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I Forge Iron

Newbie - Problems with my burners in new forge


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Hey there.  I am absolutely crash-coursing into forge making and metal working.  I've gone through several crude forge designs and worked up to my current concept, that is a bit ambitious. 

I am having an absolutely ridiculous time getting by burners working properly.  I am going to attach pictures to show what I have going on.  Basically I have a 36" can lined with fire brick and refractory cement, that part holds heat so well!   Then I use a 20# tank, low pressure regulator off of one of those tank-top heating burners, 3/8 OD hard copper lines, going to .35 MIG tips for burners.  I have tried anywhere from 1 to 6 burners, different amounts of air holes in the 'venturi' area.  So many things. 

Last night, with this setup I had two burners spaced about 5" apart working quite well.  Finally all blue flames.  But it's very temperamental and seems to end up choking itself out.  When they work, they work well - but it's only in tiny spurts of good fortune.  They definitely seemed to be running way too lean, and I increased the venturi holes by 400% and that is what really set it running better than ever.  The second burner from the entrance chokes back too much though, and basically was only heating steel red-hot under directly under the first one.  Running only one burner seems to just be too much gas.  Two works the best.  Should I have a flare on the end of the tubes?  I've seen mixed things about this.  Do I need to open up the back end of the forge... with more than 2 burners, and even with two sometimes there is excess fuel going into the chamber, and will sometimes choke out the flame.  


My main concerns at this point are should I have flares on the ends, and is it reasonable to think I need to knock a brick out of the 'back' wall to keep back pressure from building up in the chamber.


Please help!  I've wasted hundreds of $ already on parts through my trouble shooting and I'm admitting defeat.  This is just way too complex to simply teach myself like many things I've done. 






Edited by DamSutt1986
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Buy a commercial forge.

Buy commercially made forge burners

Use proper regulators

Size the burners to the cubic of the forge

Attend a gas forge building workshop

Remember the rule that if you don't know what your are doing you must copy a known good plan EXACTLY and I do mean EXACTLY in every detail

Without telling us the details of your burner problems how do you expect us to help?

Just stop by my shop and I can show you what I have been forging with for the last 15 years---you must be local as you didn't list your location...

BTW that forge looks quite large what do you plan to forge with it?

Edited by ThomasPowers
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It's about 575 cubic inches.  Here is a video that shows how differently it runs even after a few minutes.  The doorway burner runs decent but not enough power and hiccups up into the vent holes... the inside burner rarely ignites. 



Edited by DamSutt1986
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I'm far from an expert - but I built my own forge.

Goggle Zoeller Forge. That may not be the best design out there - but it works. Make a coffee can forge for starters if you are making a knife. Follow the information provided on his site. You need to make your forge much smaller and need multiple burners. Do some more research - you can do it. In my opinion - before you actually start heating metal and hammering - sit down and do a lot of reading and watch some youtube. You will be much less frustrated if you do that first.

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Trying to reinvent the wheel is expensive. There are I don't know how many plans for working burners available. IF you look. If you're going to just dive in without knowing what you're doing how do you expect to understand anything we tell you?

Seriously you've posted an excellent example if an idea without a plan. You don't know what questions to ask, don't know anything but that it doesn't work and show us pics that don't mean anything, yet expect us to tell you how to "fix" it?

I refer you to Thomas's advice to buy a commercially manufactured forge, you have to know more than you do now to just buy burners.

Frosty The Lucky.

Edited by Frosty
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Lolz. You're a funny guy.  I'm confused as to why you couldn't just come in with even one productive idea, comment, suggestion, request for additional information... anything really?

There is extensive information on this site describing a number of different atmospheric burner designs.   You should perhaps consider that your attitude and lack of basic information annoys many of the smiths here.  I have my own peculiar design system that I've never posted because I don't have the patience to answer postings like yours. 

Well I apologize sirah I shant waste your time with my coy insults. That they astonish you makes my point better than I could on my best day.

As you wish.

Frosty on the other hand has gone out of his way to develop and explain a very simple and basic burner system that works extremely well.  That you have failed to investigate his posts frustrates him I'm sure and makes me feel that you don't want to learn.  You are like the rich man that brings a car in with no oil in the engine and wonders why the dealer doesn't want to honor the warrantee. " I don't care if you think it is my fault!  Just fixit at not cost to me!"

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No worries, I found the beginning of the solution.  Removing 1/3 of a brick in the back reduced (I assume) backpressure and greatly increased the conditions in the forge.


As far as my attitude, it was quite good to start with =) I spent hours in the chat room and had plenty of good conversation.  On the contrary (to the car analogy)... I brought my car to the shop and said "I can usually do pretty well.. but I seemed to have missed something in my repair, any idea what it was?"  The shop could have just said 'Well did you bleed the air out of the coolant lines after you replaced the pump?" And I would say 'Ohhhhh buddy that's what I missed!  Totally slipped my mind!"



I understand Frosty has a great design that people world-wide use.  I'm sure he's a great addition to your community and that's awesome.  I simply chose not to use his design, or his sour attitude.  If you're annoyed by a post, just don't respond.  If you don't have enough information, but truly want to help, simply ask for the information you need.  Only one person actually asked for more info while the rest that complained just wasted my time, complaining.

I am a chef, beekeeper, woodworker and more.  I aspire to make knives, so I will.  For anyone that doesn't venture into new territory and isn't willing to learn new things, well that's just not me.

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I agree with you damsutt why can't these people just tell you what you want to know? Can't they see your a world renowned chef? Hells bells my exwife could cook a mean pot of mac N cheese, sometimes she would even put some cut up gourmet hotdogs in it!!! And a bee keeper besides, does that make you as smart as a black bear? I bet your no where as cute tho. And a woodworker to boot, you certinaly seem to be as anoying as a woodpecker. 

Even as a brand new newbie here, I can spot huge issues with your design, most of which have been addressed in many a post here including your own. 

So serious question if I may, with starting with a 36 inch drum for your knife making forge... which mythical creatures do you have your eye set upon slaying with your new magical knives? May I suggest staying away from dragons as everyone knows you need to start with no less then a 48 inch drum forge for them.

Personaly i find unicorns to put up the best fight closely follwed by centaurs.

So seriously if you would like my advice.... the first thing you should do is head on over to the disccusion group at Iamafriggingenius.com and be sure and tell them how smart you are... then after figuring out your a frigging idiot in your newest endeavor I would come back here and read and when you get done reading.....read some more, then......read for three more days, by that time you might just realized you have insulted the man that seems to have helped almost everyone on this site.... in every section

In other words.....do some home work than ask for help.

Okay thomas, frosty, thor,and all you others go on say it your all thinking it....... where is the great cranky with his beheamuth I  can do anything attitude?

I took the short cut to figureing out I'm a idiot by listening to you all. (Fingers were crossed, i know I'm great still)

One other thought dude.... dont try to reinvent the wheel too much...... with thousands and thousands of people before you making forges it seems almost all the new ideas have been ussed already....just give your new forge a KISS.... and for gods sake dont slip it no tongue!!!

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Damsutt I wish you the best of luck.

I offered you a specific link that could possibly be helpful to you because it helped me. I had way too much coffee yesterday and was in an euphoric state when I thought it was a good idea to post a comment on this thread - looking at it today - I should have just kept clicking my mouse and moved on.....

Sorry for the confusion there - I have no helpful input that can possibly solve your forge issues. Maybe your forge will work, maybe not......  I'd say you are in for some hardships with it.

Frosty - I commend you for being patient and posting on new people's posts - you were very helpful to me.

If you post here - and are new - be humble and be receptive to criticism - you are going to get it because you don't have it all figured out. Do your homework before you post or expect to be humbled.

You can learn a lot from guys that have magnitudes of knowledge and first hand experience in trial and error.

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  • 3 months later...

The simple answer for you is to extend how far that MIG tip reaches into the burner by adding a 1/8" schedule #80 gas pipe for it to screw into "which then screws into the fitting; cut off one end and and run internal thread for the MIG tip), so that the end of the tip is about 1/4" behind the forward edge of the most  forward air hole. No doubt you've read that air slots are better than multiple air holes, and rectangular air openings are better still; these things are true, but your main problem is that all those air holes are forward of the gas jet; poor air induction is the result.

I think you'll also need burner flares (AKA flame nozzles) added to your burners, because the forge interior is probably too large to develop sufficient back-pressure to stabilize  the flame without a flare.


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