What kind of forge do you have?

Anyone own a NC Tools Whisper series forge? Pros/cons?
Other suggestions for a turnkey forge that is better?
I need it to be able to heat long rods in the middle for spiraling. Also
for just heating the ends and working.
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

I've owned two.

I like the Forgemaster Blacksmith model better than the NC. In my experience, the Forgemaster is both more efficient and more rugged. YMMV. Some folks swear by 'em, some folks swear at 'em.
--
Tom Stovall, CJF
Farrier & Blacksmith
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SteveB wrote...

Ask at www.anvilfire.com. There's a review of both the mama and another (smaller?) one somewhere on there, too, IIRC.

It's only a weekend or two project to make a decent small propane forge. Googlize "ron reil freon forge" if you're interested in that route.
Jim
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I have a whisper daddy that I use occasionally when I don't have time to crank one of the coal forges. It's pretty quick (triple burner). It's good for heat treating and I use it to melt alum for casting but I can't weld with it (might be the smith :o). Coal is the way to go for smithing but a gas forge can be handy. Greg Sefton
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Bray Haven) wrote:

I have worked with one, and while I didn't do it, the guy who owned it sure could weld with it. I sort of based mine on it and can weld with that, sometimes. The sometimes is definitely the operator's, not the forge's fault.
jk
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Aside from getting it damned hot and using a little flux, what's the secret to forge-welding?
Tim (curious noob)
-- "That's for the courts to decide." - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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Tim Williams wrote:
[...]

No secret, in either a coal or gas forge, it's just proper technique and practice, practice, practice. Scarf, brush (with a butcher block brush), heat to bright red, brush, flux, heat to welding temperature, weld.
A few hints to avoid common pitfalls:
20 Mule Team Borax laundry additive is a cheap and effective flux. (Boraxo and Borax are NOT the same thing.)
If you're welding in a coal forge, make sure you clean out any clinkers before you try to weld. When you make a weld, you want as much glowing coke - not coal - atop your workpiece as underneath.
If you're welding in a coal fire, pull your workpiece when it's the same color as the surrounding coke; if you're welding in a gasser, pull the workpiece when it looks wet and is about the same color as the refractory. DO NOT wait until your workpiece is sparking! If it's sparking, your metal is burning and that's not a Good Thing.
DO NOT allow your workpiece to touch your anvil until the instant before the first hammer blow - your anvil is a heat sink.
Your first few hammer blows should be fairly gentle, nowhere near full force. You're trying to meld molten metal, not decorate the shop floor.
You'll probably need to go back into the fire several times to make a good weld in a gasser.
There's a bunch of truth to the old saw, "Perfect practice makes perfect." After you get the hang of it, you'll wonder why anybody has trouble welding in the fire.
--
Tom Stovall, CJF
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Scarf? Will a wire brush work?

Already been using it for some time as brazing flux. :)
<snip more good advice>
I'll probably be using propane.. if I can't find kaowool I'll use up the last of my LWI-26 castable for it instead. http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms/Casting_Rvb.html You think that'll work? (I wonder how ambiguous that Q is ;) Speaking of which.. suggestions on a design? I'm just thinking a small cylinder (2-3" i.d., 1-2" insulation), open at both ends, with some firebrick as needed to cover it up.
Tim
-- "That's for the courts to decide." - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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Tim Williams wrote:

Prepare the weld site by forging, hot rasping, etc.

In terms of efficiency, the difference between an ordinary wire brush and a butcher block brush is roughly analogous to the difference between a Yugo and a Mercedes.
[...]

In my experience, a gasser with castable refractory takes a bit of getting used to - you'll probably have to let it "warm up" before you can weld in it. My home brewed, open front, truck gasser has castable refractory in the bottom and sides and I can't weld in it until it's been lit for half an hour or so.

I dunno, clairvoyancy is not one of my talents. (g)

Ron Reil's website, is a great resource - he's got a bunch of DIY stuff up. <http://www.reil1.net/design.shtml
--
Tom Stovall, CJF
Farrier & Blacksmith
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Well, I can't imagine a Mercedes is all that fuel-efficient, so are you saying the wire brush is better? ;o)

Makes sense. I've tried melting small scraps of cast iron amidst stacks of various broken firebricks and it takes a good half hour before it goes.

Duh..oh yeah, shoulda looked there first %-)
Tim
-- "That's for the courts to decide." - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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Tim Williams wrote:
[deletia]

If the object of the exercise is removing mill/forge scale from hot steel, a wire brush is the wrong tool for the job. In terms of fuel efficiency - accomplishing a given task on a timely basis with the least amount of caloric expenditure - a Mercedes sedan will transport more folks from here to there faster than the Yugo will; similarly, you can brush hot iron with a wire brush as fast and furiously as humanly possible and still not remove as much scale as you can with a few strokes of a butcher block brush.
--
Tom Stovall, CJF
Farrier & Blacksmith
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Ok. So is it just stubby bristles or what?
Tim
-- "That's for the courts to decide." - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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Tim Williams wrote:

A butcher block brush has long (usu, 1 1/8"), flat, stiff, carbon steel bristles that are set perpendicular to its line of travel. Please see <http://www.oldworldanvils.com/brushes/brush.html .
Butcher block brushes are more-or-less standard in most blacksmith shops.
--
Tom Stovall, CJF
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Oooo, evil. ;) If it weren't so damned tedious I could take a bunch of stubs of music wire..... Doesn't look like something to be found at Ace. Hmm..
Tim
-- "That's for the courts to decide." - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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These are even more important using gas forges which seem to produce a lot more scale than coal. Greg Sefton
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Tim Williams wrote...

In a scarf joint the two pieces to be joined are cut at a slant, I.e., it's not a simple butt joint, but more like a sloping lap joint. Scarfing increases the bonding surface area.
Jim
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Ah yes, now I remember!
Tim
-- "That's for the courts to decide." - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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