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Well the time has come for me to buy a forge, i am torn. My budget is 350 USD and building one is not an option for me, i was wondering what y’all think about diamondback forges, i was looking at their 2 burner series two and wanted to know if any of you had it and would recommend it. Or tell me if they are not a reputable company because I have seen mixed reviews. 

Thanks 

Matthew H

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Keep us posted on how you like it and what you make with it. I'm seriously considering the series 3 two burner blacksmith forge. It's a bit more expensive but it looks like it can be relined easier. 

Pnut

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It's fiber board rigidizer isn't going to do the important breathing hazard mitigation it does on ceramic blanket. Apply a coat or two of Plistex or Matrikote to armor it. Either kiln wash fires hard like a ceramic cup but less brittle and is proof against welding flux. Rigidizers are NOT proof against fluxes and fiberboard is susceptible to rapid flux erosion.

Diamondback forges are good products and if you kiln wash it should go for a number of years without relining.

Frosty The Lucky.

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The ceramic fiberboard is only used on the series three forges. Series one is blanket and I'm not sure if the series two uses blanket and soft insulating firebrick or just soft insulating firebrick. The cheapest one with the fiberboard are over $400.  Correction, the series three forges start at $365 but it is a tiny forge that would be hard to use for a lot of things. 

Pnut

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Matthew, I just looked at the website again and the forge you're looking at has K-26 soft insulating firebrick for the walls and ceiling and dense ceramic for the floor. Frosty is right that you won't need a rigidizer. I don't know if K-26 firebrick will stand up to thermal cycling better with a layer of castable refractory or not. You may want to ask. I'm not exactly sure what they mean by dense ceramic for the floor either. That's somewhat vague if you ask me. 

Pnut

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So what does my gut think about Diamondback forges? Any of the other old timers here will tell you that I love complicated and super efficient equipment. Diamondback is none of that; it is like an old Ford pickup, when I want a Ferrari. And it does its job  soooo well for soooo long  as to earn my complete admiration, despite all my druthers :D 

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diamondback is good as long as you care for it.  However that is true of any good tool.  I am curious however why building is not an option?  Also have you considered just ordering some soft firebrick and a kiln wash?

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I don't know about the op, but after I added everything up and without scrounging any materials plus the cost of miscellaneous tools like taps etc. I came up with about the same price for a home build as a commercial forge and burner, not to mention the forge and burner I build wouldn't be any better and quite possibly a lot worse than what I can purchase. If I could attend a forge building workshop I would be very interested in going that route as I don't have an indoor shop or tools really. The main reason I build jabods is because I have the tools to do it properly. If I had a shop, a welder, and drill press which I know aren't strictly necessary but make it much easier, I would give building a gas forge a try on my own. That's my personal reasons I would prefer to buy versus build.

Pnut

 

 

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You are in the right place.  I can walk you through building a forge through messaging and photo's alone.  Frosty and Mikey can help you get any burner fine tuned.  All through message board here.  I know that because my first forge was a disaster and the people here at IFI walked me through  building something right.  If you do go commercial pay close attention to what material it is  built from because there may be a lot of materials you have to source to make it safe.  Also pay attention to what you itend to use it for and try and get a forge that is more suited to your forging.

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You don't need a welder.  There are plenty of easy designs that don't need any welding.  You don't need to buy from a lot of websites a good bit of it you can pick up localy.  I can understand this reasoning.  Well my honest 2cents is there is not a production forge that i'm aware of under the 500 dollar range that I think is worth it.  Most of them come with unridgidized blanket and enough refractory to put a baby paste thin coating on.  Or they come with 2 or 3 burners for a forge that should only need 1 to weld.  Then I have to ask why?  is it to waste fuel or is it because they need that much heat to hit welding temp.

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I seem to recall a build from across the pond that utilized angle iron that was bolted together to frame the k26 bricks. A good coat of Matrikote, an ordered burner, and you're golden! A wonderful weekend project me thinks. B)

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I live in a tiny one room apartment and don't have the space to build a forge. I'm not allowed to build anything outside so I've contacted a couple forge manufacturers and if the neighbors continue to complain about my solid fuel forge I will be buying a diamondback series III two burner blacksmith forge that comes lined with ceramic fiberboard and some plistix. The landlord said if there's continuing complaints about a forge sitting outside I can use a gas forge so long as I bring it back inside. This forge fits the footprint I'm looking for and I haven't been able to find a bad review about it. It's under five hundred dollars but not by much.  I know some folks like tinkering with forges and burners but I prefer to spend what little free time I have actually forging versus building forges.

Regarding the K-26 soft firebrick and angle iron forges I wouldn't expect them to last very long until it turns into a pile of rubble. 

Pnut

 

 

 

 

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I have found that hiding a propane forge in a gas grill set-up usually gets around visual issues---I mean who is going to ban gas grills?

I recently fabbed a propane forge shell using a ballpeen, a hacksaw and an electric drill---riveted it together using 16penny nails for the rivets, He tank for the body and scrounged some steel from a discarded WI-oid fence for the legs and handle and some black iron pipe for the burner holder---which was riveted on too.  My cost was US$0 + time.

Instead of telling yourself "I can't do XYZ because I don't have JKL!" Try asking yourself "How can I do XYZ with what I do have?  How did they do things before JKL was commonly available?" (Probably the most annoying example of this is the "I can't smith because I can't afford a london pattern anvil."  Folks have been smithing for 3000 years without london pattern anvils; what suddenly makes it impossible to do so now?)

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I don't mean to argue.  every person and every situation is unique.  All i'm saying is there are ways around any problem and the people here are happy to help you find those ways.  If you want to buy then go for it.

As for the diamondback forge.  Yes it will work.  is it what I would call a good forge? NO.  heres why.

Interior dimensions are 13 1/2" L x 7 1/8" W x 3 1/2" H that means 336 cubic inches.  A single 3/4" burner can get that to forge welding temp if everything is built properly.  now because of the length I understanding using 2 burners.  However if "I were the one making it" I would either make it 18 inches so you get better affect from having two burners or cut it down to 10 inche's and a single burner to save on cost/retail

And as to firebricks falling apart it isnt an issue if you use kastolite and matrikote and proper maintenance.  The forge on the bottom has seen about 60 hours of run time

20200121_195912.jpg

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  • 4 months later...

I'm looking to get into forging more and I'm finding myself on the fence here too.  The lightweight insulating firebricks seem to be about $10-$15 each.  To build a reasonable sized forge for making fun things and maybe some blades it looks like I would need about 8 - 10 bricks.  I think I would likely buy a burner.  And then miscellaneous angle irons etc would bring me up to about $250 or so.  And it looks like I can buy one for about $300. 

Given how difficult it is to get materials as a downtown Torontonian I'm leaning towards buying.  Even finding non-brickette charcoal is tough enough around here (and cost a lot in fuel).  It seems to me like my cheapest option is to buy one.

I don't have a welding skills or supplies.

Am I missing something?  Thoughts?

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Build buy? Depends on you and more factors than can be easily listed. Insulating Fire Bricks (IFB) don't have the short lifespan they used to if you buy K-26 by Morgan Thermal Ceramics, these are tough and are rated 2,600f. maximum extended working temperature. Well into welding temp.

A: tape measure, chalk, hack saw, drill and hammer is the tool kit you need. Find someone to let you use their drill press makes a T burner an easy build. 

On the other hand buying a plug and play forge is a perfect option, you get to forge HOT steel all the time another guy spends building a forge and burner.  

Whatever you decide we're pulling for you.

 Frosty The Lucky.

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