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New forge got some questions and need assurances


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1 hour ago, Alex Middleton said:

Colors look differently to each person and can vary greatly depending on the ambient lighting. 

This is incredibly important to understand.  I have never seen steel look anything like white to me, and I have seen it up north of 3200F (which is super scary considering the refractory holding it starts to melt at that temp).  Perhaps it would have looked white with the lights off, but that isn't a good idea to do in a foundry.  

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4 hours ago, Jontroutt said:

soft bricks

 

These are not as much of a heat sink, but a drop of hot flux on them is like pouring laquer thinner on styrofoam.  They make good forge doors, since they don't radiate heat like the hard brick does.  Think of them as a styrofoam cooler, think of the hard bricks as a concrete sidewalk, as far as heat transfer and relative fragility goes.

 

They are good for putting hot stuff on to cool off.  I do jewelry soldering work on them as well. You can easily carve out a groove or hole to help hold stuff.

 

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Just a side note- wanna see if youre getting/hitting  forge welding temps...

 

When you think you're getting closer:

 

Throw a piece of that thin band in there, and just let it heat up. With square cut ends- if youre hot enough to burn the steel, the thinner stuff will do it quicker as a test... and you'll probably see the corners of the cut dissappear and the end will burn off rounded.

 

If you're getting hot enough to destroy the steel- then you're well in range to forge weld... at that time- it's all on you for control.

 

Color differences- theres alot of ways to "read" them, and figure them out... and they're notoriously difficult to take a good representative picture of-

 

Everybody has different methods for judging... But to me- at the least, as an example... if it doesn't hurt your eyes some to look in the forge- you're nowhere near hot enough yet.

 

It should be somewhat difficult to see the steel in your forge- because it should be about the same color as your forge walls in a good heat soak.

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Edited by Welsh joel
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Thanks for all the info guys definitely appreciated. I put the metrikote on this morning let it dry then fired it up. I did what Joel recommended put a piece of bandsaw blade thinest stuff i have currently. The sharp square cut ends definitely are not sharp square ends anymore. Plus it got really thin in an area which means i burnt the metal. So welding temps achieved. It took about 10 minutes for the forge to get to that temp. 

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Looking much hotter there than your last pic.

Time to mess up some steel! Lol...

Theres still some things to practice to get good at forge welding- I'm not perfectly practiced at it by far.

 

Be prepared the first couple tries- to do a couple hours worth of work... just to have it fail.

 

But, that's what gets you there.

 

5 hours of hand hammering... to have one failed weld.

<_<

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Good on ya, Jon, and Joel, if you're doing a feather pattern by hand, you're more stubborn than I am!  :lol:

 

 

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Oh yeah i know im gonna fail. But i have access to all the 5160 steel i could ever want for free. Thats prolly what i will practice with for a while. I know the first time ever forging anything i tried to weld some bandsaw blades together. Cleaned em up welded the sides and ends together fluxed with borax used the forge at my work which doesnt get hot enough. At the time i didnt know this and i tried 4 times on 4 separate stacks of band saw blade i was frustrated for sure but its all a learning experience. Thats feather pattern is beautiful! 
 

i got a few more things i gotta get before i start moving metal. Anvil prolly gonna buy a vevor. And i gotta finished getting my pieces and build my grinder. Im building the revolution. 

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5160 doesn't like to forge weld to itself well- in my limited experience trying it...

 

But I've had good success using it between other steels. That feather is actually 15n20, 1084, and '70's VW beetle front beam springs! :D

 

I've got quite a few spring stacks given to me, as well as several coil springs- so I'm getting ready to do some myself.

 

Hopefully your forge serves you well Jon!

its looking good now.

4 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Good on ya, Jon, and Joel, if you're doing a feather pattern by hand, you're more stubborn than I am!  :lol:

 

 

Stubborn... stupid....

Same thing right? Lol....

 

Just turned 49, and yeah- soon as I can afford a press.... aaahhhhhh........:P

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Alrighty so i changed a few things around finished the stand put some heavy duty casters rated for 250lb on the stand so i can wheel my forge around when NOT in use. Changed the door from that crappy steel door, that i thought was a cool idea in the beginning but wasnt, to firebrick. Added a support for my piping so its not putting pressure on my burner and forge lining. Added hole for thermocouple for when i want to use it. All in all im fairly impressed with myself. 
 

what does everyone think? How did i do? 
 

anvil is ordered waiting on it to get here then its off to the races! 
 

oh and excuse the mess please. We bought this house like 3 months ago and are still getting organized and moved in. 

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37 minutes ago, Jontroutt said:

We bought this house like 3 months ago

 

Dang, it took me a full year after the last time I moved to begin to get the shop up and running!  Looks good. 

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Ok quick question about these k type thermocouples. Where at in the forge should the tip be? Like just right inside like in the picture or should it further inside? My thought was i want to get the temp of the forge and not the temp of the flame. Oh and i know its hard to see but the little hole is where the thermocouple is. 

 

Also im happy to report that my forge gets to 2300 degrees and was still climbing but being as the thermocouple says 2300f max i started to turn her down. Now im trying to learn what settings are needed to hold different temps. Which brings another question. When just forging and not welding what temp do most hold their forge at? I was thinking 1900-2000. 

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45 minutes ago, Jontroutt said:

Where at in the forge should the tip be?

I put mine in the back corner out of the flame, in what I'm assuming is the coldest part of my forge

 

On 8/27/2021 at 2:26 PM, Welsh joel said:

5 hours of hand hammering...

Sweet looking feather blade.  I normally don't like low layer feathers, well done.  And like Alan said, especially by hand!

 

Another option for a forge floor is a ceramic shelf that goes in pottery kilns.  I've been playing around with trying to make my forge chamber smaller to heat up faster, and for the floor, have some 2" insboard cut to fit the arc of the tube with the ceramic shelf on top to protect the insboard.  The ceramic shelf floor has been there about 9 months now and though starting to crack into pieces it's still holding up to heavier damascus billets and hammer heads.   They are relatively cheap from pottery supply stores and easy to replace.

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21 hours ago, Jontroutt said:

I mean truth be told im putting some other things on the back burner while i am getting all this up and going. 

Be careful you don't end up like me, and find yourself in year 13 of a two-year remodel when a medical condition forces you to sell and move.  I took a significant financial hit because of that one...

But it looks like you might have a significant other and kids to help keep you on track.

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48 minutes ago, billyO said:

I put mine in the back corner out of the flame, in what I'm assuming is the coldest part of my forge

So watching my forge heat up it heats fairy evenly. So it got me thinking the flame from my ribbon burner shoots down and whips up the sides. So having the probe up higher and out of the flame made sense. Just not sure how far in to have the tip. 

43 minutes ago, billyO said:

Be careful you don't end up like me, and find yourself in year 13 of a two-year remodel when a medical condition forces you to sell and move.  I took a significant financial hit because of that one...

But it looks like you might have a significant other and kids to help keep you on track.

Im sorry to hear that man. Medical issues suck for sure. My wife does a good job of keeping me focused on things. So q we as long as she is around things shouldnt get forgotten about lol. 

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54 minutes ago, Jontroutt said:

how far in to have the tip.

You only need an inch or so...

 

54 minutes ago, Jontroutt said:

Im sorry to hear that man.  Medical issues suck for sure

Thanks, but nothing to worry about.  Easy come, easy go...

And the older one gets, the more one should get used to medical stuff getting in the way of plans. 

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2 hours ago, Jontroutt said:

Where at in the forge should the tip be?

You put it where ever you want to know the temperature.  Generally you want it at least close to wherever you will have your steel that you are working.  

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Just now, Dan Hertzson said:

Caveat:  Just keep it out of the direct flame from the burner if you want your thermocouple to last

Right this was my thought. Plus im not wanting to know how hot the flame is. I want to know how hot my forge is getting. 

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I eventually moved from a permanently mounted thermocouple like you have to a real long probe that I stick in through the front door when I want to make a measurement.  The advantage is two-fold:

  • First, the thermocouples don't last very long in the forge so only having them in their when actually necessary extends the life quite a bit. 
  • Second, you will know the temperature of the tip of the thermocouple quite accurately, but that doesn't mean you will know the temperature of what you are working on. I've gotten in the habit of placing the tip of the thermocouple against but in the "shadow" of my workpiece. (On the opposite side from the flame)  When the tip of the thermocouple gets to the same color as the workpiece, I note the temp.

Omega sells 18" long probes that you can bend to keep the connector out of the dragon's breath, but still reach pretty far into the forge.  I go through about 2 of them a year, but do a lot of welding which is when I am taking temperatures in the forge.  (This is also around the max rated temperature of the probes)

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1 hour ago, Brian Dougherty said:

I eventually moved from a permanently mounted thermocouple like you have to a real long probe that I stick in through the front door when I want to make a measurement.  The advantage is two-fold:

  • First, the thermocouples don't last very long in the forge so only having them in their when actually necessary extends the life quite a bit. 
  • Second, you will know the temperature of the tip of the thermocouple quite accurately, but that doesn't mean you will know the temperature of what you are working on. I've gotten in the habit of placing the tip of the thermocouple against but in the "shadow" of my workpiece. (On the opposite side from the flame)  When the tip of the thermocouple gets to the same color as the workpiece, I note the temp.

Omega sells 18" long probes that you can bend to keep the connector out of the dragon's breath, but still reach pretty far into the forge.  I go through about 2 of them a year, but do a lot of welding which is when I am taking temperatures in the forge.  (This is also around the max rated temperature of the probes)

This actually doesnt sound bad. That said my probe isn’t permanently mounted i can take it out and i have a plug i plan on putting in the hole. I figured i would only use the probe when i need to semi accurately know what the temp of my forge is. 
 

But i see the benefit in what you do. I will end up getting a long probe as well. Would be beneficial to know temps at the material as well. At least until i get enough experience to be able to look at a piece and know the temp. 

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Omega actually sells them up to 36" long, but you have to ask nicely. Mine is 24".  

 

 

Also, I don't use it to judge welding or forging temperatures, those are pretty obvious once you have experience. I use it for heat treating stuff that doesn't play well with the HT oven.

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