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I Forge Iron

Ribbon burner Brick forge


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Hello all!  First I want to say thanks for the forum and contributions other have done.  Hopefully I will be able to add some useful information in the future.

I jumped into the deep end and started making the forge (mainly cause I want to hit put the anvil to use and so I can get some sleep and stop trying to plan all the time..)

Picked up some steel yesterday and cut out the burner pieces today.  Still may go out and weld it up after I eat. Borrowed the HF flux core welder from work.. At least I can use it to tack everything together and may have to get the OA out if I can't get a decent bead with the welder.


3x4 tube. 4.25 length.  1/8 end plates for finished 4.5" length (probably overkill and 3" would have been fine but I'll be able to extend the brick pile if I need). 3x4 tube so there is a larger air chamber behind the casting for flow and mixing (theory in my head.. probably pointless)

Inlet is right angle to the burner outlet for mixing and help with dispersion (I hope).  No baffle or a small angled baffle (might do like a wedge plow to split the stream and angle it down). 

There will be 3 rows of 3 holes for the burner.  Need to get some crayons or small candles.  I may try to shape the crayons and make an integral metering tube that is slightly smaller than the crayon diameter.. have a feeling that won't work well.  Have some Mizzou for the casting.  Will cast in the basement since it is rather cold out

Don't know why I feel I need to change a working design but I guess I'm just a thinking too much.

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To begin with you should employ a floor flange as the easiest way to get back to using a smaller pipe (one that leaves 1/4" of free space all the way around your burner). Then screw a cut section of pipe nipple into the flange to use as a burner port.

I hope you are going to use K26 insulating firebricks (from eBay) in that forge, rather than choosing something expensive or unwise as your ceramic.

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Hello Mikey.  Not quite understanding .  That's a 2" nipple in the photo for air/gas mix inlet.  It will be a blown ribbon.  Nipple is welded on already.. needs some cleanup :(

Was thinking of using PVC onto that nipple or is there heat issue that close to the forge/burner plenum?

I bought a box of 3" thick BNZ PA26 IFB ($3 a brick) and have a box of PA23 from years ago.. might slice the 26 thickness and back it up with the 23 or likely leave it whole for starters..

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Well, it is cast and setting up.  Hopefully I didn't add too much water to the Mizzou  :huh: I started with the recommended ratio but ended up adding a bit more so it would actually tamp down around the crayons.  A palm sander with no paper on the workbench helped tremendously.  I guess we will see.  If it doesn't work I have plenty more for a second attempt. ;)

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Casting seemed to be OK.  Some air pockets from the initial dry mix that was on bottom.. I forgot to tamp it down.  I did neck down the crayons slightly for an inch or so.  Worked out the crayons with a drill being sure not to get into the casting with the bit then cooked it in the oven slowing raising up with a dwell at 250 then another at 500-550 and seems to have taken care of the crayons quite nicely.


First burn seems that the flame doesn't want to sit on the face.  Possibly too fast air flow?  or is it just no back pressure from the forge walls?  I do need to tweak the internal baffle inside the plenum to get an even flame across the face.  The end nozzles seem to be getting the most air.  This was around 1/2 psi iirc.  It is straight pipe from blower to mixer T, 18" pipe to 45 elbow to the burner head.  Gas is currently from needle valve right into the mixer T using 1/4 pipe. 

I did thread the inside of the 1/4" nipple to accept a 1/8" pipe that will extend into the T but it is not installed in this burn.  The 1/8 pipe is plugged on the end.  I plan to drill 4 holes 90° to the airflow (pointing to T walls) to help distribute the propane.  Is 1/16"  diameter usually used for the orifice? 4 holes 1/32 will be about that.

IMG_7103.jpg.d5ae6c9f5fdb6380e910bb1ac70485bf.jpg IMG_7101.jpg.6d42688cdb2b6465b7c90e29a30fb5a4.jpg


I need to finish warming up and grab some food.  (this cold weather stinks.. too cold too soon)  Any feedback is greatly appreciated.  I know I need to get it into a forge but I at least want to know if I have any major issues at this point.  Thanks for the help!


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Success!  tweaked a few things and we have contact! 

made a quick gas inlet. 1/16" orifice for now.  cut a slot in the pipe between blower and mixer and inserted a piece of sheet metal to choke off the air more along with a board on the inlet of the fan.  drilled a few holes in the temporary baffle inside the plenum (baffle is removable for easy tweaking :D) and I was able to get the flame on the face. 

if I back off on the gas it starts to lift so I think I need to slow down the air more.  I'm going to look into a rheostat to dial it down and I have an idea for a better plenum baffle (I think y'all will love it!) as well as better mixing before it hits the plenum.  I think once I set it up as is with a 90 bend before it hits the mixer it will also help.


Question.. I currently have an 18" pipe between the mixer and the 45 elbow to the burner.  Should I decrease that at all?  I can swap it for a 12" or something.  I read that 18 was Ideal for mixing ebfore the burner so figured might as well get an 18 pipe piece.

I may change from the 45 to two 90s before the burner to help with mixing and taming the air flow.  Thoughts?


...now to start on the forge!  ^_^   I think the volume will be around 280 cu in.  thinking 9 deep.. 7-9 wide.. 3.5-4.5 tall.  Any suggestions? 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Well.. tons of progress.  Not as many photos of the final stuff yet but some of what I went through.  Few questions at the end.. Thanks for coming along with the ride.

Internal baffle for the plenum.. This is before modification which is the burn pictured above in previous post (too much velocity at the end nozzles).  Modified it with more holes, some larger that what is seen here.  The holes are where it extends inside the plenum over the burner block.  There is currently an upper shield with no holes (not seen in the second photo) to stop too much velocity at the ends.  Seems to work good.  The material used was old aluminum blind material I had a stack of in the scrap pile.  Easy to modify and have plenty if I went the wrong direction.


The final version is planned to be a Cylinder. The Coppertone 5.5 oz sport spray bottles fit nicely inside the 2" pipe nipple.  :D Easy to drill holes to direct the mix where it needs to be.  Although I do have the perf sheet so we will see.  Thought I would at least share for others.


Mixer.  The gas nozzle is still the first temporary one.  I believe it is using a 1/16 orifice.  The final one will have a tube extending all the way to the other side of the Tee with 4 orifices approximately 1/32 holes near the center 3rd of the pipe.  Inside the pipe is a swirl stick.  I had some perf sheet that I used.  The OA torch helped a lot to twist it evenly.  Ball valve and needle valve on the gas.  Welding regulator on the tank.  Angle iron frame to hold everything together and support the burner.  I will be adding a U bracket around the pipe to secure it to the side of the cart.  There is a lot of leverage with the 18" pipe and T and gas.. I don't want to take any chances.


Overall pleased with the improvement on the flame.  This was running around 1-1.5 psi but needle dialed down.  I had a wedge cutoff in there as a temporary baffle to shrink the volume.  The permanent one will mimic the angle near the ceiling.  The ceiling and wedges next to the burner are PA23 brick and the rest are PA26.  There is 1" of PA26 on the floor over a layer of PA23.  I can easily place spacers along the edges to gain height or even sink the floor down an inch into the base bricks.



 I had it running for approximately 20 minutes.  Decided to shut it down before I get too ahead of myself.  Need to clean the area before I get too into things. 

The burner plenum was getting pretty warm right where the block was inside (3/4").  I assume some heat will be normal.  Not sure if I should carve a little bigger opening for the block and fill the gap with kaowool.  I do see that there is a gap on the sides that I missed :blink:.  I assume that will contribute to some heat up there.

Qs.. I'm thinking I should have like a 1/8" gap all around the block and not have block direct on the fire brick?  Stuff the gap with wool properly this time.. I assume the wool will shield from drafts better than a block to brick gap.

Also, should I coat the wool I'm using for sealing or is that little bit of no concern?



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Hopefully this will be better.. moved the wool to the front edge.  Left the back open so it won't trap the heat.



Do I need to seal that wool or is it trapped enough?  It is squeezed in there pretty good. 

I may try some ITC or Plistix coating on the interior.

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Ran the forge for about an hour yesterday.  Much better around the plenum.  Cool to touch and warm only by the block.

Still need to make a baffle block and fix the blower diverter.  I think I figured out the adjustment issue.. :facepalm:

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  • 1 month later...
22 hours ago, Mikey98118 said:

Your burner is putting out very nice flames.

Hello Mickey!  Thanks!  I was pretty pleased with how well the burner was doing.  Time will tell if I had the refractory mix too wet and it cracks.  I'm pleased with how even the burn is.  With the info on this board and engineering schooling, I think I was able to get the propane to fully mix.

On 1/11/2019 at 9:17 AM, Gibson said:

Hey Paragon,

This is a great looking design! Any updates? I'm planning out a similar build for later this year and was wondering how this approach is working for you.

Hello Gibson!  Welcome to the board.  Please go in your profile setting and put your location in so we can better help you!

Regarding the forge, thanks!  I built it for a hobby.  How much I will get into it, I don't know, but how many people do you talk to that has one :D.  I didn't want to get into casting a forge just yet.  Had local access to IFB to avoid shipping charges so I figured it would be just an easy brick forge but ended up evolving.  Dealing with the angles was fun.  Would be easy if you could just run the blocks on a power saw but I did everything by hand.

It is likely bigger than what I need for the most part but I should be able to put spring coil in there to straighten if I even find the need otherwise keep is small and efficient for the majority of the time.  It will likely end up close to the width of the hard base inside the forge in this photo with an IFB block that will slide in and block the left side off.


I fixed the air diverter (air flow control) at the start of December but realized I didn't have enough time to make tooling and gifts so I had to change gears and buy gifts.  I have not fired it up since November :(

I need to make the internal baffle to shrink the volume down (most of the work will likely be small and the start will be tongs).  I also have not implemented the final burner baffle (still using the yellow sheet aluminum with holes in it however I have drilled more than what is pictured above to even out the flame.  I will be using the sunscreen can as mentioned above for the final one.  I also need to make the final gas nozzle (although the mix looks pretty good already)

Time will tell how robust the bricks will be.  These are different than the KA brick others use (they are PA grade) but the Mizzou base I molded takes the brunt of the flame.

Let me know if you have any questions.  I plan on taking more photos of the air mixer when I make the permanent nozzle as well as the burner baffle.

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4 hours ago, Paragon said:

Hello Gibson!  Welcome to the board.  Please go in your profile setting and put your location in so we can better help you!

Thanks for the project update Paragon! It is looking slick!

I've actually been on the board for several years, I just seldom post ;)

I've updated my location - I've actually done that twice recently but for some reason, it doesn't seem to save. Hopefully this time it will take!

Great project!

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  • 4 months later...

Figured I'd post an update.  Have had the forge on & off a few times now.  The PA23 brick seems to crack easily.  Both roof bricks have a crack showing but are holding together with the metal frame.  No issues that need to be taken care of yet.  The PA26 brick seems ok, even the carved one where the burner is. I put a baffle in to shrink the interior to the size of the Mizzou base. 

Burner seems to be holding up so far.  Flame coming out of it is great.  Can run it on 1-2 psi out of a temporary 1/16" orifice.  Only issue now is the lack of air to get to higher temps.  The blower fan I'm using is not made pressure (squirrel cage) so it is having an issue keeping up with higher gas pressure around 3-4psi.  I don't think it has gotten to a yellow heat yet. 

I'm hoping a better blower will solve the temp problems.  Orange heat seems to drop off quickly but the tongs I was making reheated in approx 15 seconds so not the end of the world (made from 1x1/4")  The thicker 1.25x3/8" was feeling like it could use more heat..

.. I may try without the screen but I think a different blower would be the best option (at least easier to change than having to disassemble everything.


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