My forgemaking continues.
I was hoping that this week the forge will be finished, but alas that is not the case. The main factor is the weather. I have started to make this last part of the forge as first, actually, exactly because its manufacture includes long waiting times that I cannot influence.
I began the work by cutting the original wheelbarrow tub in several pieces and beating it into another shape – a tub with a catenary profile. I have drawn the catenary in the simplest way possible – by hanging a chain in front of cardboard and drawing along it with a sharpie.
I have cut semi-circular openings into the flat sides (future front and back). I also drilled and ground a hole in one side big enough for my burner and I put a cardboard wrapped in tape into it at an angle that I want the burner to be (left top).
Subsequently, I started to fill this tin tub with a mixture of fireclay and pearlite 1:3, with liquid glass as a binder (top right). I have created a thick layer of this because it is supposed to work as an insulator.
After this thick layer dried up – which took a few weeks – I added a second, thinner layer, this time 1:1 (lower left). This layer is still drying and expelling sodium carbonate to the surface (lower right). I am removing the sodium carbonate with a brush and/or a vacuum cleaner and waiting for this to dry in order to apply the last layer – a thin coating of pure fireclay. After that will follow again at least a week of drying. And that is currently the main problem – the weather is cold and even though I have put the whole thing in a heated room, it dries and cures extremely slowly.
We shall see. In the meantime, I am working on some knives.