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Tristan T

Forge

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Thank you to everyone who has helped me this far. i've given up on the two brick forge and am going to try one last design. can 2,700 degree rated regular firebrick that you get from home depot be used in a traditional forge design with a burner coming down from the top. like this.

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Absolutely.  Its not the most efficient, but it will get the job done.  Check out this thread: 

it talks about that exact same thing. Please pay attention to how Jeremy secures the bricks together.  The last thing you want is for your forge to collapse on you while its lit.  Enjoy!

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The fire brick is what I call "thermal mass".  It's not an insulator, it's a refractory ( it resists heat).  For a forge like this to operate you need to heat up the brick to the working temperature and hold it there, all of which costs fuel.

What most of us use is one of the spun ceramic fiber blanket insulators.  Kaowool is one, but there are lots of others.  It's a much more efficient design.  About the only time I would suggest the design you've pictured is in an application where it's running for long, continuous shifts, where your startup and run costs are spread over 24 hours.  For a hobby smith, a Ceramic blanket forge is a much better design, IMHO.

Ask a question and 5 smiths will give you 7 answers

 

Geoff

 

Edited by Geoff Keyes

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Vertical burners will work, but can become extremely hot after the forge is turned off, when they act like a chimney. Avoid having any rubber gas hoses etc. up top!

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Check out the Build a Gas Forge and the Ribbon Burner attachments on the Forge Supplies page at www.WayneCoeArtistBlacksmith.com.

Let me know if I can help you.

 

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There is a lot of trial and error in building your own forge.  Wayne has a very nice and easily explained section on his page about building a gas forge.  For a lot of info on the subject you can also use Ron Riel's page to help too. https://ronreil.abana.org/design1.shtml

There is a lot of information in that page and a lot of notes about how to adjust a burner for the forge. 

 

If you go the route of building a gas forge, I would say to maybe shoot for the goal of getting a forge that can get up to a nice forging temp first, (a bright orange maybe to the low yellow range)  If you can get a forge to do that successfully, then maybe plan for a second forge to dedicate to welding.  And you do not need a huge forge.  I've been able to see a clam shell like forge like the one Wayne has planned out on his page, and something like that really can work some big stuff. 

 

You can not really skimp on the materials to build one, and finding the stuff at a local hardware store probably is not going to happen.  Glass blower and pottery suppliers may have some of the materials on hand, other than that, online is where you will have to go. 

 

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Another issue with the square box design is "cold" corners and hot spots.  Curved surfaces promote swirl and a more even temperature.

Do not overlook the advantages of blown burners.  Venturi systems are techie cool, and, when built and tuned properly, work well and don't require electricity, but a blown system is dead simple and brute force.  If you build it with some headroom, if you're not getting enough heat, add more air and fuel.  Have a look at this thread  

 

I also want to say that you don't need a long forge or a big one (big volume) unless you have a specific need for it.  My "everyday" forge has a 6 inch hot zone with two doors.  I have forged a 32 inch sword blank in that forge.  It would be difficult to heat treat a blade if that length in that forge, but that's why I have a long HT forge.  In fact, I have four forges.  A HT forge, my "everyday" forge, a welding forge, and a two brick forge I use for tiny projects, like springs..

 

Geoff

 

Edited by Geoff Keyes
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Hijack alert

On 12/2/2019 at 7:04 PM, Geoff Keyes said:

I use for tiny projects, like springs..

 

Geoff, what do you make springs for?

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I have made, or at least attempted to make, slip joint folders and the mountain man style exposed spring folders.  I made a spring for a pair of needle nose pliers.  I also use it for HT small damascus pieces for jewelry.

 

It's not very efficient, a small Kaowool forge works better, I think.  It heats faster and is more controllable.  I built the 2 brick forge as an experiment.

 

Geoff 

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