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Purpose of New Thread: Documenting my failures and successess while attempting to build my first propane forge. Very detailed for anyone who is super new like me. There is no reason to read or follow this thread any further if you are an expert at building forges and blacksmithing. This thread should be beneficial for those who have very minimal skill and knowledge related to blacksmithing, like me, but are now falling in love with the craft. When I say minimal, I mean limited tools, limited knowledge of how to use certain tools, and your wife will not allow you to even unclog the toilet BC she fears what may follow! If that describes you, then you and I can relate with one another. After spending several days reading through multiple threads on this site, I learned a few things. First, there are a TON of EGOs in the blacksmithing community. Do not let the keyboard warriors scare you from the valubale resources this site has to offer. Two, do not expect someone to be nice to you because you just now learned about blacksmithing and want to build katana swords BC you binge watched 3 seasons of Forged in Fire. Three, don't ask questions unless you have researched the problem thoroughly and are still lost. You will get an answer, but it probably won't be what you were expecting. (If someone retorts what I write about that, then go read a few threads because you obviously haven't read any.) Four, spend time putting your bio together so people know where you are from. I've already had some local reach out to me and I'm looking forward to working together with him some day. Again, I'm still learning all the "unwritten rules" as I go along, but I learned most of them by reading through several threads. I would recommend you do the same. Soooooo, let me begin by saying I love watching Forged in Fire. I've read a few posts in here and we may be in the minority by admitting we like the show. Because of some of the comments I've read, I have embraced the idea of being called a "Forged in Fire" TV smith. If we survive not blowing everyone up, we may one day pound some metal into an object! However, my son and I love the show and are eager to learn more. So that's how I ended up here. Along with this site, I watch a ton of YouTube videos for building forges and blacksmithing. Some are better than others, but I learned more by reading the Forge 101 posts here. Which brings me to the forge build... Before I learned about this site I started building a forge out of a propane tank. (See pic) Be super careful cutting these bad boys up. Again, we are not expected to survive long, so don't give us TV Smith's a bad name. Just make sure to bleed the propane out of the bottle, clean it, and "air it out" for a few days before hacking away. I cut away both ends of the tank and was left with 12 inches in total length . I used a handsaw BC I didn't want to risk the sparks and propane having a party together in my garage. I then researched forge liners on google and found kawool was an option. I bought some on amazon and thought this was super easy. I then quickly found out you need to wear a good mask while working with this stuff. No, the little white mask that old people wear will not work. Drop the coin on a nice mask because you will use it A LOT! Do not go cheap on this. Sell a kidney if you must, but save your lungs with a proper mask. Your kids will need one at all times too. The liner was actually really easy to put on. As you can see in the picture, I thought I had it all figured out....... then I stumbled onto this website and quickly realized I'm really unprepared to make a forge, let alone an efficient forge for my needs. So hopefully you learn from my mistakes and read through all of this before you start a build. Now I'm going to finish the build I started because I want to see this through. After reading a few posts, I learned that you need to do some math and learn how to measure in cubic inches. If you are like me, I have no clue what that is, but I dare not ask here, so I went back and asked my friend Google. I like Google because it doesn't judge my stupidly. Long story short, it's how big the inside of my forge is. The reason this is important is because there is a guy who goes by the name Frosty, who posts all kinds of information on this site. He even has a burner that he created and gives very detailed plans of it under the forge tab. (Forge > Frosty "T" Burner) He basically tells you how big the forge needs to be, in order for his burner to efficiently heat the forge. In my case, I need to make the measurements and find out because I don't know. Being stupid, I just rushed into building the burner because I assume it's a one size fits all kinda deal. Now I know the forge needs to be somewhere in the ranges of 300 - 350 cubic inches. If I'm saying that wrong, don't worry, I will be corrected within hours. Point being, check out the post related to the Frosty T Burner
This weekend my local blacksmithing group held a forge welding workshop for 2 days. The projects consisted of flux spoons, fire pokers, chain links, heart hooks and cable damascus. I have attached the images of my heart hook, "flux spoons" and cable attempts. The heart hook isnt perfect but im really happy with how the weld came out. The cable was interesting because we did not do the method i usually see. Most of the time i see people weld up the ends of the cable to prevent splitting then they heat the cable and twist it together tighter before welding it flat using the anvil. The way we were taught was to use the u shapped depressions in a swage block and hammer into the swage depression while rotating the bar. It seemed to work pretty well and i am excited to work the piece out now to see what i really have.