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Jeremy Blohm

Shop floor grinding dust?

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I have an almost unlimited amount of grinding dust that i can start collecting but i have an issue that has kept me from collecting. Titanium....! This grinding dust is coming from a former employer that my brother still works for. I would still be working for them if it wasn't for my back issues. But i can get all the dust i want but there is a possibility of titanium being in the mix. Most of the titanium grinding is done over downdraft tables but that didnt start till recently. My question is what would a little titanium do to my bloom? I know when titanium gets really hot it burns up but would it contaminate my bloom?

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The titanium will segregate out in the slag, for the most part.  It does not alloy with iron, although it does occur in some magnetite deposits like the iron sands of Japan and a few of the massive magnetite bodies in North Carolina.    If you magnetically separate the dust that will help get rid of the titanium and the non-iron grit from the grinding process.  Naturally occurring titaniferous magnetite is notoriously hard to smelt well, as the slag is extremely gummy because the titanium doesn't melt.  It's worth a shot, but you will be in for a long learning curve.  

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Thanks alan thats what i was hoping. I am excited about the learning curve of this whole process. Cant wait to get started. I just have a lot of projects going on and im going to build my furnace more toward the end of summer but for now im going to start stock piling charcoal and collecting grinding dust and start looking for iron ore locally. I know there is massive iron deposits in the Upper Peninsula but i only get up there once a year and i dont think the wife would approve of me bringing home a thousand pounds of ore back in her vehicle but you never know.

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I think I have enough grinding dust to make a run. I'm going to start making charcoal tomorrow and hopefully over the weekend I can do a run. Now my question is how tall of a stack should I make?

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Neils has just added a video to his thread:

 

based on Emiliano’s method:

 

Hope this helps.

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I see that and there was another thread using nails but I was curious about the stack being too short because I'm using dust instead of solid chunks of steel? I'm venturing into murky territory with this one.B)

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Can I pull a quick highjack?

There are 3 source materials we want to try the day we get to this:

- Shop floor dust

- leftover & cut-off pieces of mild steel

- the magnetic dust you can collect from the dunes of the Namib Desert

Feasible?

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For this type of thing I would suggest a 10" bore by 36" shaft furnace.  Up to 48" if it's all rust.   The taller the shaft the greater the risk of making cast iron.  Tuyere angle between 17 and 20 degrees downwards, burn rate one charge every 6-10 minutes.  A charge being equal weights of ore and charcoal.

Grinder dust is going to have a lot of slag-producing abrasive dust, so be ready to run a poker through the tuyere if it clogs.

Gerhardt, that magnetic dust is magnetite, Fe3O4.  It can be tough to smelt in a shaft furnace, crucibles may be easier.

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For the blower what am I looking for as far as cfm? I'm assuming slow and steady to avoid making cast iron?

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These are what I'm going to try to extract the bloom with. There a big pair of crucible tongs I won at an auction a couple years ago.

Resized_20190510_130527.jpeg

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We use a shop vac on a variac or router speed control, running between 10 and 20%.  Gotta have positive pressure, a squirrel cage blower can't do it.  Skip Williams and Lee Sauder use Ametek windjammer blowers, they're a lot quieter and more responsive, but are hard to find and expensive.

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I have the blower for my propane forge with a variable speed controller and a bounce house blower. The blower for my propane forge is actually the power unit for a central vacuum system so its basically a shop vac. The bonus of it is it is a DC motor so it was a simple speed controller vs a VFD 

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That will work fine.

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First batch of charcoal is done and another one is cooking. I should have 55 gallon barrel full after this run. In doing one more today and hopefully I can do a run on Monday. I won't be able to do it tomorrow. I dont think the wife would appreciate that one.;)

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http://www.leesauder.com/pdfs/furnace construction.pdf This is a good way to do it.  You can also use some 10" sonotube concrete form.  That's a big cardboard tube they sell at Lowes/Home Depot.  You will get more cracks to patch as the clay shrinks, but you can also fire it up with the tube in place.  The beauty of the Sauder furnace is that you extract the bloom from the bottom, leaving the shaft intact.  Mark Green makes one every spring and runs it all summer.  http://www.leesauder.com/pdfs/Practical Treatise update.pdf

 

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Awesome...thank you!!!

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How high up should the tuyere be from the floor of the shaft?

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Another question I have is would this be considered a smelt or something totally different?

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If the grit is rust, it's a smelt.  If not, it's a grappage/orishigane melt.  Put the tuyere at around 10 inches to one foot off the floor.

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Well my youngest boy was home sick from school today so I didnt get a chance to do a run today. I have a dentist appointment in the morning and if I feel up to it I will do a run tomorrow. I'm going to build the stack tonight. I'm going to build a temporary one until I figure out where I want it permanently. I have about 40-50 lbs of charcoal about 25 lbs of grinding dust. I have a bunch of nails and some wrought pieces im thinking about throwing in the mix.

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Here is what charcoal I have now and another batch cooking. I burned some in the gill and a little in the forge so I need to make up for it or I wont have enough for my run.  Its truly amazing how much charcoal you can burn through in an hour of messing around and grilling some burgers. I have a friend who wants me to do a run for his garden. I didnt know charcoal was good for the soil.

Resized_20190513_200110.jpeg

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Try it with the dust only, adding big hunks will mess with the bloom.  And you need more charcoal.  If you were running ore, 25 lbs would need at least 75 lbs of charcoal.  And I am going on the assumption the dust is oxidized back to ore.  If it isn't you may get cast, or you may just get a mess.  So many variables!

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I was going to try this out this week but my mother passed away on Tuesday and I've been really busy with everything. Plus I used up all my charcoal forging so I have to start making charcoal over again.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you Eric.....I do accept you condolences. She was diagnosed with brain cancer on April 4th. They told us we would have 3-6 months with her but they were so wrong!!!

Edited by Jeremy Blohm
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