Mrhinchey

Johnson Gas Appliance Company bench soldering forge

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Well know company with a long history  As we don't know squat about how you want to use it how would we be able to advise if it would be great or a goat?

If you use large soldering coppers and don't like using ones with a cord on them then they are great *IFF* you don't have an old one lined with asbestos.

It is ***NOT*** a forge.

Most old ones need re-lining---which will deal with any asbestos issues IF you take proper precautions doing it.  However it is more work and expense. Most of the ones I have seen were set up for Natural Gas and the orifice would need to be re-drilled for propane if YOU want to use it with propane.

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Ive a really nice one got off ebay for 100$, surprised to find it was in really nice condition and the refractory was not even cracked.  Has 2 burners and takes a lot of gas to get hot.   IMO   for forging Id say there are way better options, for soldering, Id say there are way better options.  For melting its pretty good as long as it's a low melting point.   I got it just to have, i guess.  I dont really use it anymore since I have bigger better ways of doing the job.   Hope this helps. 

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Got mine for US$5 at a school sale; never used it and gave it away when I moved. (and my house was plumbed for gas---had gas lights and heaters at one time...)

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Thanks for the responses! I'd want to use it for heat treating knives. I'm working with 1095 right now. The seller says it is lined with with refractory on the bottom and kao wool on top. It has 3 burners and attaches to a regular bbq size propane tank. 

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I can only think of better cheaper methods; none for US$100  (for that much I built one that would handle machetes at a gas forge building workshop I took at my local ABANA affiliate.  Too bad you are not in the USA and might be able to do likewise.)

Have you looked up a bean can forge or micro forge or small forge for propane forges?   You need as even a heating as you can get.  Soldering furnaces usually didn't have that a problem due to the high conductivity of copper.

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Welcome aboard Mrhinchey glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many Iforge folk live within visiting distance.

How much bladesmithing experience do you have? If you're wanting to acquire equipment to get into knife making I'd like to recommend you take a class or two to give you enough knowledge and a taste of experience. That way you won't waste as much money and time on things that look workable to folk who don't know what they're doing.

However if you decide to get a soldering hearth and winkle it into service as a forge you can buy a propane conversion jet from Johnson Appliance, they still support appliances they made a century ago. A venerable company for sure. Just don't ask them how to make it work like a forge, they'll offer you a list of real forges they build and service. They aren't going to offer you any advice other than to NOT MODIFY one of their appliances. Anything else would open them up to liability and I don't blame them.

I sincerely advise you to take a few classes or a course then buy or build a proper forge. You don't know enough to wing it yet. It'll come but it takes time, nobody is born knowing this stuff. Be patient.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks again for advice everyone!

I decided not to go with soldering furnace. I'm not really in a huge hurry so I guess I'll keep my options open. Forges pop up occasionally on Craigslist here in Denver but the Johnson was the first gas fuel forge that I'd seen and since burning solid fuel in my backyard is not ideal, I thought I might jump at it.

I recently completed my first knife, so I am definitely still a newbie. I've got a decent little workshop set up but a forge and a proper belt grinder are still high on the wish list.

I'll look into some classes and perhaps take another stab at building a forge. My last attempt was a rather pathetic MAP gas job that (sort of) worked but ain't nothing to write home about. 

I really appreciate the info and advice. I hope I'll be able to contribute more than just newb questions to the forum soon. 

Mark 

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My older Sister lives in Littleton! Small planet eh? Building a gas forge is pretty straight forward and $100 is plenty to make a nice one. The propane hose is usually the most expensive single item though the regulator comes in second.

Do some reading in the propane forge section on Iforge to get a handle on things. Just having the jargon will help you a lot, you can ask good questions and understand the answers if we're speaking the same language.

There is a pretty good thread going on right now, MIke Porter is running through his thoughts on what is important in a good gas forge. It's well worth the read and reread. I haven't been saying much as I've been sponging as much as I can. Oh sure I haven't been silent, I don't have THAT much self control. :lol:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Well it WASN'T "the first gas fueled forge"; it may have been the first gas fueled soldering oven but it wasn't a forge...  Check into the local ABANA affiliate up there and start attending meetings; you can probably find a lot of help on both blade making and forging!   (I've always considered the forging to be the FUN part of blade making and the saying "15 minutes with the forge will save an hour with the file" is actually often off by a lot more time with the file...)

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