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Hello IFI community! 


First off I'm James (JTD on other forums), and am from SC. 

About me; big time outdoors enthusist - Hunting, fishing, hiking, bushcraft, and primative skills.. I love them all! I'm married, and a father of 3 crazy kids.  This past year we moved from MT to SC..not quite the same kind of wilderness I like, and way more mosquitos than I prefer, and I've been home watching tv way more than I like.  With that, I needed a hobby to stay sane.  I've tried making file knives before, but was very distracted with other hobbies.. well I'm back too it full steam this time.  I've made a couple "better" knives now, and I only see knife making growing on me more.  

My goals so far for knife making are; Learn alot, and make solid users.  If they look good that would be even better.  

Originally I wanted to buy a grizzly grinder, and a kiln, but with some internet influence, and lack of funds I've decided to scavenge/build a forge or two, and some grinders.  Google brought me here, and now hope to learn alot and build some stuff!









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Good to have you here with us James.


Lots of good info on knives  and such here. Sit back in a nice comfy chair with some snacks and a cold beverage or two and sift thru a bunch of the older threads and you will find tons of answers to questions you haven't even though of yet. When you have questions feel free to ask, and be sure to post plenty of picts. We all love to see others work, even if it looks "ugly". Many guys with experience can probably spot some of your issues just by looking at your work. It comes from see those mistakes happen over and over as others learn, or from having made those same mistakes themselves in the past.

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Thanks guys!  Will be doing much research here for sure.. 

My current project ideas/needs are: gas forge, break drum forge and a 2x72 belt grinder. 

So far I've obtained 3 motors for grinders/buffers.  A couple old torch tanks for outdoor gas forges,  A hand cranked bellow(?) for an outdoors solid fuel forge. But first, I'm gonna attempt to build an ammo can forge. I have some hard fire place brick that didn't work well as a 1 brick gas forge, So I'm planning on packing them into an ammo can for a smaller setup  that I can use Inside my garage.     


Of course pictures are a must.. so heres some whats currently on my work bench. 


















And heres some of the good and ugly past work!










Thanks for the link NS. 

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You could probably use a bigger burner. I'd either look for a larger commercial plumbers propane/air torch or build/buy a burner and hook them to a 20 lb propane cylinder. Those bricks will soak up a fair amount of heat. If you want to stay with taht small torch, you probably need to go to an fiber insulated  type forge set up.



As far as the old gas cylinders, I'd personally keep them and use them. My gas supplier will swap out just about any small ( under 125 cf ) cylinder I take in that's in good shape. They'll even swap gasses from one type to another as long as the cylinder size is close. Having a small OA torch set up can be a big help, and if you buy a mig or tig welder, you'll want a cylinder. I usually can find guys who are looking to get into welding that are more than willing to pay decent money for a cylinder. A 40 cf acet from the supplier runs almost $85 and a 40 CF O2 or mig gas  cylinder runs almost $120. Bigger ones are worth even more.  It's not all that hard to find guys who will pay 1/4 to 1/2 that to have a cylinder to trade in and save some money. Lots of times if I'm 100% certain the guy will buy, I'll take the cylinder over and swap it for a full one so the buyer gets a current hydro and full cylinder that he's sure can be exchanged and just add the fill cost to the sale price. I just call ahead and verify what it's going to cost me to swap out the cylinder.


Sell a few on CL and use the money to finance your addiction to hot metal.

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At least get the conversion unit to run your torch off a BBQ sized bottle *MUCH* cheaper!


1 firebrick forges are based on soft insulative firebrick, using hard firebrick is like using  them for window panes: sure they can fit but they don't work well to see out of!

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Thanks DSW for your reply.

I'm gonna research and order some ceramic blanket this weekend.  Agreed completely I need a bigger burner, found a few good YT videos about making them yourself.. If that fails I'll look into buying one.  As for tanks, I have a spare 20lb propane tank with lines for forge fuel, also a couple small acetylne tanks. May look into swapping them like you mentioned.



  Hi to you too, TP!  Thanks for the tips.

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Hello and welcome, I too am from MT and I too am named James, and yes I too am a new user. :blink: Any ways, seems like you know more of what you are doing then I do. If you don't mind me asking, what was you thinking of for the ammo can? I have a few of those as well and might be interested in something that size. As for your small firebrick forge, you might want to think about putting another firebrick on each side of the forge. IMO it will help with heat loss, thus making your forge hotter/more efficient, and use less gas for you. Great work so far.

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Thanks Samcro, and Jayrocko.


Ya thats pretty wild James!  I lived in GF too.   Are you AF?


I will post some pictures up of what I make for you. Others can critique it as well, that would be much appreciated.


I'm gonna try two ammo can forges.


One will be a smaller mini forge.. small insolated tube inside a 5.56 can with some kind of mount for my bernzomatic TS4000 torch head.


The other will be in a bigger can with a bigger torch some kind of sheet/brick insulation and a refactory floor, I have a couple door hinges I plan to mess around with as well. 


Those hard bricks where hell to grind, I gave them a try just because they where cheap at Tractor Supply.. I need to source some koawool, and order some this weekend.


One other newb question I have.. I search and couldn't find an answer.


I picked up a high pressure cast iron burner (for a deep fryer) from ACE today... any chance it would work for a forge burner?  

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Ha GF too? Nope not AF just born/raised here. Dad and I (and well most the family) shoot a lot so we would buy in bulk. Or these I have might just be left overs from my dads days of serving.


I'm thinking the work I will want to do would be too big for the ammo can idea then but I still want to see it when you have it done in case I change my mind.


It would be best if you posted a pic of the burner IMO. Not that I would be able to answer it, seeing as I know just a drop in a bucket as of right yet. Might want to tell the BTU if its listed as well.

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