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Long time no see everyone. I think I’ve said this once before but man, life sure does happen. I just got my dream 2x72 grinder (coming from a cheap 2x42) and was ready to get things going and then landed a new job. Haven’t used it in the two months I’ve had it! Working 12 to 14 hour days.. you really don’t feel like doing anything on weekends. But anyway.. 

 

I started this forced ribbon burner project some time ago. Never finished it until today. I don’t know why, but I’m extremely nervous to start it up. 
 

I followed instructions for the ribbon burner and whatnot and I feel like everything is put together decently except for maybe too much pipe. I’ll cross that bridge if I have to. I sealed everything up even though I read somewhere that it’s not necessary. Figured I’d lean toward the safe side since combustible gas freaks me out so much.
 

Judging by the photos, do you guys see anything that would make this setup unsafe before I light it up? I don’t have a gate valve for the air but the intake is adjustable on the side.

 

If I’m thinking correctly, I will:

 

1: Turn the blower on 

2: Open the propane tank and regulator valve

3: Provide a flame source to the forge (torch? A match won’t stay lit with the air running through) 

4: Open the 1/4 turn shutoff valve and then the needle valve

5: Hopefully not blow my house up 

 

How low should I keep the PSI on the regulator at first?

 

Thanks! 

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Never played with a ribbon burner, but i typically run my standard blown burner around 3psi.  Close your needle valve down all the way before you open your 1/4 turn.  Hold your torch in the mouth of the forge and gradually crack the needle valve until she lights.  You'll have to make some minor adjustments as things warm up, but it should be pretty straightforward. Have fun!

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Looks like it'll work fine. B) (Edit: Alex posted as I was typing, and we have slightly differing opinions on how to run a blown forge.  That's okay, I just prefer my way.)

 

You are correct in the startup sequence (with some options in the next paragraph!), but as I keep telling people who are new to blown burners, if you're doing it right the gauge won't read.  There should be VERY little back pressure in the gas system, certainly less than one PSI.  This doesn't mean you're not dumping a ton of propane into it, it just means that since you're not forcing it through a tiny orifice (or shouldn't be, anyway), it's just flowing right through.  The needle valve is for fine adjustment only. Control the gas flow with the regulator.  

 

What I do with blown burners is leave the needle valve about halfway to 3/4 open. It's just for fine tuning the forge atmosphere, it's not for turning on or off.  With the 1/4-turn valve shut, open the regulator a bit.  Since the system is closed, the gauge will read something like 1 to 3 PSI.  Now you can light the forge in one of two ways, depending on how adventurous you're feeling.  The calm way is to turn on the blower with the choke half open, stick a lit torch in the forge with your hand out of the line of fire, then slowly open the 1/4-turn valve all the way.  There should be a satisfying WHOOMPF and you can now use the regulator, the needle valve, and the blower choke to fine-tune the atmosphere.  Once you have it where you want it, don't touch the needle valve again. That is, adjust as needed when blocking off the doors, dealing with a hot forge, etc., but don't use the needle valve to turn it off.  

 

The adventurous way is the same as above, but use a wad of burning newspaper in the forge instead of the torch.  You get the same WHOOPMF, but with the added thrill of a wad of flaming paper shooting across the shop.  If you do this with the doors mostly shut, you get the bonus of the wad of paper rattling around inside until it starts falling apart, at which point little scraps of burning paper will blow out the cracks with great velocity.  Makes for good hunting to find all the sparks. :lol:

 

Remember at all times this is a blown burner and it can (and indeed prefers) to run with the doors mostly closed.  Leaving them wide open just wastes heat.  Speaking of, if your blower has enough power or if you have a small blower that's not busy, look into making an air curtain for the front door.  A blown burner can produce a lot more dragon's breath than a venturi, and a lot hotter as well.  A good strong air blast ducted either across or straight up from under the doors will keep you and your tongs/bar/welded handle cool.  Jaro posted his a couple of days ago here: 

Bigger is better. 

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Oh yeah, to shut down, you can either use the 1/4-turn valve or the regulator valve, but LEAVE THE BLOWER ON.  This is the one place a venturi burner shines. You can shut those down at the regulator and they'll just quietly poof out as the gas drains from the system.  A blown burner is like an acetylene torch, if you cut the air before you cut the gas it will backfire when the gas still in the system hits the hot burner block.  It can't travel past the needle valve, as there is no air to support combustion, but it can and will burn the gas/air mix still in the mixing tube behind the burner block.  This sounds like a .22 pistol going off when you aren't expecting it, and with a ribbon burner it can crack the refractory.  As long as you leave the blower on, turning off the gas either at the tank or at the 1/4-turn valve is drama-free. Once there is no more flame, cut the blower and you're done. 

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The air curtain I have posted was tested today and while it cannot dimnish all the heat comming out of the forge it certainly helps. Also the stick with billet seems to be heating far less.

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Edited by Jaro Petrina
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11 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Jaro, I think a wider slot would help that immensely. 

 

Really?  I dont have that much spare air when I run hot.  I have to try, I thought it was meant to be a jet.

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Well, yes, you do need to be balanced if you are running a single blower.  My friend Matt uses two blowers, and his air curtain is an old floor duct about 5 x 18 cm fed by an 80mm tube.  You stay cool with that!

 

I was thinking if your slot was maybe 6mm wide it might help, but if you don't have the blast you may want to leave it narrow.

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1 minute ago, Alan Longmire said:

Well, yes, you do need to be balanced if you are running a single blower.  My friend Matt uses two blowers, and his air curtain is an old floor duct about 5 x 18 cm fed by an 80mm tube.  You stay cool with that!

 

I was thinking if your slot was maybe 6mm wide it might help, but if you don't have the blast you may want to leave it narrow.

I can always look for secondary blower. :D

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Well my garage is still intact! Man this thing gets warm. Had to start shedding layers as soon as it fired up. 
 

Was only able to fire it for about five minutes. The wife and I had dinner plans so didn’t have much time. But I’m so excited to see that it works. 
 

I’ll post a video if I can. I can’t tell if the burner is sputtering a little or not. What do you guys think? Also, I realized once I shut it down that I forgot to try clearing out the residual crayon residue that the drill didn’t get. Oops! 

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4 hours ago, Jaro Petrina said:

I can always look for secondary blower. :D

The beauty of a separate curtain blower is being able to turn it off when a bar gets drawn out longer. I can pull a piece out the door just a little with the blower down and it doesn't loose much heat, just like your handle getting hot, while working the far end of the bar nearer the hot spot. Especially handy when trying to get an even heat on a longer work-piece before going to the twisting machine. But robbing the forge blower is kinda a neat idea that never occurred to me. An air curtain is really a luxury on a blown forge. 

 

"sputtering a little or not." I'm betting when your forge gets nearer forging temps it'll smooth out and be pretty sweet.

 

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My forge splutters a bit at low temps... but when it warms up it evens out. Maybe yours will as well when she gets up to heat.

 

Mine's not a ribbon burner though.?

Edited by Welsh joel
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A slightly modified starting procedure that i use is:

1 - light a piece of paper and put it in the forge 

2 - turn on the blower

3 - open the gas.

 

This order of doing things avoids having to put your hand in front of the forge when introducing the fuel to the flame.

Edited by billyO
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5 hours ago, billyO said:

A slightly modified starting procedure that i use is:

1 - light a piece of paper and put it in the forge 

2 - turn on the blower

3 - open the gas.

 

This order of doing things avoids having to put your hand in front of the forge when introducing the fuel to the flame.

I tried that and shot a burning wad of paper across the room. 

:P

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10 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I tried that and shot a burning wad of paper across the room. 

:P

 

That is the intended effect. :D it keeps you on your toes.

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hmm...I could see that happening, I guess.  But can't remember witnessing that in my 10+ years of doing it this way.   

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I tried the burning paper method and half the time the air would blow the paper out before I could get the gas on.  A hand held torch is more reliable.

 

Doug

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On 11/9/2021 at 6:48 PM, Doug Lester said:

I tried the burning paper method and half the time the air would blow the paper out before I could get the gas on.  A hand held torch is more reliable.

 

Doug

Exactly what happened to me.

 

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On 11/6/2021 at 2:57 PM, Alan Longmire said:

What I do with blown burners is leave the needle valve about halfway to 3/4 open. It's just for fine tuning the forge atmosphere, it's not for turning on or off.  With the 1/4-turn valve shut, open the regulator a bit.  Since the system is closed, the gauge will read something like 1 to 3 PSI.  Now you can light the forge in one of two ways, depending on how adventurous you're feeling.  The calm way is to turn on the blower with the choke half open, stick a lit torch in the forge with your hand out of the line of fire, then slowly open the 1/4-turn valve all the way.  There should be a satisfying WHOOMPF and you can now use the regulator, the needle valve, and the blower choke to fine-tune the atmosphere.  Once you have it where you want it, don't touch the needle valve again. That is, adjust as needed when blocking off the doors, dealing with a hot forge, etc., but don't use the needle valve to turn it off.  

 

 

Never had a problem with my forge. I use one of these! coming soon

 

Now years ago I lived an old off grade house and the heaters were propane. The one in the kitchen you turned in just an 1/8 of a turn and you lit it and let it go for a minute or so and then you could cut it on full throttle. Of course back then I was using matches and one very cold morning, I failed to wait, just a minute before it warmed for a second,  I cracked the gas valve wide open. The gas flow blew itself out.

 

So I figured it has been no more than a second and I lit a second match. When I bent over to light the heater again. The heater blew me across the room, I landed on my butt, my mustache, eye brows, and even the front of my hair was singed! I sit there a minute smelling burnt hair and I hear my wife holler are you OK. Yeah I think so I replied and I went to the bathroom to look in the mirror.  There was this silly fella with no hair on his face and even the front of my hair was gone. I thought to myself now I know what that burnt hair smell was!! I learned my lesson about how fast propane could spread in just a second when wide open!! Jerry Lewis-excitied.jpg 

On 11/6/2021 at 2:57 PM, Alan Longmire said:

he calm way is to turn on the blower with the choke half open, stick a lit torch in the forge with your hand out of the line of fire, then slowly open the 1/4-turn valve all the way.  There should be a satisfying WHOOMPF and you can now use the regulator, the needle valve, and the blower choke to fine-tune the atmosphere.

So I am more in the camp of Alan! Start small !

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6 hours ago, C Craft said:

I know what that burnt hair smell was!!


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On 11/16/2021 at 4:37 PM, dragoncutlery said:

so am i the only one missing all the hair on my sparker hand :wacko:

Probably, yes. I do the plumber's torch and hold the bottle off to the side.

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