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Striking out finding any local kaowool/inswool/etc. Can anyone help?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Bruenor, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. Bruenor

    Bruenor

    7
    Sep 23, 2013
    Hello, I have completely struck out finding any local sources of Kaowool/Inswool/etc. or even soft insulating fire brick to finish my first forge. The best I found was a pint of Rutland 2700 degree fireplace cement but everything I am reading says not to use it. I just want to make a small two brick forge or else a bean can type forge. I saw a video online of a 50/50 plaster of paris/sand mix for a lining of a bean can forge and that may be my only choice at this point. Is anyone here willing to sell a small piece of kaowool/inswool/etc. to a newbie? The sources online end up being cost prohibitive due to shipping costs to PA.

    I'm also up for any suggestions or input for other options that might be available. The only thing I was able to find were hard firebricks. Thanks!
     
  2. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    What does local mean to you ?
     
  3. Bruenor

    Bruenor

    7
    Sep 23, 2013
    I live in Western PA surrounded by steel mills and brick yards and glass factories, I had assumed I could find someplace to buy these things with ease but it hasn't proved to be the case. All of the brick yards sell hard fire brick only, and no one of the 20 or so places I've called carry or sell kaowool or any type of ceramic blanket material. I was hoping some kind soul here wouldn't mind selling a foot or two or even just some remnants and shipping them for closer to cost than what I'm finding online.

    I plan on trying the plaster/sand mix option just because nothing else is panning out at the moment. I never expected this to be the hardest part of the process.
     
  4. gixxer1237

    gixxer1237

    419
    Mar 10, 2010
    Have you looked at hightemptools.com? They sell the stuff by the sheet. Shipping is very resonable. I'm sure there's more places on line too.
     
  5. FullyTorque

    FullyTorque

    402
    Jun 3, 2013
    What size forge?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  6. Bruenor

    Bruenor

    7
    Sep 23, 2013
    Yes, no matter what online source it comes out to about $22 and most of that is shipping. I also just need a small amount to line a can forge. I was hoping someone would have a remnant chunk as I probably only need a 1' square. I thought maybe I could send someone $5-10 to ship a bit of remnant or two.
     
  7. Bruenor

    Bruenor

    7
    Sep 23, 2013
    A small bean can forge, initially I was going to make a single brick forge. I have a Magna MT245C torch, the can and building supplies, and Rutland 2700 degree furnace cement. If the cement will work I'll start with that but if it won't then I'm back to the hunt for a brick or ceramic blanket. My goal is to just learn and play. Small blades (pocket knife size) and small ornamental items or hooks, etc. this is more for education and fun than making or selling products from it.
     
  8. FullyTorque

    FullyTorque

    402
    Jun 3, 2013
    I can spare an envelope full of koawool. I made a coffee can forge with kaowool and plaster/sand mix. I have a few scraps left over, should be enough to make a medium sized can forge. Not big enough to forge Aegis Fang but enough to make 4" blades.

    you might have trouble with that torch since the air inlets are so near the tip. I'm using something similar but it's a pain in the neck to get to work. I have to have it position just perfect for it not to go out.
     
  9. Bruenor

    Bruenor

    7
    Sep 23, 2013
    That is incredibly helpful! I have an old Benzomatic torch as well with the vents in the middle of the torch. I am newly registered here in the forums but I have lurked a long time and have learned a ton so far and hope to continue to! How has your forge worked out so far? Do you use a traditional anvil or something else? Thanks again for the offer especially to a complete stranger.
     
  10. FullyTorque

    FullyTorque

    402
    Jun 3, 2013
    I'm new too, only on my third knife (not counting premade blades). The forge did fine on my last knife, a tanto with a 3" blade. My current knife has a 5" blade which is probably as big as I'll go in the coffee can. I'm only using it for heat treatment.
    I'm just doing stock removal right now but a friend of mine says he has an old anvil that I can use. This might call for a upgrade to a coal forge soon.
    Go to my profile and hit my homepage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  11. aarongb

    aarongb

    295
    Nov 2, 2007
    If cost is an issue, what are you planning to use to coat the kaowool?
     
  12. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    I like to start with the manufacturers and then request a list of stocking dealers



    http://www.morganthermalceramics.com/products/



    In this case, look in the yellow pages under pottery supplies.
    The folks that sell clay, also sell kilns and kiln repair materials.
     
  13. Bruenor

    Bruenor

    7
    Sep 23, 2013
    I have called all of the places in the YP, most are out of business or don't carry or sell it. There really aren't many options where I live, one paint your own pottery place but when I called them and explained what I wanted she thanked me for teaching her something :/ and she had little to no idea about her kilns and clearly didn't service them herself.

    I planned on coating the kaowool with the Rutland refractory cement I had, thinly applied. I might be able to find satanite for a decent price though, but ITC is out due to price right now. I just found out my grandfather has a beautiful anvil he is going to give me, I had no idea it was even in his barn! He has tons of hammers and tools for it even. I will gladly pay it forward once I get things figured out. I even thought about buying a larger roll and selling the components in smaller quantities for small projects like this. All of the talk of $30 forges and $50 knives goes out the window when you are at $25+ for just a chunk of kaowool that is 3-4x too much for the project.
     
  14. AddictedToGear

    AddictedToGear

    Aug 28, 2013
    The only thing I found local was soft firebricks for me. I had to pay a little extra on shipping, but you can get everything you need from here hightemptools.com
     

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