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[urgent] lining up the burner in optimal position


apexmateria

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Trying to build a forge ASAP is planning to bungle it. Your sketch is an all round non-starter for a forge. How about reading some of the Forges 101 section before you start asking questions. Have you even looked at photos of propane forges?

To answer your current question though. No, bad plan.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Sure I've looked at plenty of pictures. Most of you guys are building forges out of propane tanks or steel cylinders though. I'm just throwing together something cheap and xxxxxx right now to learn the basics. It's a coffee can forge. I just want it to be functional enough to forge weld small billets until it eventually falls apart, then I'll build something better. I won't be working on large billets. 

There are coffee can forges with horizontal or vertical burners, some have an air entry hole opposite the exhaust. I'm seeing lots of variations. Some people put the burner at an angle to try to create a vortex etc. Where's the ideal placement?

1F4fVYU.jpg

Refractory isn't added yet but it will be plaster of paris / sand mix or starlite. I know it won't last long I'm ok with that.

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I doubt you would get a Plaster of Paris lined forge to forge welding temps as it starts degrading around 1000 degF BELOW regular forging temps; much less forge welding temps.  Also it is not very insulative and so to get it hot you will be having to use a whole lot more gas to overcome the heat losses.  (We generally see people trying to use PoP to "save money" not realizing it will cost them several times more in gas as they saved by not using a proper insulative refractory.

I am also not a big fan of vertical burners due to re-running the exhaust issues, (spiking CO production), and chimney effect heating after you turn the gas off.

BTW have you worked with something like a JBOD forge to learn the basics or are you planning to jump to billet welding from pretty much ground zero?

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No, MOST people are not making propane forges with propane tanks, FAR more bean can forges are made. 

When we say do some reading and looking at photos we aren't talking about youtube or instagram or whatever. THAT is not research, it's usually bad and too often dangerous. Your idea about using Plaster of Paris and sand is a perfect example of why social media is such a BAD place for good information. 

We'll be more than happy to help you but if you're going to argue about the advice of folk who actually KNOW what they're talking about advice will dry up on you. 

We aren't brushing you off telling you to do some reading, you don't know enough to even ask good questions let alone understand the answers. That isn't a dis, it's just talking to you like an adult. There is nothing wrong with not knowing things and making mistakes everybody is more ignorant than knowledgeable. Nobody is born knowing anything. Knowing you don't know is the first step to learning. The next step is learning you don't even know what you don't know.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, don't worry I'm not going to blow myself up or anything, at worst I'll waste some time and money on materials. I'm on this forum to get advice from experts, I get you guys know far more than me about forging and I should take your advice. I'm going to build a proper forge next, I'm just messing around right now with this cheap project to see what it's capable of on an extremely low budget. I appreciate your advice that plaster of paris doesn't work well and everything else you've helped me with.

I ended up putting 1/2" starlite lining in the can then covered that with imperial furnace cement. It could heat up a small 1/4" steel bar to cherry red in a couple of minutes, but you guys are right, overall it has lots of problems and isn't a good enough setup for forge welding. It gives off some smoke and stinks which make it unusable for me. I wasn't able to run it long enough to see the max temp but could tell the insulation wasn't adequate (quite a bit of heat transfer out to the can).

b1V3Xk8.jpg

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I noticed there was some kind of condensation building inside the t-fitting and on top of the mig tip. Any ideas what causes that? Also sometimes my t-burner makes a repeated whooping noise that eventually goes away, is that flashback from the wind pushing the flame back towards the air intake?

For the new forge I'm going to buy the following materials:

  • 1" Thick 2600°F REFRACTORY WOOL Forge Lining
  • Mizzou Castable Plus
  • Rigidizer Spray
  • IRC 100HT Ceramic Coating

My plan is to add 2 layers of 1" of refractory wool, rigidize it, then cover it in Mizzou castable plus. Finally I'll add a thin ceramic coating. Am I missing anything? Any advice, as always, is appreciated. Cheers.

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ThomasPowers I might try to heat treat 1 or 2 steel knives made of O1 tool steel then I'm going straight into making damascus. My first few billets I'll practice forge welding cheap metals together. Making pattern knives as gifts for family and neighbors is my main goal. I really want to make mosaic damascus. I have no power hammer but I think I might have an idea how I can get around that and use a shortened 2H 8lbs sledge and a customized clip to hold and rotate the billet.

Irondragon thanks for the tip! Will pottery / HVAC supply companies have that for sale? I live in Ottawa, Ontario. Was going to order everything from a forge & farrier website but they don't carry that product. If I can find Plistex as well as everything else I need in 1 place I'll get that instead.

 

 

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It is sold here on the forum. Send Glenn a PM asking about shipping to Your location. For that matter you can get all the supplies here if you haven't already ordered them. Another hint, put your location in your profile because we won't remember it once leaving this post.

 

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3 hours ago, apexmateria said:

I noticed there was some kind of condensation building inside the t-fitting and on top of the mig tip. Any ideas what causes that? Also sometimes my t-burner makes a repeated whooping noise that eventually goes away, is that flashback from the wind pushing the flame back towards the air intake?

Both problems sound like your refactory layer is still drying.

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Presses are good for Mosaic work if you want to keep the patterns from being deformed by hammers.

And yes you can do it all by hand; just realizing that you will be wearing out your joints and so limiting your working span.  I'd suggest learning by hand and then when you know how the metal should be moved graduate to a powerhammer, press or *BOTH*!  (Remember "traditionally" there were at least 3-5 other workers in the smithy doing the heavy hammering as strikers for the master smith---doing it all by hand just by yourself is NOT the way it used to be done!---Water powered hammers predate the use of coal in smithing in Europe.)

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Mikey98118 - I think you're probably right!

pnut - Yeah I tend to do that. I don't like to follow the traditional path of learning. I like to laser focus on what sparks my interest regardless of difficulty.

ThomasPowers - What kind of pressing force is acceptable? Are there any DIY tutorials you can recommend for making a decent press for $300-500? Unfortunately I'm living in the hellscape known as suburbia and can't setup any water powered machines. I should be moving out into a rural off-grid area in the next few years but right now it's not an option.

 

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Wow that's almost a "How many cylinders should my pickup have?" question.  IIRC Jim Batson's press from his "Build your own hydraulic forging press"  plans was a 25 ton press. A friend of mine built a 100 ton press.  Somewhere in between should work!    A lot depends on what you can scrounge in the way of hydraulic pumps and pistons and valves and controls; for that price--Canadian dollars?---you are probably looking to find a used system and creating your own monster.  JHCC had a fairly recent thread on taking a used system and modifying it.

I spent 15 years in the inner city; suburbia was just a dream of paradise!  I lucked out in that we had a double (city) lot and across the alleyway was the back of commercial buildings, (A print shop and a welding shop).  Yes, having a bit more than an acre in a rural setting in NM is incredibly refreshing. My neighbor to the east is a 5 acre alfalfa field. I did spend my city time tooling up as it's a lot easier to find stuff in the city than in the mostly empty desert.

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I spent a few hours watching DIY hydraulic press videos and reading. It seems a lot of people on a tight budget are modifying log splitters into presses. 4-6 ton splitter would cost around $300 including the price of modification, it's quite weak though. The 20 ton splitters are 1k or more (used) and they require an electric motor to replace the gas one etc. I think building an electrically powered 20+ ton press from the ground up will break my budget by a large margin.

I made a thread here about my cheap press build idea, please check it out and critique: https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/66791-90-ton-hydraulic-press-for-under-500-mockup/

 

 

 

 

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Rolls Mike? The poor guy can't figure out a simple press. I see used 50 ton air over hydraulic jacks for under $100 now and then, probably see more if I looked for one. 

How about a REAL budget press. A bottom die with a ring on the far side, a link to another ring attached to the end of a LONG lever. If the center of the link were say 3" from the center of the die, the lever were 10' long and a boy hung 200 lbs. on it. How much pressure would that make?

No NO guys, learning basic arithmetic like this is pretty darn vital even for a basic blacksmith let alone someone who might need to get a pickup out of the mud. Here's your hint, you want to look up leverage ratios. 

Don't forget to calculate it in EITHER feet or inches after you convert one.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Im not going to comment on the forge plans as you have the best on the forum giving you advice already (hint: listen to them!) 

Frosty’s brain seems to work in numbers very well from all the stuff of his that I’ve read so I cant say any more then him, or the others, on presses.

What I can give you though is my own experience. With the forge, once again, listen to these guys! The press idea, well I had the same thought as you with the wood splitter. I built one for under $300 CAD. It works.... as long as you know its limitations. Its “6 tons” (probably measured at the splitter edge) so its VERY under powered for heavy work. However! It does 10 times what I can do by hand with my 5 pound straight peen on my low anvil! So it most certainly will save your body if you are on a budget and plan to do slightly heavier work. I use it for drawing out 1-1/8” 1080 hex bar. I know a 12 ton forging press would more than triple my efficiency, but I aint got no $5000 kickin around to buy one, and hardly have time to forge these days let alone design and build another toy for the shop... so if that is what you want to go with, it will work. Just a lot slower then a real press.

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See if you can find a copy of the textbook Industrial Hydraulics written by Richard W. Vockroth. It's pretty informative and easy to follow. It also has tables for most of the calculations and if it doesn't there's examples. It even has quizzes and review chapters. 

Pnut

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If you are making them just for friends and family as a side hobby why do you need presses or power hammers? The majority of blacksmiths did all of their forging with just a hand hammer for well over a thousand years. Once you get into presses and power hammers you become reliant on electricity in your shop. One of the major benefits of using a gas forge is that it does not require electricity to use unless you use a blown burner. 

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