Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tips For Forge Welding Above 4000 Feet

Forge Welding at Higher Altitude

By the way I am at 4000 ft. I am told that it is very hard to weld with a propane forge. Is there something you can share with me on what I can use or do before I start to try this????

Most of the trouble with higher elevations is the thin air. You just need more air to compensate for the fuel required to get enough heat for the forge weld. Some people are successful with an atmospheric forge forge welding at 4000 feet. Above that it seems that they need to add a blower to increase the air (oxygen / fuel ratio) . I would try just normally but run your forge hot as possible. Higher pressure. This depends on what type of forge you have.

For forge welding here I use 20 to 25 psi although I am not very high. This does depend on your particular forge though.

If you find you do not get the temperatures required (lemon yellow at least) then you will probably have to look at adding a blower to the system, if your forge doesn't already have one.

The other thing is to put a piece of scrap plate steel down (1/8 th is fine) to cover your forge bottom to catch any drips of flux as it will eat into the ceramic fire brick or the insulation. I use 20 Mule Team Borax and that works fine for me. If you buy "Cherry Heat" or "Anti-Borax" or "EZ Weld" or other trade name flux from either Centaur forge or Pieh tool company or Blacksmith Depot (addresses in the resource section on the website, members area) this type of flux will help lower the temperature for mild steel.

I hope this helps.
David Robertson
Artist Blacksmith