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Forge needs


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I have a two-burner gas forge (one I built) and a large coal forge (also home built), but I would like to get into knife making.  Need advice on the best gas forge - number of burners, opening size, etc.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks


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Not to mention the fact that you realy should be thinking about two or three dire the operations, and there for differ forges. 

Heat treat and forging are two difrent things, and possibly welding as a third. 

Unless you are using a power hammer or a pair of strikers, a forge that heats 6" to forging temp is plenty big, if you are welding, I don't imagine you need to weld more than 1" billets 6" long,  as to heat treating you need to be able to beat the whole blade, and tho one can heat an 18" blade in a 12" forge it is a bit of a pain if you are doing it all the time.  

So consider a nice single burner for general forging (goes for general forging or knives and tools) maybe a coffee can or two brick forge for small work and a three burner for heating those long blades. 

Now that's gas, the same can be said for coal, a small forge with a 3/4" tuyere (side blast) will be just fine for a 6" forgeable zone, wile one will need a longer trench fire to heat the whole blade. 


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For comparison stats, my purchased forge that was designed for knife making has the following stats:

Single 100k BTU burner

5" diameter 12.5" long chamber

4"x2" front opening

3"x1" rear opening

It works very well for the general forging and doesn't seem to be an issue to turn down for heat treating. Theoretically it can be cranked for forge welding as well. I have not attempted yet due more to lack of confidence in my capabilities rather than the capabilities of the forge. For an "all around" knife forge those might be pretty good specs to start from.

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Ron Reil answers all your follow up questions in his Burner pages, in the Mini forge section. The half muffler forge can be found in one of the old pages on this site; you just have to look for it in them. Unfortunately, there is no blow by blow account of mini forges laid out in a book for us. You just have to stitch together the information you need from what sources you can find.

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