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Gary Mulkey

NO FLUX WELDING

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well 6 years on (time really flys) I do almost all of my  billet welding in a gas forge without any flux. It is certainly a better process. the dis advantage is some grinding...

it takes longer in total time than when folding under the hammer , but is slightly less "work time" if you do not count time hreating.

 however the welds are certainly better and not using borax is sooooooo much better for my health and forge!

 the only time I now personally use flux is when teaching hand forge welding or for final welds on multi bar billets...I can do small ones fluxless but use flux when the billet is longer than the forge....

its a great improvement.....big thanks to JD and others who put this out there...

 

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I just finished relining my propane forge, and plan to give this process a try this weekend, I have two completely full bottles of propane and two completely prepped billets ready to go for this test. 

I am going to try one with Kerosene and one with WD40, just to try both out and to see if there is any adverse reaction to my forge lining ( ITC100 and Satanite ) because having the forge down for days is a drag. 

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On ‎4‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 12:56 PM, owen bush said:

 

 the only time I now personally use flux is when teaching hand forge welding or for final welds on multi bar billets...I can do small ones fluxless but use flux when the billet is longer than the forge....

 

I will occasionally coat a blade with a little borax when normalizing just to hold down the scale.  That's the only use of it that I've had for  many years.

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Well, Both of my attempts failed. odd thing is when I pulled the billets apart, they were nice and clean still. So I think my Propane forge just wasnt hot enough, it was in the mid to high orange range, One billet was 15N20 and W2, and the other was 15N20 and 1084. 

Thankfully I didnt try to force them to weld by hitting them stupid hard, so they are both still nice and straight and clean, so its just a matter of cleaning up the mating surfaces and giving it another go. But now I have to figure out why my propane forge isnt getting hot enough. 

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I think I just figured out what my issue might be with my propane forge. 

Its a very small forge, venturi style burner with firebricks front and back to cover the openings. 

So I started reading https://ronreil.abana.org/troubleshooting.shtml

And I noticed where he says that one of the most common issues with propane forge welding is backpressure, I have two full bricks flush on the back blocking it entirely, and only keeping a small gap about the width of the handle between the bricks in the front.  So now I plan to go home and finish slotting my bricks for work placement and then perhaps I may fire the badboy up and give it another go. 

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I never added my bit to this thread. I tack weld my billet up and weld it to a handle and it goes straight into a 5-gallon bucket of diesel fuel. (Shell, low octane) it sits there until I light the forge and it comes up to about 800 F or so and then it goes right into the forge. Don't ask me why, but it seems to keep the scale down and I never have any problems with weld flaws or inclusions. I used to use a little flux on the flat parts so I could "read" the flux and know when to weld, but now I have the thermocouple and digital readout.

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