Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Primitive Clay Based Refractory Mix

Recommended Posts

I'd like to use a mix for my forge with clay as the main ingredient. Anyone have experience making a mix like this?


50% clay 10% wood ash 40% soil / aeration material

Instead of soil I was thinking of using dry, hollow, straw-like material chopped into small pieces. That would create lots of air pockets in the clay.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not nearly as insulative as modern refractories; fine for solid fuel forges that have BTUs to burn; but end up costing a lot more to run in a gas forge.  Is this an experiment or does spending extra money for a poorer material not concern you? 

(Usually when I get this question it's associated with "I don't have much money and so I think that by saving US$20 on refractory and spending US$200 more in fuel I am saving money!")

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well "primitive" forges were not gas forges and so mixes empirically developed for non-gas forges may not be suitable for gas forges.

I know for solid fuel forges just a bed of ash has been used as the firepot.  You dampen the ash and form it in a bowl and start your forge fire.

Refractories have historically been a problem; Huntsman had great difficulties with refractories as he was working with the nascent cast steel industry. Dr Feuerbach's thesis on crucible steel has a lot of analysis of how the crucibles were made and what they were made from. (Including using old crucibles for grog!)

Chemical activity goes up as temperatures rise and things can act very oddly.  I remember how strange it was when I accidentally "boiled" some terracotta trying to improvise an enameling kiln from my forge using a clay pot.  I now know that terracotta is a relatively low temp clay...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...