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Farrier forge: burners


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Hello everyone!   I'm new to the site, and have really enjoyed learning from the information and knowledge here.  I live in southwestern Ontario, Canada.  I have access to most fabrication equipment.

I am a farrier, and am hoping to build some farrier forges.  We come to the burners: I could buy em', but would love to build 'em.  Here are my considerations: 

1. Most farrier forges have a 90 degree bend in the tube, to save on height.  If at all possible, I would like to include this as well, as the straight pipe designs would make the forge too tall for many portable applications.   What are the implications of having a 90 degree bend?  

2. It is not imperative to have the most efficient burner.  It must be

     a. Relatively efficient,

     b. Very reliable

     c. Low cost and relatively easy to manufacture/produce.

     d. must be able to get up to forge weld temp, but also be able to run fairly low.  Most farrier forges only run well from 6-15 psi.  If one could run from 2-3 psi, but sometimes get turned up to 15-20, that would be great (yes, I know psi does not = temp, the idea is to have a decent operating range in terms of temps...especially to be able to turn it down low for very light work).


I have looked at other burners from other farrier forges.  I would love to get your thoughts on them.  Most, to be frank, don't seem to be the 8th wonder of the world, but maybe there is more going on.  Here are some links to popular models: 

[commercial links removed]

I have attached a copy of what I have been messing around with.  It's sort of  a modified reil burner with a mig tip.  It looks ugly, and it is, but alignment is very good, it seems to burn great, a good neutral flame.


One other question: none of the farrier forges have a burner flare.  Any thoughts on this when going into a fairly enclosed forge box?


OK, lots there :) Thanks guys!

burner 1.jpg

Edited by Mod34
Commercial links removed per TOS
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have done a LOT of reading.  I'm glad, I think I'm starting to see how little I know.  Funny how that works. 


SO.  I am pretty sold on the general awesomeness of jet-ejector-type burners.  

However: two large considerations are ease of maintenance, specifically when it comes to cleaning out the jet, and size.  I have come to the conclusion, based on much reading, that a straight tube is simply going to be far more efficient than putting a 90 degree bend.  But, a very long burner will simply not be feasible for many portable farrier applications.

A 3/4" burner gives me a 6" (or so) pipe length, maybe even more if you count the straight portion of the reducer.  That is totally feasible.  The question is, how good can a linear burner be?

Is a jet ejector worth the extra hassle of construction and maintenance, and extra size, for an application where reliability and maintainability are more important that that top 5% or 10% of performance?   I would love to hear some thoughts on the comparisons of these two types of burners.  I hope to get some pictures of my prototypes and the flames, will post up soon.

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In the first place, the burner doesn't absolutely have to be straight to be quite hot. Plenty of designers have overcome 45 and even 90 degree bends to build very hot forges. You just have to work harder to get there.

In the second place, it isn't even desirable for the burner to be top mounted and facing down; forges were built this way for a long time to avoid hard ($$$) choices in refractory and insulting materials, that can be employed at reasonable cost today. Thus, a fairly long burner can be mounted high up on the side of a forge shell and facing upward, allowing lots of room to accommodate a much longer tube body then will ever be needed.

An excellent example of both possibilities is the typical  up facing ribbon burner, with its tube entering the side of its ceramic burner block, but there are several other burner designs that work well with nothing more exotic than pipe fittings.

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That makes total sense.  I’ve never seen anything other than top mounted, so I never thought about anything else as an option.

So then to the other question as to performance: if a Venturi-style burner still has several desirable features for my application, is it worth the cost in performance versus a jet-ejector type?  (To barrow these broad terms down, it would be a Venturi burner constructed with a weld reducing fitting and a MiG tip, versus a mikey style burner).  How much of a difference is there in a well constructed burner of both types?

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Having designed and built both kinds, I can confidently say that--kowing what we do now--it isn't a question of which kind of burner, but of how well you build it. Make a choice between the two, based on the practical concerns of a would-be manufacturer. Then ask for help in succeeding with your design.

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Ok, cool!  Decision made.  

Here are some flame photos from initial testing...not very confident as to alignment on this one, burner build was not very precise.  I will have my brother turn some custom alignment rods and tubes to make sure everything is right on the money for the next test and I’ll post a follow up.



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You are showing the flames burning outside of a forge, with an insufficient form of flame retention nozzle for that purpose. therefore it would be foolish for us to attempt an answer to your question. Frosty employs thread protector fittings as one of the ways to mount a burner in a forge. You woould need twice the increase in diamter that a thread protector gives to even enter the ballpark as a flame retention nozzle.

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A 1:12 taper, over an approximate distance of 1-1/2" distance will give the MINIMUM increase, only when added added to the diameter increase achieved in a slide-over nozzle; because, sliding on the mixing tube's surface nearly doubles the amount of increased area provided by the taper. Mentally compare that in your mind with what increase is provided by a threaded fitting.

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