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Propane forge problem


Tracemaster

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I have a propane forge made out of an old propane tank, and a a home made burner. It's lined with fire brick and the white stuff is a mix of sand and plaster of Paris (I know not great) but I a ordinary 8d nail in the chamber. For an hour but it never got hot. I did the same thing with a piece of 1/2 inch rebar, same thing. What could be causing this? 

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You haven't supplied enough information to even take an educated guess. Propane tanks come in a miriad of sizes and no telling how the burner is made. I have seen about 50 home made burners some good most bad, unless a proven set of plans were followed to the letter. Also pictures of the forge and burner will help a lot.

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I hate to sound curmudgeonly Trace but everything you described is a guaranteed not to heat a thing. Look I'm not coming down on you but you just don't know what you're doing. Lining a forge with brick and a plaster of Paris, sand mix is a lousy forge. POP/Sand won't take the heat of even a poorly tuned propane burner, it won't last one session. The brick is a major heat sink requiring a lot of fuel and time to come up to forging temperature plus it's a lousy insulator the outside of your forge will be too hot to stand near. Honest.

 Did you follow proven plans for your burner or just wing it? 

Send some pics, we'll help you along.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Pictures would help.  I sold off a 14' long, 2' diameter propane tank earlier this year; is yours larger?   

The lining material mentioned: shows why we don't generally suggest folks get information of the net when they don't know enough about a subject to be able to determine what's good info and what is posted by idiots with a keyboard.

The burner: can't tell if you made one of the best ones out there or a terrible one.

The regulator: didn't mention if you are using a high pressure propane regulator or are trying to use a propane grill regulator designed not to produce much heat.  (0-15 psi is the minimum, 0-30 psi is common and generally overkill.)

So *WELCOME* and we'll get you sorted out and forging; but we expect due diligence on your part too!

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Well first thing I don't mean to be rude but I never said I made this thing, and I didn't. I mentioned that I know plaster is not great and I plan on re lining it. I tried to upload pictures but I'm having problems. This is the one picture it will allow me to upload. Let's start with what the heck's a regulator. I bought this forge and my anvil for cheap and now I'm trying to fix it.1083531440_Forgestand.thumb.jpg.ee1b4a91b67c0261baa3c2bb1e810467.jpg

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this is an adjustable propane regulator. You will need a psi gauge to go with it. This will be how you adjust the heat in your forge. It will hook up to the tank just like a bbq.

Lets get some photos and diameter of the burner as well as the jet introducing the fuel. Also, if the other end of the forge is as open as the front you are losing a lot of heat and money.

I, like others will recommend reading up on the gas forges section of the forum. From there you will be able ask more specific questions to help diagnose the issues on your build and the knowledge to fix what may come up later.

I just realized I repeated what everone else said above. I should follow my own advice and read before opening my :D

Propane Regulator | LP Regulator | Propane Warehouse

Edited by 671jungle
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19 hours ago, Tracemaster said:

I have a propane forge made out of an old propane tank, and a a home made burner.

You didn't say you bought it either.

Now that I see the forge' I remember your other thread about the stand. Nowhere in that thread did you say "I bought it and we are not mind readers.

You may not have to build a different burner but can't tell without pictures. To upload pictures they have to be resized smaller than most phones or cameras take. If you will read the Read This First thread, it will explain a lot about getting the best out of the forum.

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Look it's obvious It's obvious I know nothing about propane. The only exception being checking for leaks. I don't even know what a regulator is and I can't find anything that explains what everything is and does. So I guess I should rephrase what EXACTLY does a regulator do?

I hate it when people send me to the read this first thread. I have read it a thousand times. Right now I am on my phone the picture I was able to upload I just took. But it won't let me upload anything else, I don't know what this resizing is or how to do it, but I shouldn't have to since I took the pictures on the same device, I would think.

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If you do a search with your favorite search engine (I use Google) like this without the brackets (propane regulator iforgeiron.com) it will return a lot of hits. If you read at least the first 5 listed, you will have a better understanding about them. That search works better than the forum search.

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I really suggest reading up on the gas section of the forum. Especially since you just admitted you know nothing about propane. 

As far as the pictures are concerned, clicking on them after they have been uploaded but before submitting will give an option to resize.

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A regulator takes the gas pressure from the tank and produces a "regulated" lower pressure stream of gas that then goes to the burner.  So a bit like the accelerator on a car.  Without it you are generally working at full tank pressure and so like trying to drive with the accelerator floored. Some people try to avoid a regulator by trying to use a needle valve to produce a tiny stream of high pressure gas. This does not work well as the pressure in the tank will vary as gas is used producing a varying pressure to the burner.  A regulator has a consistent  output pressure only modified by YOU adjusting the handle to set what you want.

Getting a regulator is not a waste of time or money as you will need a regulator anyway. Get one! Generally 1-15 psi or 1-30 psi range will work well.  Hook it to the tank and the hose to the burner to the regulator and then you can see if the burner will work or not!  (Gas grill regulators are usually not adjustable and are factory set for very low pressures.  We are not cooking a hamburger we are heating steel to above critical temperature!) Make sure the regulator you get is rated for PROPANE or "FOR ALL FUEL GASSES".  Propane eats the seals on regulators not built for it.

Once it is installed you can set it say middle range and then light the burner and see if it needs to go down or up.  (There is no one magic pressure; each burner design and actually each burner build will do best with a different pressure.  Learning to adjust by eye and by ear will allow you to find the best setting for your equipment.

Once you can adjust the gas pressure you can see if you can get the burner in tune.  If it doesn't get into tune you will need to rebuild or replace that burner.

And so far this is pretty normal. I once visited a professional smith that had just bought a propane forge from another smith and couldn't get it to work.  I was able to show them how to tune it and away it went!  Also at the University Fine Arts Class Nobody wanted to use their forge as it had monstrous dragon's breath.  I found that someone had turned up the regulator 3 full turns higher than it should have been set at.  Re set it and it's been in use for years now.

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Got some help uploading photos.

IMG_20200830_151923276.jpg

IMG_20200901_123836228.jpg

IMG_20200901_121619369.jpg

Wait so a regulators not part of the burner? That makes a lot more sense. How much can I expect to spend on a regulator? I bought the forge before I knew this forum existed and I got it because the it cost less than buying a new burner.

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It looks like the burner is much too far in the forge. It will need to be slightly recessed into the shell. Can we a get pic of the entire burner and its components out of the forge? Maybe even a pic of it running.

Also, you will need to make a couple baffle doors to help trap the heat within the forge. 

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1 minute ago, ThomasPowers said:

doors are a lesser priority than the lining in my opinion

Agreed. It would be pretty disheartening and dangerous to get everything going and have the forge crumble. When relining, make sure there is at least two inches of rigidized ceramic blanket under the final layer of hard refractory. If the blanket is not rigidized (hard), you will need to do this yourself before putting the refractory cement over it. Use a respirator while working with both the refractory cement and ceramic blanket. The blanket is more prone to becoming airborne after it has been vitrified

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Not refractory cement... which is designed to stick bricks together not as a flame face. Castable refractory is what is needed. All the supplies are available on IFI in the Gas Forge Supplies section.

https://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/254-gas-forge-refractories-and-supplies/

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3 minutes ago, Tracemaster said:

The biggest problem I'm running into is finding refractory that has an appropriate heat rating, or the materials to make refractory.

I think the forum sells some. If not, message me and I'll send you the links to a couple places I buy my refractory from. Kasto lite 30 is what I use and what most others use as well. I wouldn't try to make some unless you really wanted to. I think Frosty and a couple others have done a bunch of experiments you can read up on to get a head start.

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20 minutes ago, Irondragon ForgeClay Works said:

Not refractory cement.

Thank you IronDragon. :ph34r:

8 minutes ago, Tracemaster said:

do an I need a new burner?

Take the burner out of the forge and take some close up pics of the intake area and nozzle. Disassemble it if you can.  Do you know what size pipe and bell reducer it is? Do you know the size of the nozzle? Size of the gas jet orifice (tiny hole in gas tube feeding fuel to the burner located in the bell reducer)? These are all critical to burner performance. Look for any debris within the mix tube and jet. Does the mixtube have a weld seam on the inside? If so, it will need to be filed out. A large rats tail (round file) will be good for that.

take some pics of the burner running in low light so we can get an idea of what its doing.

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