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Forge relining part 1: disassembly - Doug Ayen's Blacksmithing Blog [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Doug Ayen

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Forge relining part 1: disassembly [Mar. 22nd, 2010|09:03 pm]
Doug Ayen
If you're wondering why I'm doing this, it's because the forge no longer gets easily up to forge-welding temperatures. This is mostly due to the refractory no longer, well, refracting -- that is, reflecting heat and energy back into the forge. See this picture:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25096925@N00/4456054194/
All that black gunk on the upper part -- the front door to the forge -- is refractory that has melted, and now absorbs heat instead of reflecting it. Now take a look at the bottom of the forge:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25096925@N00/4456054526/
While it's kinda hard to see in this picture, the floor is about half the original thickness, and all that black gunk is a mix of flux, oxide, ash, melted refractory, and who knows what else. Again, it's absorbing heat instead of reflecting it, not to mention that it gets molten and contaminates the work in the forge.

I was able to remove it pretty easily -- take out a few screws, carefully remove the fiber refractory, then bang on it with a mallet until the floor loosened up and came out.

On the theory, probably false, that since the black gunk should mostly be borax, used as a flux, and borax is extremely water soluble, I have it soaking in the slack tub to see if that will loosen things up any. If not, I'll go at it carefully with a grinder and mechanically remove it, then rebuild the floor with some high-temperature castable refractory.
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