icandry

Commercialy manufactured propane forges

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Maybe there is a thread on this topic in this very large web site. Being spanking new to this site, I can't find that thread.  OK guys be gentle, I am completely new to the forging and stock removal methods in knife making. Building a propane forge is out of the realm of possibilities. I have been using a coal forge,  a forged steel anvil and a Little Giant 25lb power hammer in my shop for about 2 years. I am setting up a KMG in the shop at present. That being said, I am in the market for a commercially produced 2 burner propane forge. The budget is $500 including shipping. I have looked at the Diamondback and the Majestic. Any recommendations.

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Note that without a location we have to assume your complete budget will go for international shipping. 150 countries participate here on this forum on the World WIde Web!

Will you be using it for forge welding?

As for it building being out of the realm---I built my first 2 taking  propane forge building workshops put on by an ABANA affiliate near me.  It's about time to rebuild one of them, over 15 years and lots of lining replacements...

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Still learning the rules and the important manners. I live in Mount Pleasant, Texas. The house is about two hours east of Dallas near I-30.  I might be considered an advanced beginner blacksmith. I can forge the elementary, like chisels, punches, hooks, hammer, and a Swedish axe with welded steel bit. I am a member of Four States Iron Munchers, an ABANA affiliate, headquartered just west of Texarkana, Texas.

Edited by icandry
wrong direction

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I have wanted to see a commercial forge thread on here, but that's a little tricky; okay it's a LOT tricky! In the meantime, the short answer for you is Diamond back; it's dependable and plenty hot enough. You see, the problem is that to narrow your answer down any further would take almost as much of a learning curve as building the forge would; sorry :unsure:

There is a thread on here called Forges 101...

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Thanks for the recommendation, the Diamondback is on the short list along with a Devil forge and a Darren Ellis forge. The Devil is model DFPROFK2 at $522 and the Darren Ellis 8-HT-8x13 long horizontal tube forge with either forced air or venturi burner at $609. All three forges are expensive. I usually buy the best I can afford that way there is no or very little disappointment.

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I got a 3 burner majestic it doesn't get hot enough to forge weld i have it hooked up to a 100lb tank it gets to about 2000 degrees .

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Icandry,

For the devil forge have you looked on ebay. Just got a 2 burner with door for $235. Would leave you room for kast-o-lite and merkolite from wayneco. 

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I have a 2 burner Majestic.  Doesn't get hot enough and the stock burner runs way too rich.  There's no adjustable choke on the air intake.  It's poorly insulated.  All of these are fixable problems, but if you're going to spend $400 on a new forge, it ought to work correctly out of the box.

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Dan i agree a 100% i'm building 2 new forges soon 1 coal and the other a gas with an air blower i bought the 3 burner not knowing much about them at the time i took the dealers word especially since they forge damascus with them on forged in fire they must have them maxed out at 35 psi lol cause i had mine up to 20 and nuthin would fuse completly.There was alot of delams and it ate the gas.It is what it is time to move on for me at least we saved one guy the same mistake...

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Guess that explains why the forged in fire guys always have trouble with their forge welds.

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And this is why, if you OWNERS all got together and traded evaluations of your forges in one dedicated thread,--both fair and foul--it would be nice for newbies.

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I agree,and in most cases it doesn't take long for owners to become builders so it would also be nice to have the builders rate theirs from hottest to coldest for example to save new builders with time and money as well.I probably should of done a search first before typing that last comment oops... 

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An experienced metal fabricator will have a lot more success in building their own forge and burner than I would. That kind of experimentation would take up time I would like to invest in learning to make knives. My son is putting a lift kit on his 85 Jeep and he is going to bring me the old springs to practice forging into knives. I am hoping the steel is 5160.

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The longer I'm on IFI the more comfortable I get with people  preferring to buy instead of build. However, I have not gotten comfortable with people assuming that most commercial forges are turn-key; most of them are not. Whether we buy or build we still face some learning curve.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with you. We should be discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the commercial forges we purchase. One con with the following three forges is the price. I am trying to evaluate the pros and cons of a Diamondback knife maker, a Devil Forge DFPROFK1 (one burner), and a Darren Ellis 8-HT-8x13 long horizontal tube forge with either forced air or venturi burner. I think the Devil is 9.2" W x 4" H x 10" L. When the buyer applies the included refractory kit the Ellis is a tube 6" in diameter by 13" long. The Ellis comes with either a forced air or a venturi burner. The Diamondback is rectangular with refractory bricks and a single or two top burners. I have heard positive comments on the Diamondback. The 165lb. Peddinghaus anvil and Little Giant 25lb. power hammer in my shop each knows more about blacksmithing and knifemaking than I will ever know. I got a hammer that may be smarter than I am. In other words, I will never reach the limit of the tools in my shop.

Edited by icandry
Just trying to word my thoughts better.

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Lol icandry that last line you put on your post is the funniest thing i read in years...so Mickey what temps is your forge getting to..

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Being mostly a bladesmith nowadays, I am partial to the round chambers with a burner coming in at a tangent. Also, if all you are doing is blades, you really don't need that big of a chamber. I've switched to doing about 95% of my blade forging in a small vertical forge with ~5" heat across. I find this works better for me than heating up the whole blade every heat. That said, I've also got a bigger horizontal for when that is needed.

So I would definitely lean towards the Ellis forge. Now... unless something has changed, he ships you the forge shell with enough ceramic fiber blanket to line it and some satanite to coat the blanket (also some bubble alumina for the floor). But it is not already installed or cut. And if you choose the forced air burner, it does not include a blower. So there will be some extra DIY work on the ellis one and it may not include all the cost if you intend to go with the forced air burner.

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8 hours ago, bubba682 said:

...so Mickey what temps is your forge getting to..

If you are referring to me, I've built many forges, and never put a scientific instrument on one of them; what good would it do to outrun my readers? I have had two different guys build small forges with Mikey burners heating them up to 2750 F according to their instruments. I simply judge things by signs that anyone else can also use; when spit bounces off of metal surfaces, it is over 400 F. Flames and forge atmospheres get a nitro spike that between 2800 F and 3200 F (I've had three forges that did that); yellow-white forge interiors are over 2300 F Straight white interiors are above 2500 F. Since any forge that reaches lemon yellow heat is fine for welding with, I just turn down the burners to save gas these days :)

It's all about the practical now; not pushing the envelope. Learning is still interesting, and teaching can be a kick, but accomplishments for bragging rites are just flat beer at this stage.

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So, from this point of view...

Diamondback forges with one and two burners have had lots of glowing reports from their owners over the years, but no dissatisfaction I'm aware of. Their burners are not the best or newest design, but they burn clean enough and hot enough to get the job done; including billet work. You can find a YouTube video of a guy relining his old Diamondback that makes a convincing demonstration of how well they hold together, and how tough they are built. The only downside I'm aware of is the manufacterer's deplorable politics.

Devil Forge and a couple of their competitors make great little oval forges, with good hot burners, that are inexpensive. For the money, they are bargains. The fact that they are compact is also a big plus factor in a first forge. You may buy or build larger or specialized forges as time goes by, but a small forge will always remain the most economical tool in your shop. On the other hand big first forges are more likely to gather dust in a corner than to become a favorite tool. But these forges are also far from being turn-key. You will need to invest a little time and money to properly finish their insulation with a seal coat. Furthermore, these same companies offer three and four burner versions of what I think of the the Majestic forge mistake; as in you will end up wondering why you wasted so much money on such a bad forge design; enough said?

Chile Forge makes the real deal in top of the line turn-key forges; as its inventor I  can assure you that their burners are the hottest you can buy. No one has any complaints about any of their forges, accept their prices; frankly I think those prices are outrageous!

Take this advice for what it's worth, but remember, I'm just a designer/builder; not a customer...

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I'm just looking for what works no bs its to costly especially where im at in Canada its hard gettin componants thats why i asked im gettin ready to do my shop over then i'm building the forges so i'm doin my research for the gasser i want heat for damascus.So with that bein said along with the numbers you put up i'll start readin up on yours and start lookin at componants   guess i got some readin thxs for the repiy

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You can do that the easy way, or the hard way. The easy way is to skim Burners 101, until you get bored, and then switch over to Forges 101; back and forth, back and forth, letting things soak in. The hard way is to try and understand every little bit of information in depth, and then move on to the next chunk. The hardest way is to listen to us old salts, and trust us to be right while you group in the dark; sorry about that :rolleyes:

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