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I Forge Iron

Purchase advice needed please.

fleur de lis

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My wife has decided that I need to get a gas forge. She likes to watch but can't stomach my coal forge. 

I planned on just building one. Its not like there's not more than enough enough info here to do so. But she's afraid I'll blow myself up & not only said no, but exploitive NO. Then gave me a $5-600 USD budget. Not counting a couple 100 pound bottles. 

I've been looking and looking. Which is why I hate just buying stuff. I tend to over think and never make a decision. 

This will primarily to almost exclusively be used for bladesmith work and damascus billet production. I'll still be using my coal forge for blacksmith work. 

In my searching I've come down to 2 forges I like, with no particular reasons as to why. 

First is the 2 burner knife maker from Diamond Back Ironworks. Which seems to have good reveiws both here and elsewhere. 

Second is Uncle Al's 16" blown vertical forge at Riverside Machine. Which I'm not finding much info on with my Google fu. But what I've found has been positive.


I like the 2 burner knife maker from a simplicity standpoint.

But I saw a YouTube video where a guy hooked a PID controller to a blown UncleAl. Which would be awesome. 


I'd would like to get some advice and opinions the good folks here as to what you'd do if it was your money and situation & if your wife won't let ya just build one. 


Thanks for any help.


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Diamond Back is the best forge in your price range. It gets hot enough, which many well known commercial forges don't; it isn't a gas hog, which many commercial forges are; and it is solidly built, which most of the imported forges are not. I don't care for the owner's political views, but we can't have everything, can we?

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Single and two burner models are strongly recommended by their purchasers; their three burner forges, I have heard nothing about. However, problems with three homemade burner forges are common. Beyond that I'm a blank. If your go that rout, please let us know what you find.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, finally had enough extra scratch to bite the bullet & ordered the three burner knife maker forge today. So hopefully in the next couple weeks I can do a review & get it posted.

This is good as my current Whitlox forge (really similar to a JBOD, with firebrick) is in serious need of a good tear down & clean up. Its been a good little fisrt burner for me, but 4 years of almost daily use has shown. But I'll always praise it as a simple & cheap starter forge. 

I picked up a 100 pound can for it a few weeks back in preparation, & ive some grill cans as well. So at least that's covered already.


More to come soon. 

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I'm hoping so. Also hoping it will allow me to start getting more consistent billets as well. I can forge weld with my current rig, but it is a real struggle to get my billets to cooperate. I'm not a fan of wasting metal.


The sky's the limit I reckon. 


Now to get the blasted surface grinder working

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Arrived today. One week from order to delivery, which is cool. Since it be my birthday today. 

The forge arrived very well packaged & damage free. Which is more than I can say of most things I receive via FedEx. So absolutely zero complaints in that department. 

Assembly is super simple. There's 4 screws for the burner assembly.  Installation is literally a matter of minutes. Attach the needle valve & hose to the regulator. Ready to rock. 

I didnt run the forge for long due to some safety concerns of mine, like not wanting to burn down my shed. The rear opening is closer to a wooden than I care for. I'll be getting some fire board to cover the area in the next day or so. 


But in my short run time, it did get a chunk of steel 7/8" x 1.5" x 3" to bright orange in a couple minutes running it at 7psi or so. 


Can't complain so far. Seems to be a well built unit. But I'll be needing more time to play with it before making any final conclusions. Needs to make some choke plates & take care of my fire hazard first though. 








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