What a miserable winter this has been. The furnace is buried under snow (all wrapped up in plastic though) and I’m starting to itch to try a little forging this spring. When does the snow stop coming??
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It’s been a while since I’ve posted… there’s just been too much going on. Before winter sets in though, I’d probably better get a little 3000 degree furnace cement to finish dressing up the interior and smooth things out, then coat with ITC-100.
The forge should be functional now, I’m just lining up the dots before my first full burnout which I’m going to combine with an alluminum melt/casting.
While I’m finishing getting that all around, here’s a picture of an anvil I picked up recently. Not in the best of shape, but a decent deal for a 161 lb Fisher. I may go some grinding on the edges to clean it up and make it usable, or just use a hardy tool (more annoying.)
The Pro-V burner design was added to the Gallery of Fire for those who have access to precision machinery.
I’d like to open this up a little. If you have created a furnace, forge, or propane burner leave me a link to your creation… either an image or a web page, + your name/handle and any explanations or short commentary. I’m going to set up a gallery page to show off everyone’s work and serve as an inspiration for aspiring newbies.
The Gallery of Fire is to showcase people’s homemade tools such as furnaces, forges, etc.
The Gallery of Earth is to showcase the end result of the fire in the creation of art, etc.
And please, feel free to leave comments.
Ideally, I want a furnace that can melt glass and iron. That means a furnace that can get to, and sustain, a temperature of 2800 fahrenheit to hit the outer temp of glass. At least for the inner shell you’re going to want to be able to withstand 3000 degrees. As temperature drops off, less extreme materials can be used.
I’m planning on an inner shell of 1.5″ of Kast-o-Lite 30 (3000 degrees), possibly mixed with foam/sawdust for additional insulative value if the test cast works out, surrounded by 2″ of Inswool 2300. The insulation goes into a pair of welded steel ice buckets that I found at target. More volume than a steel pail (if you can even find them these days!) and lighter. Remember, the bucket only needs to be strong enough to lift the refractory and protect it. The heavier it it, the bigger the pain in the butt it’s going to be to lug around.
Next up is the burner. While I have access to oxy-acetylene, and it’s damned hot, it’s not exactly friendly on the pocketbook. Thankfully, several enterprising home foundry guys seem to have perfected the cheap, but good, propane burner.
Ron Reil has a lot of good information but not organized well. After a lot of searching, cross-referencing other people’s attempts (mini-mongo) , and reading an excerpt of Michael Porter”s new book I came up with my burner design, which is ultimately a poor man’s T-Rex burner. More about this will be discussed in its own section.
In addition to the furnace (insulation) and burner (heat source), we’ll need a propane tank, tunable regulator (0-30 psi), and a long hi-pressure propane hose to connect the tank/regulator to the burner for safety.
Follow the progress and get links to theory, experimentation and results at The Kcrucible Furnace page.
*** Note that I take no responsibility for replication of anything I’ve done. Be safe and if you’re not sure about something, then stop now. ***
I’m in the process of setting up a blog to document the contruction of a furnace, based on information gathered from various other sources with my own twists for new features or what seems like a better way to do things.
This isn’t the simplest way to build one, but should be quite nice if it all pans out the way that it should. The design is intended to be able to put out enough heat, and contain it, to be able to melt iron and glass. A recent change to the plans adds a forge window in case I want to tinker with forging. I think it may also be good for melting small amounts of precious metals in a “tray” crucible.
I take no responcibility for anyone that may try to duplicate my work themselves. Be careful!