Its time to build a new welding forge..... for several years I've been using a KaWool insulated welding forge, mainly due to the high cost of castable.... but seems I'm doing much more forge welding these days, and the lining only lasts a couple of months.....in short I'm just tired of repairing, and being down for a week until things cure enough to use the forge again. So, time to "bite the bullet" and spend the money on a forge that should last for several years.
First order of business is a "shell". My Pal Steve Kelly donated an old air compressor tank to me a while ago.....and its just the ticket for this project. 16" diameter X 24" long. First thing was to cut the ends out, and then split it down each side.......
I've been forging larger and larger billets, so I decided I wanted a "chamber" size of at least 16" long X 10" Wide. Since the castable needs to be at least 3" thick to perform well, the 16" compressor tank is just right. In order to achieve the distance I wanted, the tank was split lengthwise. First I build the openings of 3/4" X 6" A36, making the front door 10" X 4 3/4". This allows me to stack standard sized firebricks to make the opening smaller, or remove them to enlarge it.....depending on how large the billet is.
I also built a "back door" that is 5 1/4" X 4 3/4"..... that way it can be closed off with two firebricks when not needed as a "pass through".
Once the "doors" were welded to the shell, then it was time to add in 8" extensions on each side to create a large oval.
Now it's "bite the bullet" time......shelling out the approx. $500 for Kast-O-Lite 3000F castable refractory, and the FOB to get it here. The best deal I could locate was $58.90 per 55lb. bag, and $150 FOB whether I they ship one bag....or an entire pallet........ I'm getting 6 bags, which should do the entire lining of the forge, and give me a left over bag for future needs.
Once the castable arrives, the first thing is to pour the floor, and let it cure for a week, then get the burner holder placement set, and the forms built for the inside. I'll get more pics at it goes along and continue on this thread.