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Philderbeast

Buying a gas forge?

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If you have a source of wood ash, like a fire place or friends with fire places, you can line the forge with that. With wood ash wetting the sides helps pack the ash. Just wear rubber gloves to prevent acid burns when you're working it with your hands. I lined my first charcoal forge with ash and it worked rather well.

 

Doug

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I like Uncle Al's Riverside Machine Forge...As simple and bulletproof as you can get.

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Been reading this and liking it, any chance it can be made a sticky? Lot's of information worth referenceing.

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I'm looking at buying a gas forge to get me started, my teacher has an NC Knife makers forge that i have been using for a while with some success so I'm looking at something similar for my own workshop to get me going can anyone recommend where i can get a forge?

 

I have been looking at a few places however getting a forge locally is proving to be expensive to say the least (at this stage it looks like i can import one for half the price!) so I'm looking to get the best bang for my buck with something that i can keep to use for many years to come.

 

thanks.

 

Here's a look at my new Atlas Mini-Forge. Bought it from Scott Solar at http://thesharpenershop.com/shop/atlas-knife-co-2-brick-mini-forge/

Atlas Mini Forge.jpg

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Hello all.... I finally finished my forced air propane forge and fired it up and I have a couple questions.. 1) should the flame look like a propane torch flame or like a flame thrower ( for lack of a better term ) and 2) what is the best type of refractory clay or puddy to use to line the inside of the forge ?? I ask because what I used I think is meant to fill cracks in a fire place and such.. it works but as soon as I fired up the forge the inside bubbled .. I know that pic's would help but I need to set up a photobucket account .. Thanks for the help

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First, don't light the burner outside the forge. It needs the enclosure to develop the back pressure it requires to work. So, you really should not see a flame front, just a roaring glow with some dragon's breath coming from the doors. Maybe a hot spot on the opposite wall until it comes up to heat, but no real flame as such. If it works in the open it will be kind of flamethrower-ish, though.

 

Did you use any kaowool/inswool inside? The usual procedure is an inch or two of refractory fiber blanket with a topcoat of a quarter inch or so of hard refractory. That hard refractory can be Satanite, Mizzou, bubble alumina, or any of a number of high-temperature refractories designed for the purpose. Fireplace mortar is not going to do it, as you found out. The bubbles are due to steam pockets from being force-dried too fast, but that stuff will not take the heat for long anyway.

 

Also, whatever you use for the hard face will crack anyway, just keep some more around to patch it up.

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First, don't light the burner outside the forge. It needs the enclosure to develop the back pressure it requires to work. So, you really should not see a flame front, just a roaring glow with some dragon's breath coming from the doors. Maybe a hot spot on the opposite wall until it comes up to heat, but no real flame as such. If it works in the open it will be kind of flamethrower-ish, though.

 

Did you use any kaowool/inswool inside? The usual procedure is an inch or two of refractory fiber blanket with a topcoat of a quarter inch or so of hard refractory. That hard refractory can be Satanite, Mizzou, bubble alumina, or any of a number of high-temperature refractories designed for the purpose. Fireplace mortar is not going to do it, as you found out. The bubbles are due to steam pockets from being force-dried too fast, but that stuff will not take the heat for long anyway.

 

Also, whatever you use for the hard face will crack anyway, just keep some more around to patch it up.

Thanks for the reply.. I did light it inside the forge but I was still getting the flame thrower look to it ... as far as the inside I did use Kaowool then covered that with the fireplace mortar which as you said it is not working .. But i'm still going to try to use it as is because I am still working out the bugs.. Either that or I could try to break up the bubble crap and line it with the right stuff .. Thanks again

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A good Friend of mine makes an Awesome Gasser forge his Name is Stan / "Trying it" on another site I have seen them in action and they are sweet for forging and heat treating . as well as fairly cheep to buy at 200.00 or around that price .

 

Sam

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Hey philderbeast, you may try setting up a japanese style two wall refractory inside of it. It can be set up so that your tuyere is recessed in the firebrick and clay wall so that it doesn't make direct contact with the hotspot in the forge. the japanese style is a side blow style anyway, and you look like you could easily have enough room for a small version. Search the japanese forge on search engines, I am sure there will be an example someplace. This is my humble opinion, but I was planning on modifying my jerry rigged forge in this manner when i get it over to my side of the cascade mountains from the high desert in eastern Oregon.

Edited by Raymond Jewell

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Read my tutorial on my web site at the Forge Supplies page. Kast-0-Lite is a light weight insulating castable refractory which will give you a tough long lasting efficient forge. Then paint it with Plistix or Metrikote infrared reflective to reflect the heat back into your forge.

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Hey philderbeast, you may try setting up a japanese style two wall refractory inside of it. It can be set up so that your tuyere is recessed in the firebrick and clay wall so that it doesn't make direct contact with the hotspot in the forge. the japanese style is a side blow style anyway, and you look like you could easily have enough room for a small version. Search the japanese forge on search engines, I am sure there will be an example someplace. This is my humble opinion, but I was planning on modifying my jerry rigged forge in this manner when i get it over to my side of the cascade mountains from the high desert in eastern Oregon.

Here is an example of its construction. As I said, simple and a very small version might fit perfectly.

 

Try the following search on google (having trouble posting the actual pictures I was going to use): images "Japanese forge" I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

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Solid fuel forges are VERY different from gas forges, and can be made from almost anything that will not burn at low temperatures. Plain old dirt from the yard is usually sufficient if well packed. I heat-treat swords in a trench in the garden filled with charcoal, for instance.

 

With gas forges you have to hold the heat inside, which is hard on most materials, thus the existence of the refractory industry.

 

As Wayne said, most hard refractories are not insulators. That is, they take the heat, but they do not radiate it very well. Radiant heat is the key to a gas forge. The flame itself is not what heats the work, it's the heat radiating back from the forge walls. That's why most instructions you'll find use ceramic wool as insulation with a thin layer of hard refractory on the inside to seal it, reflect heat, and add durability. A hard brick forge or one lined only with castable/rammable refractory will last a long time indeed, but will also use far more fuel and time getting up to heat and maintaining heat.

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what about the z burners? ive heard some good and bad things about them any experiance yall guys

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Justin, I like the Z burners. I have used several and they work well.

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This mightbe a dumb question, but whats like the cheapest way to build an effective gas forge that can reach weld temps? Im trying to make the transition from coal to gas but i have a budget of like 13 cents and no good forge-making tools

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Take a look at the "Blown burners, a care and feeding" thread by Geoff Keyes in the tools and tool making section.  I built one based off his instructions and have been very happy with it.  Simple to build and use.  I think I have about $175 into it all total.

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You can reach welding temps with venturi burners too. Most of the parts you need can be purchased locally at the plumbing supply house or Home Improvement big box store. The forge body can be almost anything that is a decent shape (round or oval) and old propane bottle, a piece of water heater tank, heck I saw a forge once that was made from expanded metal. Here is a thread about building venturi burners:

 

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I can attest to welding in a forge with an atmospheric burner. I have a 250cu in forge with one 3/4 homemade venturi burner that can get to welding heat or just barely putt around 1-3 psi for a ~1450 F temp.

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On 7/12/2011 at 5:28 AM, Wayne Coe said:

Best to build your own. You did not say if you wanted blown or atmospheric.

can i ask a Question what are the differences. i think i know but looking for clarification on my part

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Blown uses an electric blower to pull air into the burner to be mixed; atmospheric uses a burner design that does not require power to pull oxygen in.   Generally, you get more much more fuel efficiency with blown designs since you can use much lower pressure than you do with venturi burners.  

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