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I Forge Iron

Hybrid Forge?

John Martin

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This is simply me thinking based on observations while forging.

I have a gas forge, and do a lot of knifemaking and damascus in it. Of course, oxidation is problem no matter what you are using for a fuel source. So to help cut down on oxidation in the gasser, I throw a few pieces of coal and charcoal in the back of the forge to help eat of the oxygen, and help create a neutral environment. Sometimes I have accidentally thrown a little bit more solid fuel in than I had wanted. I have noticed that at those times, the forge has started to burn higher, and I can lower the PSI by like one pound or so.

So now my question is, does or would it make sense to create a hybrid forge that ran on both gas and a solid fuel? The only negative thing that I have noticed is that with charcoal is still burns at the same rate. With coal, I can turn the gas off while I am forging with a lever that came with the forge, and the coal will continue to burn keeping the forge at the same temperature. Does this sound like a bad idea, good idea, plausible? Do I just have to start tinkering around? What are your guys' thoughts on this idea?


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I don't believe I would pursue that since it will require 2 sources of fuel. I like simplicity until it is cheaper to get complex.

It is plausible, possible and well within the limits of safety and reason. It may give you a new insight into forge construction that will pay dividends down the road. No telling what you may learn. I kind of view it as a ceramic forge but with consumable 'ceramics'

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An interesting idea that industry pays good money for engineers to find out. How do we optimize our operation? (reduce the fuel bill). A good part of that answer is in record keeping. A diary format was how I approached a similar situation with ammunition. I would change loads and record the data, it was very valuable when I later had a brainstorm and discovered I had already tried it. :)

I can't help you on your question specifically, my instinct is that this is an academic project, not much cost savings realized for the effort involved. YMMV. May work out very well for you.

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