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Author Topic: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge  (Read 4010 times)

booksmart

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Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
« on: July 30, 2015, 10:37:31 AM »
Warning: the guy narrating has good information, but he's as exciting as dry toast.

That said, I thought it best to start with making the adhesive he uses as the base of the refractory material: sodium silicate



Which you can apparently buy for $27 a gallon on Amazon.   :shrug  It looks kinda fun to make, so why not?

This is the video for the coffee can forge.  He tweaks the technique when he scales up to the trashcan forge, but this one has the better explanation of how he built the burner.



And, finally, the video for the trashcan forge, which is what I'll likely build.


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    Mikee5star

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 12:06:34 AM »
    I had completely forgotten about this thread. I have to watch these tonight after the kiddo is in bed. I will be using a gas or coal forge as there is basically no hardwood in AK so all charcoal must be shipped which at least doubles the cost.

    Is it wrong that I am thinking coal with a bicycle powered bellows so the kid can "help"?
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    Plebian

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 07:54:27 AM »
    I had completely forgotten about this thread. I have to watch these tonight after the kiddo is in bed. I will be using a gas or coal forge as there is basically no hardwood in AK so all charcoal must be shipped which at least doubles the cost.

    Is it wrong that I am thinking coal with a bicycle powered bellows so the kid can "help"?

    A gas forge is so much easier to make and use than a coal forge. My first little forge was a brake drum using charcoal, and I have now built a gas forge. I will never use that little charcoal forge again.

    You can light it up and get to forging much faster with the gas than the coal.
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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 11:55:28 AM »
    I am still adjusting to costs here. Propane/gas is around $4 per gal, and all I hear is how outrageous that is. I looked in to making my own charcoal as we had no coal, red willow and alder only for wood, and propane was $2.20 per lb.
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    RevDisk

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #4 on: December 09, 2015, 02:12:25 PM »
    Gas is a lot cleaner, safer and easier to work with. If you do want to add a blower for a coal forge, a hair dryer or hot air gun works well enough. There are some crank blowers for more historical type blacksmithing. I am tempted to make a coal forge but have little interest in using it regularly.

    I've never heard of anyone making a forge with 'glass water', ever. Most forges are made with Kaowool, refractory cement and/or fire bricks. Be careful of the type of steel you use for your forge. Zinc plated or galvanized steel will give you metal fume fever. Not saying he's wrong, just unusual choice when there's a lot of excellent material already in common usage.



    My forge and anvil are on the left. Old freon tank, with kaowool liner and a firebrick, single burner. LONG hose on the propane tank, with a very large regulator and much longer machined brass adapter for the tank nozzle.
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    strangelittleman

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 02:17:56 PM »
    Be careful of the type of steel you use for your forge. Zinc plated or galvanized steel will give you metal fume fever.


    Yes very good point!....Any time you work w/ heated galvanized metal, like when torch cutting or welding, you should drink 1-2  halfpints of whole milk afterward. (good rule of thumb is that for every 2 hours of welding galvanized, drink 1 halfpint)
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    booksmart

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #6 on: December 09, 2015, 02:28:30 PM »
    I've never heard of anyone making a forge with 'glass water', ever. Most forges are made with Kaowool, refractory cement and/or fire bricks.

    http://www.schundler.com/composites.htm  This stuff is built using the same method as the coffee can liner : perlite mixed with sodium silicate ("water glass").

    Quote
    PERLITE/SILICATE COMPOSITES

    Expanded perlite granules can be bonded to form rigid shapes for a very wide range of applications. The most suitable binder for many purposes is a liquid sodium silicate similar to traditional "waterglass." The liquid sodium silicates are solutions of water soluble glasses manufactured from varied proportions of Na2C03 and SiO2, providing a wide range of chemical and physical properties.

    Sodium silicates are widely used as high temperature adhesives and binders due to the following properties:

    Low Cost
    Inorganic
    Easy to Handle
    Rapid Controlled Set
    High Strength
    Insolubility (when aired)
    Chemical Stability
    Silicate-bonded perlite makes an insulation material which is completely non-flammable, the refractory nature of the bond being a major advantage.

    Potassium silicate is sometimes preferred for applications where heat insulation and fire resistance are the main objectives. This material has a slightly higher softening point than its sodium counterpart.

    Sodium silicate is widely used as a binder for molding sand in foundries. The technology for perlite/sodium silicate composite manufacture is based largely on this foundry industry experience.

    Cool setup, btw.  :thumbup1

    RevDisk

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #7 on: December 09, 2015, 03:16:33 PM »
    Yes very good point!....Any time you work w/ heated galvanized metal, like when torch cutting or welding, you should drink 1-2  halfpints of whole milk afterward. (good rule of thumb is that for every 2 hours of welding galvanized, drink 1 halfpint)

    Yes, calcium is a good bonder of heavy metals. I've heard it very often, and it's a staple of welding lore. Proper ventilation and good PPE are always a better idea. If you do get zinc fumes, GO TO THE HOSPITAL and don't rely on ye olde folklore medicine. Folklore medicine is great for killing hippies and morons, but it should never be taken seriously for normal folks. Remember Steve Jobs?

    I try to flat out avoid galvanized or zinc coatings. Some people burn off the zinc layer, or remove with HCI acid. Whatever floats your boat. Just be safe.


    Cool setup, btw.  :thumbup1

    Thank ye. Very much a work in progress! I've scrapped a good number of bad prototypes on the way. Still need a better belt sander. I have one of those crap 1:40 sanders that I've used for random tasks. I need to buy a real belt sander for making actual knives. Railroad spikes are very mild steel and make crap knives, but they're cheap and good practice. Also, need to make a casting forge.

    I'm eyeing up this one:  http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/hmkit.html
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    booksmart

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #8 on: December 09, 2015, 03:41:08 PM »
    Another video I've found is melting paraffin & grocery bags together to make machining wax, which can be used for lost wax casting... I'll see if I can find it...

    Ah, not a video - an Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Machinable-Wax/


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    « Last Edit: December 09, 2015, 04:36:06 PM by booksmart »

    strangelittleman

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #9 on: December 09, 2015, 06:10:32 PM »
    Yes, calcium is a good bonder of heavy metals. I've heard it very often, and it's a staple of welding lore. Proper ventilation and good PPE are always a better idea. If you do get zinc fumes, GO TO THE HOSPITAL and don't rely on ye olde folklore medicine. Folklore medicine is great for killing hippies and morons, but it should never be taken seriously for normal folks. Remember Steve Jobs?

    I try to flat out avoid galvanized or zinc coatings. Some people burn off the zinc layer, or remove with HCI acid. Whatever floats your boat. Just be safe.


      I'm with you on not understanding why anyone would willingly play around w/ galvanized metal when working on hobbies.....

      Good ventilation and proper PPE, yes that goes without saying. The milk thing....apparently there's also science behind it as well. The state safety inspector came around just the other day at the government building site where I'm acting as the site security supervisor. He was checking the safety logs to make sure that on the days the welders had contact with zinc/galvanizing there had to be proper PPE, good vent and not only milk, but the logged consumption of it by all in direct contact w/ the welding operations!
      Go figure....I too, always thought it was just an old wives tale.  :shrug
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    Mikee5star

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 10:00:30 PM »
      I'm with you on not understanding why anyone would willingly play around w/ galvanized metal when working on hobbies.....

      Good ventilation and proper PPE, yes that goes without saying. The milk thing....apparently there's also science behind it as well. The state safety inspector came around just the other day at the government building site where I'm acting as the site security supervisor. He was checking the safety logs to make sure that on the days the welders had contact with zinc/galvanizing there had to be proper PPE, good vent and not only milk, but the logged consumption of it by all in direct contact w/ the welding operations!
      Go figure....I too, always thought it was just an old wives tale.  :shrug

    I HATE milk. So I will just get an 55 gal drum, and use that rather than a galvanized trash can.  Unless I can find a 35 gal drum, but they are harder to find.  Then just shorten to whatever length I want.  Have to watch coffee cans as well as lots of them are galvanized as well, also it is hard to find heavy duty cans.
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    strangelittleman

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #11 on: December 09, 2015, 10:37:05 PM »
    Semper Gumby.....Always Flexible.
    Vision without action is a daydream, Action without vision is a nightmare.
    Zol zayn azoy.

    MTK20

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #12 on: December 09, 2015, 10:39:20 PM »
    I HATE milk. So I will just get an 55 gal drum, and use that rather than a galvanized trash can.  Unless I can find a 35 gal drum, but they are harder to find.  Then just shorten to whatever length I want.  Have to watch coffee cans as well as lots of them are galvanized as well, also it is hard to find heavy duty cans.

    I'm fascinated that we can make a small forge out of a coffee can. I know little about metallurgy, but even when I've made a hobo stove just for campfire cooking, I've heard that campfire heat alone could wear out the welds. I'm sure that heat is nothing compared to the heat a forge produces.

    I think somewhere along the way I got some wrong info  :hmm.
    Texas
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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #13 on: December 09, 2015, 10:42:29 PM »
    Communist.

    Agreed. Only milk, water, and scotch from here until grave, and no ice for any of them  :cool.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #14 on: December 10, 2015, 01:26:56 AM »
    Communist.

    No if you are within 100 yards of me 2-6 hours after I drink milk, you will think that chemical weapons are being tested on you.  And that's after I puke.  I hate puking.  The gas is entertaining, but not worth the other effects on me.

    I'm fascinated that we can make a small forge out of a coffee can. I know little about metallurgy, but even when I've made a hobo stove just for campfire cooking, I've heard that campfire heat alone could wear out the welds. I'm sure that heat is nothing compared to the heat a forge produces.

    I think somewhere along the way I got some wrong info  :hmm.

    You will wear out the coffee can if it is exposed to the heat of the forge.  But remember on both of these builds the cans act as a mold for the heat resistant material.  Coffee cans will hold molten lead repeatedly, but if you heat them to bright red they burn through quite easily. 
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    RevDisk

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #15 on: December 10, 2015, 12:26:06 PM »
      I'm with you on not understanding why anyone would willingly play around w/ galvanized metal when working on hobbies.....

      Good ventilation and proper PPE, yes that goes without saying. The milk thing....apparently there's also science behind it as well. The state safety inspector came around just the other day at the government building site where I'm acting as the site security supervisor. He was checking the safety logs to make sure that on the days the welders had contact with zinc/galvanizing there had to be proper PPE, good vent and not only milk, but the logged consumption of it by all in direct contact w/ the welding operations!
      Go figure....I too, always thought it was just an old wives tale.  :shrug

    It's essentially the equivalent of band aids when you might need stitches. It's not bad, might help, but it's usually not enough when you're dealing with a serious case. But yeah, it's more than an old wives tale. Actually a bit dangerous that way. It's not completely false, so it lures folks into a sense of false security.


    I'm fascinated that we can make a small forge out of a coffee can. I know little about metallurgy, but even when I've made a hobo stove just for campfire cooking, I've heard that campfire heat alone could wear out the welds. I'm sure that heat is nothing compared to the heat a forge produces.

    I think somewhere along the way I got some wrong info  :hmm.

    You're on the money.

    The coffee can isn't for the forging, it's just a non-combustible mold to hold the refractory cement. It's just a shell. You could easily replace the coffee can with heavy duty cardboard, and burn it off. It'll look uglier, and be much easier to damage, but it'll work just as well. The refractory cement and/or kaowool does all the lifting of keeping the heat in one concentrated spot. Or firebricks 'mortared' with refractory cement, which is how folks are making outdoor pizza ovens. Essentially just really big underpowered forges on their side. 

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    - Book of Counted Sorrows

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    booksmart

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #16 on: December 10, 2015, 01:37:37 PM »
    The coffee can isn't for the forging, it's just a non-combustible mold to hold the refractory cement. It's just a shell. You could easily replace the coffee can with heavy duty cardboard, and burn it off. It'll look uglier, and be much easier to damage, but it'll work just as well. The refractory cement and/or kaowool does all the lifting of keeping the heat in one concentrated spot. Or firebricks 'mortared' with refractory cement, which is how folks are making outdoor pizza ovens. Essentially just really big underpowered forges on their side. 

    Exactly.  Which is why the small water heater I found may be overkill, but not necessarily in a bad way.  If you've got the means to work sheet metal and weld it into the proper shape, by all means, do so.

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #17 on: December 10, 2015, 04:44:38 PM »
    You're on the money.

    The coffee can isn't for the forging, it's just a non-combustible mold to hold the refractory cement. It's just a shell. You could easily replace the coffee can with heavy duty cardboard, and burn it off. It'll look uglier, and be much easier to damage, but it'll work just as well. The refractory cement and/or kaowool does all the lifting of keeping the heat in one concentrated spot. Or firebricks 'mortared' with refractory cement, which is how folks are making outdoor pizza ovens. Essentially just really big underpowered forges on their side. 



     :hmm

    Huh, you know, this stuff is kinda interesting  :cool.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    RevDisk

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #18 on: December 12, 2015, 07:22:47 PM »
    Exactly.  Which is why the small water heater I found may be overkill, but not necessarily in a bad way.  If you've got the means to work sheet metal and weld it into the proper shape, by all means, do so.

    Huh. Never tried it with a water heater, but definitely remove or replace the insulation. It's very likely not rated for forging temperatures. Some insulation don't react well when their rating is exceeded.
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    booksmart

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #19 on: December 12, 2015, 09:36:29 PM »
    I was still gonna line the inner chamber with 2-3" of refractory cement (figured the inner boiler wall wouldn't stand the temperature either...)

    booksmart

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #20 on: March 21, 2016, 02:31:39 PM »
    A gas forge is so much easier to make and use than a coal forge. My first little forge was a brake drum using charcoal, and I have now built a gas forge. I will never use that little charcoal forge again.

    You can light it up and get to forging much faster with the gas than the coal.

    Care to share pictures of your gas forge?

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #21 on: March 22, 2016, 09:08:14 PM »
    Not at the house right now, but I just followed this type of design.

    Oklahoma"If all our problems are solved, we'll find new ones to replace them. If we can't find new ones, we'll make new ones."

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    Re: Videos on Building a Small Propane Forge
    « Reply #22 on: March 26, 2016, 04:46:57 AM »
    I'd take a look at the Dave Gingery "Complete Metal Working Shop from Scrap" book series. It starts with building a small forge and then shows how to use it as the tech base to build an entire garage machine shop. Once upon a time, I did have a forge built from those books, and it worked just fine. Pissed off the local HOA when I ran it in the driveway though.
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