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  • Forge design ? OT

    Long ago I took metal shop in the 9th grade. First project was to make a chisel. The furnace that we used for forging and heat treating was a natural gas fired and was about one cu-ft in size. There were 3 burners on 2 opposite sides facing one another. Here is a comercially avaliable 3 burner Propane forge.


    Anybody know why the burners are vertical?
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

  • #2
    Just a guess but maybe the heat would shoot down, rise and you could use it twice.
    The olny time I used a deal like that was for branding cattle, you just wanted a good even heat. Our thing was a crude steel pipe with some pipes.

    It will be interesting to see answers from people who know why they do that.

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    • #3
      I took a bunch of pictures of a neat benchtop forge that my Blacksmithing instructor makes for friends (but won't sell, due to liability reasons). I uploaded them to my photobucket, but let me ask Will if I can post them here.

      His venturi is horizontal, but enters at the same point.

      The one in my Photobucket is a made from a piece of 6x6 Schedule 40 square tubing. The back is open with a set of bricks to close-off as much as you need, while still allowing for heating any ~5" section of a long iron.
      Last edited by lazlo; 06-24-2010, 05:37 PM.
      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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      • #4
        My wild guess is that having the burners vertical keeps the forge balanced...not likely to tip over onto the side as it would be if the weight of the burners was off to one side. Another plus is that you're less likely to set your beer down on top of the forge and ruin it.

        The beer, that is.

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        • #5
          Probably just to save bench space.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would have to say to save space. And to heat a flat bar more evenly ( bigger target). The flat bar will more than likely be laying flat so the flame will hit the broad side and not the narrow side. But since heat rises and that includes spent air ( no oxygen). The burners might suck up the spent air and not want to burn efficiently. Cold air from the side would be much better.

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            • #7
              I agree that the burners are vertical to save spave. I would not have this forge for the work I do personally. There is going to be a hot spot right under the burners. Burners should not point directly onto the work but should come in to create a vortex or swirling fire. Just my humble opinion but I use a forge about five days a week and have made all my own.
              Plain ol Bill

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Plain ol Bill
                I agree that the burners are vertical to save spave. I would not have this forge for the work I do personally. There is going to be a hot spot right under the burners. Burners should not point directly onto the work but should come in to create a vortex or swirling fire. Just my humble opinion but I use a forge about five days a week and have made all my own.
                Hi Bill... Ya got a camera? Hint...hint.
                Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.

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                • #9
                  I wonder what kind of bricks are in this particular oven. The kind sold at Tractor Service Supply which are kind of heavy and very hard or the light bricks that are also a bit fragile in that you can scrape channels into them for heating wire?

                  The particular brick that TSC sells is the same as used in my wood burning stove for the house, that is, heavy and durable. Wonder if they would work for a heat treat oven?
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                  • #10
                    Cheap or good- pick one.

                    most relatively cheap commercial forges use vertical burners, cause its cheap and easy to build em that way.

                    this is a great book about forge design-
                    http://www.amazon.com/Gas-Burners-Fo.../dp/1879535203

                    and this is a great source of info-
                    Ron has designed a simple forge that hundreds, probably thousands, of smiths have built variations on.

                    http://ronreil.abana.org/Forge1.shtml

                    this guy sells premade burners-
                    http://www.hybridburners.com/

                    Chile make some nice little forges that use a round shape, with an offset burner, to induce a swirling pattern of heat.
                    http://www.chileforge.com/

                    I make my own forges, using castable refractory from Pryor Giggey- much better than bricks from Tractor Supply.
                    http://www.pryorgiggey.com/
                    I cast cylinders, using two pieces of sonotube for a mold.
                    Its a design a friend of mine worked out, you can make em any size or shape that way.
                    Castable refractory will last a long long time- and its the radiant heat from the heated up refractory, as much as if not more than, the direct heat from the flame, that makes a forge work.

                    Just came in, all hot and sweaty, from the forge ten minutes ago, after forging tapers and textures on about 50 pieces of stainless steel.

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                    • #11
                      Here's a very good blacksmithing forum: http://www.anvilfire.com/

                      Lots of very helpful individuals and other sources of information.

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                      • #12
                        It would certainly be interesting to see your different furnace configurations. I have allways admired the work of the old blacksmiths. Here are a couple of branding irons that I was able to aquire along with a furnace that I have been trying to get to work.

                        The old branding iron furnaces in this area were made using 6 to 8" steel well casing. As in any furnace the swirrell and heat pattern were important. I can remember that old metal shop furnace from many years ago but I can't remember details of the pipe furnaces other than they used a pear burner and they worked rather well.

                        My well drilling days came along after the cable tool era had closed in this area. This is hard rock country and that requirred forged bits. Building up bits with a welder just didn't work here. Standing over a white hot 6 to 8" bit and forging it back to size with sledge hammers was bad in the winter and worse in the summer. The cable tool engines ran off LPG and usually had 250 gal tanks. This was then also used to fuel the forge. I will go by my Ex FIL and see if I can get some photos to post of one of these. The furnace was also used to melt the babbitt to pour the wire rope sockets for the drill string.
                        Byron Boucher
                        Burnet, TX

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                        • #13
                          another plan

                          Dave Gingery (of build your own lathe, mill, etc fame) has a plan. Likely at Lindsay books

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ries
                            I make my own forges, using castable refractory from Pryor Giggey- much better than bricks from Tractor Supply.
                            http://www.pryorgiggey.com/
                            I cast cylinders, using two pieces of sonotube for a mold.
                            Its a design a friend of mine worked out, you can make em any size or shape that way.
                            Castable refractory will last a long long time- and its the radiant heat from the heated up refractory, as much as if not more than, the direct heat from the flame, that makes a forge work.
                            I see there's several different castable refractories at Pryor Giggey. Which one do you use?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Boucher
                              Here are a couple of branding irons that I was able to aquire along with a furnace that I have been trying to get to work.
                              Does that get hot enough to forge, or is it primarily to heat-up branding iron?
                              I've used a couple of shop-built forges that used firebrick, and they don't retain heat very well -- they're "cold".

                              The ABANA guys recommend Kaowool or castable refractory, preferably the former, but I'm just a beginner, so I don't know WTF I'm talking about

                              Ries: what stainless do you use for forging? Will has a piece of boat prop that he's willing to let me use to forge a knife. Boat props seem to be variants of 440C -- how hard is that to forge? I'm guessing the 300 series stainless are much easier to work?
                              Last edited by lazlo; 06-25-2010, 12:51 PM.
                              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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