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Charcoal Forge Insulation


Jake Durr

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So like the beginner I am, I messed up.

 

I assembled Lively style Washtub Forge, however since Adobe was not really availible I went to Home Depot to see if I could find anything useable there. I questioned a salesman if he had any concrete/mortar product that could be used in high heat applications. He refered me to a specific product and I purchased it without really investigating it.

 

So I put the forge together and made the fire pot with the concrete he recommended. Upon my first fire, I encountered a lot of "Popping" from the concrete. A signifigant amount of it blew out of the forge.

 

Additionally, there is a potential that I did not wait long enough before my first fire.

 

So is my problem the product used, or would not waiting long enough for it to settle yeild my results?

 

Thanks for your help in advance.

Jake

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So I put the forge together and made the fire pot with the concrete he recommended. Upon my first fire, I encountered a lot of "Popping" from the concrete. A signifigant amount of it blew out of the forge.

...

So is my problem the product used, or would not waiting long enough for it to settle yeild my results?

 

Likely, the material was too wet and you were getting some steam spalling of the material.

 

Really all you need is something to retard the conduction/convection/radiation of heat away from the area you plan to heat things in. Clay is a great material to use as the basis for any concoction. Then it's merely a matter of adding portions of other material to make the clay more durable and heat resistant. Japanese forges are often only walls of clay with a side tuyere setup. They use rice straw, the Indians (of wootz fame) used rice or grain hulls. That functions as a binder and when cooked adds an insulating quality as well as durability. Rather than bothering the folks at Homer Depot, see if you can find someone nearby who works with clay professionally, like the art community or someone in the boiler business. They will have all sorts of refractory ideas to help you.

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. Will Rogers

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I'd say just get some normal cement or if you have any refractory cement left use that, and glue the broken chunks back on the forge, and fill in any holes. My forge has thick walls, but it's just normal cheap concrete with pebbles in it and insulates really rather well.

It was probably moisture that made the forge go THUMP! Just let it dry when glues back together and you'll do fine. :D

Good luck,

Merry Being,

Archie

"I can kill you with my brain..."

__River Tam

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The best source of clay is plain clumping kitty-litter. As I remember, I used something like 2 parts kitty-litter, one part builders sand, one part wood ash, and a couple hand fulls of straw. If you live by yourself and well outside of town, you could even try recycling some used kitty-litter :wacko: .

 

Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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Yip, like everyone said -- it's the moisture. My son and I used cement on our Lively style forge too. We let it dry a couple days, and when we fired it up, it started throwing stuff at us. I think it did this the next evening too. We didn't loose too much cement though. I'd say it probably takes a week for cement to dry. Who can wait that long?

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