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I Forge Iron

Old Diesel Forge


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Hello everyone, I have been a long time lurker and have slowly been accumulating some blacksmithing equipment. I have an anvil, a couple leg vises, and a newly acquired- rusty pile of iron and firebricks that used to be some kind of blown diesel powered forge. The blower runs and it has a heavy angle iron top and frame and some fittings I was planning on reusing for a blown propane forge.

My question- is there any compelling reason to try and get the current system of pumps and valves fixed back up or just gut it in favor of propane? 

I know this thing looks pretty rough but the frame is much better than it looks.




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Being a diesel mechanic in a previous life, I would have to see if I could get it going. Never have I seen a diesel forge. More pictures please of the table & fire pot (burner) etc.:wacko:

Here is a thread about oil burner forges on the bladesmith's forum.


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I agree, it looks sketchy! But it looks (at least partially) manufactured. I saved it from the scrap yard and figured the frame was worth hauling it home. 

I don't really have any expectations of getting this thing going with diesel, I'm sure the seals in the pump are bad. 

I think I will work on changing it over to propane, it seems easier to regulate a pressurized gas than to dial in this series of valves and return lines.


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You won't find the data you need here. but, if you input oil burning casting furnaces, you will run across a lot of information that you can use to start asking your own question. The answer will end up being no, no, NO! But this way you can settle the question for yourself:)

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Oil has a lot more stored energy per given volume than propane; a fact that has caused many a guy to build an oil fired casting furnace. Others have been entranced by the lure of 'free' used motor and vegetable oil. But a higher energy fuel doesn't translate to higher flame temperatures; just giant carbon loaded flames shooting out of the furnace, in a barely controlled fashion. And using free oil has turned out to be like free fire wood; a great sounding idea that doesn't work out all that great in the end.

Bottom line: there's still no free lunch.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't had a lot of time to work on this thing, but I removed all of the diesel lines and pump per everyone's suggestion.

My new question: does the piece of casting in the picture have any place on a propane forge? My plan was to make a blown ribbon burner but maybe this could get me started sooner. Or should I scrap this and start with known plans? Would there be a downside to hooking up my propane line and trying it?





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