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Scored a kiln today

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by kuraki, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    I wasn't looking but saw it on the local craigslist and the price was right. 7200 watt and 22.25 x 17 inside with ramp control, 6 program slots and 2300f. Paid $500. Seller claimed she fired it only 3 times and it looks it.

    So since it's vertical, my plan is to cut a hole in the top, drop a stainless tube in, and connect argon to the tube. I'll use wool to cover the tube. Tube to baffle from radiant heat spikes, and reduce gas volume required.

    20180712_174614.jpg 20180712_174621.jpg 20180712_174643.jpg
     
    olymon, Beanman13, DevinT and 6 others like this.
  2. scott.livesey

    scott.livesey

    Nov 10, 2011
    good find
     
    kuraki likes this.
  3. joedhiggins

    joedhiggins

    485
    May 31, 2016
    Gonna run the gas through the kiln floor?
     
  4. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    Yup
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  5. Kevin McGovern

    Kevin McGovern KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 31, 2015
  6. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    I considered that (salt) as well. I already have plans and components for gas fired pots, but by adding the tube the way I intend, I'm essentially making a salt pot. I'll weld the bottom with 1/2" stainless where I intend to inject Argon, in case I ever decide to plug the hole and fill it with salt.
     
  7. Kevin McGovern

    Kevin McGovern KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 31, 2015
    Oh, btw. I used the last KITH knife I got from you all last week at Scout camp. I whittled countless fur sticks, cut many a rope and sliced dozens of onions. It performed with aplomb. Thanks again.
     
    Justin Schmidt and kuraki like this.
  8. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    Nice, I've had 2 older Paragon kilns in my shop for about 6 months now, almost time to get them out and do something with them.
     
  9. joedhiggins

    joedhiggins

    485
    May 31, 2016
    Seemed like the best option. Though argon is heavier than air, so you could probably run it in from the top without too much issue (though I am betting you would need a higher flow rate).

    Man the high temp salts seem way too dangerous for minimal benefit. The low temp salts seem like they provide a greater variety of benefits and are far less scary. Anyway, nice find.
     
  10. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    I'm having trouble envisioning the fluid dynamics of air vs argon and how they're going to flow with the temperature gradients and just figured from the bottom would be safest to assure complete purging.
     
  11. joedhiggins

    joedhiggins

    485
    May 31, 2016
    You will get a continuous rise out of the argon when pumped in from the bottom. It will heat up significantly and continue to rise, displacing any air. From the top, the argon will sink through the hotter gas column. This will create turbulent flow as you will have gas sinking and rising. Still, it may take a few more seconds, but from the top, with the correct flow rate, you will still displace basically all the air. Argon (atomic weight ~ 40) is heavier than O2 (molecular weight ~30) and N2 (molecular weight ~28), so at any given temperature, it will displace the other gasses. I definitely prefer the idea of adding from the bottom. Your tube will probably have a volume a bit under 1 CF, and if you feed from the bottom, you can probably guess that any argon you add will displace an equivalent volume of air. So, what I would do is: bring to temp, turn on the argon at a highish flow rate (probably 30 CHF) for 2 minutes or so, insert the steel, drop the flow rate down (I would think a couple CFH would be fine, but that is a guess, you may need to experiment). That is my guess at the most efficient method. You could try 60+CFH for your initial fill, but I worry that this would create too much turbulent air flow and you would waste gas/time.

    I think I would also experiment with using a tig style gas lens in the port. I may also throw a difuser (like a rocket engine bell) into the port. These ideas may not be noticable, but then I am a bit of a nerd and would would want to test. Dry fit the bottom plate to the tube and use a smoke gun or similar to look at your flow. See if it fills up smoothly from the bottom. Or just ignore all this crap, weld it up and play with your flow rates until a piece of carbon steel doesn't oxidize.
     
  12. Justin Schmidt

    Justin Schmidt Schmidt Forge Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 18, 2016
    Just found this gem.
    Too bad I don't have a way to add argon and weld a SS tube up.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    Well the gas purged tube is just something im doing above and beyond. If that kiln has a thermocouple control and it's not just "cone fired" and the right temp it would work great for you.
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  14. Justin Schmidt

    Justin Schmidt Schmidt Forge Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 18, 2016
    Just just cut a hole in the top and dangle the blades via wire?
     
  15. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    Yep
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  16. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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

    Aug 20, 2004
    In the past I have had big vertical pottery kilns offered for free or next to nothing and turned them down. Now that I have a use for one as a HT/tempering/salt pot, I haven't had a free offer or seen a crazy low price.
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  17. Kevin McGovern

    Kevin McGovern KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 31, 2015
    Oh once you've seen a perfectly orange blade pulled from a salt pot, and think about NO stainless foil or gas needed to avoid decarb, and PERFECT heat distribution with no hot spots. The danger seems more worth it.
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  18. Augus7us

    Augus7us

    687
    Oct 9, 2014
    Maybe I missed this but what is your goal again? I'm guessing either an oxygen free atmosphere or a sandbed. I'm asking because I thought you had a kiln and wasn't sure how this fit in.

    -Clint
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  19. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    I have a Fogg forge I do carbon steel in at home and I've been doing higher alloy stuff in the kiln at work. Now I can do it all at home and will only use the drum forge when size demands it.

    I'm doing the tube and purge because why not. I hate foil and JT has done the work to show its not any more expensive than foil.

    Buying this, now, will allow me to put the salt pots I was going to build on hold and focus on other projects.

    This kiln is even more advanced than the one at work, since that one does not have ramp control.
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  20. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    I welded up a stainless baffle this weekend. It's 4.25" inside and 316 stainless. It's only 1/4" so no salt will ever go in here but should be fine for purged atmosphere. I put a 1/4-18 NPT hole in the base and that's where I'll rig up my Argon when I get to that point.

    I'm looking for an opinion on the following: The kiln has a very short thermocouple probe already that I kind of assumed I would replace simply because it only projects about 1.5" into the kiln. While thinking about that, if I'm going to replace it, why not replace it with one that I run down inside my muffle? So the controller sees the temperature inside the muffle rather than inside the kiln. Does that make sense?

    I have to think given enough time it doesn't perhaps matter if it's inside the muffle or not, but I would get more accurate soak times if it were inside and never have to guess if it was at temperature "long enough" for the interior of the muffle to have soaked through.
     

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