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I Forge Iron

Questions on building my first forge

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Hello I am trying to figure out what I need for my first forge. I have read threads on this forum and came up with this and am wondering if I got it correct.


I am starting with a propane tank for the shell.

With the first 1 inch layer of kaowool I am buttering the outside with water and then spraying it with rigidizer (hydrophilic fumed silica, water and a bit of dye). Putting the kaowool inside the tank, buttering and rigidizing the inside of the first layer. Repeat with the second layer. Wait for it to dry and make sure it has been rigidized, should be about the consistency of stale pound cake I think someone said.

Drill holes for the burners.

Kast-o-lite should be mixed with as small amount of water as possible. 90 pounds does 1 cubic foot. Apply 1/2 inch of Kast-o-lite 30 to the inside on the side not up as it falls off the ceiling. Wait for it to dry enough to turn it over and apply Kast-o-lite to the other side. Put wet towels on it for over night to have high humidity and then leave it to cure for at least a week. Light the forge and very very slowly turn up the heat. The bag might have heating instructions to follow.

For the burners the ends should not stick more than 1/2 inch into the forge. I was planning to use the T Burner. The front burner should have a shutoff separate from the back.

For the ends I can use fire brick.

Did I get all the layers and the process correct? Do I need a flat surface to heat my metal on or can I leave it curved?


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If you have a shell there is no real reason to butter and rigidize the outside of the first layer of blanket.  

Strongly recommend that you take into account the openings at each end of your forge and consider a door design early

Frosty's standard for his burners, given a well insulated forge enclosure, is approximately 350 cubic inches of volume per 3/4" burner.

Do your best to follow the latest version of his burner design exactly (in particular getting the gas orifice centered and using the right type of reducing TEE.  I'm still not a real fan of the trimming the MIG tip to tune the burner strategy, but it does seem to work for most folks provided care is taken.

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Your burner nozzles should NOT stick into the forge at all. The output end of the burner should only just penetrate the refractory wool liner, 1/4"  or so. You'll need to line the burner ports with hard refractory and kiln wash if you're using one.

Latticino beat me to not needing to rigidize the the blanket against the shell. I may have said something about doing it before I knew what I was talking about but it's not necessary at all.

Frosty The Lucky.

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