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I Forge Iron

Looking for opinion on propane to NG conversion


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Greetings to you all from the Illinois quarantine zone! First time posting here but I have been reading for quite a while. But I am at the point where I could use some feedback. I have seen some amazing knowledge shared here and thought I would seek some more experienced feedback.

first of all I am very much a novice at all this. I got the blacksmithing bug about 15 years ago and took a few classes. Life happened and I’m now trying to get back into this as a hobby.

I made my first gas forge this winter. It’s a forced air ribbon burner for propane. After using it a handful of times I’m seeing the flaws in my build. it’s too big, not well insulated enough and the doors are too large. My propane tanks freeze and only last about 4 hours and I don’t get up to welding heat. I am planning on Adding ITC since I hear that it’s common to need that for welding heat.

I really do enjoy designing and building burners and forges so eventually I will make one that better suits my needs. But for right now I’d rather not go broke on propane. I am hoping I can switch to Natural Gas but I get the impression that it’s a little trickier than propane.

So for starters my ribbon burner already seems finicky. I need to be about 5psi with my blower almost totally closed to get it to light. I usually keep it at 5 but can take it down from there for smaller stock. My blower is a decent size squirrel cage blower but I’m wondering if it’s oversized. I have to keep it almost entirely choked off when running.

my incoming gas line is 6” water but it’s a long run on 3/4” pipe to my garage where it’s reduced to 1/2. So I’m not sure if I have enough of a gas supply. I’m also not sure if all the extra volume of gas is going to make the forge nearly impossible to light.

so, I’d welcome any thoughts on potential problems with my existing configuration as well as opinions on the likelihood of a successful conversion to NG.

Thanks in advance.


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