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Recommendations on a Forge Build

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by blackbear74, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. blackbear74

    blackbear74

    6
    Feb 20, 2017
    Hello all,

    I'm new to forum and thought this might be a good place to get some advice on building a forge.

    First a little about myself since this is my first post. I'm a power engineer (steam engineer) by profession but grew up on a farm ranch. Also attended college for heavy duty mechanics and apprenticed as that for a short time.

    I got interested in forging blades (as a hobby) from watching forged in fire (who doesn't). I realize that the show only shows a fraction of what is involved, but it's got my son's and myself interest going. I purchased quite a few books on the knife making process and Ben reading everything I can about it and blacksmithing in general.

    I've got most tools (except the fancy belt grinders, which I plan on making down the road) but want the build a forge.

    So my question is about materials. I've scrounged up a 10" dia. X 16" long X 3/8" thick chunk of pipe. That I plan on turning into my forge. Is this pipe big enough for a forge? By the time I put a couple of layers of insulation the inside will be about 6" dia.
    I've also wrangled up some white high temp insulation that might be suitable for the inside. Does anybody know if this is "Kaowool"?



    Sorry for the long winded post and all replies are greatly appreciated.
    [​IMG][​IMG]




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  2. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    That pipe is more than sufficient. Your insulation looks like ceramic wool, but I don't know how to tell for certain. You might peel off a puff and heat it with a plumbers torch to see if it disintegrates.
     
  3. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    It doesn't look like kaowool to me. I would set it aside and buy some known grade wool. "High temperature" means different things in different applications. As an insulation wrap on a water heater, it may mean 400F, as refractory insulation in a forge it may mean 3000F. That looks like a paper backed fiber glass or mineral fiber insulation ... which will not work.

    You can place a 4X4" piece of that wool in a friends forge and see if it melts ( as I suspect it will). You could also use a propane torch on it to see if it melts.

    The pipe you have is fine. It will make a good forge with 2" of kaowool, plus the satanite and ITC-100 refractory.

    The stickys has info on forges, and using the custom search engine in the stickys, you will find hundreds of forge build threads and tutorials.

    Purchasing a ready to go forge from someone like the Atlas and Graham Forges ( Atlas Knife Company is one of our members here) is also a good way to get started.

    Once you get some experience in forging and decide you like it, you can build a bigger and better PID controlled forge with your pipe (lots on that in the stickys and old threads). As an engineer, I suspect you will have a lot of fun designing and building a high-tech forge once you have some background on the subject. But, there are whistles and bells that you don't even know about at this point.
     
    Atlas Knife Company likes this.
  4. blackbear74

    blackbear74

    6
    Feb 20, 2017
    As far as the insulation, I've taken a plumbers propane torch and hit the small strip with some fire. Never even phased it. Didn't even turn black. Just glowed orange. Our steam temp in the plant is 800F so I know it should be good for at least that temp.

    I'll talk to our insulator contractor and see what they can find me. As far as the inside coating, would a fireplace store deal with this kind of spreadable stuff. We do have a refractory guy that comes and inspects our power boiler but he not around very often.

    I know the pipe seems a little over kill for thickness, but beggars can't be choosers. Free is free.

    I also have a salvaged 8" square tube X 20" that I could use. But by the time the insulation is in it will make a pretty small firebox.

    For the pipe, how many burners would be recommended? I've seen the plans from Ron and plan on making those style. He also doesn't do the tangential type of burner, but what do you guys recommend?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  5. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    One burner.
    Many industrial masonry suppliers, pottery suppliers, and some large hardware stores sell satanite or a similar refractory cement. High Temp Tools and Refractory is the source for all forge building parts and materials for many folks. From burners to fire bricks, they carry it all - hightemptools.com
     
  6. blackbear74

    blackbear74

    6
    Feb 20, 2017
  7. Michael Black

    Michael Black Basic Member Basic Member

    94
    Jun 29, 2014
    One thing to keep in mind about that pipe, is the thickness. Do you have an Oxy/Acetylene setup for cutting it? Do you have a 220v welder to attach parts to it? 3/8" is a lot of steel to be working with if you don't have the equipment...
     
    Teppojutsu likes this.
  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Good point. On a muffle, thickness is great.....on a shell, schedule 40 or 80 will work fine.
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  9. blackbear74

    blackbear74

    6
    Feb 20, 2017
    I decided to change my plans up a little bit. I went with a 20lb propane tank. Got the burner built using a .035 mig tip. I went with the sidearm style. I used the insulation I found at work and lit her up. I'll try to post some pictures here, but I'm on my tablet and my Picts are on my phone. Seems good. I'm not getting the flame swirl I was expecting. Must have it at the wrong angle. All in all I'm pleased.
     
  10. Teppojutsu

    Teppojutsu

    942
    Jan 18, 2015
    I agree with this post im building my forge with a old propane tank and i think the wall on it is almost overkill .
    That pipe you got there is super thick definitely will take some abuse though :) just drill the holes for your burners and youll probably regret that pipe.

    Edited to add check out. waynecoe .com i kinda based my forge body off his where it can clam shell if i need it too . But hindsight i doubt ill use that feature for knife work but i did it for ease of relining and cause i figured i could.

     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  11. blackbear74

    blackbear74

    6
    Feb 20, 2017
    Some pictures of my build. I know it looks pretty crude compared to some of your guys’ build, but all in all I’m fairly pleased how it’s coming along
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  12. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    You have to coat the insulation with satanite or some similar refractory. It isn't wise to run a forge with bare insulation. Friable and breathable mineral wool particles being ejected aside (which s a big deal) the wool won't last nearly as long without 1/4" of refractory. The forge will also run buch better with it.

    I am assuming that the photo is pre-refractory, as the burner tube sticks out past the wool.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  13. blackbear74

    blackbear74

    6
    Feb 20, 2017
    Yes this picture is pre-coating the insulation. I have since coated it with a refractory. I couldn't find any satanite locally, but a local masonry/fireplace shop had some castable refractory good up to 3000°. I got a couple of coats on it and going to do a dry out next days off.

    The pipe you see sticking out is actually a hose barb I got stuck in there to help hold the shape of the burner opening.

    One thing I mentioned earlier, I don't think I got the burner angle right. It seams to be hitting the opposite wall more than swirling around. I was trying for a tangential burner angle. I might have to modify by burner support to get it angled more.
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.

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