Propane Forge in Action....w/ Pics

davidwczerrDecember 29, 2004

I wanted to post a few pictures of the propane forge in action. It seems to work pretty well. It takes probably about 10 minutes to reach full heat and by then the cement is glowing orange. I run the propane regulator at about 12psi to heat it up, then drop it down to about 8-10psi.

If I were to do it over again, there are a few things I would change, and will most likely incorporate into the larger forge I will be building soon:

1. I would start off with a larger diameter pipe so I could use a thicker refractory cement shell to better insulate it. Right now I've got about 1.25" of cement and a 1/4" thick ceramic fiber blanket and I think I lose too much heat through the body of the forge.

2. I would have two burners to more evenly heat the forge. Right now it's about 13" long inside and there's about 4" right under the burner where stuff will heat up very quickly; outside of that zone it takes longer. Plus I have to put pieces in at least 6"-8" to reach the "hot spot" so having two burners would create a hotter zone closer to the door.

I would use the refractory cement again......I just don't see how the kao-wool type blankets would hold up to hot, sharp pieces of steel being jabbed into the forge. Anyhow, here are some pictures of her in action, along with a picture of the anvil stand I made. David

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Very nice job on the forge. With a good anvil and forge you are ready to pound metal. Have fun and send more pictures when you make some forged items. You could put a fire brick on the back opening to save some heat.

What size orfice did you use with the pipe?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2004 at 6:47PM
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The back of the forge has an opening just like the front, 3.5" square. The only difference is that the back is made of flat plate steel instead of the rounded front pipe cap. There is a sliding door on the back, and I've found that it burns best (especially for the first 10 minutes when warming up) with the back door cracked open about an inch.

The burner consists of a 2"x1" reducer welded to a piece of 3/4" pipe about 7" long with a stainless steel burner flare on the business end. The gas is jetted in through an 0.023" MIG tip that is screwed into the end of a 1/8" nipple. I tried to use a 0.35", but is seemed to allow too much propane through, which in turn sucked in too much air and the flame tended to blow itself out. Others have had sucess with the larger MIG tips that I've found on the internet.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2004 at 6:55PM
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Thanks for sharing!
I always wanted to build something like that, was ones in a black smith course and got some Ideas.
I would build mine kind of square, nicer to lay things into it and you can line it nice with thick fire
The burner, I would stick from the side, perhaps far end, don't remember, yours might be a bit too far on top, [heat escape]
As for the burner, I remember, they used a cone steel tube, from a table, [Leg]

    Bookmark   December 30, 2004 at 12:26AM
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david - handsome forge, anvil, and stand. the setup i have is similar(including anvil stand & apparent anvil size). i will post some photos soon. you mentioned above that next time you would use refractory cement again instead of ceramic blanket. i used 1" durablanket and coated it with plistix, which (i think) is a refractory cement, and cut a firebrick to match the contour of the bottom. no problems with steel ripping things up so far... i am already planning my next forge as well. at this point, i have a propane cylinder from a forklift i am considering using as a shell (+/- 14"o.d.; 3/16" wall). i am up in the air as to whether i will attempt using castable refractory or going with 2" ceramic blanket w/ refractory cement coating. also, i think i may need 3 burners as opposed to 2. this brings up a suggestion - if/when you build a forge with 2 burners, make a moveable backwall so that (in combination with isolating the burners in your plumbing scheme), you can run both or just one of the burners. also, one thing i incorporated was the use of a bypass loop w/ needle valve for when i am working material and don't need full heat.

sorry for the carrying on.... a question for you - i have heard that it can be a bit tricky when using castable to form the space for the burner flare - that the hole made thru the castable should should match the flare exit angle. did you get involved with this?

thanks and again, very nice work

    Bookmark   December 30, 2004 at 7:44AM
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Very nice forge. I am trying to start making one. How do you insulate the inside it is been hard to find info. What kind of casing can be used.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 3:49PM
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