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Need help burner position


Paul Kin

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Hey all,

I am building my first propane forge! My 4th forge, but first gasser! Supplies in town are limited (understatement) so I am using what I can get locally until our next road trip. All we have in town is 9x4.5x1.25 fire bricks both hard and soft (low temp). So my plan: 915EAED5-BCDB-49EB-B8F5-A5CA2682D197.thumb.jpeg.24bd5835a8ef3b993606c6f4d1b90b73.jpeg

2 layers of the 1.25” brick. Soft on the outside for insulating, hard for the chamber. I understand that this is not going to be as efficient as possible, but its all I have to work with... I can get refractory but its a 12 hour road trip to Edmonton so that will have to wait. Chamber size is 576ci aprox. Im going to use a 1” Frost-T. question on that, I need a 1.25 T correct? There are literally no 1.25”-1”-1.25” T’s in town though. I have spent days searching for materials for this project and months planning. So, could I use a 1.25-1” adapter and just port it with a die grinder?? Please?? Lol. I was even told at our largest plumbing shop that such T’s did not exist... so you see my dilemma... and yes I ran from that store quickly!

Next, and probably my biggest question, burner position. I am wanting to do more pattern welding and get into semi traditional wrapped axes. These are my thoughts for burner positions:B3274B94-C303-440B-8061-DB7EE47B7328.thumb.jpeg.4bb87a2c7684a20fcd3807cae1dcdb9b.jpeg

or should I just go top mounted and straight down?? Im leaning towards #1 but want opinions from people who actually know things!

Thanks!

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A 1" burner is more than you need in that volume but not outlandish. Just use a 1" x 1" T, the slight reduction in output once you tune it will be plenty in a small forge. I believe you'll be much happier running two 3/4" Ts, more even heat and the parts are common everywhere that has modern plumbing.

What kind of soft IFB are you using? If they aren't Morgan, K26 or better they won't last long. 1/8"  hard refractory flame face won't shield the IFB from excessive temperatures though it will slow the thermal cycle time but not enough.

A good orientation for your burners are either horizontally across the top of the chamber so the flame impinges the sloping far wall. This will induce a strong vortex and heat the interior more evenly. Another good orientation is to aim it at a downward angle to impinge the far wall at a downward angle. This will induce a strong vortex as well.

Frosty The Lucky.

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1.25 x 1 x 1.25 certainly exist, and any real plumbing supply house should be able to source them.  Over here they are available through WW Graingers as well for both pickup and shipped (even on sale right now), but I can't include the link due to the forum TOS...

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Thanks guys. I did consider dual 3/4” burners. And maybe I will just go that way now. Plumbers in this town can be hard to work with... I know those T’s exist, but they tell me theres never a reason to use something like that. They also told me that the only high pressure regulator I could use for a forge was their $100 one. Thats just the regulator... so off to the amazon it was for me! No one carries any kind of mortar either. Or 2.5” fire brick. Or ceramic blanket. Trust me, I really did try every store in town as I do try to shop local whenever possible. The highest temp mortar I could find was 2700° crack sealer for fireboxes. So the ifb Im using is just the lower temp stuff. The flame face will be hard brick. Like this: 6A38C682-FD07-4C85-8213-74D60BDB64E4.thumb.jpeg.982f732a867fe5628be883952d757e3d.jpeg
kinda make sense? I will seal the cracks with that stove cement for now. As for burner angle, I think I get what you mean Frosty. I feel like #1 in this last pic might be best correct? 
Latticino, anything I have to order from a store here, I also have to pay shipping as its not normal inventory. Plus about 10-25% more then online prices. Its funny cause I know of about 15 other smiths in town. Everyone just deals with shipping or gets stuff if theyre on road trips. Its mostly due to the “fact” that our local plumbers “know better” then us. But it is what it is. 
Sorry for the long post and the complaining! I really did do my research, planning, and parts searching. But I went throught this whole process last winter and got discouraged and gave up. This year, Im determined to see it through! Even if I end up with a not so awsome gasser, it will be a start at least!

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So I am going with dual 3/4” T burners. I put them in the lathe last night and drilled/tapped them. My question now, where do I place them? The forge is 12” long. I am leaning towards position #1 in the pic in my last reply (pic is sideways for some reason so its top mounted at an angle toward the wall). Now as far as spacing... say 3.5” in from the openings maybe? That gives 5” between the burners. Im not to sure how to space them. 4” in gives 4” between which almost seems to close but Im not sure...

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Space the at 1/3 intervals or 4". Aligning your burners as in #1 is about as bad as possible. They're aimed into a corner and the flame will create a lot of back pressure seriously reducing the burner's effectiveness. Which ever flat face you aim them at center the flame on the wall.

You don't have a plumbing supply? You probably told them what you want to make which is a mistake. They know zero about the kind of burner you're making so ANYTHING they tell you doesn't apply. Just order the parts and NOT from a plumber, you wouldn't try to buy lumber form a carpenter or buy a cow from a butcher would you? 

Do NOT tell the guys at the counter what you're making, they'll see legal liability. I don't know of many places it's okay to make your own gas burning appliance. Just make a list of what and how many and buy or order it.  

Frosty The Lucky.

 

 

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Oh ok thanks Frosty! I think I might just aim them strait down for this forge for simplicity. Im struggling to figure out how to drill an angled, tapered hole in the hard brick. I will probably be building another one by next winter haha. I just enjoy building things.

So... I rediscovered a plumbing shop that I completely forgot existed today... Ive been running all over town to every other place that carries plumbing supplies For days and forgot about this one. Ugh... Its tiny. All their black iron fittings are in a little 6’x8’ corner. Just so happens they have aaalllll the odd fittings! Except wye’s, but every single reduction T you can think of. Well now I know at least! And feel a little dummer then I was this morning.. haha. They also gave me a couple thread protectors! So I got the burners running this evening! Just have to finish the forge now.

Hey now! Im a Sawyer and I get a few people a year asking to buy logs! But I get what you are saying and point taken. 

Sorry to waste your guys time! This is my first gasser and I was just a bit nervous to make a big mistake dealing with propane and all. I’ll post pics once its up and going!

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Angled tapered hole? Oh my but you do like to make things hard don't you? :rolleyes: Just joshin we all do that when we start a new craft, don't feel alone. Why hard brick? It's lousy insulation, only SLIGHTLY better than an equal thickness of limestone AND it's a heck of a heat sink. This means it takes a lot more fuel to get hot and seeing as heat conducts through it relatively easily it takes a LOT of fuel to keep hot. 

K-26 IFB are available in Canada, are reasonably resistant to flux, are reasonably tough at 3,000f. and can be cut with a hand saw or drilled with a hole saw.  A coat of Plistex or Matrikote kiln wash makes them hard as concrete and completely impervious to borax based welding fluxes. Sure it costs more to build with K-26 and a high end kiln wash but the payback is probably 100 hrs of forge time where as the liner you're thinking of will continue to cost 3x as much as long as you use it. Hmmm?

You can buy small quantities of Plistex and other forge makings from the IFI store, click the "Gas Forge Supplies" link at the top of the page.

Take a square to the brick and see where it intersects the far side of the chamber. You'll find a spot in one of the angled roof bricks where the flame will impinge a vertical wall about center. That's much better than straight down though straight down isn't bad and you don't have to try to drill an angled hole. 

A REAL plumbing supply, :D now you're on the trail! Once they get to know you and don't think you're crazy dangerous, they'll be a lot more helpful but don't tell them what you're making till you have things working properly and are making things. If they're good to you take them a little something, card holder, coat hooks, etc. Nothing fancy just a token on appreciation. The guys at the HVAC service and supply at the end of my road gave me a bucket of thread protectors last time I asked for a few. Now I have at least 30 extra of the darn things. The real score was the bucket, a nice new one. In Alaska it costs more to ship them back to the factory than they're worth so they hold onto them till a dump run. 

That's not so odd, I bought a spruce block to make an anvil stand from a local lumber mill. Maybe if I asked to buy some trees I would've gotten THE LOOK. What kind of saws, band or circle? Band saw blades make nice patter welded billets they have enough nickle in them to make good contrast. If you can set worn ones aside you'd have some good trading stock with local blacksmithing organisation. 

You haven't wasted anybody's time, I'll bet there are at least a few dozen other beginners following this thread so lots of guys get to learn with you. You put a lot of thought into your plans and you're asking good questions. Better, you're receptive to suggestions and adapting. Very desirable traits in a beginner. It's my pleasure to help you as I can.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Haha I think I may have done to much research on burners and flares and whatnot... Ive read a lot about using the forges refractory to be the flare so the mixing tube is saved from heat damage. Its got me brain in a knot to say the least...

As to why Im using the brick, well, the cost of the burner plumbing and the 0-30 regulator puts me about $70 above my current budget lol! Everything else is from other forges Ive built/scrounging. Long story short: over the last 4 years Ive gotten married, we had 2 kiddos, built a house, and then built my shop. And me being me, we did it all the hardest way possible of course! This is our first year that we can actually just do whatever we feel like instead of being crazy busy. But we are also putting every penny into “catching up” so to speak. Talk about life story!!

I have however read of all the downsides of the hard brick... and I do get the cost of propane vs. proper forge insulation... I do want to use proper material but right this very moment I just cant afford it. But know that I really do appreciate your advise! I built this forge to be able to be re-insulated for when I can afford.

I think you are thinking much to large! I run a woodmizer lt70. Just me and the one mill with all the supporting equipment. Its a big, small operation if that makes sense. I use 1.5” silvertip blades. Aka carbon steel. 1074 to be exact! I talked to the head coe man himself! I get my 15n20 from our local big mill. 9”+ bandsaw blades. Makes great blades! For instance:CF0EC74B-03BE-4DA3-8F57-6EB5420F4958.thumb.jpeg.65a6763556da07262ca77eaf523f17bf.jpeg

I have miles of the 1074. It does make great “payment” when I go to someone else's forge and swing hammers! And probably 10 feet of the 15n20. I HAVE been at this for a good decade and then some ;) . But as far as propane goes, Im as beginner as it gets! this is my first real venture into it! Also, Im actually fairly knew to real bladesmithing. up until the last couple years its been more blacksmithing type stuff. But I am far from a professional!!

I really appreciate it! Ive read and read and read and finally, theres just specific things I cant find exact answers to. And you have helped greatly so far!

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Hey thanks Mikey! Encouraging words from you guys means a lot! Ive been reading these forums for many years so I know who yall are on here. Criticism is also good! Could save my life one day haha. I got the burners finished up and fired up last night. They work! Forge isnt done so havent tuned them yet but I feel Frosty’s instructions are very clear so Im confident I can do it.

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Nice blade Paul, I'm a fan of low layer count high contrast, even though I'm not a bladesmith guy I appreciate nice blades. 

Uh HUH, new wife, fresh kids, new house. I hear guys using that excuse for not having time or money for the fun stuff all the time.:rolleyes: I understand a budget and doing what you can afford. You seem to have that covered nicely, designing your forge to be easy to reline makes you smarter than I am. Good on ya!

Just don't get in a rush, the only sure thing being in a hurry does is make mistakes permanent more quickly. 

One of the best things about helping folk get going in the craft is we get to ride your rush vicariously. I'm selfish like that. B)

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks! Thats my first successful pattern welded blade. I will get more creative once I get a few more successes under my belt! Im about 50/50 bladesmith/blacksmith. I enjoy both. What I enjoy most Ive found though is teaching! Over the last year Ive got 3 others hooked. 2 guys and a lady! So I see what you mean by riding others rushes! Seeing them admire what they accomplished with only a hammer and a piece of steel that any NORMAL person would chuck out feels great. I dont know what it is about it, but its pretty exciting. But we arent normal people are we? :)  

I have learned not to rush yup! This has been in the design phase for months really... thats part of what I teach others as well. Patience is the hardest part of this craft if you ask me.

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Uh huh, is there a Normal, Arkansas? :huh: It took me some years to realize Normal is where creative folk start and go uphill from there.

 Goodness Paul, one of your statements is causing me to get all philosophical and it's almost lunchtime on a Saturday. 

So, there's Frosty's take on what makes blacksmithing sing to the soul the way it does. When anybody on earth wants an example of strength and durability iron and steel roll right off our tongues. Man if steel, Iron man, etc. When you look around out civilization is built on or with steel, it's the backbone of human achievement. No matter WHERE you look. And here's the blacksmith's craft. We take human kind's two oldest tools fire and something to bash with and we make STEEL do our bidding.

And THAT my friends is why I think blacksmithing is so soul deep satisfying even if we aren't successful or doing it with purpose. People who are wounded mentally, are hurting and lost seem to find A way back at the anvil, not every one but many. Our Vets especially find relief from the horrors and nightmares of war in the fire and steel. It demonstrates they have control and strength of soul to make things happen. 

Shall I go on, do I need to?

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Goodness... I just needed some help getting my first gasser going! Haha just kidding! I fully agree Frosty. A little deep, but a very good philosophy! 
The kids are down for a nap so Im off to work to get the forge body finished off! 

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This is where I am at so far.

A46C8F60-3AD4-45D7-B8E3-9E6A69D3CD8A.jpeg.c9f3ab84d513cf8c24dec249a226f7e5.jpegC75EE655-A40E-437A-8A25-D477564B5DB9.jpeg.f8b0627a79e10449c2f43f8497cca2a7.jpeg

As you can see, the floor is bolted on so it will be very easy to reline when these bricks inevitably fall apart. The burner holes are about 1/16” smaller then the thread protectors so I will lathe the protectors to fit and leave a lip to set their depth. Could file/sand them that little bit also if I had to. so far so good! Hopefully get the bricks in and mortared tomorrow. Then onto burner tuning! 
 

Anyone know why all my pictures end up sideways?? Im on an iphone if that helps.

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If you must cut hard brick it is easier to cut with a diamond hole drill, wet, to keep the heat down and not ruin the drill bit.    Also use bricks with half thickness, if you aren't already.

Much easier to just cast the burner ports for a burner block anyway.

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