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SamJ1425

couple of questions about forge build

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On my propane forge, I made soft fire-brick cores, and then formed a cast-o-lite shell. I was hoping that this would possibly provide doors with some level of insulation, but mostly did it to save as much cast-o-lite as I could for an upcoming project. Either way, it made for some wonderful doors.

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I'm having trouble with my castable refractory. I have been buttering my ceramic fiber and I rigidized all of the layers. I buttered the final layer before mixing and applying the kastolite. When I mixed the kastolite with the water(2.7 ounces to each 1lb) it had a consistency of holding together but kind of crumpling after to much handling. It was a pain to get it to stick to it's self let alone the ceramic fiber and it kept falling apart. I'm at a loss as to what went wrong and I'm half a bag into the trash already. Someone please help me

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I would knead the refractory really well, butter as you have, and do it in 1/4 sections. After you have the desired thickness down, take a yard stick (3ft. ruler) and continually slap down the entire length. Keep doing this until you are blue in the face and eventually the cast-o-lite will start looking wet and flow out a bit.. or level out maybe. That's what worked for me anyway.

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On ‎12‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 3:31 PM, Mikey98118 said:

Do they still have warm glass classes?

I don't know if they do or not. The last time I was in, I didn't see any glass for sale, but then, I wasn't looking for it either.

You have a good start to it Sam. Just keep at it for the last part. The manufacturer's water to refractory ratio is a bit dry, but it works - just mix it thoroughly and pat it together like MCalvert suggests. I found a large dowel (like closet rod size) worked really well.

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Sam: Try Seattle Ceramic supply, that should be close to the correct name, it's where our club bought it's Matrikote and zircopax. 

Forget trying for Kastolite 30's MAX strength and heat rating, those are for industrial sized furnaces not  home propane forges. Don't make it drippy wet but by all means add enough water to make it plastic enough to trowel and pat in. It shouldn't be crumbly, it was applied too dry. Kastolite does NOT dry, it "Hydrates" forming molecular bonds connected by water molecules. Bag it and toss a WET towel or something in, once it's set up you could submerge it if you wanted. Once it's cured, 24 hrs to 7 days fire it up, first to almost red and let it cool, this is more to make sure there isn't any moisture trapped somewhere to make a steam explosion. Kastolite doesn't require the tricky heat curing procedures many hard refractories do. That first heat is more a safety precaution than requirement for refractorieness. 

I wouldn't bother with ITC -100 it's not formulated for propane forges, it's a kiln wash intended to keep glazes, molten glass, etc. from sticking to the inside of kilns, furnaces, etc. Plistex or Matrikote don't contain Zirconium but they fire ceramic hard are reasonably impervious to the chemistry our forges make and do a fine job of both protecting the forge liner and radiating more heat back to the work.

Folks here have done a few experiments mixing zircopax and bentonite clay and come up with some impressive refractory test pieces. I'm thinking it'll make a good kiln wash. Just don't start experimenting with these things till you've made a few forge liners, there are good products available even if you do have to wait on delivery. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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14 hours ago, Frosty said:

Bag it and toss a WET towel or something in

 Apply the refractory and place the forge in a plastic garbage bag with a wet towel and tie the garbage bag closed. 

I read that like I had no idea what you are talking about Frosty and thought it was confusing as to whether you meant the dry refractory or the lined forge. Hope you don't mind. 

Pnut

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Alright I followed your guy's suggestions and mixed it so it was slightly more wet and it worked well and cured up great. I then got the doors cast and cut out and finished up the last welding steps. I ended up making some frosty t burners and hooked them in they seem to work great but I'm wondering if the flame is running right so feedback on that would be really appreciated.  The final product in terms of all specs the inside forge chamber is 17in long and a diameter of 7in. The burners are each 3/4in with a 3/4in to 1in reducer, t joint is 1in with 3/4in chaser and the jet is a .35 mig tip the regulator is 0-30 psi.

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I'm wondering how I could better seal the gaps between the doors and main body so I don't have flames licking out or should I just weld the doors back on to seal it now that I have all of the inside made and cured?

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If it's sealed up too well you're going to have back pressure problems. I wouldn't worry about it. It looks hot to me. I'm basing that on the pics that are fifth and sixth from the bottom up where you can just see right behind the door glowing nice and lemon yellow. The pic of the forge at the top of the series looks like it wasn't up to full heat. I couldn't get the videos to play, but I would wait till one of the folks with MUCH more experience than me chimes in on the forge, but To me the forge looks good. I don't want to comment on the burner flames, I'll leave that to people who actually know what they're talking about but the forge looks fine except maybe the gap under the brick on the floor.

Pnut

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You have two different problems going on in those "flames"; the lessor--possible-- problem, which ease easily dealt with later (if needed) is merely burner adjustment. The MAJOR problem appears to be heavy out-gassing from the refractory as it finishes drying out and curing completely :P

Now for the good news. You only need to burn out  (completely cure) that refractory, for most of your problems to disappear. Until that gets finished, the last thing you'll want to do is close up that forge in any way.

BTW, that is the most obvious and spectacular example of refractory out-gassing I have ever seen :D

 

 

 

 

 

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