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I Forge Iron

Beer Keg Forge


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I have recently been on a hunt here in Virginia for about 10 of these things to turn into slack tubs. Here is what I have found out about kegs in Virginia.

The stores turn them back into the distributor who then turns it back into the bottler/brewer. They then decide whether the keg is suitable for another trip or a trip to be salvaged. Now the question I had was what about the salvage ones????Well here in Virginia the ABC laws state all kegs must be serialized and tracked at all times. SO when one disappears there must be a reason, and selling it to me was not one. I think they were scared I was going to make and sell illegal beer or something.

So that idea is circling the drain and we are going to plan B...


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I called the local paint store and asked for a steel 5 gal. They asked me how many did I want.

I built my forge from a 5 gal soda keg I picked up at the dump. Stainless steel 9" dia ended up being about 18" long after hacking off the ends. You can find used soda kegs for around $25 from a homebrew supply. Being a homebrewer I'm going to warn you that there a is big scare right now in the homebrewing community about soda kegs being bought up by China. The price has jumped 10-15 bucks a keg over the past 18 months.

After seeing drago & slovarr do their ammo can build demo at ring of fire I have to say they are onto something. I liked the fact you have access thru the top.

A source for ammo cans.
Military Surplus Ammo Can
This looked interesting
Container, Stainless Steel [136701]

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I think I'll go the 5 gal steel bucket route. Is there anybody with words of advice on this design of forge? Stable enough? Need to add stabilization to the sides or anything? Seems like those buckets aren't very thick. Do they keep the heat pretty well? Of course, I'm no expert, I was going to use aluminum, LOL! Thanks again.

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The same list of tools will work fine for a 5gl bucket as for SS stove pipe.

I'd put legs on it. Thin strip stock, drilled holes and pop rivets or screws and it's a done deal. Easy beginner project.

If it's a clean new bucket I can't see any hazards to worry about. With 2" of Kaowool lining it it won't burn the paint off the outside. If it's not painted, use header paint and you're golden.


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OK guys. You set me straight on my idea to use a beer keg for a forge. Now, somebody mentioned a 5 gal steel bucket. Here's a website with it in use and it gets over 2000F. Seriously doubt I'll need it that hot, but hey, it looks like it works. Cheap too. less than $10 at Sherwin Williams. I'll let you know how it goes. If I melt it, I'll post those pics as well, LOL!

Plans to build a simple gas forge

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  • 11 years later...

I made a gas forge from a 50 litre stainless steel keg from a defunct brewery. I had a gas forge using a 9 kg gas bottle but needed something bigger occasionally. I used a double burner rig, kaowool, refractory bricks for base and a satanite lining. Gets hot enough to forge and if I need more heat I close off some of the front opening.
so far the only drawback is the weight I need a helper to swap the forges around as I use the same stand for both.


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  • 1 year later...
On 7/28/2008 at 1:51 PM, Littleport22 said:

Anybody try this? Looks like a keg, while large, would still make a good forge with a couple layers of kaowool for protection.

What do you think?

Yes I have made one from a 15 gallon stainless steel keg. It works great. I have reached temps of up to 5000 F using Kaowool 30 LB PSI propane and air injector.

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Welcome aboard Jeremiah, glad to have you. If you'll ut your general location in the header you'll have a better chance of hooking up with members living within visiting distance.

How are you measuring the forge temperature? 5,000f is a good 1,600f hotter than a Propane Air flame CAN attain. Not to mention melting Kaowool in seconds and the SS keg shortly afterwards. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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