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I've been doing a bunch of Damascus and the forge is getting pretty raggedy.  The last time I used Mizzou as the inner surface, over Kaowool.  Is there a better material?  

 

G

 

Edited by Geoff Keyes
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  • Geoff Keyes changed the title to Need to reline the welding forge

I really like my all cast-able for long jobs like making damascus. Still cast floor in mizzou. Never have to patch again. I have a rake that I scrape the floor clean after welding so I'm not picking up junk during the forging periods. It'll rake out a little floor material each time so that has to be added to occasionally. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmunsYUvA_Q

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3 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Matt, I thought you were using kast-o-lite!  Glad I didn't comment first!

Yeah, I thought Kast-o-LIte was just a brand name of a castable refractory? But yeah I had some actual Kast-o-Lite brand in 3000 and 2600. I kinda got it backwards because I poured the 3000 first then realized I needed to reduce the inside volume by then all I had was the 2600 but it has held up great. Point being if I were to do it again I would go for the lighter and I guess better insulating 2600. 

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If you want to stay with kaowool, Satanite is much easier to work with. It can be mixed to the consistency of drywall mud and is pretty sticky. Not lumpy like Mizzou, it's much easier to slather on. But the heat and cooling cycles will have it cracking and needing patches occasionally. 

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I just did lining on the forge I am making. It was pretty difficult mostly because none of the commercial trademarks sells here. Perhaps we should share  recipes. Like 40% Sic+40%AL2O3+Something, mix with sodium sillicate only etc.....

 

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I just entirely re-did my forge lining. 1 inch of Kaowool, 1/2 inch of Cast-o-lite 30, 1/4 inch of bubble alumina on the floor and up the walls just a bit, and then topped it all off with a layer of ITC100. I've cranked it past 2400F and it hasn't been fazed. Of course I don't use flux in my welds so I don't know how well it will hold up to that, but it has been rock solid.

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12 hours ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

I just entirely re-did my forge lining. 1 inch of Kaowool, 1/2 inch of Cast-o-lite 30, 1/4 inch of bubble alumina on the floor and up the walls just a bit, and then topped it all off with a layer of ITC100. I've cranked it past 2400F and it hasn't been fazed. Of course I don't use flux in my welds so I don't know how well it will hold up to that, but it has been rock solid.

I really like the idea of no flux welding, seems it would rule out the need for any "durable" cast refractory. I can however, see armoring the wool with a cast refractory to protect against mechanical damage from the billets. 

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12 hours ago, Guy Thomas said:

I really like the idea of no flux welding, seems it would rule out the need for any "durable" cast refractory. I can however, see armoring the wool with a cast refractory to protect against mechanical damage from the billets. 

I armor plated my forge because i’ve started consolidating hearth furnace pucks in it. All kinda pointy bits and there can be a lot of slag leak. One thing I did on this re-lining is I drilled a few small holes through the steel outside shell to relieve gas expansion. I noticed that on my last two forges every time I fired the forge up I’d get these areas that would expand into the forge. Was the major reason the hard lining cracked. Started thinking about heat expansion of gas and thought it couldn’t hurt to give that gas somewhere to go other than through the inside of my forge. I don’t know about your forge but mine is far from gas tight. The Kaowool is probably sucking up all kinds of humidity during the cool down. Now every time I fire the forge up I get these little gas / steam jets shooting out the holes for about 5-10 minutes and then nothing. BUT the lining looks the exact same as it did when I first made it. 

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Update on my forge and exposure to flux. Did a bunch of forge welding today (making tomahawk blanks) and needed to use flux. Seems the bubble alumina really is flux resistant. 4 hours of forge time and about 20% of a box of borax and the forge floor still looks great (except for the little puddle of steel that has welded itself to the forge floor).

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