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I Forge Iron

20 PSI for good heat

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I'm finishing building a forge with forced air ribbon burner.  I found that to get it to an appropriate heat, I need to bring regulator up to about 20 psi, so it's not a lazy flame.  This allowed me to open air gate and get it moving through.  I haven't applied Plistex yet, but will do so soon which should help.   Once it's hot, I can bring it down some, but haven't had enough time with it to zero in on it.  

What does it imply that I need to go up to 20psi to get it going?  I notice most guys are starting at 7-10psi, and bringing it down to 2-3.   Is PSI immaterial/inaccurate since I'm running a needle valve which would affect volume passed through?




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I have a 0-30 regulator with PSI gauge attached to regulator on a gauge port.  Then has the gas hose, going to 1/4" quick shutoff valve, then needle valve, then 6 inch copper line feeding into air pipe which feeds the ribbon burner.  

The PSI I'm referring to is the gauge off the regulator.  

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No orifice on the end of the copper tube injecting propane into the air line.  I assummed I needed the needle valve to fine tune the amount of propane going into the air line.  Is the regulator PSI more appropriate?


Perhaps I should set the regulator to 10 PSI, open the needle valve all the way, and then adjust it down from there?

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Personally I think that the only reason a needle valve is useful in a setup like yours is if the regulator is so far away from the forge that you can't see what is happening when you adjust it.  As far as I'm concerned a regulator is more accurate, repeatable and safe than using a needle valve, but that is just me.  

Yes, my recommendation is that if you want to use your needle valve you find out what the highest pressure you want to run your forge at in high fire mode for that forging session (which will vary with forge temperature, is directly related to flame front speed, and intended to keep your flame burning right up to the burner outlet for stability) and set the regulator at that, then make your adjustments with the needle valve (just like using an oxy-acetylene torch).

Also the quality of insulation on your forge, forge size and door design can have a huge effect on how efficiently it heats.  Note that it is a huge oversimplification to categorically state that a forced air burner is more efficient than a NA one.  They are certainly easier to tune, which can have a great effect on efficiency (especially if you can increase outlet area to keep a slower, shorter flame inside your forge longer), but there is only so much energy in each cubic foot of fuel...

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