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I Forge Iron

Made an oopsie…

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I’m building my new forge. Everything is going wonderfully. I’m getting so excited to get this thing done and bang some hot steel on my recently-acquired anvil. 

I put down two layers of 1” 8# ceramic fiber blanket, got it all sorts of rigid, started applying the refractory, got it all finished and wrapped up with a wet towel in a garbage bag and BOOM… it hit me. 

I forgot to drill my burner hole. 

Is this a major setback or will I be able to just drill right through it? 

And right after I just ruined what was going to be an awesome handle for a Gyuto I’m working on. Face palm! 

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The forge body is just a 20lb propane tank. I used Kast-O-Lite 30 for the refractory, about 1/2” thick everywhere except the very bottom. 

These are the only pictures I have so far. I can take more tomorrow. 

Seeing that you’ve drilled Kast-O-Lite makes me feel a lot better! I’m assuming I’ll need to be very careful and take it slow? 



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When I made my last forge, I ended up needing to open up the burner port quite a bit to fit the block from my NARB. I found a half-round rasp to work particularly well, especially since I did the fettling before I did the final firing of the Kastolite. 

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Might be a dumb question, but would it be considered fully cured after firing? Or would it be considered fully cured just after sitting in a trash bag with a wet towel for 24 hours? I feel like I’ve crammed so much reading I’m missing the little details like this. 

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Not dumb at all, the makers of KOL don't make it easy to find out much about using Kastolite. It doesn't fire cure, it cures in 100% humidity.

However 24 hrs. at 100% humidity is good enough. Did you drill a couple weep holes in the bottom of the forge shell so free water can drain or steam as it heats up, like Mike suggests? You do NOT want to trap steam when you fire it up.

If there are weep holes or gaps in the shell so it can't trap steam fire it up for maybe 10 minutes and let it cool. This isn't so much a cure cycle as it is to really dry the blanket out good. Next time fire it to red heat and if you don't see any steam it should be good to bring to working temp.

Kastolite is made to be gunnited on furnace walls while they are hot and put right back to work. I don't think Kastolite 30 much cares how it's applied or cured and if we don't get 100% strength and heat resistance from it out forges don't get hot enough to need near max performance.

Let the water drain and dry and light it up briefly to dry it completely and it should be good to go.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the info, Frosty! I hadn’t read about drilling weep holes. I’ll do that before I fire it to be safe. Trapping steam like that doesn’t sound like fun at all!

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