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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 10-26-2016, 02:48 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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paint can forge wont heat up properly

yesterday I built a paint can forge via instructions on youtube. I used sand and plaster of paris.
I am using a ts4000 bernzomatic torch. today I have fires up the torch and put it in the forge for an hour two separate times. the forge gets orange right where the flame hits the opposite wall but does not heat up like it should or like the ones online with the same torch do. I am hoping the plaster and sand may not be fully dry yet but would think after 24 hours and running the torch in the forge for multiple hours everything should be dry. here are a couple pics of what I built.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...zBWTmI0S1pDMmM
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...zUzSzRsLWo1cDQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...GV5R1BkcjZuT00
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2016, 04:26 PM
damon damon is offline
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those are not for forging knives.
melt all the aluminum cans you like, but youll need a higher temp refractory material.

also you want toe torch flame to come in at a shallow angle with the curve of the inside of the forge so it circles around inside it, not just blowing straight at the opposite side.

others with more forge building experience than I should chime in and help you even more.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2016, 05:46 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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I agree with damon very important is the angle the burner comes in no matter how big you forge is or the burner if you have it come in at the top and almost horizontal so the flame hits the other wall at a angle that it wil naturally spin down the wall and back up the other. this spreads the heat how. BUT a forge like this and a burner like that you will never forge a blade just not enough heat MAYBE you wuld be able to heat treat a carbon blade but its a huge jump from that to forging the blade.....a good forge is very easy to make if you check out hightemptools.com they have all the things you will need also ray has a HUGELLY helpful video on this my adviceis talk to him about getting that video!
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  #4  
Old 10-26-2016, 06:18 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Kyle,

You can read about my video at http://www.rayrogers.com/books.htm You can get it direct from me or on eBay for $12 or I think its $16 on Amazon. Any way you do it, its a two hour video that takes you through each step of building a small forge on the cheap and explains both venturi and forced air burners. By far the fastest way to see everything you need to know about forges in one place ...


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  #5  
Old 10-26-2016, 11:26 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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As said above, the plaster and sand mix is just not up to the job. I've built one of those things early on and I lined it with an insulating ceramic fiber mat like Inswool or Kaowool covered with a mortar to keep the ceramic fibers from flying in the air. Using a hand held torch as your heat source is about as expensive as you can get. You'll burn up a few of them for each knife that you forge and that's only if you keep your knives small. You really need a burner hooked up to at least a 20 lb tank. It would also be a real good idea it that forge had a port on the back so it can breath better.

I haven't seen Ray's video but I'm willing to bet that it's well worth the money.

Doug


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  #6  
Old 10-26-2016, 11:52 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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I am just using the forge to HT. My little handheld torch is attached to my grills propane tank but I think I am going to switch it back to the handheld unit as it's more portable. I have some red devil refractory cement that is good to 3000?. I can also get some kaowool to use if need be. Is it worth trying to drill a 1" or so hole in the back of the forge? How about coating the forge in the refractory cement? I was hoping to finish the knife this week and practice heat treating a few scraps before I do my real blade. Ray, I will check out your video when I have a little more money and start forging.
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  #7  
Old 10-27-2016, 01:30 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I think that the ceramic fiber matting is going to do you a lot better than the refractory cement. The matting will help hold the the heat in the forge and make it more efficient. You could thin the cement with water to coat the matting so that the heated fibers won't drift out with the flame. You really don't want that stuff in your lungs after it's been heated up. If you go to Wayne Coe's web site I believe that he carries it and I know that High Temperature Tools and Refractory carries it. It's not all that expensive, definitely cheaper in the long run than buying things that won't work, and all you need is about one foot of it, it comes two feet wide and that's easy to stick in a flat rate mailer.

As far a a hole in the back goes I'd make it a lttle bigger so that you can work the blade back and forth through the hot spot. It also helps to stick the point of the blade out the back of the forge as you heat up the thicker parts of the blade and then work the tip back in. That way you will not over heat the thin steel of the tip.

Doug


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  #8  
Old 10-27-2016, 06:40 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Lot of decent advice here. Biggest is changing your insulation/refractory methodology and torch angle.
Coffee can forges can be made to work fairly well, but a two brick forge will out perform them and are much simpler to build using soft fire brick. Have actually welded some san mai (three layer) in one. Flux ate the whole bottom out, so not recommended. Biggest problem was controlling the lower end of heat for heat treating as there is still the issue of "point of aim" hot spots even with an improved angle-in positioning. Also hard to turn the torch down enough and still maintain full chamber temps for accurate heat control - a must with good heat treating.

Pretty much, the time and effort you put into making the mini-forge work right - you can build a larger freon tank size that will give you much more versatility and better heat control. Lots of research on the front end will save you more than you can imagine in effort and wasted time.

I got to watch part of Ray's video (at a buddy's shop). Lots of good stuff/info provided in there, looks to be well worth it. Wish it'd been around when I first got started.....well, wouldn't have been anything to play it on and 8 track wouldn't do video...


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  #9  
Old 10-27-2016, 09:02 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Again rays video for12$ is very helpful anywhere else a similar video would be 30$ just chalk up the 12 bucks as materials for the forge. yeh you need the kawool but as doug said said that stuff when it heats up and the wind from the flame blows it around TINY particles will get into your lungs wich can turn bad VERY quickly. as doug also said thin that cement out and use that to cover it or get some satinite its cheap enough that's what I use. but my lil piece of advice is if your going to spend the money for the coating and kaowool just make a proper forge other wise you will make the thing out of a paint can and then want a better one and have to buy more kaowool and coatings....do it right the first time trust me you will be happier I was stubborn when I started and ended up wasting money trying to make something it would never be and constantly fixing and modifying stuff till I finally did it right would have saved a lot of money and time/headaches if I did it right from the begining. when I started I spent all this money on a 1/4 in thick steel tube with very cheap wool in it and a even cheaper burner (the burner is was still bigger and more efficient that the hand held thing your using) very quickly I knew I needed to change it and a some one (cough cough ray) told me to just get the this stove pipe stuff to use as a shell...I thought it would be to thin and just re did the thing I had and put in a hard firebrick floor, and yeh should have listened to ray and eventually made a new one out of stove pipe hard fire brick floor kaowool satinite the whole thing done from nothing was very cheap and that works much better then the old one. then make a proper burner
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2016, 11:23 AM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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I appreciate all of the advice!! I am pretty much stuck with what I have until late November. I pay all of my insurance annually and it has sucked me dry for awhile. I am able to get a small piece of kaowool for free if that would help. I may just try the heat treating with the torch for the time being.
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2016, 06:49 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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I put a coat of meecos red devil refractory cement on my forge yesterday as well as drilling a hole in the back. I tried it out today after it was dry and it works a lot better. It is not pretty and has a lot of peaks and valleys in it but it gets red hot inside and the flame shoots out the front pretty good. You can also see the flame swirling inside of the forge. Here is a pic. I am wondering if it would be ok to try and heat treat in this or if I should hold off until I can build a better unit.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxh...w?usp=drivesdk
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  #12  
Old 10-28-2016, 07:42 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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That's not looking very hot in that picture. The way to tell if it's hot enough for heat treating is to put a small piece of blade steel in there and see if you can get it hot enough - over the entire area that might some day be a blade - to become non-magnetic. If a magnet won't stick to it then it's hot enough (and then some). To be clear, I did not just describe how you should HT a blade because that isn't it. What I described is how to tell if it will HT a blade ...


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Old 10-28-2016, 11:45 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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This is my second try at a mini forge. I used some kaowool and a small soft firebrick that I got for free. It is all coated in the red devil refractory cement. When it is thoroughly dry I am going to put a second coat of the cement on. If it still doesn't work properly I will wait a month until I can make my own burner for it. What is the best way to dry/cure the refractory cement? There are no instructions on the can.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxh...w?usp=drivesdk

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxh...w?usp=drivesdk
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  #14  
Old 10-29-2016, 01:07 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Let the refractory dry for about a week and then slowly heat the forge up in short spurts to drive the last of the water out.

Doug


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Old 10-29-2016, 01:14 AM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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Oh wow. I was planning to fire it up for a minute and let it cool and repeat tomorrow. Thanks for saving me from doing it too soon! Should I let it dry imside by a dehumidifier for the week as well? It is cold here but somewhat humid as it has rained some recently.
Also, should I put the second coat on in a week after the first is completely dry and I have fired it?

Last edited by gkyle840; 10-29-2016 at 01:19 AM.
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