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Recuperative gas forges


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I am doing a lot of research on different types of gas forges and burners in hopes of coming up with the most efficient design in terms of fuel economy to heat out put. My plan is to make a blown gas ribbon forge first then build a Recuperative forge in the future.

I am currently cobbling together pieces and parts to build my first forge. The shell is an old piece of 14" pipe with  1 /4 inch wall. It's about 20" long.  I plan on a double 2" wrap of insulwool, rigidized and coated with  one of Frosty's or Mr. Coe's ir coatings. The floor to be a kiln plate to impede flux issues. To reduce the interior volume , I am planning a movable rear wall . I plan on different length ribbon burners to handle the changes in internal volume.

The recuperative forge I hope to build after is going to be of the Sandia type. I am having trouble finding solid information on this style of forge. I have seen mention of this on Ron Reil's site, but nothing other than some pictures and a brief description. My curiosity switch has been turned on. I am looking for as much information as possible. 

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.



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Welcome aboard Rebound, glad to have you. If you put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many members live within visiting distance.

Heat output is strictly determined by how much fuel per second is burnt, regardless of the type fuel or method. BTUs and absolute temperature while related are NOT the same thing.

If you've already decided to build a gun multiple outlet (ribbon) burner what questions are there? 

I see you're doing what most all of us have done and "planning" on making a crazy too large forge, forget about economy. 

Have you wondered why you don't see Sandia recuperative forges? Wonder why Ron only mentions it in passing? Are you familiar with the central issues that make recuperative forges less than practical? They're covered in contemporary articles by the gentlemen who designed and built it  and cover it's specific fatal flaw at length. Rocket scientist spare time overkill. Seriously. But being proper scientists admitted to the problem and stopped following that track.

I'm not trying to discourage you but you need to put your expectations aside and start reading about forges and burners like you don't know what you want let alone need. You WILL build several forges before you build one you want to use regularly, seriously, most of us with time in the craft have several forges gathering dust in out of the way places. Most are crazy WAY too large to be practical. I usually use less than 1/2 of my smallest current forge.

Forges 101 and Burners 101 sub sections here on Iforge are good for general: discussions, pros, cons and tons of uninformed opinions & ideas. Don't bother reading it all, skim the subject lines then skim the posts under ones that interest you. After a while you'll begin to pick up the craft jargon and get a handle on what we're talking about while learning to sift wheat from chaff. 

We want you to be successful and make cool, maybe even beautiful things to post pics of here so we offer the benefit of OUR mistakes for you to learn from. If you wish.

Frosty The Lucky.



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Thanks much Frosty.  Sorry about the late reply. I do A lot of travelling so I often lose touch.  I think you hit it on the head sir. I have gotten too much information and that is cluttering up the goal.....build a forge . That being said I need to re evaluate my plans and intentions based on some wants. 1) I definitely want to do basic blacksmithing. 2) I definitely want to forge weld and 3) I want to set myself up for success.  That being said I will build smaller and simpler.  I will attempt to get my forge size down from my original plan . I will send a screen shot once I get home.

Thanks for getting my feet on the ground

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No reason to apologize, we don't time your responses. Yeah, we've seen folks get overloaded by forge designs and the desire to build the ONE forge to rule them all. It's normal, we've all done it. The below pic is my current obsolete crazy too large with potential to be WAY larger forge. The floor is 24" square as the lid. The jack lifts the lid so I can arrange IFB partitions to configure the size and shape fire. It's driven by four, 3/4" T burners and is more than able to bring 1,500 cubic inches to welding temp and above. It's almost exactly what I wanted, certainly what I designed, unfortunately I didn't know enough to know what I needed. :huh: 

I've only ever lit all 4 burners twice after test burns, during hammer ins with 4 stations and maybe 6-7 guys working. 75% of the time I run 1 burner in one section the other 25 I run 2 sections for 4.5" x 4.5" x 24". It's only saving grace is I can reduce it to useful size and it's a good height. 

I may  save the stand, screen shelf on the spreaders and retractable porch/helper for the next. Hopefully better forge. My last one the NARB forge doesn't quite cut it. I have hope for the next one.

You learn (HOPEFULLY) what doesn't work every time you build a new forge.

Please feel free to bounce ideas of us we'll try to apply our mistakes and opinions for your consideration.

Frosty The Lucky.


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