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Thread: A gas fired forge in the making

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Don't forget about using a waste oil burner, with a blower they will get more than hot enough to forge with, the drawback is control but that can be remedied fairly easy and for interrupted uses is less expensive than gas.
    Ron Reed
    Oklahoma City, OK
    info@reedsammo.com

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I had a busy day in the shed with the forge up to as far as I can take it untill the insulation gets here and then I got the bolsters on two of the knives I am doing and the handes on the third.
    This is the stage the forge is up to now and if you look closely I cleaned the floor for Gabriel
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDfe...ature=youtu.be
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  3. #23
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Made some progress on the forge yesterday and the first thing I needed to do was to get a hole through for the gas supply. I read some more on the angel of delivery and ended up going with the full 30 degree offset. So lots of 1/8 in holes round the perimeter

    Some time with a good 1/2 round file, the insulation in and away down to the garrage to get the the end welded on and the outer gas delivery pipe welded in

    The venturi system has a nice air supply regulator with it fully open here for full heat forging. I saw a video with this gas system and he reached welding heat in 2 1/2 minutes

    And closed right down. For the heat treating the air supply is closed down quite a bit to controll the temperature
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    The fire brick was placed in and settled down into the insulation

    The rigidiser was sprayed onto all the insulation, the refractory cement was mixed and laid into place

    Now I have to wait a few days for it all to dry before it gets a firing

    In the meantime I had a look at the piece of a press die I got from the scrap yard the other day. It is a ft and a bit long x 4 3/4 x 2 with the bottom very neatly radiused

    I decided it is a bit long for what it may turn into so I have marked it out to be cut back to 8 inches and will look for a piece of 4x4x8 steel and a piece of 2 or 3 in round stock when I am down to the city again next week. It is all going to be reconfigured into an anvil for a bit of steel pounding which almost certainly means that some work will be done on it with hot steel and a hammer.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  5. #25
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I got the three knives I have on the bench all handled over the last couple of days and today saw them all shaped up and sanded through 220grit.
    brass and micarta


    ebony and zebrawood


    This one though is a synthetic material of some sort (from a bench top) so is ready for a coat of sealer but am yet to find out if he wants a sheath for it.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  6. #26
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    A little leather work today after finishing the knife handles and getting the blades sharpened. The little leather knife is one I made from a piece of commercial hacksaw blade and is a step up from what I had been using.



    So now that this batch of knives is fitted to the sheath I can finish the handles and do the titivating to the sheaths then when the handles are finished the sheaths will be hot waxed and boned to hold the knives securely.
    Away to pick up the last bits for the forge tomorrow.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    eye candy!
    "...Some days its rocket science, and some days it just zinc..."

  8. #28
    I know a pottery supplies dealer who supplies fireclay at far lower prices than the fire cement you can buy for barbecues and fireplaces. I have some, so far unused, but I think it would be a good way of making the insulation, and would let you out of making that flat bottom. You would have to let it dry hard, then slowly build heat to fire it It wouldn't much matter if that cracked, but I would cut the tubular clay lining into several bricks, and if they contracted, cement them and repeat.

    I have a couple of 1200 watt Kanthal elements and a thermocouple, temperature control etc., which I plan someday to use to heat-treat a vertically hung Japanese sword blade of my own manufacture. I have so far found only one source of large diameter fireclay pipe, which used to be commonplace for drains.(Terracotta isn't up to it.) A few years back I saw a couple of pieces on an offshore volcanic island which you can visit on an all-day boat trip, among the ruins of the quarry buildings where they used to take granite for curling stones. I'd need something in writing to get one on the boat, and Heaven knows who owns them. But I bet the local estate, which leases it to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, would agree a charitable donation or something.

    Of course there is a big difference between heat treatment and forging. For the latter I am sure gas, charcoal or coke would be much better. But I would only need to get it momentarily up to temperature. I would like to use clay coating of differential thickness to produce the hamon pattern at the edge, and just for general reference I know of two possible ways to prevent that from cracking and flaking off. One would be to mix the diluted clay with chopped carbon fibre. Even glass fibre might do, as it would stay solid till the stuff was part-way fired.

    The other was told to me by a potter I once saw doing marbled glaze on my fruit-bowl. Apparently the contraction of clay is much reduced if you mix it with vinegar. The only way I can think of that this would do it, would be if it has a partial limestone content which is dissolved by acid and bonds itself tighter as it evaporates.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Von Gruff View Post
    I watched a video last night of a guy who made a knife blank out of 3 tension springs with a length of O1 down the center. Flatened by laying the coil over one way thenforge welded together, cut and folded three times he ended up with a fish scale pattern so there are any number of way to make a damascus from motorcycle chains to chainsaw chains, apart from the traditional layering of different steels, but it is the wire rope damascus that is what I would like to try (first). I may have to end up making a solid fuel forge to do that though. I have plenty of wood to make charcoal (the 44 gallon drum method) as there is only about 6 - 8 hrs in a gas bottle at full forge welding temp or so say those that are doing it and as I m an hour from a gas supply, the gas forge will be best kept for the heat treating where a 20lb bottle will last and with a spare I should be able to last from one city trip to the next.
    Wire rope Damascus sounds good, but you would have to avoid carbon inclusions. I think you could probably drag out the rope cores from a short length, or chat them into a form that caustic soda would remove. I'm not so sure of getting grease, and what old grease turn into, out of motorcycle chains, which are designed to keep it in.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Plenty of borax flux and a number of heats will get the grease and crud out of the wire ropes according to the guys on the knife forums and watching one of them go from the wire rope to the finished knife with a couple of examples of a rusty rope to a greasy one so I am inclined to take the advise of the experienced smiths on this one.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  11. #31
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    These knives are all finished now so I just have to hot wax the sheaths, give everything a final going over and they will be ready for delivery.



    There was another two that needed the finish to the handles so they were attended to as well.

    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  12. #32
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    A little more on the preperation for the forge and its accesories after a run into the city yesterday
    I remembered a piece of 3/4 in wearalloy I had as a target plate and looked at it as an anvil top instead of the heavy die plate but will make a final decission later on although I cut and preped the wearalloy just in case I decide to use it.

    I got a block of steel for the main body that is 8 x 8 x 4 and a plate for the bottom that is 12 x 6 x 1 and they weigh in at 33 kg so if I go for the die plate at 17 kg that will be a 50 kg anvil.

    I made an 8 x 6 stump under the end of a heavy stool to sit the anvil on so it should have a steady solid base.

    When I was doing a bit of work on the brother in law's carport and widows yesterday, I asked him if he had any old fire extinguishers as he used to work for a fire protection company before he retired and he bought out this beauty and gave it to me. It is stainless steel and will hold 3 1/2 gallons (13 liters). I am not sure if I need it full depth but I hate to cut it down.

    Two new 20lb gas bottles, a regulator and hoses for the forge have all the bits necessary to finish it now and just have to get the rest support tubes welded on and it can have a painted and be fired up. I will have to make a barbeque type trolly to sit the forge and gas bottles on but have enough inch angle in the shed to do that, and will get to it over the next week or two.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  13. #33
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    The fire extinguisher quench tank had its top cut off and a lid made but there is still a couple of handles to be done for the sides for when it needs to be shifted. With a 3 1/2 gallon capacity it should do nicely.


    The steady rest was welded up and so the forge could get a coat of high temp paint.

    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  14. #34
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Needing something to set the forge and gas bottles on, a few bits of angle iron were cut into apropriate lengths with a top and a shelf cut ready for when it is welded up.

    Then it was back to the anvil. The base had the mounting holes drilled and the heavy block cleaned up. I decided to go with the die plate and cut a piece off the end that will be welded on the heavy block with a step down. I still have to do the hardy holes and get a horn made.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    That's a real nice forge you made, very professional looking and those blade are just downright beautiful. I made a venture propane burner two years ago after melting down a harbor Freight burner while trying to melt some brass. Years ago I picked up a case of fire bricks for around twelve dollars at a flea market and have been stacking them for a crude forge. My anvil is a 1/2 x 8 inch slab of steel about two feet long which is all I need right now.
    I just finished this camp chopper made out of a fairer rasp, the handle is made out of the base of a moose antler which I picked up 40 years ago. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	191527 Getting the temper right was tough, the rasp was low carbon steel and wouldn't get real hard no matter how hot I heated it.
    I have some blades from an Asplund chipper which will be the next getroundtoit. I was using #16 concrete cut nails for small blades and learning how to forge steel.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I have had very good blades from farriers rasps, take them to non magnetic and quench in 130 degree canola oil then temper at 185 degrees (C) for 2 hours. This makes for a good edge holding blade that is not hard to keep a keen edge on.
    I got the stand for the forge finished today and the anvil has had the hardy hole and pritchel hole cut and ground and filed into a piece of 3/4 in steel that will be welded onto the side of the top plate. There is just the horn to make now. I will get some pics up of more progress and a video of the forge fired up next week when I come back from a couple of days away.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  17. #37
    Boolit Mold PMB's Avatar
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    I love the DIY projects. Great job on the forge, and the knives are 10x as interesting as retail knives, IMHO.
    My quench tanks are 120mm ammo cans. The air tight lids works good to prevent evaporation and keep out bug corpses. Empty and spray them out about twice a year.
    Last edited by PMB; 03-24-2017 at 02:39 AM. Reason: Typo

  18. #38
    Boolit Master FrankG's Avatar
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    Great stuff Garry ! Very cool build alongs . What size is the orifice in your burner nozzle ?

  19. #39
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Do you mean the venturi pipe as that is an inch into a 2 in coupling in the forge.
    I am taking the burner to the welding shop when I go up country on tuesday as it is not passing enough gas to get a decent heat going so will see if I have a faulty regulator.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  20. #40
    Boolit Master FrankG's Avatar
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    The brass pipe that has serrated wheel on it , that nozzle . Most are a wire gauge size .

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check