This construction path allows you to take your time looking over the various choices of finish coat, instead of "rushing in" with decisions you can afford to go slow with.

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I will most likely go the tunnel forge route. Or at the least I will spend the extra for k26. The k23 I have in it is just so brittle. Though I did manage to salvage on of the broken bricks by trimming it down into a bung for the rear forge opening.

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Hehehe... You said bung.

I just got my purchased forge fired up for the first time today. Getting exciting! I have some tweaking to do though. Let me know if you find a decent deal on those K26 bricks. The places I looked at last night wanted an arm and a leg for shipping. Bloody highway robbery I tells ya!

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K23 brick is NOT a high enough temperature refractory to survive in a propane forge. K26 are working in their safety margin at propane forge temps.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yes. I am realizing this quickly and am already working on a rebuild or hunting. K26 brickwork that arnt going to kill me. Lot of tiny house work to do so I won't be hitting the forge again for a little while anyway. Can't make the wife too upset. :)

Tempted to buy a 24 pack of k26 and just sell off 12 of them. But I'd be dead for dropping another $250 on the forge right now. 

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8 hours ago, MaxwellB said:

I just got my purchased forge fired up for the first time today. Getting exciting!

Speak up about your commercial forge, what ever brand it is. I think people are reluctant to talk about purchased forges, as though they were second class citizens around here. But the truth is that other people looking to buy a forge need to hear what you think about yours.

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Maxwell

The cheapest I have found so far is on amazon for $52 for six. With a $17 shipping fee. All the ebay ones the shipping is just obscene 

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