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100 lb propane tank sword oven


Johnathan T

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In short, I've considered my options (I can explain if you want), and I'm planning to make a vertical sword oven using a 100 lb propane tank as the shell. Video 1, Video 2, thread. I don't plan to make it electrically controlled. I want to get swords up to critical temperature for normalizing and the quench. If I can temper them too, that's a bonus.

There are some things I want to ask about/confirm. This group suggests 2 inches of kaowool for forges. I assume the same goes for this oven. It would be nice to not have to worry about airborne fibers (I'll wear a respirator if there are), but it would be difficult to apply rigidizer or castable refractory the usual way because of the size. Because this is an oven, I don't think it needs castable refractory. I think I could only use rigidizer and be safe. I think the rigidizer doesn't harden the kaowool immediately, so I think I should be able to apply rigidizer to the pieces while they're flat, then bend them into the shell and let the rigidizer dry/cure. I've read that a gallon of rigidizer will make a hard surface (but not a hard hard interior) on 25 square feet. If I were to rigidize both layers completely, it would be a lot of rigidizer, and I don't know if that would be necessary for this application. My guess is that if I were to harden the surface of all the exposed kaowool, I would be safe from airborne fibers. If that won't work, how do I make it safe? As for ITC-100, it would be a lot, I don't think I could apply it because of the dimensions, and I don't think it's necessary for this application.

I have problems with my coal forge, and have been wanting to switch to propane. I thought that while at it building the oven, I could finally build a propane forge from a 20 lb propane tank. I won't be using the forge and the oven at the same time, so I considered buying one high quality burner (rather than 2 cheap burners) and moving the burner (held in with thumb screws) between the forge and the oven as needed, and eventually getting another burner if I think it's worth it. I was thinking of getting a 3/4" t-rex burner for that.

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So have you talked with many professional sword makers to find out how they are doing it?  Perhaps talking with them about how the did it getting started?  Profit from the mistakes and bad assumptions of others!

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