New to the forums and to smithing. I see a lot of good info here, so I wanted to ask the question. To build or to buy? I've seen a lot of forges online priced $350 and up, that's a big pill for a newbie like me, so I was wondering if it'd be cheaper/smarter to build. I need everything for anvils to hammers and would like to be as economical as possible. So i did some googling, found this site, bummed around Amazon and eBay, and I noticed that buying the materials plus shipping as about the same if not more than buying a pre-made forge. Now, all I looked for was sheet metal, Fire brick (3k degree), KaoWool, and rigidizer. No itc-100, and I figure I can make some Sodium Silicate Glue. The big questions I have are: Can the Perlite-n-Playsand DIY bricks hold up to the heat as well as the Factory made? Is there a DIY KaoWool equivalent? Is the ITC necessary on the forge walls/Ceiling? I have a supply/warehouse within 15 miles of home so sheet metal and Stock shouldn't be an issue. I have drafted a forge design from some pics I have seen around, I also have several tanks around the house (Propane, air tanks, Grills) that I could chop up If my design isn't feasible, seeing as I built it around what I found on eBay for what looked like cheaper than average prices.The bricks I found are keyed so one would need cut in half to square the ends for the forge floor.
The inner cavity of my design seems to come out to: 9.5"W x 3"H x 17"L
Pics ahoy and thanks for the help in advance!
Cut Key Brick Layout.bmp