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Hi, everyone! This will be my first post on the forum, I'm stoked to be here! 

 

So, I recently built my starter forge, and I'm noticing that it's taking longer to get up to heat that I would expect From this source, it seems like it should be about 5 minutes per inch of stock up to 3 inches thick, and mine is nowhere near that (like < 1/4"). I definitely have a hot spot, as I can get 2-3 inches heated up in about that time frame, but the remainder of a piece just stays pretty cool for a long time. I have left the metal in for 20+ minutes and still just heated up that section that's right near the flame. I'm wondering if my forge design is flawed, or if it might just be that I'm using a torch burner and not a purpose-built one. Attached are some photos of the forge in case a visual is helpful. Thank you in advance for your help! Ignore the piece of pin stock in the interior photo, that heats up no problem because it's so small.

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That is pretty small burner too.   Despite what others might say, I would make forge that small rather narrow and tall inside than very low and wide and use the burner on top, because you wont get any swirl in a space like this. I m now building a new forge,  but even the one I have now can weld.

So its combination of few things with yours I think.

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You need to buy of build a good burner.

 

I guarantee it would be worth it.

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Not only is the burner too small the hard fire brick is not very insulating.  They can provide a lot of mass to hold the heat but you would need to wrap it in soft fire brick or insulating ceramic matting to help it hold heat even more.

 

Doug

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10 minutes ago, Doug Lester said:

Not only is the burner too small the hard fire brick is not very insulating.  They can provide a lot of mass to hold the heat but you would need to wrap it in soft fire brick or insulating ceramic matting to help it hold heat even more.

 

Doug

 

Wrap it as in outside as well as what I have inside? Or do I just need thicker insulation inside?

 

 

35 minutes ago, Don Abbott said:

You need to buy of build a good burner.

 

I guarantee it would be worth it.


Yeah, I'm looking at some plans as well as at the Black Beauty from anvilfire. Might be a dumb question, but the Black Beauty has mounting instructions, and I have no idea how one would light it once you've mounted it to the forge body? 

Edited by Matthew Biondi
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35 minutes ago, Jaro Petrina said:

That is pretty small burner too.   Despite what others might say, I would make forge that small rather narrow and tall inside than very low and wide and use the burner on top, because you wont get any swirl in a space like this. I m now building a new forge,  but even the one I have now can weld.

So its combination of few things with yours I think.


Thanks for the advice! Yeah, I wasn't sold on this design myself. I might do just that - make it taller and narrower and move the burner. Is there any advantage to angling the burner in from the top so it isn't exactly perpendicular to the forge body? I've read that in a couple of places, but most designs I see done just have it flat against the forge.

Edited by Matthew Biondi
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Get bigger burner too.  Also, note, that burners are usually put in the middle of the forge lenght, yours seem to be just at the end, thats not good place.

Edited by Jaro Petrina
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I'm going to also recommend that you get some castable refractory cement to coat your wool.  That stuff degrades with use and you don't want the fibers getting into your lungs.  

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Billyo not castable refractory cement The cement is made for building fireplaces. He needs Castable Refractory, such as Kast-0-Lite. 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. About $100.00 plus the hose, regulator and burner using a 20# Propane tank. Fire brick is a heat sink and will take much longer and use much more fuel to get up to heat. A proper burner is also required.

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Matthew.......there’s been a lot of good answers here. 

You may want to look in Beginners place under “pinned topics” for “Very Simple Beginners Forge” by Jeremy Blohm. Might help you a little as far as money and his brick construction using firebricks. You already have the wool and a coating will help you get the heat you want.

Gary LT

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5 hours ago, billyO said:

I'm going to also recommend that you get some castable refractory cement to coat your wool.  That stuff degrades with use and you don't want the fibers getting into your lungs.  

 

Yeah, it's definitely on the list. I've been careful about using a respirator for now while I don't have it, but it' sounds like it might also help for the heat, so that'll jump up in priority.

 

4 hours ago, Wayne Coe said:

Billyo not castable refractory cement The cement is made for building fireplaces. He needs Castable Refractory, such as Kast-0-Lite. 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. About $100.00 plus the hose, regulator and burner using a 20# Propane tank. Fire brick is a heat sink and will take much longer and use much more fuel to get up to heat. A proper burner is also required.

 

Thanks, Wayne! After looking at those pages, I have two questions. First, how much of the refractory and the IR reflective do I need for a forge this size? Would 1 5# bag and 1 pint work? Second, your instructions state to "Paint the interior with an infrared reflective" - forgive my ignorance, but does that mean paint over the refractory on the wool, or on the interior of the forge body?

 

4 hours ago, Gary LT said:

Matthew.......there’s been a lot of good answers here. 

You may want to look in Beginners place under “pinned topics” for “Very Simple Beginners Forge” by Jeremy Blohm. Might help you a little as far as money and his brick construction using firebricks. You already have the wool and a coating will help you get the heat you want.

Gary LT

Okay, I like that burner setup. Not sure about getting a turkey fryer, but it's definitely doable regardless!

Thank you everyone for the responses!!

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16 hours ago, Wayne Coe said:

Billyo not castable refractory cement

Thanks for the clarification.   Sorry about the extra word, folks.

 

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18 hours ago, Matthew Biondi said:

Yeah, I'm looking at some plans as well as at the Black Beauty from anvilfire. Might be a dumb question, but the Black Beauty has mounting instructions, and I have no idea how one would light it once you've mounted it to the forge body? 

 

All forge burners (well, most, anyway) are lit with the burner in place.  The exciting way is to stuff some burning newspaper in the forge and slowly turn on the gas.  This results in a satisfying WHOOMPH noise accompanied by a wad of flaming newspaper shooting across the shop.

 

The less fun way is to aim a lit propane torch into the forge and slowly turn on the gas.  You still get the WHOOMPH, and if you're not careful you may lose a little arm hair, but you'll miss the flaming cannonball effect.  ;)

 

Speaking of the Black Beauty, you really can't beat the price.  And it'll work a lot better than a cut-down turkey fryer burner, being designed for this sort of thing. 

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1 minute ago, Alan Longmire said:

 

All forge burners (well, most, anyway) are lit with the burner in place.  The exciting way is to stuff some burning newspaper in the forge and slowly turn on the gas.  This results in a satisfying WHOOMPH noise accompanied by a wad of flaming newspaper shooting across the shop.

 

The less fun way is to aim a lit propane torch into the forge and slowly turn on the gas.  You still get the WHOOMPH, and if you're not careful you may lose a little arm hair, but you'll miss the flaming cannonball effect.  ;)

 

Speaking of the Black Beauty, you really can't beat the price.  And it'll work a lot better than a cut-down turkey fryer burner, being designed for this sort of thing. 


That sounds AMAZING and now I'm definitely gonna go the burning newspaper route. Yeah, the Black Beauty seems to be the same price as I can source the parts for myself, and paying shipping seems worth the saving assembly time. I'll have to wait until March to buy one to keep the wife happy about how much I'm spending on this hobby, but man I'm excited now!

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After you get the new burner, get it running and see how hot the sides of the hard fire brick get (carefully).  If they get really hot, like you can't touch them, then at least cover it with something that will keep the heat in and protect you from burning yourself on the hot bricks.

 

Doug

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One more thing:  That 5 minutes per inch of stock thickness to get to forging heat is for industrial-scale forges.  I've never seen a home forge that can do that, except for induction forges.  Thin stock heats fast, thick stock heats much more slowly.  It's not a linear scale, either.  

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On 1/27/2021 at 10:55 AM, Alan Longmire said:

You still get the WHOOMPH, and if you're not careful you may lose a little arm hair, but you'll miss the flaming cannonball effect. 

True, but the jumping around while you try to put out your arm is really fun for other people to watch.:D

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On 1/28/2021 at 10:01 AM, Alan Longmire said:

One more thing:  That 5 minutes per inch of stock thickness to get to forging heat is for industrial-scale forges.  I've never seen a home forge that can do that, except for induction forges.  Thin stock heats fast, thick stock heats much more slowly.  It's not a linear scale, either.  

 

That totally makes sense. 3 inches thick is pretty darn big, I certainly don't expect my home forge to do that. It was more a qualitative "if they can get 3 inches in that time, I should be able to get 1/12 of that thickness in that time"

 

Induction forge... Someday!!

10 hours ago, Brian Myers said:

True, but the jumping around while you try to put out your arm is really fun for other people to watch.:D

 

Got it. While forging alone, flaming newspaper cannon. While forging for an audience, human torch.

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