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I Forge Iron

First gas forge build in Knoxville TN


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Just got done with a great visit to Wayne Coe’s place. Picked up some refractory, allot of good information and my wife and kids enjoy themselves. Seeing a ribbon burner first hand tempted me to start over, however that’s a significantly larger investment......

   Ok bad jokes aside I’m sticking with my plan for a 20# propane tank build using 2) 3/4” T burners (thank you for the emails Frosty.) Follow the directions and go shopping without the distraction of 3 children and you can’t go wrong. Spent $60 on hardware I didn’t have or could get from a friend to make 2 burners. Waiting on my American made 30psi regulator with a gauge and stainless covered line to get here. 

I’m also waiting on fumed silica for rigidizing the wool and stainless flares. Considering using stainless for the mounting bracket but I haven’t decided if the extra cost is going to be that great of a long term investment. I’ve already got plans to build a ribbon burner and make the mounts redundant so share your thoughts.

Finished internal volume I’m guessing will be close to 400 cubic inches give or take. This forge should be enough to get me tong and tooled up since last I heard everything from my pre USMC days are gone for good. It will also give me time to build a ribbon burner the right way. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Played with the burners today. Got another free regulator. It worked for about a minute and gave up, but oh man did they put out some heat at 15psi. My American made super sexy one is still on back order. I got distracted by my boy beating on some copper tubing he found. Kids decided I needed to help them make their mom something. Wife got 20 minutes kid free and a budding leaf necklace charm so it was a win/win for her. 

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I’m thinking the stainless mounting bracket is an unnecessary expense and effort.  If your forge is lined with wool and castable refractory you shouldn’t be getting that much heat on the outside of the forge.  Just a section of old pipe should do.

 

Nothing like seeing your kid working at the forge, though.  My son made his first forge weld at four.  It was a tiny piece of 1/4” round that it took him an hour to draw out and then curve into a circle with me holding the tongs.  I counted about one hit every four swings with the tiny ball peen he was hefting.  He missed the first three swings trying to make the weld but the fourth hit before it got too cold.  I have had his little ring he made for two years now and love showing it off.

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Thanks Lou, I started tending a coke forge at about 4 or 5 so I figured it was time to get him spun up. I’m taking more time than I would like on this forge so it’s not just a pile of regrets and mistakes. 

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Thanks Mikey. You and Frosty’s input about burners and forge design have made my brain jello several times over the last 6 months while I researched and planed out my build. Why oh why did I read forges and burners 101 back to back from post 1. I’m excited to get this forge finished so I can start my WAAAAYYYY!!!!! over built post vice.

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Check out my post in the gas forge section.  My consolidation notes may save you some time or, at very least, will be a nice reference if you don’t have loads of notes yourself.  I basically consolidated the most up to date info on gas forges and put it in one place.

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I’ve been looking at it Lou. I really appreciate all the work people here have put in to provide accurate info for noobs like me. Getting some work done on it today. I keep forgetting to get 6” pipe nipples and my fumed silica still isn’t here yet. Messaged the EBay seller and still haven’t heard anything back. And yes those are burner holes in the top because I started this build a long time ago before I did any homework and just copied what I saw on line. A search for liner ideas turned in to an entire rethinking of design lol. 

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Got the 6” pipe nipples, cut the wool and figured out my burner depth. I’ve got PVC ground down for my burner recess in the Kast-o-lite. Even with the rediculouse wind gusts it never went out and heated up some 3/4 4140 faster than I expected (3 min from full cold) with just wool in her guts, a wide open face and a little wool covering the back hatch. I’m super excited after I found out the EBay lister is FINALLY!!! shipping my silica. In two weeks I’ll finally have a cured and IR coated forge I can do stuff with. I made one little thing for my wife and the list began. Now I have new hinges for the gate, garden decorations, trellising for raspberries and garden fencing on my list <_<

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18 hours ago, Tinker B said:

heated up some 3/4 4140 faster than I expected

Good looking stuff!  Don't run it too much with just plain wool.  The wool gets fragile after being exposed to red heats and crumbles when touched.  It will make facing it harder.  It will also get to initial heat faster without any face coat because the wool is heat reflective and doesn't absorb much heat.  Cools quickly too.  The face coat will slow down initial heating times because it has to heat up to temperature and that sucks all your heat (BTU's/Calories/whatever measure you use).  The thicker the face coat, the slower it will take to get to initial heat, but once at heat a thicker face coat will hold the temperature longer and is more durable.  I go with a very thin shell coat and am careful not to bump the sides when using.

Since you have run the forge, if it seems a little crumbly, use a spray bottle to apply the water and then the rigidizer solution, not a brush.  Then cure as normal.

You'll play with it and get a feel for it.  Looking great!  You obviously did your homework.   Love your table too, how it's inset with a front shelf to rest the work on.  That will work great!

Dan R

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Thanks for the kind words Dan. I resisted the urge to do more than a test heat. Up close the stand has lost of little things I wish looked better but lack of free time made me leave well enough alone. My fumed silica was waiting for me today when I got home so I finished the blanket lining and rigidized everything. Hopefully I’ll have time tomorrow to cast the inner shell so it can cure while I’m gone next week. I’m also going to be welding 2” angle iron on the back of the stand to keep my brick door in place.

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Between going to plant sales, building fence, planting the mornings purchases, fabricating a gate, tilling new planting space and on and on..... I found time to cast the shell. I leave tomorrow morning so I’ve got it all set up to spray it down tomorrow and head out for work. I also tried making a brick out of extra wool and Kast o lite. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/5/2019 at 9:59 PM, Tinker B said:

Thanks for the kind words Dan. I resisted the urge to do more than a test heat. Up close the stand has lost of little things I wish looked better but lack of free time made me leave well enough alone. My fumed silica was waiting for me today when I got home so I finished the blanket lining and rigidized everything. Hopefully I’ll have time tomorrow to cast the inner shell so it can cure while I’m gone next week. I’m also going to be welding 2” angle iron on the back of the stand to keep my brick door in place.

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helo ser did you have any luck turning fumed silica intoo rigidizor, and may i ask what particle size is needed too make coloidal silica, Thanks.

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