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Firebrick Forge

Discussion in 'Forges, Ovens, Kilns, & Salt Pots' started by Callum87, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. Callum87

    Callum87 New Member

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    Need some help
    I am thinking of building a firebrick forge. I was going to use
    4 hard firebricks for the floor
    4 k-23 IFB for the walls (2 on each side)
    4 k-23 IFB for the ceiling

    Question 1) should I put something on the the IFB to help protect it and help with insulation?
    I know I can get Vesuvius super 3000 locally and was thinking a thin layer may help.

    I am going to hold everything together with angle iron and all-thread. A peace of sheet metal on the top to mount the burner or burners to.

    Question 2) should I use 1 or 2 burners?
    I am going to make burners just have not looked into it very much yet

    I know lots of people say to use something round to make a forge. This will be the first forge I build and I want something easy to make and move around.
    Thank you for any help you can provide.
     
  2. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    https://www.canadianknifemaker.ca/index.php?threads/advise-on-making-forge.3587/

    Callum, look at this thread, read through, Dan had some great things to say about firebrick forges. I posted a pic of my small MAP gas forge, and most importantly we discuss why the chamber should be circular or at least oval.

    Mythtaken also guided you on that ‘Circular,’ point in your introduction thread. After you’ve read through the link page, please ask more questions. *Thumb up*


    Cheers:beer::beer:
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  3. Callum87

    Callum87 New Member

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    Thanks Griff
    I had read that thread (not as closely as I should have)
    With your forge did you line your chamber with anything or is it just bare firebrick?
    How is yours holding up?
    Do you think I could do it with out mortaring them together incase they brake? Just use angle iron to squeeze them together.
    That sounds dumb as I write it but what are your thoughts?
    Thanks for the help I'm not going to be getting this project under way for a bit just trying to make sure I have a good plan for when I do.
     
  4. JohnnyTK

    JohnnyTK New Member

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    Next on my list to make and was going to use MAP gas but will have to reconsider. My coworker made the Gough knife jig for me out of steel after I told him I was building it out of wood.
     
  5. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    The first question to answer is what you plan to use the forge for. If it's mostly for heat-treating, your design with one burner will do the business. If you want to do some serious forging, you may struggle to get it up to heat and it could be prone to hotspots. Remember, you don't heat the steel in your forge with the flame from the burner. The burner puts heat into the forge and it is that heat which heats the steel evenly. To use a tasty analogy, a cake baked in an oven will come out much better than one cooked with a torch. If you want to get nerdy (and don't we all!) find a basic primer on fluid dynamics. You'll see how your gas and heat mover around in your forge.

    You don't really need to add anything to help with insulation, that's what the fire bricks are for. However, using a refractory like Vesuvius will protect the brick surfaces and you can use it to create a more rounded space inside the forge to help your heating. You'll want to make it as smooth as possible, again to help with even heating. A coating of ITC-100 or similar will also help get your heat up.
     
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  6. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    @Callum87 I only used mine for heat-treatment as I only do stock removal currently. It was bare and the brick held up perfectly. I tossed it when I got my paragon kiln though. The only thing that failed where the nozzles on he MAP torches, I didn’t protect them enough, and they are just brass or copper after all, so they melted!

    I can totally vouch for the performance of it though. The two angled torches spiralled the flames/ heat through the circular chamber and that sucker got seriously hot! I had spare bricks to close off the back, leaving a small gap, and same for the front, to speed up heating.

    Mythtaken and Dan have hit the nail on the head.

    Good luck man :beer::beer:
     
  7. JohnnyTK

    JohnnyTK New Member

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    What would you use to protect the torch tips?
     
  8. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    To protect the torch tips, use the brick itself. The torch shouldn't extend into the forge chamber. Keep it at least a centimetre up in the drilled opening. Bonus: not only does it protect the tip from excessive heat, it also uses the opening in the brick as a natural flare, which also helps some with hot spots.
     
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  9. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    If I were to do it again @Callum87 I would cap the end of the nozzle, with pastwax, Vaseline, or the like whatever was on hand to stop cement going in the tip, then stick the nozzle in the predrilled hole, and then put refractory cement around the tip, sealing any gaps. Let that dry, clean up the nozzle, and have a much better and tighter fit. My nozzles were not protected enough by brick and so melted as a result.
     
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  10. Callum87

    Callum87 New Member

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    I would want to be able to forge with it not just heat treat.
    If I were to use the design and round out the inside corners with Vesuvius and put the burner in on an angle that would help with hot spots?
    Should I use 2 burners to help get it hotter? I know it will burn a lot more fuel but would it be a good place to start?
    What is something similar to ITC-100 that I can get in Canada?
    My main concern with making one out of pipe and ceramic blanket is that I do not have a welder and the health hazards with the blanket scare me. Am I being foolish thinking that way?
    Thanks to all of you for taking time to steer me in the rite direction.
     
  11. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/DFS-GAS-PRO...082716?hash=item3a849e7e5c:g:glgAAOSwTR9dyqkA

    This looks a good round forge example and burner position to create a swirling flame. Maybe some guys here can help you come up with a non-welding option? Setting a Venturi burner into firebrick is going to need a little more thought than just angling a couple of propane torches. The weight of one for example might put stress on the brick. Not sure just a thought.
     
  12. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    Certainly two burners will make the forge hotter but you'll definitely run through a lot more LP. Depending on how high you run the burners, your propane tank might be more susceptible to freezing as well.

    Tucker's Pottery Supply used to have ITC-100. I don't know if they still do.

    If forging is your goal, especially forge welding damascus, I would definitely look at building a vertical forge, using steel pipe and ceramic blanket. You get an even heat without hotspots and the heat/fuel ratio is better. I understand the concerns with the fibre blanket. If you wear a good mask or respirator when you're lining the forge, it isn't a problem (most modern ceramic blanket material doesn't contain asbestos). Once it's settled in place, it isn't going to cause any problems. You can coat it with a rigidizer to keep any fibres from flying around if you accidentally rub the inside of the forge.

    There should also be no reason you can't build it without welding. It's a little more work to drill some bolt holes, but that's about it.

    All that said, it should be pointed out that your original design can do the job. There are lots of those square-type forges out there. However they aren't as efficient and actually reduce the working size of the forge, as you have to learn to work around the hotspots. In my opinion, if you know you want to forge your blades, you should build the best forge for that purpose, rather than the easiest to build.
     
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  13. JohnnyTK

    JohnnyTK New Member

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    Like this one, might buy this instead of making a 2 bricker. More time to file.
     
  14. Dave Hodson

    Dave Hodson New Member

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    I don't know much about the technology but I wonder how the gas tip is oriented in the burner. Ideally I would think it should be inline with the burner but this appears to be at 90 degrees. Hard to tell what the setup is. Maybe somebody here has experience with this configuration?
     

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