Forge & Kaowool questions

I will be constructing my first forge ever. I will use a 5 gallon bucket, and I see that Kaowool blankets are expensive considering the shipping. If
I use 1 inch 8#, 2 feet x 25 feet long I would have much too excess (3X?). (I plan on having 3 inches insulation so my heating chamber is around the 350 cubic inch size. If I use the 1/4 inch 8# roll, it will work out perfectly. Is the 1/4 inch hard to handle and install? Is one smarter to cut it into lenghts that fit each circumference? Or should one install it in a continuous roll and really be careful to keep it tight? How about cutting 56 doughnuts (11.5" x 3"), (12 without the holes) and installing it in that manner? Burner hole could be a bitch. Any tricks, such a using a hole cutter ( running it backwards ), to make the burner hole ? Sure will appreciate any advice, before I botch up the works.
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The 5 gallon bucket sounds like a good idea. Why didn't I think of that? You might want to reinforce the area where the burner goes through.
Don't do the donuts. You will have many opportunities for heat leaks. And for pieces to fall out. Don't do the 1/4". I'm afraid the thin layers will give poor support. Do caot the inside with ITC-100 or Satanite. Find someone close to you to sell the excess to. Or, save the rest for use some years down the road to reline your own forge. Or do a little of both. Are you sure you have to ship it in? Isn't there a ceramic supply place close enough to drive to? You will need some 1" thick firebricks for the floor anyway. Where are you? Tell us. Maybe someone close to you has the same problem and could share costs, etc..
Pete Stanaitis --------------------------
theChas. wrote:

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Stock pots are cool too, and with a bit of ingenuity can make a serviceable forge... if not a strange looking one (to emphasise this I leave the handles on).
Donuts are okay, as long as you cut them oversize and compress the blanket into shape, then use a hardener to secure the fibres and fix the blanket into place. This would be difficult to do with 1/4" blanket.
Also what orientation, Don Fogg or standard? The Don Fogg style would see the container standing upright not horizontal, and you'd need a lid.
If you used the 1/4" stuff, you'd need a lot of it, it's more economical to buy the hot face blanket that's about 1 1/2" - 2" thick. If you find a local kiln supply you should be able to get pieces from a roll as opposed to buying a roll. So best not to use the 1/4" stuff.
I like to use the low temperature hard fire bricks (the ones used in BBQs or Pizza ovens) for the floor, and I use 3/4" thick bricks in two layers the top layer is removable, as borax just chews up these bricks.
That's a cool idea to share the costs... never thought of it, mind you I'm pretty much alone in what I do.
Regards Charles
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From where? To where? How many (or which) suppliers have you checked?
Recently posted (here) links from an on-line pottery supply place (in Houston, TX, I guess)
http://store.ceramicstoreinc.com/inblro.html http://store.ceramicstoreinc.com/inbl.html
Someone in rec.crafts.metalworking was looking to unload excess material from a roll of higher temperature blanket (2600F .vs. 2300F) within the past couple of weeks.
You could get the hotter, more expensive stuff from him, and a few $4.05 pieces of the 2300F stuff for the outer two layers...(plus whatever the shipping comes to, but the stuff does not weigh much if you're dealing with a reasonable supplier, as opposed to one that thinks "shipping charge" = "profit center").
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Gday theChas,
Try Larry Zoeller's site. http://www.zoellerforge.com/simplegasforge.html He has a bucket plan on there, with pics on how to do the job.
Soon as I can find the plans I post the link to the page on how to roll your own burner flares, like Larry's. its on this site http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com /, but you will have to look its a bit hidden if I remember.
Regards Rusty_iron
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