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Gas forge stand height

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Hi all, I'm building a 20# lp gas cylinder forge. What height do like to have your forge opening. I've read some posts about having it high enough that you dont have to bend over too much to look inside but I'm 6'2". That will be a very top heavy stand. Im worried about stabilty. I suppose I could put a slab of thick concrete in the base to add weight down low.

What do you guys and girls prefer?

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The wider the stand's base the less weight you'll need down there. Also, if you are going to build your own stand, rather than re-purposing a stand from some other piece of equipment, than nothing stops you from building some height adjustment in it... 

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I'll be building it from scratch. I want incorporate tong racks and maybe some sort of table down each side for various tools etc. I plan to put heavy duty wheels on the rear legs so I can move it like a wheel barrow if needed.

The main question I have is what's the best height for the opening.

I was also planning on putting the gas bottle under the forge on a shelf. Would there be any safety risks with that idea if I shield the hose from sparks?

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The height would depend upon how many folks might use it. Someone like my wife who is 5'2" would struggle to see inside without a box to stand on. I would build it for the average person. It's not a good idea to have the tank under the forge and in some places it is against regulations.

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I built mine so I can reach into the opening with a pair of tongs with my forearm bent at 90 and parallel to the ground. I played around with different heights and that was comfortable for me

 

20190915_121238.jpg

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With any gas cylinder larger that a 16 oz. throwaway canister, there are federal safety rules that apply to storage and use of compressed gas cylinders. Bottom line; it is against the law to store or use a D.O.T. fuel cylinder that way. What is a D.O.T. cylinder ? That is a compressed gas cylinder to which the Department of Transportation applies.

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Actually I would suggest building it so it's possible but  NOT easy to look in.  You want to curtail the time spent staring into the fire.   With experience you will get a good idea about how long a piece will take to heat in your forge.   (IR damage to eyes!)

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I prefer my forge floor about sternum height.  That way it's low enough where the glare is blocked a bit when standing straight, but I don't have to bend over much to check the steel color. When I had the forge floor about even with my anvil height I did find it annoying to keep bending over that far to check the color.  The height decision is (like a lot of things) a matter of preference for the end user.  If you will be the only one using the forge then make it comfortable for you.   If several people will be using it then you may compromise a bit.  As a general rule "if you can't make it perfect at least make it adjustable."

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Mine is just above waist height, about 40 or 42 inches off the ground. On a rolling cart with some firebrick and steel plate under it to bring it up to there.  I'd had it both higher (PITA to support long bars in the forge) and lower, but the current height for my 6 foot self works well.  I can lean my head and upper body backwards to see the heat the steel has.

Now I need to figure out a good door configuration for the Freon canister gas forge, the firebricks piled in front of the opening are falling apart.

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6 hours ago, Michael said:

the firebricks piled in front of the opening are falling apart.

High alumina kiln shelf. How long has Mikey been suggesting that for door baffles? Hmmmmm? :ph34r:

Bushcam: Without knowing some of the variables we're just whistling in the wind here. If it's just you at the forge, then make it fit YOU. You might need to sneak up on your most comfortable working height. I have a steel cart I got at a yard (boot) sale but it's too low for some of the guys who use it so I'll stack bricks under it till it suits. I have a case of fire brick but you can do the same thing with dirt. It just needs to be stable until you know what works for you.

THEN build a proper steel stand. I put helpers in front of each door that telescope under the forge body and porch. They're just square tubing that slides in larger square tubing with a cross bar welded across the outside ends low enough it slides under the porch.  

Establish the height you need BEFORE building the stand though building an adjustable one as Mikey suggests isn't a bad idea. IF your fab skills are up to it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I just use an adjustable grinder stand from Harbor Freight (was in a rush to setup and the floor model was discounted).  Still it is heavy duty and works well for support.  It is also great when I need to swap out gas forges, as my burner is hard piped.

I also finally cast some Kastolite 30 for forge doors (into fabricated angle iron frames) and have been very happy with the utility of those.  Rear door swings open (reluctantly) for longer pieces, and front door is on a sliding track.

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I think many people are overly concerned about insulating efficiency of doors, and under concerned about mechanical toughness in that area. Kast-O-lite 30 seems to make a fine balance between the two :)

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I agree Mike. I've been thinking of easier ways to cast it into sections thick enough to be stable on the porch and stackable without just making kastolite "bricks".

Frosty The Lucky.

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Any time I cast refractory I keep a couple of small cardboard boxes (like the small or medium fixed rate postage boxes) around to put the extra material into (better to have too much than too little).  If I want to be more precise I throw a plastic bag inside to further optimize the cure rate.  These become blocks for later use as stands, doors...

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We made a 4x4x2" mold which we line the bottom and sides with 1/2" of Kast o Lite, we pushed a piece of rigidized ceramic wool into the middle, and cap the top with 1/2" of the refractory.  They have held up well as our doors.

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