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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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Old 07-17-2005, 08:47 AM
Steve Milliet Steve Milliet is offline
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Aluminum for Forge Body

hey ya'll,


its been a while since i've been here... i've sold my house in Louisiana and moved to Mississippi. well, presently i'm building a house and my grinder went out before i moved - so i havent had time to do anything!

anyway, i'm in the process of gathering materials for my new forge and was wondering if anyone has used or can let me know - Would Aluminum Pipe work for a Forge Body???? i'll be using Kaowool for the insulation and possibly some firebricks ( a couple of years ago, a Hot Oil Furnace blew up at work and we have a few pallets of bricks that are still good..)

any assistance would be appreciated...

Steve Milliet
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:30 AM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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Aluminum melts at about 1250 so there would be a few vulnerable spots on the forge. When I run my forge in the dark I can see a few spots on it that are a dull orange meaning the spun ceramic may not insulating real well in a few spots. Around the opening would be real hard to keep below aluminum melt temps.

My vote would be to not use Alum. There are alot of things that work great as forge bodies that can be obtained for free. I just had three older non OFPV 5ga propane cylinders nitrogen purged so they could be used down the road as forge bodies. The forge I use now was a 5 ga air hog that never held pressure, my nieghbor just gave it to me.
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Old 07-17-2005, 03:28 PM
Steve Milliet Steve Milliet is offline
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thanks.

i was figuring as much, but was hoping differently.

i can get some 8" stainless pipe from work, for nothing.

i want to build a multi-use forge. approx 30-36" long w/ two or three burners.

Steve
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Old 07-17-2005, 04:10 PM
jdm61 jdm61 is offline
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aluminum

If I recall correctly, aluminum also burns at a temp somewhere in the range of the welding temps for damascus.
Joe
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:06 PM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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I must add a caveat, I am by no way a forge expert. The forge I have now is not the forge I was hoping to have. But I have run it enough and tinkered with the settings to know that alum. would probably be a very bad idea. If you can get SS for free then that would be hands down the way to go, providing that you can weld SS or have someone who can (I can't).
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:06 PM
mmunds mmunds is offline
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Aluminum forge

I am no expert either, but if I had to use it I would use castable refractory over kaowool. You could probably get away with it then. I would still go with SS if there was a choice.


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Old 07-17-2005, 11:08 PM
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DiamondG Knives DiamondG Knives is offline
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Just curious why you want a forge 36" long? Most have an inside length of 24" or less.

On a safety note. You will want to seal your koa wool with some type of refractory before you fire it. If you dont, you will be breathing small particle spun glass.

Id check out Darren Ellis's site, he has all the goodies for us home forge builders.

God Bless
Mike


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Old 07-18-2005, 05:11 PM
Ron Hicks Ron Hicks is offline
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Forge Interior Size ????

DiamondG
I want to rebuild my Forge - Forced Air 5 or 6 in. opening 2 or 3 inches koa wool with refractory . How long inside do you think I could go? 16 inches?

The way it is now it is to short and to big around - I want to make it as small as I can and enough room to forge blades only.
Any advise?
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:11 PM
Steve Milliet Steve Milliet is offline
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thanks ya'll,

i wanted a long forge so i could forge sword blades easier (i think it would be), plus i might be able to heat treat them.

let me know if i'm thinking wrong, i'm new to the forging arena.......
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:26 PM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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I have seen some forge designs that have an opening in the back just for sword smithing. That way you do not have to supply heat for an oversized forge body. They all had doors that could be closed when using it for shorter blades. The bigger the forge body the more you have to put into heating it. I built mine to just a few inches deeper then the largest blade I ever ancipate making. One 1 1/4" burner seems to adequate for mine but if I lengthened it by even 4" I would have to upgrade the burner.

Be sure to post some pics. of it when you get it done. Every home built forge I have seen has been very unique and it sounds like yours will be no different.
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