Setting up two forges... Answered
Basically I have two ideas, one of which I'm pretty ready to make now and another which will take a little longer to make, one is a tiny forge, like desktop sized, for working at home and the other is a much larger forge for big metalwork projects, thankfully the large one will actually require less parts scavenging as I have plenty of acces to scrap material and there's a brickyard over the wall from us which will do me the necessary materials very cheap, mainly because I did a little forklift driving for them for larger heavyweight loads over three tonnes. That's all well and good a big one I can get my head round easily enough, But. How would I go about making a tiny forge and I mean miniscule, it's main purpose is for heating to cast for my specialist parts I prefer making and the other is for low material single cast jewellry my mum makes (she used to own a jewewllry business and still makes the odd bespoke items. But my main question is how I can build a reliable yet compact forge and furnace, from what I have sitting around I'm sure I can come up with a decent fuel source, ranging from butane torches and stoves, both of which can do propane and I could go to natural gas (we have a special plug out the back for gas barbeques the house had it when we came...) but my other questions are a bit more odd, first of all what would make a great crucible, I need something that'll be fairly invincible to the hardships caused by life, as the other liely user of the forge and furnace is very forgetful and sometimes accident prone. Next up is the housing, would it be feasible to use a single block of thermocrete cast to make the main furnace housing, as in everything is but the fuel and air source holes and the crucible hole would be one block, as it stands that seems like the best way to make it simple and effective, plus it would be pretty airtight where needed. Next question is the fuel and temperatures, I know that butane at full combustion get 1300C and 1000C is a practicable operating temp. for a butane item but what about propane or even natural gas, since it would be very cheap and clean burning... I'm a bit of a noob towards this end of the scale, I can make stuff hot and I can do alot with these things but actual forge and furnace making is a little beyond me on this scale, however I can think of several advantages to my baby furnace, including the practical movement of it, as it could be self contained very easily. The pic was just one of the last pictures that's remotely intersting I uploaded, however it raises it's own points as the jet engine basically welded all it's components forward of the flame together.