Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Single-brick forge burner efficiency


Bowmaod

Recommended Posts

After cracking piece after piece of steel from heating it in the dirty coal I bought, I decided to make the move to other fuels. I have a propane burner I pulled together about a year ago, but it's actually more of a flamethrower... it doesn't work very well. Anyway, I'm thinking about a single-brick or coffee-can propane forge to run alongside my charcoal forge.

I saw that single-brick forges generally run on small plumbers torches. How well do these torches work as forge burners? Are they actually a valid way to run a forge, or are they more of a novelty? I'm especially concerned about cost, because I can make a standard propane burner in a day with a little amount of work, but a lot of the stuff I do is small, and I hope to get into bladesmithing eventually, so I'd rather use charcoal for big projects and a tiny propane forge for little things.

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started with a big plumbers torch in insulating bricks. and you will get enough heat to move metal, but no where near close enough for a weld.
they are a waste of time in my opinion.
Frosty has a design floating around that is easy and cheap (under $15) each. http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/12176-i-pumped-frosty-for-information-and-made-this/ for a whole link on the topic.
There are others as well
I have made more than a dozen of them, and they are great, cheap and very hot.
I use mine as much as possible because the efficiency. My big 4 burner get little use these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! That's perfect. I was looking for the most efficient burner, and this looks like it will do well (and save me the trouble of making a ton of charcoal). The other propane burners I found were such a hassle to make...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used a single soft firebrick and plumbing torch forge to make nails and hot forge silver as I could do it inside my drafty old (stone walled) basement in Ohio during the winters.

I found that it was quite acceptable as long as you were not in a big hurry. Getting an adapter to run a small torch off a BBQ tank brings the fuel cost way down!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may see if can get my hands on a plumbers torch. It seems like a good thing to have.

One final question (I think) - what is the average price I can expect for running a bucket-sized propane forge? I read somewhere that a 20# tank will last around 8 hours of forging. Is that a good rule of thumb for propane?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


One final question (I think) - what is the average price I can expect for running a bucket-sized propane forge?


I don't understand this question.



I read somewhere that a 20# tank will last around 8 hours of forging. Is that a good rule of thumb for propane?


Depends.... on the size of the gas orifice, on the pressure (PSI) of the gas, whether blown or naturally aspirated, on your ability to judge heat and/or forge atmosphere, how the forge is constructed/interior forge chamber in cubic inches/insulated/size of the openings/ceramic fiber coating/use of ITC-100, size of stock, welding or forging/etc.. I run two half inch Michael Porter style burners in a freon tank forge and get about 15 hours from a 20# bottle of gas. I light it at 5 psi and reduce to about 3psi once the forge is 'at temp'. Your mileage will vary. I forge knifeblades and don't weld.
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I don't understand this question.

Depends.... on the size of the gas orifice, on the pressure (PSI) of the gas, whether blown or naturally aspirated, on your ability to judge heat and/or forge atmosphere, how the forge is constructed/interior forge chamber in cubic inches/insulated/size of the openings/ceramic fiber coating/use of ITC-100, size of stock, welding or forging/etc.. I run two half inch Michael Porter style burners in a freon tank forge and get about 15 hours from a 20# bottle of gas. I light it at 5 psi and reduce to about 3psi once the forge is 'at temp'. Your mileage will vary. I forge knifeblades and don't weld.


Oh, sorry. I was just asking how much money I would expect to spend on propane. I did some basic calculations and got around 10 hours per 20# tank at ~$17 per refill, which gives $1.70 per hour of burner use. Not too bad, but still more expensive than making my own charcoal, which is expected.

Thanks, everyone.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...