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I Forge Iron

I know it's not new... but its mine.


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Just another backwoods type. First post. Been reading and looking around. Been kicking around the idea of building a forge for a while. Went to school for metallurgy at one point, didn't get to finish. Story for another time. I've got a lot of the stuff laying around the farm and I think I can build the forge without having to buy too much. Just a few questions. 

But first, what I plan...  I've got an old 30gal compressor that went kaput. Was thinking about chopping the ends off and doing a perlite/waterglass layer to bring down the diameter and lining with 2-3" of 2600* mat with a blown ribbon burner. Thinking about going for a higher heat for wootz but we'll have to see.

I've seen people talk good and bad about the perlite lining. The back of my mind is jiggling at me that that would be too much mass for an efficient startup. But I've been out of school for a while and the noodle ain't as sharp as it once was. I know the perlite layer is not ideal and I don't need a forge that size... yet. But I still kinda want one.

As I type this out I'm betting it would be easier to just find something closer to the size I want for now.  Is there a limit to the lining thickness or would a good surface sealer keep my heat from leeching off? Still gonna be reading and I'll probably find it somewhere. I just haven't yet.

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  • 2 months later...

Perlite is an excellent insulator, but isn't good for forge temperatures. As long as you have enough of the 2600F wool around it (and your proposed 2-3 inches is plenty), then it shouldn't be a problem. It is just a matter of diminishing returns on your insulation. Make sure to rigidize your wool so that you don't breathe the fibers during use.

I haven't built a gas forge yet, and so cannot offer other than what I have read from others. The gas forge forum has many threads from those with significant experience in different materials and approaches.

The topic of perlite has been discussed a large number of times on the forum, but the search function is not very good. It is generally recommended that you search Google for "iforgeiron" plus the topic of interest as search terms. 

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