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  1. So I've been meaning to build a forge for a long time. Around ten years. I finally decided to just do it. I'm trying not to spend too much money, but I have an advantage of having a lot of junk to work with. Total I've spent so far is around $10 on a couple 1/8th pipe fittings I didn't have. Those could probably be optimized, but I went with what I could find at local stores on a Saturday. So what I've got so far is the preliminary forge blower, and the skeleton of the main forge body. The blower is made from a 1" ID x 10" piece of pipe that I found in the junk pile. I flared the ends to make a venturi. This was done with an oxy/propane torch and an old clapped out anvil horn. Then I cut some holes in the back flare, with a plasma cutter, to accommodate some 1/8th" fittings for the propane. A small hole was drilled into a coupler and pointed down the pipe. I'm not sure at the moment if the coupler is blocking too much airflow, But all I had access to the time was 2" nipples so a coupler was necessary. But anyway, these fittings are connected to and old oxy/acetylene torch hose and regulator I had laying around, and plumbed to a propane tank. I plan to solder the fittings in place so they don't move, but only after I'm happy with it. The main forge body I built out of an old air tank that has been condemned. It's not suitable as a pressure vessel anymore. I shortened it and am going to use the end cap as a door that swings up. I have an opening cut out so a hole of about 4 1/2" x 2" is open when the door is shut. I'm going to be lining it with refectory wool, and then covering with KAST-O-LITE 30 LI G PLUS, and then coating with a ceramic refectory coating. The entrance will have a firebrick at the base. I'd love to hear some feedback and suggested improvements.
  2. I am going to build a dirt box forge and I was wondering what the dimensions of the box should be. Then hopefully when I get feedback I can build this and kickstart my blacksmithing journey. Thank you
  3. Hi all, this is my first post on here and I’ve come to quite the conundrum. This is my first time trying to build a forge or any burners. I’m not any sort of propane expert and I’m trying to build a forge burner. I got my design off of youtube and have tried two different ones. Neither of them have worked even though I built them almost identical to the video. I see so many that look exactly like mine and I have tried many different things with airflow, hole size, nipple length, adjusting the psi… nothing works and I was hoping to possibly get some answers on here. Any sort of help would be greatly appreciated and thanks so much if anyone reads this! Side note: sorry if anything about this post is wrong… it’s my first time. Pics attached
  4. I was acquiring pieces for a forge and found this one at the local auction where I have been posting photos of abused anvils that have been showing up and selling for way to much... Its a buffalo Forge fire pot and electric blower . its in very good condition compared to most I've seen..it looks bigger in person then in the photos.. its 30" X 35" X 32" high... I think I got a good deal at $335.63 including fees and tax..
  5. In short, I've considered my options (I can explain if you want), and I'm planning to make a vertical sword oven using a 100 lb propane tank as the shell. Video 1, Video 2, thread. I don't plan to make it electrically controlled. I want to get swords up to critical temperature for normalizing and the quench. If I can temper them too, that's a bonus. There are some things I want to ask about/confirm. This group suggests 2 inches of kaowool for forges. I assume the same goes for this oven. It would be nice to not have to worry about airborne fibers (I'll wear a respirator if there are), but it would be difficult to apply rigidizer or castable refractory the usual way because of the size. Because this is an oven, I don't think it needs castable refractory. I think I could only use rigidizer and be safe. I think the rigidizer doesn't harden the kaowool immediately, so I think I should be able to apply rigidizer to the pieces while they're flat, then bend them into the shell and let the rigidizer dry/cure. I've read that a gallon of rigidizer will make a hard surface (but not a hard hard interior) on 25 square feet. If I were to rigidize both layers completely, it would be a lot of rigidizer, and I don't know if that would be necessary for this application. My guess is that if I were to harden the surface of all the exposed kaowool, I would be safe from airborne fibers. If that won't work, how do I make it safe? As for ITC-100, it would be a lot, I don't think I could apply it because of the dimensions, and I don't think it's necessary for this application. I have problems with my coal forge, and have been wanting to switch to propane. I thought that while at it building the oven, I could finally build a propane forge from a 20 lb propane tank. I won't be using the forge and the oven at the same time, so I considered buying one high quality burner (rather than 2 cheap burners) and moving the burner (held in with thumb screws) between the forge and the oven as needed, and eventually getting another burner if I think it's worth it. I was thinking of getting a 3/4" t-rex burner for that.
  6. Hi all! I quickly progressed from coal to gas in a matter of trying coal once. we dont agree. Anyrate. Disclaimer: I am 99% self taught so..I followed the plans laid out by a youtuber i made a gas forge and burners out of an old propane tank and some pipe. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiSgR-IJMyk) I am quite proud of myself i learned how to stick weld also. After a couple of small projects (simple tons, knife and Kukhri) im getting more comfortable really cranking the heat. I have since then got a fire brick to go inside and i stack on the backside of the forge. I am running a 30 psi regulator. Being said when i light the forge i steadly increase the gas, when i hear popping i increase it more. At one point just recently i was unable to increase my gas flow and i kept hearing the popping. A couple questions: What do i need to do to stop this? get a higher regulator? I assume my forge was too hot? I also assume if i continue to let the popping happen that is bad? Thanks in advance.
  7. during the drying process the cast-o-lite started to rub off and feel like sand did i do something wrong
  8. I have recently started making Damascus billets and in some of my research ive heard "you have to have compatible metals". I don't really understand what makes two different steels compatible for forge welding. Mainly I'd like to know what I can use out of my scrap pile (since im a farmer with 4 generations worth of scrap). I have tried an old duck foot shovel, ( basically a hoe for plowing ground ) with a stainless saw blade. These haven't really been working and I'm not sure if it's my ability to forge weld or if it's the materials. Thanks.
  9. I've been reading and attempting to internalize everything here and elsewhere while working to build out my first forge attempt. I think overall it went pretty well and I believe I did most of it correctly (feel free to correct me on that) but there are a few things I definitely could have done better. My own observations are around size, I think I made it almost twice as long as it really needed to be and I notice it struggles with even heating. Secondly, I think I've left the inside to large and I lose an enormous amount of heat out the ends. Lastly, I am not entirely certain I have a good coating of refractory in it, it definitely has no loose wool sections but it is uneven in colour so that's a bit weird to me. It's ITC-100 because that's what the local forge and farrier supply stocks, I've noticed comments around not using it but needs must. It does heat up well but takes some time and I'm not entirely sure if I am not pushing it hard enough or if I am being unrealistic but the metal I heat in it (Some 1/4" flat stock I found in a metal recycling bin) loses it's orange colour in under 30 seconds while I'm pounding on it. I don't expect to make anything yet as I'm just pounding on metal and testing the forge but it seems that I may not be getting enough heat. I don't really have a good side picture of how it's built so just ignore the brewing equipment in the background, it's not relevant until after I turn the propane off for the day. Appreciate any feedback on it. I think I'm going to build another one about 1/2 to 2/3 the same of this one and keep this as a momento/future use forge.
  10. I recently purchased a 4kg devil Forge foundry and I was wondering what MPA setting I should have it set on for the following metals Copper Brass Aluminum
  11. OK everything I just wrote dissapeard, Here is my home made power hammer, I am trying to make a living being an artist blacksmith and bronze foundry, I have also made a Pneumatic planshing hammer
  12. I was a prize idiot... I attempted and succeeded in creating a castable refractory liner for the kaowool in the helium tank forge I'm building. I needed to preserve the space inside for the work and in a hurry...I grabbed the first thing I could find. Wait for it... ...a stack of red Solo cups...(yeah, I know). I have read that diesel or gasoline can dissolve them, but I don't want to make another mistake that's WAY more dangerous. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks all!
  13. I'm new to blacksmithing, and I bought this forge link removed from Amazon for cheap because of that. I have it setup on just a standard 15lb propane tank that you would use for grilling. For smaller projects, it has worked great, I can get my material heated up fairly quickly, and at a temperature I feel is good for working and moving metal. With smaller pieces, such as an old file, rebar, or an old punch, I am able to get it heated up to a nice bright orange when set around 10psi. I would estimate around 2,000-2,200 degrees. However, I discovered some old leaf spring steel in an old shop last week, and decided to try forging a broken back seax knife with it. I can't seem to get my forge to heat it up above 1,600 degrees. It heats to a bright red to cool orange color. I feel like this is too cold, and I may definitely be wrong in that assumption. Or I may be totally overlooking a quality of this steel, as I have never worked with it. Regardless, I am still curious as to how I can get my forge to heat metal more efficiently, and at higher temperatures. Here are some things I have tried. -Covering the back opening of the forge with a layer of insulation, and firebrick. This heat the metal more evenly, as opposed to focusing all the heat directly below the burner, but didn't seem to bring the temperature of my leaf spring up very substantially. -Increasing the PSI. I have toyed with raising the pressure, which heated my material faster, but caused my tank to start icing up and losing pressure. -Testing different amounts of airflow at the intake. I have to admit I have no idea what affect this has on my forge, I have tried many different airflows, but haven't noticed a huge difference, other than the fire seems to "breathe" better with more airflow (fairly obvious). -Being patient. I've tried my hardest to just give it time, but it seems to just reach a certain temperature and just plateau. -Adjusting the height of the burner in the forge. I have read about adjusting the height of the burner, but the design only allows me about a half inch of adjustment, so I am just looking for any suggestions as to better insulate, change my burner characteristics, or anything basic that I have overlooked in my unfamiliarity with blacksmithing as a whole. Thank you all for any responses.
  14. I just bought a Fisher anvil. Haven't weighed it yet, but I was told it's about 80 pounds. It has 1882 on it. The top edges have a couple of chipped places, but not bad. I paid $150 for it, any idea if I over paid?
  15. After a year using a JABOD forge (using charcoal), I decided to solidify make a steel fire pot. I was tired of having to reform the sides because they'd crumble. So, inspired by the fire pot that Charles R. Stevens showed us in a different topic, I made my own. I work mostly on small items (hooks, leaves, etc.), so I wanted a shape that would conserve fuel as much as possible. This is why I added a slope on the wall opposite the tuyere. A slightly more complex shape but the bottom is only 2" by 3", while the top is 5" by 10". Total height is 6". First I made a cardboard mockup to be sure my plan worked: Everything looked good, so I proceeded with steel. I used pieces from a wood stove I took apart last year. The plates are 3/16" thick. Should be thick enough to last me a good while, considering that I spend less than 10 hours a week. Overall, it took me about 3 hours to cut the pieces, fit and weld them together. I immediately moved it into place in my existing forge. I only had time for a quick test burn. Worked well, although the sides are higher than what I was using by about an inch. It still took less charcoal to fill than the JABOD. Even better, it was much faster and easier to clean up. I should be able to do more complete testing tomorrow and deteemine whether I need to shorten it a bit. Once that is determined, I may add a rim to finish it. Cheers! Arthur
  16. Hi so im a not so beginner who is looking to upgrade his forge. I had a small forge made out of soft firebricks and it is a bit too small and i would like higher heats with more efficiency. Do any of you have recommendations for how to go on with my next forge? Or if I can get better efficiency with a dual burner design?
  17. So I understand that in a solid fuel forge, the refractory material for the forge lining isn't as important as for a gas forge, however, I've made a mix to line my new side blast JABOD style forge and I'd like some of you guy's opinions and advise on the matter. The mix is 2 parts clay, 2 parts lime and 1 part wood ash. I'm thinking the clay and lime will form a solid and tough structure and the wood ash and lime will help to increase the temperature I can reach without starting the melt the lining. Would this work? Or should I add something else to the mix?
  18. Hello everyone, this is my first time posting on this forum, I started forging as a hobby a couple years ago and I am a beginner in the craft. I forged three blades so far, and only the first didn't break in half and actually made it to being an actual knife, but it was very short in comparison to my third blade. The second blade broke when I tried, foolishly, to straighten it in the vise right after quenching. I come to you for advice on why my third blade broke, so here is the detailed process it went through, from forging to tempering : The steel is from a used crop lifter spring my uncle gave me after it broke : here is a description ; I attached a picture of the specific part I used; I forged it into the rough shape trying to never forge it when it wasn't at least red/orange hot, ground the profile and then the bevels until the cutting edge of the blade was around 1.5 mm thick (thickness of a dime, as many people recommend across all the forums I searched); I use a homemade charcoal forge made of refractory cement bricks; At this point the blade is 14 cm (5.51") long, 24.5 cm (9.65") long in total with the tang, 3 cm (1.18") wide and nearly 4 mm (0.16") thick in the middle with an apple seed grind; I then proceeded to heat it to bright orange before quenching it in brine (10% weight salt solution), as someone recommended on some forum, because oil quenches supposedly too slow for spring steel; the "quench tank" is a piece of PVC pipe It warped badly, so I tried straightening it by first putting it in the jaws of my vise and tightening gently (I didn't hear any cracking noise) right after the quench; Seeing it didn't do anything, I tempered it for 2 hours at 270°C (518°F), tightened between two steel plates; This straightened it a bit, but it was still badly warped, so my plan was to tighten it to a steel plate with a piece of round wire below it to give it some flex in the opposite direction of the warp, and temper it for another hour at 518°F; At this point it started clicking and cracked in half, before I even put it in the oven; Looking at the fracture surfaces, there is a purple coloration in some areas, which means a crack formed before the temper cycle and oxygen got in during the temper cycle (purple corresponding to ~270°C (518°F)). I attached pictures of the fracture surface. My problem here is that I can't determine if this crack originated from the forging or the quench. So I wanted to know if, by looking at it and knowing the process I used, you could help me determine the origins of this crack. By closely looking at the rest of the blade, I can even see another crack, on the same face of the blade as the one who lead to failure. So my conclusion is that the blade would have failed eventually, because there were cracks before the temper. My ideas of improvement are : Quench in oil; I was thinking of canola oil because I have an expired bottle of it; Regularly clean the scale during forging with an angle grinder; Try to straighten only during temper and not in the vise right after quench; I'm in my last year of a material science masters so I have a good understanding of theoretical metallurgy, so don't hesitate to go specific in your explanations. I'm sorry if I sound weird, arrogant or contemptuous but I am French and I don't write or speak English daily. This blade breaking defeated me because I was very satisfied with it. This broke my heart. I come here seeking advice in all humility. Thank you very much in advance for your time. ATTACHMENTS : I put my three pictures in this imgur url : https://imgur.com/a/WU0MAOD
  19. Hey guys! I've posted and talk about a propane tank enclosed forge me and my dad are building, but now I have some questions about our old brake drum forge we built maybe 4 years ago. It's pretty open, (Check pics) though it holds a decent enough amount of coal. But the problem is that I'm not getting enough heat. It take a long time to heat up the steel, and it's hard to heat up even just a rail road spike to bright orange. So... What can I improve on this forge to fix this? We only have the one pipe at the bottom of the forge for airflow with a little door at the bottom to let out xxxx, and I am using a little electric squirrel cage blower as a bellows. I think it might be possible that the air is hitting the metal, so it cools it off rather then just blowing the fire. I also am getting a lot of small coke and small clinkers down the pipe, but I think just welding a grate over it would fix it. What do you think? What would help? Do I need more airflow, and the airflow spread out more rather then just the one spot? Also, we don't have an anvil but we do have this big 150-200 lb. steel block that's perfect, it just doesn't have a horn. Though, I'm thinking I can just turn a cone on the lathe out of 3"-4" steel bar and weld it on. Would that work do you think?
  20. Hello all, I am new to the community and anxious to dive right into some basic metalwork. However, I need a forge first. I've played around with plenty of firepits and hair dryers before, but i'm looking to really get going with a proper forge setup. I live in the country so space and fuel type are quite flexible. My only real constraint is that I want it to be capable of forge welding low carbon steels and maybe even pure iron for when my skills hopefully reach that point. To my knowledge that requires a temperature of around 2700° F. Do you fine folks think I should build one, or buy one? And with what type of fuel source and/or blower? Thank you in advance from this humble beginner.
  21. Hey guys, I am entirely new to this and wanting to build a for out of an air compressor. My original plan was to create a rectangular first, but I have this and thought it would be a good start. I have tried to research if this is a good idea or not, but I would like some input from people who have been doing this for a while. I will not build until the new year, so I have time. Dimensions are 24" long and 6" od. I was thinking 2- 3/4" burners with 1 or 2" fiber blanket. If it's a bad idea, I think it would be a decent quench tank. Thoughts?
  22. Hello IFI, I've been passing through this forum for quite some time and as I just fired my first home built forge I though it time to join. Here's the build out list: Brake Disc, 16x30 metal cart, Buffalo blower, 2 inch piping for tuyere, clay, fire brick, and regular brick. sheet metal. I clayed the entire cart around the disc under the bricks, this leveled things out for the brick mostly, but also added a nice added layer of thermal protection to the cheap cart metal. Fire brick is cut around the disc face, giving me a pot 3.5 inches deep and 7 inches wide. Picked up the blower for a steal on auction, ugly on the outside but beautiful on the inside, once I cleaned it out and re-lubed it turns like brand new. Currently I've got a 2x4 and metal straps holding it rigid with the piping but plan to swap that for some metal brackets in the future, it was just all I had laying around at the time. Lastly I added the simple metal surround for wind protection plus the added benefit of being able to pile extra fuel up that back wall in the corners. Fired for the first time Sunday with some nice lump charcoal, wally world was having a sale so why not... As it was over 100 degrees out I mostly just beat up some rebar I had laying around before shutting things down, test firing was a huge success. I noticed a few odd hot spots underneath the cart and decided to clay in the interior of the pot as well which I should have done it to begin with anyways, but that should take care of my errant heat. We'll see in a few days when I have time to light it up again. Outside of heating things up with a torch and beating them until they submit to my will around the homestead I've only ever worked steel on a lathe and that was a few (read 20) years ago. I've done some forging of specialty tools made out of soft metals like copper and bronze in the distant past as well but never what I would call blacksmithing of anything. I've been wanting to get into this side of things for quite awhile so I'm excited about this forge build and can't wait to see how ugly my first projects turn out. Ha ha. Attaching some pics for your pleasure or verbal destruction, whichever your bent.
  23. Hello all, I'm looking at buying my first forge this week after having taken my first class and absolutely loving it. I've been trying to look into the NC Knifemakers Forge over the Whisper Momma based on some complaints I've seen on the Whisper Momma not getting to forge welding temperature very easily. Does anyone have any experience with this forge? I can't find any previous threads talking about this one. If you have any thoughts let me know! (I'm looking to buy rather than build because I've been buying materials for a few weeks and loved my first forging session and would like to get started. I have no welding experience and I feel like it would take quite a while to build my own. Therefore I've just been trying to find what I can best get for my money that isn't going to be a gas hog or cheap firebrick forge like a diamondback.) Thanks!
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