Author Topic: My first forge  (Read 322 times)

Offline A7er

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My first forge
« on: November 05, 2019, 06:22:56 PM »
I am ready to start giving lots of thought to building my first forge. I am having difficuty in finding the correct materials for anything to do with the casting process locally. I live in Illogan near Redruth Cornwall. I would like to buy the correct foundry blocks and have found a supplier in Exeter, 120 miles away. I also will need sodium silicate for sand casting. I had the idea of using a light weight building block similar to Thermalite or the Celcon block. Has anyone tried this? I have seen a couple of videos on youtube where small furnaces have been made using these blocks and a small gas torch to provide the heat. Mine will be electric. Maybe you know of a supplier of foundry materials nearer than 120 miles?
Lee

Online Vixen

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Re: My first forge
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2019, 06:56:29 PM »
Hello Lee

Are we talking about building a foundry or a forge? It sounds like you are looking at foundry materials.

Mike
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Offline A7er

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Re: My first forge
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2019, 07:07:39 PM »
Hi Mike,
I have just finished posting on another forum asking for help where I also ask the same question. I call it a forge in my ignorance, but not a forge like a blacksmith would use. If it can melt aluminium I dont mind what it's called. I think foundry best describes what I want, and the materials associated with casting. I think I have watched too many youtube videos on the subject. Getting confused.
Lee

Online Vixen

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Re: My first forge
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2019, 07:13:19 PM »
Hello Lee

It's always less confusing to use the correct terms. A foundry is used for melting and casting metal.

I do not know about foundry suppliers in Cornwall, but in this day and age everything seems to be bought by mail order. Unfortunately you have to pay shipping charges, but it's the same cost from anywhere in the UK

Good luck

Mike
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 07:16:54 PM by Vixen »
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Online Jasonb

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Re: My first forge
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2019, 07:20:27 PM »
Sounds like you want a furnace

As Mike says probably best to get it online, Artisian Foundry do a lot for hobby use. Proper bricks or refractory will be a lot more efficient than lightweight building blocks as they will reflect the heat back into the work rather than absorb it.

https://www.artisanfoundry.co.uk/

Offline A7er

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Re: My first forge
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2019, 07:37:06 PM »
By far the easiest way of getting the materials I need is to buy online. Artisan is the first place I looked thanks to Myfordboy, but they can't guarantee that the blocks will arive in one mainly undamaged piece.
Lee

Online Vixen

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Re: My first forge
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2019, 07:46:24 PM »
There are many 'electric melting furnaces' of different sizes available on e-bay. Most come complete with graphite crucible,  tongs etc.

If any of these are suitable for your needs (and means), they will save a lot of time and hassle

Mike
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Offline A7er

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Re: My first forge
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2019, 07:05:04 PM »
Hi all,
Well, what an eventful few days since my last posting about trying to find suppliers of materials to make a foundry. I discovered that pottery suppliers usually stock most of the materials I needed, but I couldnít find a supplier in Cornwall. A web search turned up many potters, but only 1 supplier who had shut down a few years ago. I sent an email to one of the potters asking where he got his materials from and the reply was the supplier who had shut down. He hadnít shut down, just moved 500 yards round the corner. I went to see him and got both the sodium silicate and some silica sand, but no refractory blocks. When I returned home I sent an email to the potter thanking him and continued my search along a different tack, I would search for people casting metal hereabouts and ask them who supplied them. I left an email with a local business that is an engineering company that also casts metal, JW Engineering of Camborne, Cornwall. Five minutes later they phoned me inviting me to a pour today 10th Nov. I went along and watched as John was timing the melt of 25kg of cast iron in his home made foundry. Before long John and his wife Angela helped by their son used a small crane to lift the crucible out of the foundry and poured the iron into two moulds. A second smaller melt filled the third mould. If that wasnít enough the potter has sent me an email stating that he probably has some spare refractory blocks I could have. I am arranging a suitable time to meet up. If all goes to plan I could have a foundry up and melting by next weekend, but I have family visiting so that could slow me down a bit. Meanwhile I will experiment with the sodium silicate and silica sand to see what sort of mould I can produce. Because of the shape of the cylinder block I think I will have make the mould in six parts, four sides and top and bottom. The sides will have to be semi self-supporting, green sand wonít do that. That is why I need try different strengths of sodium and silica to find a mix that will hold its shape with very little framework.
Lee