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I Forge Iron

Advice On Materials


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Ok, I'm just now starting out with blacksmithing but I've been trying to learn and study for a couple of years now.

I want to build my own forge, but I have limited funds.

I already have a soupcan forge but it isn't putting out the kind of heat and isn't big enough for the knives I'm working on.

My question is, what kind of material would be best for me to make my forge out of?

I already have a plan but I just don't have the know-how to know what kind of metal or material to make my furnace chamber out of.

(Picture is of the first knife I made.)


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6 minutes ago, CalebB said:

I'm actually trying to build a propane forge.

Okay, have you read the "Gas Forges" section of IFI? There are LOTS of threads there about design, construction, materials, burners, common mistakes, and so on. Go read all of it. If you don't find what you're looking for, you will at very least have learned a lot more than you know now, plus you'll be able to ask much better, more specific questions. Enjoy!

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  • 2 weeks later...

There isn't any oxy in a propane tank to allow the propane to burn so the worst that happens is a little wisp of flame. If however the tank valve has been open long enough enough air might have made it in to make a flammable mixture. This happens when day night thermal cycling raises and lowers the internal pressure so the tank breaths. At one point the remaining propane and air will become flammable.

Punch a hole in it with a torch then and you can get a torch flame blowing back at you. I've never heard of one exploding and I know guys who decommission propane tanks with a torch. However, it's not worth taking a chance based on an old guy on the internet's say so. Right? It's not even worth the burn you might get if your mug is in the wrong place.

Get out your grease gun and squirt a nice dob on the tank where you want to start the cut. Drill a hole through the grease. No the grease isn't to lubricate or cool the bit, it's ONLY purpose is to contain sparks. Use a bit large enough to get your saber saw blade through the hole. Saw slowly and it won't spark and you can do as you wish with the tank.

Theo(?) I believe used propane tank steel to make knife billets a while back and it turned out nicely. Turns out propane tanks aren't made from mild steel. Who'da thunkit?

Frosty The Lucky. 

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11 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Drill hole as above; fill with water/detergent mix, shake,  drain, repeat. Go to town as no propane left in it!

Word of advice, do it outside, down wind of your neighbors.....I thought my tank was empty, for several reasons, but I thought "maybe I'd better drill a hole in it just to make sure before I go cutting it open." Placed said tank on the floor of my garage and drilled a 3/8" hole in the top and got a face full of LP gas. Took me a week for the smell to dissipate from inside the garage.

I did the dish soap and water thing too just to be sure before I started cutting. I was a bit nervous still though because it still had that smell from the oil additive. I survived though so that's a plus.

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