louspinuso

My brief introduction

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Hi all, my name is Lou and I'm just north of Tampa, FL (it should be in my profile, I'll try to fix it if it doesn't show up).

I am a complete newb.  I've spent the last few years reading and researching what I need before I start (I sometimes find myself spending more time learning a  hobby than actually doing it) and I'm now ready(ish).  I know how people feel about railroad tracks for anvils, but it's about the best thing I've got at the moment to beat on.  I'm currently reading the "Gas Burners for forges, funaces and kilns" and also the burners 101 sticky.  I went and borrowed my cousins forge (it's an older devil forge ebay special).  Anyway, with that I beat on some low carbon welding steel (home depot stuff) that I had laying around in the garage and decided  I was all ready to make my own forge (and burner) as I finally found a reliable source of TAOwool nearby (for reasonable money too).   

 

I started looking at making burners (which is when I started reading the material previously listed) and found that the cost for 2 burners, the high pressure valve, hoses, wool, rigidizer, and firebricks for the floor was going to put me at about $200.  That added to the trepidation of making a burner that I was not familiar with how it should work led me to looking for premade burners on ebay, where I found... A devils forge DFSW2.  Now I know that people have mixed feelings about this forge, mostly for the dollars to value point, but I've read that the burners are at least solid and this forge now comes with the CGA-510 propane adapter AND rigidizer the wool AND fire brick for the floor for and the whole package is $179 including free shipping.  I figure at that price, it will at least be a good starting point and when I build my own burners, I'll know how they should behave.

 

Anyway.  I'm starting out slow, just practicing my hammer strikes and trying to make sure I'm consistently hitting where I'm aiming and would like to eventually make some decorative iron.  I figure I'll eventually also make some knives, but I don't see that as the primary use of my forge time.  I've included some pictures of me "trying" to upset some steel and then roll it on itself.  That flat stock is about 1.25" wide and that was with about 25 minutes worth of work.  Yes I see I folder over the edges and this is why I need more practice, but I'm here to learn.

 

As for the "bricks" on the side of that forge, those are a test that I'm not quite complete with.  I *was* trying to make fire bricks with fireclay, sand and perlite.  I have those there drying and now that they're dry I'll need to fire them in a fire pit and hope they cure as I expect them too.  This project was started, as I said above, years ago when I couldn't find a local source for firebricks or refractory materials.  That is no longer the case, but I feel like I should at least see if this will work.

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Thank you. Yes I have.  I've been a member of many forums over the years and it still surprises me that some of the basic etiquette needs to be explained to people constantly.

 

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Welcome aboard Lou, glad to have you. I hate to break it to you but you may need to buy a reg, valve and hose anyway. Devil forge's propane components are kind of iffy without some way to be sure Poland enforces standards of ethics when making claims. Last time I looked on their site the propane components were NOT propane rated but very recently a member posted a pic of the hose with "propane and butane rated" printed on the hose. I don't know though if I'd trust it.

You should have hardware stores that carry weed burners, Florida has weeds yes?:rolleyes: Bulk propane suppliers are usually cheaper but maybe not so common there as around here. Anyway, I can buy a propane weed burner with: regulator, needle valve and 10' propane hose from between $79 - $110. If you're patient they go on sale in fall. Here anyway. I've picked them up at yard, garage, etc. sales for as little as $10, usually with a 20lb. tank. 

I LOVE yard, garage, etc. sales, happy hunting grounds. :)

Your home made fire bricks won't stand up to much heat, no matter who on the internet says it's a good recipe. Perlite tends to melt at low a temp for use in a forge. Check with a HVAC service or supply for Morgan Ceramics K-26 Insulating Fire Brick (IFB). Did you ask where you found the ceramic blanket? If they don't carry it they should know who does. Failing that start calling around. No, do NOT email their web page contact Edress, call them on the phone and talk to the receptionist. Be polite, don't get into involved explanations or long stories. Sure tell them you're getting into blacksmithing and are building a forge just don't get carried away, their time is valuable, much more so than selling half a dozen K 26 bricks or referring you on. Yes?

If you really want to make your own use aprox: 2-3 pts. sand though grog is better, to 1-2 pts. sawdust to 1 pt. fire clay. A squirt of Elmer's glue (milk glue) to the water will make it all stick easily. 

Ayup, and THAT'S why they call it UPSETTING. :angry: That's not an easy draw especially for a new guy, good practice though keep at it. One day it'll click and you'll have it. Still won't be easy but you'll be able to pull it off. Flat bar isn't really a good beginner stock, it's harder to forge than your intuition says it will be. Round or square stock is much easier to control and you can still draw it into blade shapes. Leaves are excellent practice for blade shapes.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty.

I may have not been clear on the firebricks.  I HAVE found a reliable source now (same place that has the ceramic blanket).  The bricks I made were a project I bought the materials for over the last few years and decided I was just going to test the recipe to see how crap they are (I don't expect them to last the night in the firepit when firing ^_^ )

As for weed burners (yes we have weeds) all the ones I've found info for don't specify the rating of the attached regulator so I've been leery of going that route.  I can order a regulator online (and will if this one doesn't workout) and I do have a propane shop down the street from me (that closes 30 minutes before I get off work and opens 30 minutes after I leave to go to work), I'll try to get to them on a "late morning" and see what they have.

Thanks for the encouragement.  I know that nothing comes without practice and that's why I'm not jumping right into anything complicated.  

I'll let you all know how the forge works out for me and what steps I take to improve it as necessary.  This seems like a really great community and I'm happy to have found it.

Lou

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I must've missed it,:blink: feel free to disregard that part then. 

Minor note Admin is pretty adamant about this being a G rated site, we want anybody's 5 year old to read and look without anybody having to explain . . . things. 

The adjustable regulators on weed burners used to be 0 - 20 psi but 0 - 30 psi are becoming a lot more common, either will do but the  0 - 30 is a good level of overkill. The pressure range should be listed on the package, if not look up the # online.  "Propanewarehouse" lists one for $40 & change, online. A gauge runs $14 & change, I didn't look up the hose or needle valve. I don't know about currently but a while back a 6' hose was the most expensive single component, go figure. One of my T burners runs in the neighborhood of $15 not counting drill bits and taps.

Sounds like we worked a similar schedule, seemed everywhere I wanted to go was only open when I was at work. It wasn't so bad when I was working graveyard.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Welcome,

I'm up in dixie county myself. If you have a moment I'd be grateful if you'd share the source you found. I have a box forge I made but got hosed on shipping for my bricks and will need to replace them soon enough. 

I am at the same stage as you, just starting out after quite a bit of time gathering data first.

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Thanks Frosty, I'll check them out.

Eventlessbox, the company I found that sells firebricks and refractory material is called Highwater Clays and they are right of I-275 in Pinellas Park.  Hard firebricks are $4 each but drop to $3 if you buy 25 or more (19 is the point where buying 25 mashed sense).  That link should put you on the right page. Is call before going to make sure they have what you need in stock as their main location is in Asheville, NC but they can get stuff in in pretty short order.

Good to see I'm not the only newb on this coast.

Lou

Edited by Mod34
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Excuse me  while I utter some mirthless laughter:  I'm in a foreign country during standard business hours with limited phone service to boot!

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Eventlessbox,

The highest PSI regulator I see at TSC (on website) is up to 20PSI (from Mr. Heater).  Maybe I'll run in on my way home later and see what they have in stock.  I also called my local LP supplier and they told me that they don't sell parts to the public, but I did find another one, not too far, that want's $85 for a 0 - 50 PSI.  Seems a bit steep to me.

Maybe I'll check Rural King this weekend and see if they have anything there.

Lou

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I bought a 0-30 high-pressure, propane-rated regulator with a pressure indicator dial and a four-foot hose from Amazon for less than thirty bucks delivered.

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yeah, I am just hoping to support local businesses if I can.  I mean, I have Amazon prime and I do use it for plenty of other things, but I just feel that the relationship you get from a local hardware guy is worth the extra couple bucks vs ordering the part online and hoping you got the right piece.

Small electronic components, however, I almost exclusively order online as I don't have a microcenter, fry's or other electronics center within reasonable driving distance (driving to Atlanta for $30 in random parts is not reasonable).

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