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Author Topic: Cooking with Gas  (Read 1325 times)
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larnotlars
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« on: July 20, 2011, 03:57:59 AM »

I know that a lot of you have heard me whining in the Forum that our local power company is trying to get me to buy the neighborhood a new transformer in order to get the service that I would need for my shop.

The final word from Xcel is that I am going to have to buy the transformer or stick with a file for all my knife making needs. So, now I am wondering...

For the $10,000 top of his head estimate that the engineer gave me, could I get the natural gas line from the house extended to the garage, and run a generator and forge... I know that the cost will be comparable, but there is something to be said to having a storm proof power supply. Also it would get me out of the problem of having compressed propane in a closed building...

But, I am wondering how limiting a natural gas forge would be from a knife making perspective. I know that a fair number of blacksmiths use it, but very few blacksmiths try forge welds with gas. Can natural gas be used for Damascus welds? Has anyone seen a natural gas forge that is good at higher altitudes (Denver, 5500 ft).

I'll probably end up sucking it up with the transformer, but IF I could make the natural gas generator work, it sounds sweet!

Lar

   

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Ever since I took up forging, I have noticed that I am much less likely to hit my thumb with the hammer! 8-$
Dennis Mashburn
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2011, 10:37:50 PM »

Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time.  I think if it were me, I would use the natural gas genrator for electricity and propane for the forge if the natural gas wont work.

I don't know much about this but i would not want to buy them a transformer as I bet they make plenty anyway.

I truely hope you get going soon.
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 03:12:31 AM »

Hello Lar:
In talking with Eldon and Chris, the natural gas will fire a forge well, all you have to do is learn how to adjust the air - gas mixture to get it hot enough, you have to go through the same learning process with propane anyway so you won't lose a thing. Eldon says propane will easily run a generator for you.

Sorry to take so long to get back to you we are running a seminar and our new student is doing very well. We have been very lucky in that most of the students who come to our seminars are serious students of the forged blade.
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larnotlars
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 04:44:26 AM »

Thanks for getting back to me!

I am going to look into the natural gas thing, if nothing else out of spite for Xcel energy.  I thought about using propane, but I am sure that there would be a whole lot of red tape involved in that job (getting a large enough tank that would allow generator use as well as the forge and not get too cold to evaporate. I already have problems with the 100lb tanks and a 4 psi forge fire), while we already get natural gas to our home for cooking.  I would have to tear up some concrete, but I can deal with that, we have concrete work to do in the future anyway.

I have a feeling that it's going to be more of a fantasy than a reality, but it still sounds good. We'll see if I can make it happen.

Thanks again!

Lar
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Ever since I took up forging, I have noticed that I am much less likely to hit my thumb with the hammer! 8-$
Will
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 07:20:55 AM »

I guess I missed your post, how far is your shop from your house?  If your close enough you should be able to power your shop from your house if you have 480 coming in.  That's the way I did my shop and I've got 220 available, but only single phase, and it's only about 30' from the house.
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larnotlars
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 05:35:54 AM »

The shop is close enough to get away with it, but we only have 125 amp service. Our box is so overloaded that the washing machine, swamp cooler or even the icebox make the lights flicker and sometimes crashes the computer.  I am hoping to be able to keep a deep freeze, paragon, and grinder going at the same time. In time, I wish for a power hammer or even a hydrolic press for pattern welding.

Pat (PFF) advised me to talk to an electrical contractor about upgrading the house so that I can do that.  We'll see what the contractor says.

As far as the forge, I finally got an answer from Stacy Starr from Chili Forge.  She does not believe that household natural gas delivers enough PSI to heat a forge to welding temp... bummer

Thanks all for the help!

Lar
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Ever since I took up forging, I have noticed that I am much less likely to hit my thumb with the hammer! 8-$
larnotlars
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2011, 03:58:36 AM »

New update.

I talked to an electrician today, and he thinks that we will be able to upgrade the home service and therefore be able to hook up the shop to the main breaker of the house.

We're still scheming, so it isn't a done deal. 

We'll see soon!
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Ever since I took up forging, I have noticed that I am much less likely to hit my thumb with the hammer! 8-$
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