RustyBuffalo

Gas / propane forge advice (new to gas)

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Hello folks, this is my first post on here. To give you a quick background: I don't have much internet access (phone only for now) so excuse me if I've missed other threads with similar specifications. Up to now I've only worked with coal forges, but due to my recent move, it won't be possible to run coal SO I've decided to build a gas forge. I've seen tons of options on here concerning size, shape, and number of burners. Now I don't know exactly what info you need to answer my questions, but I work with mostly round and square stock from 1/2" to 1", and do lots of scroll bending and twisting. With my current forge I am working with up to 12" of material at a time with multiple pieces in the fire because sometimes I have more than one person working in the shop.

 Here is my plan so far: I have a surplus of 8"x8"x10" refractory blocks. I will be cutting them in half to use as my lining. I also plan to build frosty's T burner plan as the burner(s).

My questions are A) how many burners should I run and B ) how big should I build the forge? 

 

Thanks in in advance for any input.

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One of the defects of gas forges is that they are difficult to adapt to  forging large two and three dimensional forms,  Is coke not an option?

 

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Go to the Forge Supplies page at www.WayneCoeArtistBlacksmith.com and study the attachments there.  The attachment Build a Gas Forge will not only explain how I like to build a gas forge it will tell you how to get around the issue of forging scrolls and other items that will not fit into a typical gas forge.  Fire Bricks make good doors on your gas forge but hard bricks are heat sinks and will use lots of gas, soft bricks don't hold up well to the temperatures of a gas forge.

One of the biggest mistakes beginning gas forge builders tend to make is to want to build the forge to large.  You can only forge about 6" at a time so with a large forge you are just burning excess gas and forming excess scale.

Let me know if I can help you. 

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Thanks for the info. After doing some more research it looks like I will be building another, bigger coal forge rather than the gas forge at this point. As per Wayne's instructions (thank you very much, super informative) I'll be building a gas forge similar to what you've constructed for the mobile welding/fabrication workshop i teach in the summer. For the winter however i'm going to burn normal smithing coal and vent it high. My concern was that where I moved to (house and shop) that my neighbors might not be keen on the smoke. After talking with some folks in the neighborhood it seems like it wont be an issue.

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Rusty

Here are a few others view on gas vs coal. 

I learned on coal , (ABS 1987),but for what I do ,propane works better as I can control the oxidization of the steel (Damascus)(mokume gane) that I am working on. I can see it better rather than buried in coal or coke plus the heavy toxic metals that coal kicks out and soot everywhere . I hope that this has helped or given you a few more views.

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