Hello all. I am going to build my own forging studio and I have a question about home built gas burners.
I have a copy of Michael Porter's book Gas Burners for Forges, Furnaces & Kilns. All the burner designs in this book call out #316 stainless for the nozzle. I have not had any luck finding #316 stainless pipe in my area and I am wondering if #304 stainless pipe is an acceptable substitute. Anyone have any experience in this area?
A forging studio? Never heard it called that before.
A mighty good book that. I actually live in Oz, so an American book (no matter how good) usually requires a lot of research to get local product names, that is if there is an equivalent product.
I used the Mike Porter book as a guide, and developed my own simple burners, that work just as well, but only require a little machining and a little silver soldering. By the by, I too needed a flare for my simple burners, and gave up using the suggested products in the books and American sites.
I simply went to a local steel merchant and asked for stainless steel pipe that would tolerate a lot of heat. I ended up with a type of exhaust pipe that does the trick. Have no idea the name of the steel and don't really care... it works.
My point is ring around the steel merchants local to you and ask, they usually know what to sell you.
316 (or to be more exact 316L) is a common stainless used around boats because of its good anti corrosion properties. There is little, or no, reason to use it for a burner tip as since the tip is going to get hot every time you use it is going to corrode. Go ahead with the 304, for your use it won't make any difference.
The only experience I have with them is the one I made for myself, so the rest is passing along what I've heard second-hand.
The main thing here is that if you're making a venturi burner, they have a reputation for being really touchy to build and keep running- though there is the obvious benefit of not requiring a power source to run a blower. That part is second-hand- I don't really know if the reputation is deserved or not.
But, if you decide to go with a forced-air blower, they are dead easy to build. Rather than trying to track down stainless pipe to make a flare, you can just use black pipe off the shelf at the hardware store, and get to work. There are plenty of plans floating all over for these, and it makes the question of 316/304 stainless moot.
I wish I could tell you what the difference is, and we actually use both at work, but all I know about 316 is that it costs more. We don't get it in pipe, or I'd send you a piece- though if you have a slip roll or some other method of bending it into a cone, I could probably hook you up with a little piece of scrap all ready to roll into a cone. IIRC, I have 14ga 316 sitting in the rack, but we don't use it very often at all.
The ones in Mikes book are a little fiddley, but taking the knowledge I made a much simpler venturi burner, that can have forced air added. The following burner is relatively easy to make and only has to be tuned once. Gas tuning is another subject ;-)
The secret is the gas accelerator, basically a mig tip shaped to look like a 303 bullet, silver soldered to a thin brass tube. The brass tube can be moved to centre the accelerator, thus making tuning a once only process :-)
oh and here is a simple forge/furnace/raising tool I made for a friend... recycling is good :-)
Chilla Mate, its just make a smaller/resized version, I know its a big ask, and yes the details are great, but if it takes forever to download, people with dialup like me are not going to wait for it. Think Thumbnail, well ok a bit larger for a quick view, then I can make a decision on downloading the full version to get all the information.
You know that the warranty on the Swiss knives is lifetime? Rebuild or replace. There was no indications with the last few that passed through my hands, that there were any requirements to register, so that may be worth looking at!
Someone in the UK wanted to customize theirs and was asking about it on r.k. I had one that was corroded-up pretty-bad (aluminum liners) and took that one apart so I could answer his questions. He wasn't the first, figured it was time I learned, so there it is. :)
I can't stand the silly things myself. YMMV :)
It's still apart, you want it to repair and/or modify? :)
This is an undeserved "reputation" based on lack of knowledge mostly. The four naturally aspirated burners in my main forge include two Reil, one EZ, and one T-Rex burner, and they have all been functioning perfectly for many years, long enough that the interior of the forge is now worn out and due for overhaul. It is often a case of the blind leading the blind that results in burner problems and false reputations being developed. Both types of burners, naturally aspirated and blown, will do an excellent job for you, and both will easily forge weld if built correctly. Each type of burner has advantages and disadvantages compared with the other, but they are both excellent tools in the right hands.
The biggest problem with naturally aspirated burners is not the burner, but seems to be the guys who build them. Having helped literally thousands of guys over the years build burners, or trouble shoot them after they have built them, the problems they encounter are almost always due to making changes in designs that work well already, or just striking out on their own to make their own designs. I should also add that there are guys who just can't use tools to build anything successfully, including a burner. Those guys need to buy a burner pre-made by Rex Price. :-)