Roudyroddypipper

Questions about building my forge

Recommended Posts

So I'm in the process of building a forge I saw online... The Zoller forge I believe it's called. I'm just waiting for the mortar and htc100ht to be shipped. My question is, when I'm applying the mortar, do I put my floor bricks in then mortar to seal everything, then paint the htc100? Or coat it then set my bricks in?

Thanks in advance!

IMG_20200131_144205.thumb.jpg.b25ad18add1ee08f4864b5ba939f1553.jpg

IMG_20200131_123336.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is very hard to arrive at a desirable goal by cheerfully proceeding down the road of false assumptions. There are many poor brick choices to choose from, and  only one brick that is worthwhile (Morgan's K26 brick). As to the question you did ask, it is usually better to trap bricks in position, rather than mortaring them in place; overhead bricks being the exception to this rule of thumb..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As shown in the pictures, I have ceramic fire a blanket, 3 layers... About 2 inches thick total. I'm going to then layer the interior with the mortar and refactory paint then set the bricks on the floor. My problem is that the forge is round, and I'll have gaps under the brick. I don't know if that's a problem, this is all very new to me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The photos show a much better build than your description sounded like. The "floor bricks" might be a good idea to drop. Most hard clay bricks are heat sinks. Old style soft bricks rapidly turn into rubble at forge heats. Morgan K26 bricks (coated), a high alumina kiln shelf, or Kast-0-lite 30 refractory all make adequate floors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before you go any further, have you rigidized that blanket?

By mortar, what product do you mean?

Zoeller Forge advises Plistix 900F, not ITC100HT, in the FAQ.  The consensus amongst the wise elders here is that the ITC doesn't cure properly and just flakes off.  This is what happened with my forge back when I was still trying it.  Ron Reil's website from long ago is still up and advises the ITC.  I have tried ITC, Plistix  and Matrikote.  I prefer the Plistix 900F as it actually sticks, is affordable and it has a higher temperature rating than Matrikote.   

If you are following Zoeller's FAQ page and using Kast-O-Lite 30, the gurus advise a different curing process.  Instead of a few hours air dry and a low firing of the refractory, the refractory should be kept in a humid space for 1-7 days.  Then slowly fired.  I have done the rapid firing and the refractory ends up softer and more likely to crack or rubble.  I now apply the refractory, put the whole thing in a bag or tub with a cup of water and leave it alone for a week.  This results in a tough solid product.  Frosty uses a magnetic block heater to heat the water to ensure humidity.  If you want more details, Forges 101 is great for details.

What is your purpose for the floor brick?  Are you planning on forge welding with flux?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This all very helpful thanks again, I appreciate all the advice I can get.

Franken burner, as for ridigidizer I am picking up a product called uni-bind 33 from a company called the sounding stone. It's a high temp mortar rated for 3000°f. Is that the same thing, I've seen actual "ridigidizer" online since reading this fourm. My thought was to coat the blanket with the uni-bond, then paint it with the itc100. I have also had a very hard time finding the Plistix 900F . I've been reading up on both and it sounds like it's more of a personal preference for most Smithies... Regardless, I'm ordering the itc100ht from the supplier's in the states as everywhere in Canada is out of stock. And yes the floor brick would be because I'd be welding with flux.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May I make a suggestion. Do not use ITC-100 it does not work very well in a propane forge and is very expensive. I would use Plistix 900F  which is better in a forge and is available right here, look at the section Gas forge supplies at the top of the page. As far as anything called mortar, it's not very good for coating the flame face of the forge, it's used to stick bricks together, Kast-O-Lite 30  would be a better choice and is flux resistant and a better choice for the floor.

Also I gather you are in Canada, if you edit your profile (as suggested in the Read This First thread) to show your location, you may be surprised how many members are near you and we won't have to ask every time an answer requires knowing where you are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I am in Canada, Saskatoon Saskatchewan to be specific. I have the mortar coming already so I'll use that to join my bricks for the floor. As for the plistix, I'm having a hard time finding it anywhere and have some itc100 on the way also. My uncle said he can build an oil burner for the forge as well, would that make a difference? I'm also in the process of ordering the ridigidizer right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

West systems 406 (I believe) mixed with water and cake coloring makes a nice rigidizer at a very economical cost, comparitively. Fyi. Plistix and matrikote were available on amazon and ebay last time a checked, been a couple months though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rigidizer is different than refractory.  I use something similar to what MCalvert suggested.  I buy fumed silica and mix with water and a few drops of food coloring.  This mixture is spritzed on the blanket until it is saturated.  The blanket is then heated with a torch to drive off the water and fuse the silica and blanket.  This causes the blanket to become stiff.  A good foundation.  If you skip the rigidizer, it is more difficult to apply the liner and for the life of that forge, the liner is always kind of floating on the soft under layers.

Once the blanket is rigidized, the refractory is applied inside.  The refractory prevents the blanket from being damaged by your metal work and the flames.  You don't absolutely need refractory but you definitely want a top coat of some kind to prevent free fibers from flying into your lungs.  This is where the Plistix/Matrikote can be used as a hot face.  Or you can use the refractory and skip the hot face.  I like my forges to be tough so they have both the refractory and the hot face.

I can not find much on the uni-bond but what I did find is not encouraging.  It is generally recommended to stay away from anything listed as cement or mortar.  This product is intended to be used as mortar for firebricks.  If you apply it and it doesn't work out, it may be very difficult to remove for replacement.  I would do some coupon testing of the product before committing, just to be safe.  How did you come across it?  Did someone recommend it?

Several members have advised against the oil burners.  Mostly because of the nasty burn properties.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hoping I can send the mortar back and not take too much of a hit. I'll be ordering some ridigidizer, kast-o-lite and some k-26 fire brick as soon as I get things sorted. I also have some itc100ht on the way as well.

As for the oil burner, that was just a suggestion my uncle made when he saw it... I'm leaning towards propane anyway.

I came across the uni-bond 33 while searching refactories, a company called the sounding stone. I didn't know the difference until I joined IFI. The kast-o-lite and other similar products are sold out most places, or are more than what I need. As this is my first forge build, and really my first experience with forging steel, I want to just buy the correct products and save more headaches.

Edited by Mod30
Remove excessive quote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would consider putting the itc100 on ebay for 10-15 dollars less than what you purchased it for. Cut the loss and order the Plistix.. the re-radiators are WELL worth the money in my opinion. I think I paid around $15 for the West Systems 406 on amazon, much much cheaper than done-up rigidizer. If money is not as much of an issue, then I offer apologies for prattling on about cost/benefit details.. Looking forward to seeing a hot forge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/31/2020 at 4:12 PM, Mikey98118 said:

only one brick that is worthwhile (Morgan's K26 brick).

I'm not sure if that's true anymore.  I've been working with a local refractory and they have made me a Zbrick similar to this sales link removed that I would say is as good if not better than K bricks.  they are pricey however so it becomes a cut in both direction issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry mikey the link was removed.  just do a google search for zircon bricks.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooooh, lots of hits on zircon bricks! Thanks for the topic to read. :)

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not as yummy as you may think.  They work great as insulation.  They are on par to k series maybe even with a slight edge as to mechanical use.  However there are two drawbacks.  Ordering by the ton (from us only I dont deal with overseas) my cost is 7.95 per brick compaired to 3.50 for k series so over twice the price.  That difference exacerbates as the quantity gets smaller.  The second issue is that after about 8 hours of use they get realy brittle.  A good bump from a work piece gets you a crack no question however without that "oops" they seem not to crack from thermal cycling (double edge sword for number 2)  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darn, not as yummy as I was hoping. <sigh> Back to seeing how much zircopax I can bind with how little Plistex I can for a kiln wash. Not like I was going to stop tinkering regardless. 

I checked Morgan Ceramics web site to get a correct classification number for another post and discovered a new (to me) IFB. The TJM series range from low end. 2,750f. max. to the upper end of 3,250f. and rated as flame face for a bunch of uses that make what we do look like pampering.  I wrote myself a note to call Distribution International tomorrow and check availability. 

This kind of thing'll teach  me to check in on things now and then. I'm kind of excited.B)

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like IFB but the price makes me reluctant.  I am going I think to test the Z bricks out by casting them in KOL.  I did the same thing for my forge but instead of brick I used 3" of blanket.  with how well they seem to hold up to thermal cycling itself I think when cast they might be a great replacement for blanket.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It takes a lot of looking to find anything new at a reasonable price. If you don't look, we can't find...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.