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I Forge Iron

New member introduction and a question about rigidizer

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Hi everyone, my name's Dave. I've been enjoying reading your forum for a couple weeks now. I have a small machine shop and have been wanting to branch out into small-scale blacksmithing. I've been reading here re propane forge building, and think I have a decent idea of the proper materials, common pitfalls, need for insulation etc. Still a bit vague on a couple things, so I'll start with one or two questions if I might...

I have enough ceramic wool for 2" of insulation of a small probably cylindrical forge. I need rigidizer, and have bought Fumed Silica to mix with water for the purpose. I know about 'buttering' (wetting) the wool to enhance wicking of the rigidizer into the wool, and adhesion. 

Question(s): Is Fumed Silica in water going to work OK for a rigidizer? If so, what is the approx. correct % of water by volume to mix? Once mixed and the surface of the wool wetted, can the rigidizer be sprayed onto the wool, or will it have to be 'painted' on with a brush? 

Once applied, I expect to leave the rigizider a couple days to dry naturally, before gently firing the kiln and gradually getting up to a high enough temp to 'bake' the rigidizer into the wool - have I got that part right? 

That was more questions than I anticipated, so thanks for your patience! Just trying to avoid xxxxxxxxxx mistakes and having to do it all over again.


--cheers, and thanks again

shaggy (Dave)

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