Steve Sells

Slack tub is freezing

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rather than empty and refilling 5 gal of water every time I use the forge, I was thinking of a heater for the slack tub. I do have plenty of power 120/240v 100 amp. So I looked at small heated horse water tanks at tractor supply, but fear due to them being made of plastic. I have though of immersing an Aquarium tank heater, but would have to remove when in use. Also wrapping the bucket with heat trace tape, which can remain in place.

Rather that attempt to reinvent the wheel what are others doing ?

Sign me off as Shivering in Indiana :)

Edited by mod07
typo

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Have you thought about preheat coils for tubing? I used to rebuild trash incinerators for a living and when we had to repair the feed header pipe, we would wrap it in industrial ceramic coiling. They manufacture them to plug into a 220 welding machine or hard wire into the circuitry of a building. I've also heard of lower voltage ones too, but have never seen any. I do not recall a brand name, but an industrial welding supply/ rental business may be able to help or at least point you in the right direction. Good luck!

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Just create a cage of mesh around the tank heater, they are fairly inexpensive and if worse comes to worse, easily replaced, I buy them 2 at a time, and use them in my 1/2 wine barrel slack tub, works pretty well for me. I also have a metal shelf over about the back 1/3rd of the tub to store hot stuff out of the way, so that also protects it.

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You can get stock tank immersion heaters as well. If you use a heated stock tank simply cut a piece of sheet steel to fit the bottom and be careful not to touch the sides with hot steel.

Frosty

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Dale,,, "Or the other option , move to Australia "

Or yoiu could come out here to southern cali where it has rained 6 times this year and never goes below 45

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Steve, My solution is let it freeze:) I have a slack tub made fom a plastic 55 gallon drum. It is cut in half top to bottom, and laid on its side in an angle iron frame. This makes a half moon section, and the ice just rises in the tub and does not split it. I rimmed the tub with iron to help with hot iron hits, and a little gravel in the bottom for same. When I am starting the gas forge or coal forge I lay a hunk of large scrap iron in to heta. It melts the slack tub enough to use.
Been doing this from about 5 years and the barrel is still working. Still have the other half as well.

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Replacement electric water heater elements are about $10 at most hardware stores, wouldn't be hard to permanently install one in the bottom of your tub and hook it up to 120V. At 4500W, it shouldn't take but a few minutes to thaw (and bring to a boil, haha) the entire tub.

Actually, its a 240V element. At 120V you'll only get 2250W and draw approximately 19A. Make sure you have sufficient wiring (12gauge or heavier) and circuit breaker. And of course, make sure it doesn't leak before introducing electricity :)

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I use a thermostat controlled stock tank heater. I hang it off the far side just up from the bottom in my quench tub made from half a plastic barrel. 6 years so far and going strong. Except when the power goes out like it did last weekend for two days.
Also shivering in Indiana

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Steve, sounds to me like John has the right idea!What with Christmas here you could buy a keg of beer, enjoy it thoroughly, then recycle it into an excellant slack tub. Win/Win situation!:D

Terry

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I use the bottom 1/2 of a 30 gal water heater (gas heated tanks have a domed bottom) that sits on top of an inverted truck rim. A 1" x 6" slot is cut, just under the tire bead, for exhaust/draft and a 5" x 5" opening opposite that, on the bottom, for the fuel and fire. A small amount of paper/wood heats it up. I pitch 'clinkers' in to maintain the heat during the day. I'm in Kentucky with completely outdoor forge.

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at work we use wrap around heaters to keep oil warm. they come with a thermostatic controls and wired for 110 volt. lool in granger, mcmaster-carr ect.

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if you tank is plain steel i would use a magnetic block heater for a diesel engine the one i have gets hot enough you cant touch it and you could pre heat your anvil with it to

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Welcome aboard Dmac, glad to have ya.

I you'll click on "User CP" at the top of the page and edit your profile to show your location you'll probably discover folk close enough to you to get together. That and when us old farts are traveling we won't have so much trouble remembering who's close if we need a nap or hot lunch.

Frosty

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I used RV anitfreeze last year, I have a 1/2 wooden wine barrel for my slack tub and if I recall I used 3 gal of antifreeze in it and the worse it got was slushy when it was really cold, single digits f, which we are supposed to get this week but it is currently empty.
A guy I know uses a small trolling motor hooked to a car battery and a small bertty charger hooked up to keep the battery from going dead. The motor keeps the water moving so it can't freeze.
A freind of mine who has horses uses a fish tank (aquarium) bubbler in his troth, does the same thing as the trolling motor, keeps the water moving enough that it doesnt freeze, but it is a lot simpler than the trolling motor plus the bubblers are just plug in, 120vac and use a lot less electric then heating elements do.
I am using a piece of 1/4" copper tubing bent into a circle and a bunch of small holes drilled into it and will hook it to my air comp. to make the bubbles, I have an 80 gal air comp. so it isn't going to run that much, I wouldn't want to do it if I only had a small compressor, it would run too much.

welder19

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Another word of caution if you use antifreeze remember that antifreeze is a combustable liquid and further the vapors are not all that good for you "Vapor inhalation is generally not a problem unless heated or misted. Exposure to vapors over an extended time period has caused throat irritation and headache. May cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness and drowsiness. Pulmonary edema and central nervous system depression may also develop. When heated or misted, has produced rapid, involuntary eye movement and coma."

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Another word of caution, when the container freezes the water/ice expands.

Last freeze here, there was about 1-1/2 inches of ice on all sides and top and the pressure on the water was enough to form a geyser when I melted through the ice with a hot 3/8 inch diameter piece of rebar. Water went a couple feet into the air. 30 gallon plastic barrel with an open top.

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That is why I used RV anti-freeze, it is non toxic, it won't hurt any animals or humans for that matter if they drink it, it is the stuff used to protect water systems in boats and RV's.
I'm sure there are some people out there that would be careless or dumb enough to use conventional anti-freeze but I'm not one of them.

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