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Tapered burner ports it is, here is where we are so far. Ceramic wool is all in, rigidized and dried. 

Attached the two burners and lit it up because I couldn't help myself and we have a fire!

I want to make a face to the forge somehow giving the whole thing about a 1" lip to help contain the flame, and then from there use fire bricks on the front and back shelves to block the openings further if needed.

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Yeah, file formats are a hassle Acrobat is completely dead soon and I've been wading through replacements. <sigh>

I can see the pics fine. That should be all it needs. Ready for the hard stuff?

Frosty The Lucky.

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First bag of Kast O Lite 30 is mixed and applied. Started with the 2.75 oz water per pound and ended up adding a bit up to about 2.9 oz per pound after some mixing. I must not have wetted the ceramic wool enough before applying because it isn't wanting to stick too well. 5 LBS covered the floor and up one side about two inches, and a little bit around the openings. Just waiting for the first batch to setup a bit so I can turn the forge and keep going.

 

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This is where I am currently at. (see photo) Not very happy with how it is going. I am having a bear getting the dang stuff to stick to anything but my hands... (You can see on the left and right edges it's trying to pull away from the ceramic wool, and in the foreground a small pile of fallen refractory on the floor.) Hopefully once this portion cures it will stay in place enough to rotate and do the other side. Assuming that it is okay to let this cure a few hours/overnight and apply another batch later on?

 

You can see the rectangular rear opening, at some point I will be making a bolt on front cover that will give the whole chamber a lip around the edge but I think I will need more Kast O Lite before I can do that... Trying to get it up and running to do some forging this weekend with a buddy. Though if needed to he can probably pack his forge and drag it with him. 

IMG_7801.thumb.jpg.3d3d86e7d48777e0bb790ba2d9039fde.jpg

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Yeah, KOL isn't sticky enough to hold it overhead. I ran into troubles trying to get the sidewalls to stay without sagging. Happily I only tried one that way. 

My next forge will be cast in a form and the Kaowool wrapped around the outside before going into the shell. 

I found that tapping the liner does a more satisfactory job of smoothing and bonding to the kaowool. What worked best was to lay a piece of linoleum on the liner and whack it with the stainless serving spoon I mix it with. The goal is to cause vibratory liquefaction of the refractory which causes particles in the aggregate to infill voids between larger particles. You can tell liquefaction is occurring when free moisture (water though not clear) appears on the surface. Free moisture is driven out the other side as well and will be absorbed by the Kaowool and make a pretty permanent bond.

The margins between the surfaces you plaster in the forge will bond solidly, KOL is formulated to stick to itself like it was cast in one piece. 

The stuff can be a PITA so be patient and take it in stages.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I’ve about had it with this stuff. Thought it was all going well when the entire floor fell down in chunks after I had the forge upside down for a few minutes of putting this stuff onto the ceiling. 
I can’t even get this stuff to stick to itself hardly. Still the only surface it sticks to is my hand. 
I had to toss the rest of the mix I had prepped because there were no more horizontal surfaces to put it on. 
At this point I think I would have been better off just buying a premade forge. Less headache and less money. 
Now to order more kast o lite since I lost a whole bag of it in the floor. 

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Breath in...breath out; it will be all right :)

The way it's done is to rigidize ALL of the insulating layers with colloidal silica in water, and then fire them with those burners; this makes the insulation into a solid capable of holding up to the weight of the hard refractory layer, when its up side down; otherwise it can separate away from the rest of the layers.

 then apply the refractory to about one-third of the surface at a time. Let the refractory set properly before firing it. Turn the forge until the second third is at the bottom, and repeat all the steps. Revolve until the top is facing bottom, and repeat.

Remember to drill those two little holes, while the first section is  available to do it the easy way.

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Good Morning,

Talk to your local friend who does pottery. Ask him/her to make you a few buttons, the size of drawer pulls about 1" to 1 1/2" round, 1/4" thick with about 1 1/2" long shank. Ask to have a small hole sideways through the stem. Pick up an old clothes Dryer from the side of the road or the Recycle. Take the back off and take out the Heating Element, It is Nickle Wire. Drill a hole through the outside shell of your Forge, generally no more than 1/8". Poke a hole in your insulation, feed a section of nickle wire through the sideways hole in the stem of your button and feed the nickle wire through the small hole in your casing. Use a small nail or another piece of wire to twist the nickle wire so it won't/can't pull through the 1/8" hole. The head of the button will hold the roof of your Forge Insulation in place. Continue as originally planned.

If you hit the cold stuff enough, it will become Hot and Bothered. Easier to heat it up inside a Forge. Heat On!!!

Neil

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New day and a fresh outlook. Still frustrated, but ready to deal with this rather than being inclined to toss it in the bin. (No, I could not have thrown it out, too much time and effort put into it, but I can daydream!)

Mikey, are you saying to cure AND fire each section of refractory before turning and going to the next? I only let it cure for a day and didn't fire it. Perhaps that was part of the issue, the KOL had hardened it seemed but when the floor fell it pretty much crumbled. It came off in big chunks but it was very easy to break apart.

Swede, I like that idea, however I don't know anyone local who throws pottery. The local community college I believe has classes (not sure about this year with distance learning however) Will have to see how this one goes and might try that with the next forge. 

 

A question on the texture/consistency of the KOL. When I mix it I have been starting with the 2.75oz O2 per 1lb KOL and working up to just shy of 3oz. I am able to form a ball and toss it up and down and it will hold together. However shortly after I start trying to apply it to the forge walls it starts acting more like granola and I sometimes can't even get it to stick to itself very well. I did pat it and got some liquifaction most places with this batch and that seemed to somewhat help but transitions around the front lip and rear lip were a royal PITA and still have some small gaps on the front that will need filling. Should I keep adding a little more water when mixing or is this just the way this stuff is? 

 

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Have you been spritzing the rigidised ceramic blanket with water (buttering it), before you apply your KOL?

If not, then the blanket will wick-away moisture from the KOL where it meets the blanket, leaving a dry and not-well-attached interface between the two materials.

Hope this helps.

Tink!

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Also thank you all for the encouragement and advise. I'm still hopeful that the end result will be worth all this effort.

Since a few have asked on details here is exactly the steps I've been using. 

1: forge shell lined with rigidized inswool is on it's side

2: pour 5lb bag of KOL into plastic tub

3: weigh out 13.75 oz into cup on postal scale

4: weight out additional 1.2 oz in separate cup for use if needed

5: start mixing slowly adding water until I can form a ball and toss it up and down, usually ending up using all water measure out.

6: get on ground with tub and sprayer full of water, spritz whole area I will be covering generously with water. (First time may not have been generous enough, been going to town with the water spritzing the inswool on the following two batches.)

7: apply KOL 

I am doing all this in the garage since it's been too cold outside, getting into freezing temps sometimes at night. After the first batch I laid some damp towels inside it and covered with a trash bag, last night I did not. 

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4 hours ago, NoGoodWithUsernames said:

Mikey, are you saying to cure AND fire each section of refractory before turning and going to the next?

That is exactly what I'm advising. However, it won't help much, if you don't rigidize all of the layers of insulation below it first. Ceramic fiber blanket shears away from itself in layers--unless it has been glued together into one solid-- by rigidizing and firing. If your hard refractory had been cured and fired it could still have fallen out, if what it is supported by sheared away under it.

Yes, I know that my suggestions will add a lot of waiting time to the process. Slow success beats quick failure.

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I will give that method a go, inswool is all rigidized, though again this is my first time at any of this so who's to say how well it was done. Learning a lot of lessons to help the next one go much better. I just found Wayne's method where he cuts the tank in half and hinges one side. Seems like a good method to help speed things up as you can cast both sides simultaneously. Oh well you live and learn and try to learn from others but sometimes I gotta get my hands dirty and see how things work out. 

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4 hours ago, NoGoodWithUsernames said:

I will give that method a go, inswool is all rigidized, though again this is my first time at any of this so who's to say how well it was done

As a rule of thumb, this kind of rigidizer (coloidal silica) cannot be over applied. So, do it again, and utterly soak that fiber; just as though you had never applied any already. If it isn't already colored, add food die to be able to see the rigidizer's progress. No one ever fails a build by taking too much care :)

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Good Morning everyone, some better news to report today.

Since the latest KOL application had cured for 24 hours I moved the forge outside and installed the burners to start the drying process. I would light it up for a few seconds, then shut it off and let it sit for a few minutes while I was working on other stuff. Wash rinse repeat. Kept a fairly consistent wisp of steam coming out of the forge and the KOL was noticeably changing. Light taps with a small wrench where it was dry would produce more of a ring vs the thunk the still wet KOL made. I even put one of the pieces of crumbled floor in the forge to dry it and it became much more difficult to break than an un-dried piece. When turning back over to right side up, none of the new casting fell out so between liquefaction and heat "curing" this time went much smoother.

I also realized when turning it back over only half the floor is gone, it broke at about a 35° angle so from the front edge it looked like it all fell (and there was enough material I thought it was the whole floor!) but the back of the floor is mostly intact, so that made me feel a bit better about it as well. 

In regards to buttering, everything was well wetted before applying the rigidizer. First layer air dried for nearly two weeks before it was completely dry (didn't have the burner running well enough to dry it with that.) I used two complete bottles on this forge and the insulation is crusty but still has a bit of give, does that still indicate that more of the rigidizer should be used? Insulation was also wetted again before applying KOL.

 

I appreciate all the constructive feedback, as always feel free to ask for better information or call me out if needed. I think perhaps the largest issue starting out was not using the correct procedure for applying and curing the KOL coupled with a bit of impatience and feeling rushed.

 

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5 hours ago, NoGoodWithUsernames said:

Since the latest KOL application had cured for 24 hours I moved the forge outside and installed the burners to start the drying process.

How many times have I said KOL does NOT dry! It cures like concrete it needs a time at 100% humidity, 24 hrs. Minimum, 7 days for full strength. Just because it CAN be gunnited into a HOT furnace doesn't mean we can get away with rushing the set/cure times.

Plaster 1/3, let it cure overnight, roll it so the set 1/3 is about vertical and plaster the 1/3 on the bottom. let it cure over night in 100% humidity a plastic garbage bag with a WET towel works nicely. 

With your luck so far I'd use some line, para cord or clothes line, etc. and run a few wraps through the openings and around the shell with something to shim against the installed refractory. This will keep it from falling off until the last section is troweled in set and cured.

It could well take you 2-3 days before you put it in a garbage bag for a final set. I know I can't line a forge in under 2 days without problems. 

If it's crumbling while you're applying it add more water or work faster. Making a ball and tossing it in the air is a new one on me, where'd you hear that? 

I discovered it was unworkable at the recommended moisture content but it didn't take a whole lot more to make too wet with free moisture you couldn't get rid of. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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13 hours ago, NoGoodWithUsernames said:

the insulation is crusty but still has a bit of give, does that still indicate that more of the rigidizer should be used? 

The insulation is mostly air; you could perfectly rigidize it, and still poke your finger through it with no problem. On the other hand, if by "a bit of give" you mean springy, then you need more rigidizer.

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