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MaxwellB

Kast-o-Lite 30

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Just received my order. Planning on mixing up some and lining the wool. Planning on going about 3/8" though over 2" of wool, as per S.O.P. outlined many times in many threads. I have two questions to get the best results:

1) Should I use just plain water to spray on the wool before applying the refractory, or should I use a very loose slip of the KOL before the thicker layers?

2) Should I attempt to sift the KOL and just use the finer particulate or just use as-is and not worry about whether the aggregate is uniform?

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You butter with plain water or you CAN add a couple DROPS of Elmer's milk glue but I don't think it makes a difference with Kastolite, the stuff sticks to every darned thing. 

If you're applying 3/8" +/-- there's no need to sift out aggregate, it's there for a reason. I ONLY sift to fit into the small spaces between burner outlets in NARB or the one experiment using it as the binder in a kiln wash. You are NOT doing either, use it as mixed by the company.

Be ready to move when you  start mixing just stirring won't do the trick, you need to kneed it hard, I used a large stainless spoon and flipped and pressed very and over. When I do it again I'm going to make something to use like a pestle say 1" pipe with a cap so I can smash it then turn with a spoon and smash it. 

Don't be worried about getting it too wet, it doesn't take much water but a LITTLE too  much is better than not being able to trowel it in. Just don't get carried away. 

Remember you only have about 25-30 minutes after you stop mixing before it begins to set up so don't dally around.

Frosty The Lucky.

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What's the best way to cure it? I've read wrapping it in a garbage bag with a wet towel, and then baking it in an oven. Is it possible to skip the oven baking and just maybe use a hand torch to pull the water out, then use the burners to fully cure? I'm not sure the rest of the family would be impressed with the oven bake method.

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The best cure method according to the maker is to treat it just like hydraulic concrete. It water SETS, it does NOT DRY. These are two entirely different things. Read up on working, and curing a patio or shop floor. Portland cement, concrete and Kastolite set and cure very closely to the same in time and steps. Kastolite refers to concrete procedures as THE way to cure Kastolite for maximum strength and temperature rating. 

Except for water % details the comparison is across the boards close enough to the same as to be interchangeable. 

So, when it sets close it up in a 100% humidity atmosphere for up to 7 days. We do NOT need a max strength cure, we aren't subjecting it to the kinds of forces temps and atmospheric changes a commercial forging or scrap furnace does.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, have I ever told you that you're awesomeness personified? Cause you are. 

Thanks for your continued knowledge sharing!

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Maxwell's got that one right to be sure. Maxwell, please post pics when you get done. I stil havent gotten a chance to get mine done and would love any tips and/or pitfalls you could share.

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Event, you're actually someone I had in mind as I was undertaking this. The forge works well for what we paid for them, but I'm seeing that a bit of added investment at the beginning would bring it up a notch or two.

I didn't take any pictures of the tear out and reline of wool, because it's the same across the board. If anyone isn't sure what that looks like, cut open a pillow filled with poly stuffing, or look at the fill tank at a Build-a-Bear. Only this stuff will pooch your lungs. 

Tomorrow I plan to line with KOL30 and I'll definitely before/after that. As well as what the end result is, if it's noticably hotter.

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I'm hoping I can avoid a reline. Already worried about the loss of space with the KOL.

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The whole thing with this is that with all the reading I've been doing during colder days and downtime and things like that (essentially non-workshop time) I've come to the realization that we got kinda screwed on lining for the forges. It's 1" of wool, and everything I read is two. Now granted, I've compressed the wool when I relined it. The two inches are maybe more like 1.5" or slightly less. But it's definitely smaller on the inside. Which should by rights make it more fuel efficient to get the space up to temp and keep it there. With a test fire as just bare rigidized wool it did heat up to orange inside the forge much faster.

Also, I'm thinking I'm going to have to cut the cross-arm on the burner assembly in order to drop the burner flares further down after the KOL treatment. Right now the bar is sitting across the top of the "stems" on the top of the forge, preventing me from bringing the burners any lower. And the flares are recessed a bit into the wool after the second layer. So after adding another 1/4 - 3/8" (I might not go as thick on the ceiling of the forge due to burner placement and weight distribution) I'll definitely need an extra 3/8" to 1/2" out of those burners.

So this type of forge seems to be, on a scale of 1 - 10, about a 5 or so out of the box. After this little project of mine is finished, I'm hoping it'll be a solid 7. Of course, it'll probably never get above that due to what I feel are undersized burners, but if it gets up to welding heat without needing the PSI cranked higher than my blood pressure after a day in traffic, I'll consider it a win.

Just one of the drawbacks to a budget commercial forge I guess. But hey!! I'm learning, and I'm fine with that.

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Here is hoping. If not I'll have to kick the bird out of my first forge. Not till after the chicks hatch though. Lol. 

Or I'll make a new set of frosty-T's and use the same box.

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Good grief, you trying to make me blush or something? 

2" is NOT a magic number, if what you have is 1" then that's just fine. More than one experienced forge, kiln and glory hole guys run just fine with 1" of blanket and a hard liner. 

Awesome personified? Like you've ever stood downwind after I've had home brewed beer and aged moose chili for dinner!

Frosty The Lucky.

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I've run bear carcasses to a dump hole in the middle of the woods surrounded by fish guts in northern Minnesota. I think I can handle your moose toots.

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Yeah Okay, let's NOT start telling smelly things I've had to . . . No, let's us just NOT!

Frosty The Lucky.

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Aww c'mon!!! Let's scare the kiddies!

I worked at a gas station and was tasked with clearing out the garbage cans by the pumps in August. Like, change the bags and wash the insides.

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Helped my Grandpa haul a load of blood bait to the dump that had gone bad in an Arkansas summer. He had a bait shop and ran a wholesale route.  It was not a trivial amount!

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Hmm... blood bait. Now that brings back memories. That's pretty bad.

Roadkill skunk outside the house. That's one of those that just lingers even after it's removed and the area is sprayed down. Went through a four gallon backpack sprayer filled with vinegar and some dish soap spraying down a 20' x 10' box where the skunk was smished. Still could smell it every time it rained.

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I worked for State road maintenance and we got to pick up road kill but not usually until after the smell started bothering motorists buzzing past at 65+ enough they complained. A moose who's carcass is squirming from the maggot load is an attention getter. Road kill was officially Fish and Game's responsibility but we had the equipment. There was some little feud going on and the superintendent pointed to a dumpster in the yard for road kill. The dumpster right across the fence from F&G offices. Unfortunately the F&G office bld. didn't have windows on that side and the dumpster was in OUR yard right next to the gate.

That little snittyness lasted . . . not long. There were muckier mucks than Highways 1 with an office in that yard. Anchorage refuse refused to empty that dumpster and made it official if the next time they came for pickup it wasn't cleaned out they'd start charging for another dumpster. 

Some of the feuds are legendary. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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