Forge opinions

WY_Not

Well-Known Member
Not exactly forge building related but... Signed up for the LTWright Beginner Class later this month. Should be fun. And, should be a good kick start to the knife making journey. Will be nice to see where some of the knives I have came from and how they are made. Best of all, I get to build and take one home.


https://ltwrightknives.com/knifeclass.html
 

WY_Not

Well-Known Member
Finally got some free time. Work, graduations, chickens, and garden have been keeping me busy.

Got the interior mudded with refractory cement and the brick is stacked and curing. Will assemble the rest of it (top and bottom crossbars) tomorrow. Then I'll have to start shopping for plumbing pieces.

View attachment 61241
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Instructions on the cement to apply a thin (1/8") layer. That doesn't seem like much but I guess we'll see.
 
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WY_Not

Well-Known Member
Top and bottom crossbars are installed and bolted in place. Might get this build done before I retire. :34:
 

WY_Not

Well-Known Member
Well, I didn't get to fire up the forge on Friday. :2: Daughters came back from band camp and we went to see what they had learned of the show so far. Then the DW decided that we needed to try a new BBQ and rib joint in town. So... my parents met us there and we had dinner. Got home and there was just enough light/time to go lock up the chickens for the night.

This morning we got up early, sat on the patio and drank coffee, went into town to the local farmer's market, bought new blades for the mower, and came home. Once there I promptly hooked up the propane, slowly turned it on with all valves closed to listen for any obvious leaks. So far so good, no obvious leaks. Used a squirt bottle of water to check each joint for any less obvious leaks, opening valves as I cleared everything behind it. Then the big moment... light that thing!

That was very anti-climatic and rather frustrating. Would not stay lit to save my life. Blocked the back hole, worked a bit better but still sputtered and occasionally went out. Blocked part of the front hole and it got better. Still sputtered a bit but stayed lit. As it warmed up it got better. Finally it got hot and the sound was a "smooth jet". So, next step... put in some metal and see if it gets hot. So I picked a small, rusty, worn out half round file. Put it in there and waited. In the forge it was bright red... took it out and it was gray. :33: Finally realized that the full sun was the problem. Pulled the cart into the shade and color was at an orange, in the forge and out. :dblthumb: Finally got up to a bright orange, almost yellow. Took it out and laid it on a spare firebrick, shut down the forge, and went to lend a hand in the garden where Mom and DW were pulling weeds and figuring out where Dad and I were going to put some trellises for the cucumbers, zucchinis, and spaghetti squash to climb on. We got that done and parents decided it was time to head home.

Once they left, I fired up some heavy metal music, and lit the forge again. Lit much easier this time. Stuck the file back in and moved the anvil to next to the cart. No stand for it yet but I had to hit something with the hammer. So, turned the file into a barn hook.

Pic of the controls prior to hooking up propane. Might eventually put some elbows on the ends of those two ball valves so that I can move the forge closer to the middle of the cart.


Bricks on the ends to help hold in the heat.


View into the chamber.


You can also see them here... https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/firebrick-forge-getting-closer-to-done.194655/#post-3425345 Edit to add - May have to log in to view them.
There are actually some additional details of my trials and tribulations through this build in that thread. hehehe

To view other images from the build, click here...
https://jlhodge.smugmug.com/Other/Forge/n-HhcF5X

Edit to add - Another view into the chamber.


I added a firebrick to the chamber (as can be seen in the last picture. It seems to help reduce the sputtering by reducing the chamber size.
 
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C Craft

Well-Known Member
That was very anti-climatic and rather frustrating. Would not stay lit to save my life. Blocked the back hole, worked a bit better but still sputtered and occasionally went out. Blocked part of the front hole and it got better. Still sputtered a bit but stayed lit. As it warmed up it got better. Finally it got hot and the sound was a "smooth jet".
This sounds like too much prssure but, won't commit to more without being able to see it!! Its akin to lighting a torch and having the gas turned up too high, will blow it out everytime, especially when cold!!

When I click on the link for your photos, it takes me to the Bushcraft site, and when I click the photos to get a larger image I get a message.

Bushcraft USA Forums - Error
You must be logged in to do that.

So..............all I can see is flame, that is good usually. Getting a flame that works now that can be another subject!!
 

WY_Not

Well-Known Member
Well crap. Didn't realize it was posted behind the login. :oops: I'll see if I can get them resized or better yet uploaded to SmugMug. :D

BRB.

Ok. Got my pics loaded into the post above.

@C Craft That sounds exactly like what was happening. It would light but as soon as I took away the lighter the burners would blow out. First time I had all the valves in the control wide open. Second and third burn today I had the two red-handled ball valves closed down about 2/3 of the way. Regulator also got cranked way down. It seems to be lighting much easier and burning with a much more "steady jet".
 
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WY_Not

Well-Known Member
I'm back. :p

Finally had to rebuild the forge. The last couple of burns, the floor of the forge was turning molten. :eek: On the last burn part of the refractory came down off the ceiling of the forge and the firebrick under it started to turn molten and even had a few drips! Those two Atlas 30k burners are putting out the heat. Below is a write up with pics of the forge being disassembled.

Forge as originally built. Yeah, I know the hard fireplace bricks aren't meant for forge builds but it is what I had/could afford at the time. It lasted longer than I thought.


Took the forge apart this past weekend and rebuilt it using the new insulating (soft) firebricks. First few pictures show the extent of damage/degradation and why hard fireplace firebricks from the big box store are not fit for a forge. But they got me started and held up longer than expected.

Top view, straight down, burners removed.


Top view, angle, burners removed.


Inside of top, straight view, removed from rest of forge.


Inside of top, angle view, removed from rest of forge.


Inside of forge showing floor, straight down.


Inside of forge showing floor, angle view.


Floor of forge removed. To show how extent of how the firebrick melted.


That piece hanging was sitting outside the opening of the front of the forge. Basically a shelf to set a piece on so it didn't stick to or pick up any of the molten floor. It just barely touched the molten floor inside the opening and when the forge cooled after last use, it stuck.


Some shots of the reassembled forge with the new firebricks.







Did a brief test fire. Basically wanted to fire it up to try out the new build. I didn't heat anything up to forging temps; just needed to heat up a few S-hooks that I was making for a friend to black hot so I could dip them in mineral oil and then wipe them down. This gives them a decent finish. During even this brief test fire, the sides and the top look like they will be a big improvement. The floor is another story. As shown in the pics below, the fire impacts these directly. Towards the end the spot (little bigger than a quarter) looked like it was starting to bubble up. Not good. I'm not sure if the bricks should be able to take the direct impact of the flame or if I need to add a layer of refractory cement. Need to do some more research. In the meantime, I'm going to replace the two bottom bricks with hard firebrick to see if that will hold up better.






Ended up replacing the floor bricks with hard firebrick I'd picked up a while back. Not the thin fireplace bricks used in the original build. Still not sure if I need to line the interior surfaces with refractory cement or not. Input would be much appreciated.

Looking up into the forge. You can just barely see the end of the burner in the holes.


First startup after installing hard bricks for the floor.


Been burning for about 10 minutes or so. Floor starting to glow but remains solid.
 
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