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Found 11 results

  1. Okay, I've almost finished welding the combustion chamber to the charcoal chamber, now I face a new question : How thick to make the insulation ? To save money I'm considering making 1" / 25mm kaowool and 4-6 inches of rockwool on top of that, should i use more insulation ? I just need enough to keep the retort/oven around 5-600 centigrade for making charcoal. So what do you say ? Should I use more thank 4-6 inches ontop of the kaowool ? To keep it from caving in or bulge I've installed 3 cross bars in the tank to keep the sides together. Should I use firebricks instead? Bear with me, the contraption isn't pretty - but hopefully it works
  2. Okay - so I finally tracked down a 500 gallon used diesel tank for my project - I want to make a 500 gallon iwasaki kiln to produce charcoal more efficiently. My question is - the tank is drained of diesel, but how should I proceed to cut it up ? I need to make a hatch for me to load/unload with ease of operation (and not recieving a Darwin award in doing so) So what say you ? Could I just leave it in the sun open to evaporate off the volatiles ?
  3. I've been making my own charcoal for a while now, I use three small "iwasaki kilns" with a combined capacity of 400 gallons. But I want to make my life easier, just one kiln to fire... So I've bought a 500 gallon diesel tank in a decent thickness (roughly 1/4") But my question is : woul the larger tank work as the small 50 gallon drums when building an Iwasaki kiln ? I plan on insulating the combustion-chamber witl Kaowool and the "charring chamber" to be burried in the ground" and using 6" stoking pipes as chimney. What do you guys think ? What did I miss ?
  4. So, I was cordially invited to participate in an iron smelt sometime this spring. In the discussion about how it was going to happen, I mentioned that I was preparing to make a bunch of softwood charcoal (https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=32964&page=13, post #253) and would gladly contribute all of it, should I be able to participate. So, today I tried it out. First I had to build the retort. I'm using the barrel off of a small cement mixer that the motor burned out. I cut the bottom off a barrel I got with about 45 gallons of heat treating oil for the burner area and made an opening for the burner. I split the wood into roughly 2x2x17 inch long pieces and loaded the retort. The cover is 3/16" plate with a bunch of drilled holes and a handle. I have an old plumber's stove (for melting lead) and I was going to use this as the heat source. After dicking around with it for about 15 minutes, I decided to just use some old pallet wood and build a small fire. After about 10 minutes, it started to off-gas through the holes in the retort cover. It was still smoking after the fire went out about 45 minutes later. I fed the fire a little anyway and it was cooking really well for a couple of hours. The funny thing is, it wasn't really hot. I could touch the top & sides of the retort with a bare hand. It's been cooking for about 3-1/2 hours now. and I'm letting it do its thing. More tomorrow morning.
  5. Hi, I'm new on the forum but not necessarily new to blade making. I'm currently in the process of getting a forge set up in my shop. I am looking for a pretty quick and dirty build just to get going. I have been bouncing back and forth between which fuels to use as that will seriously impact my design and how easily the forge is set up. My main question is "What is the common opinion of little to no ventilation on forges, inside a sizable shop with air circulation?" I was assuming that a blown propane forge would be alright. But from recent searches I've been hearing that propane really needs to be ventilated. My next thought was charcoal, which I am very familiar with in a small forge. Would that cause many problems? Would some type of venting be needed? I know it burns clean, but clean enough to be open? Just wondering everyone's opinion on the matter, especially from the ones with a safety minded approach. (my shop also happens to be my place of employment, don't want to get the boss in trouble) I have another question, which may best be saved for another topic, but what design would someone recommend for a forge design capable of welding, heat treating, and shaping swords up to 40"? I work at Castille Armory, which is a sword maker on the U.S. west coast. Mostly stock removal on our blades. having the ability to forge would be a good asset to have for us.
  6. Hello friends, I am new around here and to the art of bladesmithing as well. So, as a first step I am designing and building my forge, which will also serve as a HT forge for the knives to be Basically I am going to weld together a box-like steel frame which will hold the fire-bricks in place. Along the center line a pipe with holes will serve as a tuyere. I have made a rough sketch of a section of the forge (the floor and one of the side walls): In the sketch you can see I am planning to use soft bricks as an insulation between the heat and the steel body, and hard bricks as the "mass" of the furnace which will hold heat. As far as I know the factory I'm buying from makes the soft brick at a thickness of 6.4CM (2.5 inch) and the hard type they have at 3,4 or 6.4 cm. So my question is whether that design is a good idea for a forge, or perhaps I'm better off using different materials (such as refractory cement, which I already have) to line the forge, if so what would be a recommended thickness of the lining? Thank you for your time! Guy P.S I am going to make this forge down scalable by building a move-able divider from fire bricks (inspired by whitlox forge) and some steel rod to go inside the tuyere. Will post pictures of it when the project is done.
  7. Hi I´ve been making quite a bit of charcoal in retort style and iwasaki kiln, but I recently found a video on youtube from "king of random" and he made a solar cooker from an old tv. In the video he was able to melt a penny, so im thinking it could be used for making charcoal in a retort? just aiming the lens at a 55 gallon drum with vent holes and simply let the sun Cook the Wood into charcoal ? Where I live we can usually get the fresnell lens tv´s for free, and I alredy have the som Wood for Building a frame lying around. So the cost of the project would be near 0 $ here is a link to the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrje73EyKag I haven´t been able to find any kind of attempts making charcoal this way which is why im asking But what do you Guys think ? Would it be a good way to save some fuel when making charcoal ? Or is it simply not possible ?
  8. Hi the past 2 months I made my charcoal in a 50 gallon drum (retort), but a friend of mine introduced me to the "Iwasaki charcoal kiln". So I started reading about it, and the past week I used Building one. Now my question is do any of you Guys have some useful advice about this type of kiln ? Best regards Troels
  9. Hey, everyone, haven't really been on here in a while. Started the forge back up and have a couple of commisions i am working on, but i have a "minor problem". My fuel source is drying up for the year and I am almost out. I use charcoal (because it is cheaper to get ahold of and I don't have anywhere to store two tons of foundry coke), and I need to find a source that makes good metallurgy charcoal. I thought I saw a link a while back to a company that makes charcoal for BBQ but they also do the blacksmith charcoal as well. I think they were based in Montana, but don't quote me on that. My biggest problem is I can't figure out how to use the search function (I was born in the wrong century) well enough to find it and I have a house to clean as well as dinner to make before my wife gets home. I really need this link to see if I can keep going for the winter. Thanks for the help, guys.
  10. I am just getting started and I want to have my forge inside my garage. the problem is that I can't cut a big hole in the wall for a hood. would it be better just to keep my forge outside or could I make a movable chimney thing to go out the door?
  11. Hey, newbie here. I'm new to the forums, and they are indeed awesome! But have forged a bit for the past few years. Mainly my problems have always been that I can't have a permanent forge set up, so I spend as much time cobbling up a set up as I do using it... Anyways I have been using lump charcoal for all my forging over the years, and the two brands I have used, are definatly not optimal for forging. I want to set up a gas forge, but I need to design the right one before I drop very much money on materials. So. I suppose I am looking for advice. I Kinda want to know: A, Which type of charcoal is best, hardwood or softwood. B, Would it be better to screw around trying to make it myself or just find a supplier as I can't imagine needing very much. C, Where the heck a supplier for forging quality charcoal could be found. I tried google to no avail. I may just say the heck with it and get going on a gas forge... Looking forward to your guys responses! Sveinn
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