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If anyone here has a whitlox forge or has built one I have a question. I had watched a setup video of one of their forges and I noticed the guy just took some kaowool and placed it down with fire bricks placed on top. My question is, do you not need to put refactory on the kaowool? Or am I mistaken? 

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You are supposed to use respiratory protection when cutting and handling Kao-wool. I am not sure what a whitlox forge is (V shaped wood burner?) but i would say yes you do want to treat it. If i am correct on what a whitlox is, why would you need Kao-wool anyway? Seems a little overkill to me. 

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 yes they're a v shape. I'm not sure, I messaged the manufactures and they told me they personally dont treat it because the only installation is putting the wool against the side panel of steel and then its sandwiched with fire bricks.  This is the video for reference. 

 

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Better to err on the side of caution.

Kao-wool in the lungs is not a very pleasant thing. 

As i said, i was not even sure what a whitlox was. I am sure somebody here will come along who has much more info than i. But i see the ends of the blanket exposed that will release ceramic fiber into the air. I would either treat the kao-wool or not even use it(still looks a little overkill). Like i say, better safe than sorry. 

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 yeah, if I ended up getting one I'd probably just discard the kaowool then. I'd only ask because I'm a beginner and almost every forum, video, whatever you see people always emphasizing coating kaowool and to watch a video of manufactures not doing that and then stating how they don't really throws a curve ball at my learning and understanding of things. thank you for your input, I appreciate it. 

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So you do not have it yet? Go to the section of the forums titled "Forges" and look at the JABOD. Just a box of dirt. Simple, cheap to build and very effective. Cheap to run also. They do need charcoal, but if you have the wood to burn for a wood forge you have the wood to make charcoal with. You could even build a wood burning JABOD if you try. Basically the same set up as the whitlox, a box that contains a fire, that has a side blast of air. The difference is that the box is dirt and wood and not steel and fire brick. 

Many smiths use the simple box o' dirt.

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I definitely second the jabod. I've been using them for a couple years and I don't think there's a more versatile design going. They're also cheap. I think I spent a total of twenty dollars or less on my first smithy. Yes, entire setup, forge, anvil, hammer, tongs etc. The only thing I didn't make out of scrounged materials was a hammer and a mattress pump I used for an air supply. 

Pnut

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A picture of the <$20 smithy. I've modified it many times since this picture. The forge is now in a Weber kettle grill instead of a particle board nightstand. 

IMG_20190705_092810.thumb.jpg.5df3f25873ae84d424d5c0237ec2dadb.jpg

Pnut 

I think the kaowool is meant to insulate the sheet metal from the heat of the firebricks and keep it from warping. I've melted those bricks in my forge before. They get hot. I think a jabod is a better performing forge to be honest. If you want to use wood just build a jabod and have a fire pit near it so you can transfer coals from the fire to the forge. You'll be glad you're doing it that way in the summer, trust me.

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Been forging 40 years now; not a fan of the whitlox design.  The JABOD you can modify till you get the best set up for how YOU work.  Most charcoal forges are more of a trough so you can get the depth needed for a true neutral to reducing hot spot.

Take a look at the Tim Lively Washtub Forges that the neo-tribal metalsmiths were/are fond of using.

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Please take a stroll through the improvised anvil thread for ideas and explanations about vertical RR track anvils.  And please don't use the "at" symbol is messes up the forum software!

BTW did you read the "Read this First" thread that explains how to search effectively in these forums and issues to avoid?

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Personally I feel putting a ceramic blanket refractory in a solid fuel forge as shown in the Whitlock pic is pointless. It's probably a "good" idea to make it LOOK advanced from marketing. I also seriously dislike the full length slit air blast, it makes it impossible to control fire size. Heating that length of blade worthy steel without refining the grain under a hammer damages the blade.

A JABOD is a superior forge in all aspects. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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2 hours ago, Slip36 said:

I notice in your picture that youre railroad track is facing upwards

It puts more mass under the stock so in turns is more effective. You can only work the steel directly under your hammer so you only need an anvil slightly larger than your hammer.  The small surface area can be a little tricky for punching and cutting stock by yourself but that's what the other log is for. I sit the heated part of the stock on the anvil and put the cool part on the log and use a chain hold down so I can use both hands. One to hold the punch or chisel and one for the hammer. As Thomas said, looking through the improvised anvil thread will give you some ideas on how to mount it. My piece of rail is 29 1/2 inches long iirc so I just have it standing in the bucket and filled the bucket with fine gravel. I've since switched to a steel can so I don't have to worry about melting the plastic bucket but it worked pretty well. It's more stable than I expected after I changed it to a small garbage can and the gravel made it almost dead quiet. 

Pnut

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Good Morning,

I used their demo Forge at a NWBA Conference, burning wood. Yes, plain ordinary garden variety scrap wood. It worked a lot better than I thought it would. Easy to use and easy to get enough heat to Forge. Yes, it burns wood, not Coal or Charcoal and it gets Forging Heat easy!! It would burn Coal or Charcoal, but when I used it, it was wood fired.

Neil

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Actually, what I liked best about is that it would work as sort of shop fireplace as well as for forging with wood fuel. Later, I watched a video of a wood box forge that got the work hotter quicker, but i would not want it in my garage :P

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These are my thoughts on the witloxs design is that it is more efficient as a coal forge than a charcoal forge. The fact that it uses wood, being thus converted to coals (hot charcoal) is great but it’s just so inefficient of fuel use.  The bottom blast even in the Tim Lively design is less efficient with charcoal, requiring a deeper fire. Yes I have used one. 


Moving the tuyere to one side and level with or slightly above the bottom makes happier charcoal forges. Further the lively design is trying to both forge and heat treat blades. A dedicated forge for forging and another (or the ability to temporarily modify your forge) with a longer trough is more efficient. This is what makes the old English side last with a clinker and fly ash base nice, as they can be modified with a trowel, a few bricks and axillary tuyere into a longer trench, a furnace, small casting fern ace etc.

folks with gassers already understand the need for multiple forges. My two burner proforge heats 2” round 12” long great, fast for heating 4 shoes etc. but got general forging a forge half its size would be much more efficient, as I can only forge about 6” of that 2” even with a striker, and honestly a small er forge would heat most of the 1”> stock I forge usually. 
 

with charcoal there is a sweet spot with a single 3/4”-1” ID tuyere (schedule 40 pipe being 7/8” or so) of feeding a 8” round fire to heat 6” stock. With the Asian/African style termite mound forge (A trench style) being a 4” wide trench 8” long being more effecent as it contains 1/2 as much fuel, and the mounds help bank the fuel. 

 

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Shouldnt this be in "Solid fuel forges" and not "Gas forges" subcategory?

The reason i ask is that i have been trying to follow this thread and i was starting to think the thread may have been deleted if not for Charles timely posting. 

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I think those forges are easy to coppy.

I could make them probably if i had grinder and good welder.

Nothing special  just V shape an pipe under it.

 

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