This is one of those projects thats been hanging around forever. I got this Johnson Gas Furnace at the CAMS Yard Sale a couple of years ago; it was lounging on Steve’s front porch- a freebee that someone never picked up. I jumped at the chance to get it; I had been wanting to explore the world of gas forging for a while (didn’t have too much luck with coal). The lid was cracked in about four pieces (the lifting ring had rotted through), and the gas regulator was missing. I looked into getting the gas rig for it, and quickly found out that a replacement would be upwards of a thousand bucks. Time to get inventive.
OK: that stub sticking out of the left side is not a factory fitting. Its part of the solution to the gas dillemma.
I pulled the original gas port out, and decided to hot rod this furnace. I have done a little casting with Aluminum, and thought I’d like to try some brass. Given the cost of getting the factory gas set up, I needed to come up with a better arrangement. This involved chiseling out some of the fire brick, and installing a larger fire port for the new “powerplant”.
This is the new heat source; a Beckett oil furnace burner. I got this from a friend (known good burner), and plan to fire it with Eric’s Bio-Diesel maybe mixed with some waste oil. This should give me enough BTUs to melt brass (and probably anything else I decide to get into).
Heres another shot of the burner. It was serviced just before I bought it, and came with the filter set up, all I will have to come up with is a fuel tank.
This thing has been sitting around my shop for about two years now, and its time to get it put together.
I spent a few hours (off and on) enlarging the inlet port for the Beckett burner, and fitting the pipe to the furnace. Tonight I packed the pipe with 2200 degree insulation, and will make a flange to mate the burner to furnace body. I will need to trim the pipe, and mount the flange to the end, so that the burner can be removed for service.
A while back I fabricated a new lifting ring for the lid; it was broken in four pieces, and the ring (too lightweight) had rotted through. The heavier ring holds the pieces together, with no need for cement to bond them. I have been scraping the ugly off this furnace for a while. I work on it when the spirit moves me, but its still butt ugly. I have some barbeque black paint that will get the job done, but that will wait till the work is done.
Heres the lid slid over to one side, to remove the crucible. The repair works real nice; its effortless.
And with the lid on the other side. It will be a couple of weeks before the refractory is dry enough to fire off, but to be honest; it may be a while before I get this one finished.I cleared a big hurdle tonight, but it will be a while before this job is done. I scrape a little ugly off, chip out some loose refractory, make a new bracket……..etc………….. I’m getting close to mounting the burner, and that will be the big step. Once that is done, I won’t have too many more excuses for not getting the job finished. The biggest problem I have now is waiting till the insulation is dry before I start messing with the burner mount.