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Blower driven propane burner

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I was wondering if anyone might be able to point me to some good information regarding a blower driven propane burner... Cheaply made, of course ;) I have found literally tons of info on atmospheric venturi type burners, but for some reason that doesn't seem very appealing to me. Has anyone constructed a burner with something small & simple like a hair dryer for a blower? I have seen many mentions of a hair dryer for the blast in a coal forge, but almost no info at all on blower driven gas burners..

Also, any info on where to find castable refractory would be great.. Not a specific place, but what kinds of stores/supply co. carry that stuff so that maybe I could open up the yellow pages and know what to look for.


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Well, I have not yet built a forge.. Just trying to do my homework before I commit to anthing.. At this point, I have decided on a gas forge.. As romantic as coal may be, I think gas would be easier for a newb like myself to learn with.. I'd rather be banging some iron than trying to learn how to tend the coals properly.. With the reading I have done, it just seems it would suit my needs better..

So, my intentions are to construct a simple round forge, similar to the freon bottle design.. Not sure of the exact size yet as it will depend on what kind of scrap tank I find.. I want it to be big enough for general hobby work, but small enough that I am not using/wasting more fuel than I need to for the small pieces of stock I will be using to develop basic smithing skills.

I am thinking 6-8" ID, and 12" +/- length depending on what I end up with for a shell.. Lining it with kaowool, then castable refractory.. Maybe coating it with itc when $ permits.. Nothing too special..

As for getting the refractory, thank you for the link, however I only wanted to have to order it as a last resort. Maybe I'm just being cheap, but I'd rather not have to pay for 55lbs of shipping (and have to wait) if I can help it and was hoping someone might know what kind of stores would carry it locally.

Getting back to the original subject of blown propane burners, I guess what I should have been asking is how do you know how much cfm is enough for the task? I would probably be using a burner tube of 3/4" - 1".. I checked out your website, Mike (Nice knives!), and see that you have a pretty good size blower on your forge.. Would a simple hair dryer do the job on yours?

I'm not against getting a real blower, but am trying to build a forge as cheaply as possible (who isn't?), while having it be big enough for me to have some growing room, and lasting a long time.. I know a hair dryer won't last forever, but replacing a $2 thrift store hair dryer is no biggie..

Probably one of those things where I just need to build it and tinker with it, huh..

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One can be made cheap by using 1.5" ntp black pipe.


that's a picture of the burner I use on my welding forge. Get a thick end plug for the T and drill and tap it for 1/4 pipe, then screw a pipe into each side, on the inside, cap the 1/4 pipe with a cap that has a 1/8th hole drilled in the end. This burner has worked great in a large number of forges. The gate valve lets you controll the airflow, and the needle valve lets you better tune the propane into it.

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My forge is very similar to the one that Thomas has posted. Ten Hammers how is the blown burner working out? Maybe you can post some pics here and tell Leviathan what you did.

When using castable refractory you do not need kaowool or ITC. Also keep in mind castable refractory needs to be about 3" thick. I used 2 55 pound bags on my forge which is 18" X 12" tube with a 6" ID. The problem you will have with a hairdryer is the forge you are talking about maybe to much volume for it. You may not get enough heat from it. Also being plastic it may melt when you shut the forge off as the heat from the forge goes right back thru the burner.

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For refractory, look in the phone book for refractory contractors. I found one in my own town, and two others within 45 minutes driving. All three had no problem selling me things like insulating firebrick and insulating castable. One had Kaowool, but only in 1-inch wide strips. He said they occasionally get wider stuff in and to check back. I went with castable, though. But they only charge what they paid for it and were very pleasant to deal with.

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