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Input required on Charcoal Forge insulation and lining


Guy Or

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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):

ForgeSection.PNG

 

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.

 

 

Edited by Guy Or
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I think that the squared off design of your forge will give you a lot of dead fire space, space that will burn fuel that produces heat that is not used in forging or heat treating. I would use a refractory of some type to slope down to the tuyere so that the air rises up through the whole volume of burning charcoal. The design is also a little shallow. You will want about 15 cm of fire below your work and at least 10 cm over it. If you have access to it, like a lot of friends who burn wood or charcoal, you can use wood ash as a refractory that is easy to to re-shape for the job at hand. Just moisten it slightly and reshape the forge as needed. Just remember to wear rubber gloves when you so this or you could end up with alkali burns on you hands. Also, as you burn your charcoal down, you will produce more refractory.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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Thanks Doug your insight is valued!

 

I too suspected that the squared design would adversely affect the efficiency of the forge.

I'll change the design and start gathering the materials I'm still missing. Hopefully it will soon start to take shape

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To echo what Doug has already said, check out this design:

 

 

With charcoal you want depth more than surface area.

 

With a coal forge you have to rake the green coal to the edges, but with charcoal you drop the fuel straight in.

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Ahh the Whitlox forge,I originally thought building my forge this way, however I think I will end up building it more like Lively's forge with rounded walls (just with refractory cement instead of adobe) and wider bottom compared to the V design.

 

Their tuyere is interesting though, with offset slits instead of holes. I think I've seen a recommendation in one of the threads here to have slits because they don't clog as easily.

 

Anyway, thanks for the tips Don!

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  • 2 months later...

Well it's been a while and I have finished this forge, thought I'd share the results:

P_20160330_162232.jpg

 

This forge fires up pretty quick and heats steel with ease. In the picture you can see I have created a wall from wood ashes to limit my fire size.

 

I started working on a piece of steel I cut from a leaf spring and it was hard to draw a tang even at bright orange hot. Perhaps it is due to my hammer weighting only 1.5 pounds haha but I think it should be annealed anyway, so I heated the piece and buried it in the hot charcoals.

 

Let me know what you think =]

 

 

Guy

 

 

 

Edited by Guy Or
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Aha I see my error. Will try forging hotter next time. What you guys are saying about leaf spring is definitely interesting! Thanks for letting me know, perhaps I will order some W1 in the future instead of working leaf springs.

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leaf springs are a good steel, not intending to scare you away from it. It just requires a little bit more force to move around is all try getting it hotter. Once you get this down then other steels will be easier :P

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  • 3 weeks later...

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