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I Forge Iron
BHGiant

Hello from Tucson, AZ

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Been lurking for a few weeks. I've gotten soooooo much useful information from this forum that I thought it was time I pop my head in and say hi.

My T-burner Saga

I made myself a Frosty T burner from the pdf instructions. Well, tried... It was... frustrating. Measured, drilled, tapped, checked all my measurements 3 times... sputtering. I bought different sized MIG tips. Still sputtering. I reduced the length of the MIG tips. Same problem. Maybe it was the tapping job I did? Bought new materials, tapped the end all the way with the bit in the drill press and rotating the chuck by hand (it was unplugged Frosty!). Still the exact same problem. It seemed like when I screwed the MIG tip in part way in, it would align straight, but cinching it down led it to deviate to one side...

Turns out, I'm just a noob at tapping and I didn't tap far enough down the bit to leave a thread taper (terminology?). Screwed the MIG tip in again and this time straight as an arrow! Fired it up again and!... can't hold a flame. No matter how low I set the pressure, the flame would blow out immediately. Frustrated, I gave up and started looking at making some firebrick from home. Decided to pick up a reducing bell while I was picking up some perlite and portland cement (I know...). Brought it home, screwed it on the tip and now IT WORKS!!!

Testing out how it will work in the steel bucket I've purchased to make a furnace with (I have it set to less than 1 psi, hence a bit of sputter).

 

I'm a bit impatient so I used a charcoal chimney and lump charcoal to heat some metal up in the backyard so I could start hammering. I can't believe how much fun I'm having with a claw hammer.

 

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I love the permanence of metal. Eventually, I'd love to learn all aspects of metal working. 

Anyway, thank you all for all your expertise and for making it public knowledge.

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Glad you got your burner working and are enjoying starting to play with hot metal.  Burners do tend to need some kind of flare outside a forge, but not as much inside.

One quick warning though:  PLEASE STOP RUNNING YOUR BURNER INSIDE A GALVANIZED BUCKET IMMEDIATELY!..  Sorry for the caps, but the fumes it will give off are poisonous.  If the bell you put on the end of your burner is galvanized you might want to change that out on mild steel or cast iron as well.

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Yes! I realized this a bit too late. Would scrubbing it off with vinegar be sufficient/worth it in your opinion or more trouble than it is worth? If not I can always cut the loss and move on to something else.

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Welcome aboard BH, glad to have you. Firing that burner in a plain steel bucket isn't going to make any kind of forge or melter. Take a look in Forges 101, the most current category discussing forge construction. There are a huge number of posts some not so useful I recommend you skim the topics, then the thread subjects, then posts. When you see a post that matches whatever questions you have is the time to start reading.

Just in case being JUSTLY shouted at by Latticino, I'll repeat. NEVER PUT PLATED ANYTHING IN THE FORGE!! Galvanized is the most common plated steel you run across and we yell at more people about it. Zinc burns and the zinc oxide, smoke, it toxic and can cause serious reactions up to and including an unpleasant death.

There are others though, some true nightmares, cadmium is a true carcinogen in that over a very tiny threshold exposure will cause cancer. A touch more and cancer isn't likely a concern anymore. Chrome is another very nasty customer, again a strong carcinogen but worse hexavalent chrome causes nerve damage as it destroys your health. Nickle plating is bad news too and guess what the silver color on your bumper is? Ayup, polished nickle, the chrome for which the plating is names is a transparent protective layer over thee nickle. 

There's a blacksmith's adage to live by. "In rust we trust." Unless you buy new steel you want to see rust on it. Be careful anyway but if it's shiny do NOT put it in the forge!

About your burner, now we're done raking you across the coals for doing something REALLY dangerous. What's with all the brass hanging off the T? All that weight hanging off that really long brass nipple makes it very probable you'll knock the jet out of alignment at the slightest bump or movement. That's one reason you were getting such inconsistent results with your burner, every time you moved it the gas jet was aimed the wrong way.

My preference is to put the gauge on the regulator,(If you really MUST have one) there's a port for a gauge on the low pressure side of a quality regulator. Then screw the 1/4 turn ball valve to the regulator's outlet, connect the hose directly between the valve and burner. ONLY use as many fittings to adapt to the hose as you absolutely have to. 

Tune your burner IN the forge it WILL perform differently in than out. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the welcome Frosty :).

17 hours ago, Frosty said:

"In rust we trust." Unless you buy new steel you want to see rust on it. Be careful anyway but if it's shiny do NOT put it in the forge!

THANK YOU for this. In all my hours of perusing and watching, I can't believe I have not come across this. Seriously, thank you.

18 hours ago, Frosty said:

My preference is to put the gauge on the regulator,(If you really MUST have one) there's a port for a gauge on the low pressure side of a quality regulator. Then screw the 1/4 turn ball valve to the regulator's outlet, connect the hose directly between the valve and burner. ONLY use as many fittings to adapt to the hose as you absolutely have to. 

This makes a whole lot more sense. I was trying to put some distance between the hose and the forge/furnace to reduce the heat exposure to the hose (I don't know what temperatures it is able to withstand), however, the more I think about it, the more I think proper insulation in the forge/furnace would solve this problem best.

I'm thinking about ways to simplify things. I will post with pictures later of my progress.

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Radiated heat from the forge body isn't an issue, the exhaust gasses from the forge can be. Route the hose so it's not in the HOT gasses coming from the openings. 

I connect the rubber hose to a pipe manifold and make the final connection to the burners with 1/4" copper tubing. My 4 burner shop forge exposes the burners and final propane lines to high temps. I rarely use more than one sometimes two burners in a reduced chamber but there is always HOT gasses rising through the unused burners due to chimney effect. The unused burners can get hot enough to degrade even burn rubber hose. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Glen actually sells "In Rust We Trust" T shirts; It's one of my favorites when working with new smiths; the other one, also from Glen,  is "Hold the Cold end and Hit the Hot end---get it right next time!"

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On 7/6/2020 at 12:51 PM, ThomasPowers said:

In Rust We Trust

I'll have to get me one of these, ha!

Frosty, I appreciate the very detailed post and direct response. I took it to heart and went into the safety section on the forum and read the stickies. I'm so sorry about PPW. And arc welding exposing brake cleaner to UV light transforming it inter phosgene gas... Holy Xxxx. I'm abandoning my galvanized bucket. I also bought some vinegar and muriatic acid and put the reducing coupling in it for about a half hour (used the vinegar overnight but noticed the galvanization was still patchy by morning).

I also bought myself the following

-fire extinguisher

-respirator (impossible to find in stores, ordered online)

-chemical proof safety glasses with airtight seals

-several sets of long-cuffed nitrile gloves

-welding gloves

 

Thinking about getting an apron but I don't even have a forge yet so, I figure that can wait a bit. I feel like I may be forgetting something here but I'm not sure what. Feel free to chime if you see it.

I really wish I could take a blacksmithing course in person. There's so much about this art that can't be taught easily with words and pictures alone.

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It shouldn't be too hard to find classes reasonably near you but I'm sure there are smiths on this forum within visiting distance. Don't get too occupied by safety and let it distract you from the most important PPE there is, your brain, eyes, ears and nose. Things like nitrile gloves have a place but it's not near HOT. The fire extinguisher needs to be near the exit, not where a fire is likely to start. Etc. etc. 

We're big on safety here but anything can be overdone, sometimes even dangerously so.

Did you see the part about NOT wearing synthetics in a hot shop? They tend to melt and deep fry you, it's a badness thing. Yes? 

I've found my apron has done me it's biggest favor armoring me from broken disk grinder disks. I rarely wear it at the forge unless doing large lap welds which tend to spray 2,700f+ molten borax sometimes liberally. Keeping REALLY hot sticky liquids off you is HIGHLY recommended!

Not knowing any better when I had mine made I had them use split moose hide and it's almost belt leather thick but supple. It's heavy and fits well enough it's not uncomfortable but gets in the way enough I don't wear it unless the odds of needing the armor outweigh the hassle.  It's nice when a 9" Milwaukee grinding disk hits you in the chest and you ONLY feel it. . . . some. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, I took your advice and made some changes to the burner. Took all the brass off and connected the stainless steel tubing to the end of the burner with a ball valve.

I'm a bit worried about the red feather-like edge. I'm wondering if there isn't enough oxygen.

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It looks to be burning a little rich but you need to tune it IN the forge. The back pressure of firing into a forge will alter the fire. 

Please just still pics, videos really don't help me evaluate the flame. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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