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First timer, New forge build


Kburk

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Hello, My name is Keith. My son ( Mackenzie 18) and I would like to build a small forge. I'm here for some advice.

We have some 3/16" plate. 8" x 20" x 2   8 1/5" x 20" x 2    and 8" x 8"  The Idea was to use the plate weld it in to a box and add refractory bricks 9" long, 4½" wide, and 1¼" leaving us an approximate hole in the center (fire box) of 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" x 18" the face of the box would be open. The Door would just be 2 bricks we slide to close off the opening if needed. The back with be blocked off with a rear plate and brick. The fire box would be 760 cubic inch. We are unsure of the type of burner or burners we should use, any suggestions on the forge and burners would be greatly appreciated.

The purpose of the forge is so we can start doing smaller blacksmithing projects.

thank you!

Keith

 

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Just thought I would add I was thinking on using 2 Frosty-T Naturally Aspirated Venturi Forge Burners for the gas forge I'm not sure if 2 is too much or...

 

thanks Keith

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Welcome aboard Keith, glad to have you. 

YAY! Glad you thought of adding that LITTLE detail before I hit the submit button! I talk about asking specific questions and why it makes things worse asking general ones and hoping for specific answers.

You need to do some reading in the Forges 101 sub section of the propane forge section of Iforge. What you propose for materials to make a gas forge with isn't workable for a useful forge. There are specific directions for making a T burner, it has it's own sticky shortcut. 

If you do some reading it'll help you get a handle on the jargon so you can ask questions without having to describe what you mean all the time. We can NOT give meaningful answers guessing at what you're asking. Make sense? This is a good place to warn you about how helpful folks can steer you wrong. People who are just figuring things out want to help other folks  trying to figure what ever it is out so they suggest what they THINK they know. What to do when you get flooded with helpful suggestions when one of the curmudgeons asks YOU for clarification? The flood MAY be guesses based on lack of knowledge and a lack of information from you. 

Please be reasonably specific with your questions and not take umbrage when someone asks for clarification. We LIKE reinforcing new folks addiction to blacksmithing. It's more fun than should be legal.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty,

 

Thank you for the reply. I was going with that forge design because a guy at work has the same forge basically I'm more or less copying his design and size. I guess that's not the best route. We have looked in to forge design in the past but thought this could work as a starter forge. I'll have a look at the Forging 101 and try to figure out why its not useful?

 

thx Keith

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SO I have been doing more reading as suggested. I'm going to see if I can find a local supplier of cast-able refractory and Kaowool in the Greater Vancouver area. If anyone has suggestions that would be good. We figured using a larger form may be better at this point. There's lots of good information here but its hard to find whats right for someone that's new to forging. We like the idea of a ribbon burner possibly. We are going to spend some more time to see if we can figure out a good design. LOL says the guy with no clue!

 

Keith

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That is why you are encouraged to ask questions about specific concerns. Don't think we will get tired of answering. We know that there ore lots of guys too shy to speak up, who will listen right along side you :)

Boiler and furnace repair uses all those materials, and will know where to find them locally. Potters supply stores are what we buy from in Seattle.

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Don't build too large, it's a common mistake folk make. My forges tend to be too large and I've been making them for years. Some day maybe. <sigh>

What I like for experimenting with new: sizes, shapes, burner arrangements, etc. is the ever popular "brick pile forge." Which is exactly what the name implies, a chamber made by stacking IFBs (Insulating Fire Brick) like building blocks. Until recently IFBs tended to crumble at the temperatures a propane forge reaches and the rapidity they heat made it even worse. However Morgan Ceramics K-26 IFB are rated for 2,600f as  working max temp and don't care about rapid thermal cycling, they're even pretty robust about borax flux contact. They're even less expensive.

With them the venerable brick pile forge are turning more permanent, the pic below is of a bolt together forge. One of IIRC 14-15 made at a club forge and burner clinic. 

Frosty The Lucky.

1672801716_Noweldforge07.thumb.jpg.339a8e99aabce16f352371facc7d6e65.jpg

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3 hours ago, Mikey98118 said:

That is why you are encouraged to ask questions about specific concerns. Don't think we will get tired of answering. We know that there ore lots of guys too shy to speak up, who will listen right along side you :)

Boiler and furnace repair uses all those materials, and will know where to find them locally. Potters supply stores are what we buy from in Seattle.

Mike, Thank you it helps to know the direction to go looking for supplies. link removed

I found this place quickly I'm sure there are more. I'll have a look and call around Monday.

Frosty, I like the simple design if the forge. is a interior of 14" x 18" x 6" too much?.....do the chicken or egg come first right?

So let me ask this what is a good cubic size for 1 burner. like your T Naturally Aspirated Venturi Forge Burner and also what about a 2 burner?

I could see building a brick style first then moving on to a more complex build after more time and research .

 

thank you

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A single properly built and tuned 3/4" burner should heat a properly built 350 cubic inch forge to welding temperatures.

A five gallon propane tank, with 2" thick internal insulation and a 1/2" refractory coating will end up about a 350 cubic inch interior; oy will heat up all you want with two 1/2" or one 3/4" "T" burner. This is the largest forge a novice has any use for.

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15 hours ago, Kburk said:

Thank you it helps to know the direction to go looking for supplies

I'm not sure if Glenn, the owner of the site can ship supplies to Canada but you might want to send him a PM as the site sells the refractory supplies to make forges. Welcome aboard, good luck, and remember it's supposed to be fun. 

 

Gas Forge Refractories and Supplies

Pnut

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/25/2021 at 4:34 PM, Frosty said:

What I like for experimenting with new: sizes, shapes, burner arrangements, etc. is the ever popular "brick pile forge." Which is exactly what the name implies, a chamber made by stacking IFBs (Insulating Fire Brick) like building blocks. Until recently IFBs tended to crumble at the temperatures a propane forge reaches and the rapidity they heat made it even worse. However Morgan Ceramics K-26 IFB are rated for 2,600f as  working max temp and don't care about rapid thermal cycling, they're even pretty robust about borax flux contact. They're even less expensive.

Frosty, just curious if these 6-brick forges from your photo are using 1/2" or 3/4" size Frosty-T burners? Based on the 3/4" for 350 cu/in rule of thumb it seemed like a 1/2" burner might be enough for ~150 cu/in, but then I looked at the forge on Zoeller's page and he's using his 3/4" side-arm I believe. Thanks!

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It's a 1/2" T burner and will melt your work if you don't pay attention. Some of our club members are welding pretty large damascus billets in them. 

They're 8 bricks not counting the door baffles and porches.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty! I'm trying to make something similar with 6 bricks - 2 IFBs on top and bottom and 1 (horizontal) for each side. That's good to know that a 1/2" Frosty-T burner should work out.

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A 3/8" T should be plenty for that size. Guys are using Bernzomatic butane torches in forges that size, provided the refractory is insulating.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Also good to know. I've got a Bernzomatic TS8000 torch I'll likely start with just to see how it does. I had planned on doing a Plistix coating, but I might do that later just to see if I can tell any difference. Thanks again!

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You can do a Plistex kiln wash before you assemble the bricks. It's a LOT easier than trying to paint or spread inside a tiny little box you know. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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  •  

A Bernzomatic TS8000 torch will do okay for a while; then the end of its flame tube will oxidize away do the the increased heat, when it is mounted inside of heating equipment.

Why? because metals do that, when subjected to flame in a high heat environment. Stainless steel oxidizes slower than mild steel or iron. But, flame retention nozzles on air/fuel burners are made of thicker wall than schedule #40 pipe, and are made of  #316 stainless steel, which holds up better than very thin #304 stainless tube, which is likely what the flame tube in your torch consists of.

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Thanks for the info! I'll hold off using the TS8000 since I have everything for a 1/2 Frosty-T. Any suggestions for a decent 0-20 or 0-30 regulator & hose? Apparently all the ones on Amazon fail if the comments can be believed :).

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I found the best deal on a good quality 0-30 regulator and hose was buying a weed burner. It was about $15 cheaper than buying them at the next best place, the propane retail store. The weed burner came with reg and hose and who knows I may have a use for the weed burner one of these days. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'll have to check with our propane supplier. I wasn't sure if there were any decent brands for parts or ones to avoid? 

I've got a propane weed burner, but it has a fixed 18PSI regulator on it with a needle valve for adjustment. It does a pretty nice job killing weeds though :).

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Try searching "Propane Warehouse" and looking at their selection of high pressure regulators.  The pic below "looks" just like the 0-20 I've been using since the early 80s. The brass plug is for a gauge. This pic is of the 1-30psi high pressure regulator and runs $42.13 as of right now. one row down the page they have a 1-60 look alike regulator for $39.34. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Adjustable Propane Regulator 1-30 psi

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Thanks again Frosty! Looks like Amazon has it for $25. Any thoughts on Type1 QCC vs POL for the tank connection? The QCC one sound a bit "safer", but wasn't sure if the high/excess flow protection was overly annoying when forging.

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Yes the QCC is so safe you probably won't be able to run a propane forge burner off it!

The regulator is the flow control system followed by the "runaway flow" check valve in the propane tank.  You will need a heck of a lot more flow than a typical "appliance" will need.   POL!

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Hah. Yeah, that's what I was wondering. I've run into issues a few times with the QCC ones on our homebrew burners. Our weed burner has a POL on it, so I assumed that was the best way to go. Thanks!

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