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Hi all, as you may have guessed I'm a newb. I live in Southeast Missouri and have been wanting to try my hand at blacksmithing and blade smithing. I tired my hand at buying an anvil at auction and that failed so I think I'm going to try my hand at building my forge, which please correct me if I'm wrong, is probably better than buying a inexpensive one off of Amazon. Now it seems like from my reading an oval is a good shape for a forge. However if I were to use a 20lb propane tank for the shell, is that too going to be to big of an oval and also is a forge of that size to big for someone that is just starting out? Thanks in advance.

 

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Welcome!  It really helps to provide a lot of details when you ask questions; you may note that you don't say you are going to build a propane forge; I've seen oval firepot coal forges and they can be built from propane tanks...

What size and shape your propane forge should be is based a lot on what you plan to make and if you enjoy/can afford wasting propane. (Wanting to make a huge gas guzzling forge for your first one seems to be almost the norm.)  If you want to build a propane forge from a propane tank Wayne Coe's website has plans and instructions on how to build them and the plans for the Frosty T burner are on this site---a HOT burner designed to be built with minimal fancy tooling!

Now as for anvils: I strongly suggest you review the following thread:

An improvised anvil will allow you to do excellent work on the cheap while you use the TPAAAT to find a london pattern anvil at a reasonable price.

Note that the JABOD forge made from scrap wood and filled with good MO clay and fired with homemade charcoal is a great way to get started while you are working on a fancier set up.  Time at the forge and anvil makes you a better smith than fancy equipment and no time at the forge and anvil!

Missouri is a good place to find smithing equipment; just don't get roped into breaking your budget when you don't need to! 

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Welcome aboard GMG, glad to have you. Is there something less cumbersome we can use to address you? You wouldn't like us to make something up would you? Heck if you don't mind you'll probably enjoy good pun threads too.

Thomas has covered the basics of getting started, we'll need to know a more to be able to provide good suggestions. TPAAAT works for anything you're looking for, not just anvils. My biggest bit of advice for new folk is do NOT get in a hurry, the only thing rushing is sure to do is make your  mistake permanent more quickly. 

Remember, rust and "old" don't make good tools, you want to use them not display them. Common terms used to "puff" things in adds are, antique, vintage, genuine and such. Asking price is just that ASKING, if your counter offer doesn't get a strong reaction you probably didn't subtract enough.

Oh one last thing about folk on Iforge, we LOVE pics: work, shop, tools, equipment, scenery, most anything you'd show a child you don't want to explain adult things. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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