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Must Haves for a Gas Forge Work Area?


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Hello!  I'm from south Arkansas, in the US, and I'm trying to create a basic forge set up. My dad is getting a gas forge for Christmas. My job is to find out what kind of work area he needs and build what I can of it. (My dad also lives in South Ark) He has wanted to do blacksmithing for years. We're hoping to create an area where if he wants to fire it up the day after Christmas, he can.

He has a prefab metal shed with an open air"carport" area with a rock bottom. He already has an electric welder there. I'm planning to build on the other side of the shop's carport.

A stand for the forge, yes? And a work table and anvil stand?  The "Show me your anvil stand" thread was very helpful.
I tried to google plans for a gas forge stand, and most of the results were actually on how to build a gas forge.

My main question is there any reason I shouldn't build a stand for the forge where the propane will fit in it's own spot under the forge, with wood and metal between? I'm trying to think out considerations for safety more than anything.

I was also hoping some of you folks wouldn't mind sharing any plans or ideas.

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My propane forge is mounted on an old gas grill cart.  I removed the grill body and bolted a plate of steel where it used to be and then placed the forge on that plate.  It has a spot for 2 propane bottles built in and is moveable on the wheels that came with it.  (I have over the years replaced them with better wheels and added cross bracing; but after around 15 years use---including road trips; it's still going strong.)

I like a moveable stand as I may need to put the forge in the yard if working long piece of metal---say doing a twist in the middle of a 10' piece of 1/2" sq stock.

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Same as Thomas, our forge is mounted on an old BBQ stand that someone dumped on our road. I cannibalized it for the propane forge stand. Our tank is a 115 pound "pig" tank so it wouldn't fit under the forge but if need be I can put a 20 pound BBQ tank there. The main thing to consider is the possibility of hot steel landing around the tank and hose.


Another thought. If the forge is to be used in an enclosed space, be sure to have a carbon monoxide (CO) detector (alarm) in use as the propane forges will put out CO. We move ours out of the shop when in use.

Edited by Irondragon ForgeClay Works
add thought.
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I built a cart for my gas forge as well. One major suggestion is to not put the forge right out at the end of the cart; you want to be sure that it doesn't overbalance. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

One feature of my own forge that I really like is the addition of a homemade air curtain, which helps keep things a LOT cooler in the summertime.


I also have a stock support that slides back into the cart frame. It's designed so that you can flip up either a firebrick or a roller, depending on the piece you're forging.


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Forge on a stand, that puts the forge at a comfortable height to use, is needed.  Making the stand mobile is better, as you can get it to where you need to use it, get it out of the weather, and or into storage.

Hot things and propane hoses do not play well together.  Even a small hole in a propane hose can and will cause problems, from loss of propane to BOOM !  Put the propane tank in a protected area as far away from the forge as possible, and protect the propane hose from hot things and getting caught, hooked, or pulled on.

Turning off a propane tank is simple.   Disconnecting the propane tank from the supply line is simple.  Storing the propane tank outside of a building (NOT inside) is recommended.  

Think of everything that can go wrong and fix it so it is not a problem.


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The NARB forge is on a steel serving cart I got at a yard sale a couple years ago. It'd be nice if the wheels were larger but it rolls okay on dirt. I have to put the forge on a couple fire bricks to get it to a better height and keep the cart top from warping. The spreaders near the wheels were made to hold a lower shelf a piece of plywood works well as does a sheet of expanded steel so I can toss hot steel, tools, whatever to cool in air without worrying about litter on the ground.

I have my propane tank separate and a 20lb. would fit on the lower shelf. The real trick to having the tank far from the forge is preventing the hose from becoming a trip hazard. Of all the things in your shop you DO NOT want to trip over is one connected to the REALLY HOT Burning thing right next to you. 

Whatever you put a propane forge on WILL be subjected to high temperatures and may be effected. If it's susceptible say a wood bench top, you can lay a portion of a sheet of concrete backer board with spacers for a clear air space between them as a heat shield. 

You can buy spacers in the masonry section of most any building supply right next to the backer board but I just cut a few narrow strips of backer board for spacers. Besides hanging tiles on backer board is intended as the heat shield between your wood stove and the frame wall behind it. It's cheap and really effective, having an inch of 3/8" bar melt and plop on it didn't do anything but cool. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 5 weeks later...

I hope I am not hijacking this thread. I recently acquired a scrap grill. It is in ROUGH shape! The floor where the tank normally sits is just about falling out, and the inside of the grill itself is ready to fall through into the floor. However, the frame is in good shape. I am thinking that I will take two sheets of steel and lay one on the top, over the whole where the grill was, and then one to redo the floor.

This all started because I read a thread where y'all warned against keeping a propane tank inside, especially in a basement, which was exactly where I had put my tank and small forge. I have now decided to keep it outside, but wasn't sure how forges do in the Michigan weather...I thought about tucking the forge under the grill when not in use. is that a good idea?

On top of all this, I am rethinking my forging area. I will attach some pictures to show what I used to have, and where I am now thinking about working. I am wondering if keeping the forge as close to the wall as the grill is would be a bad idea. I also wondered how loud it would be if I was close to the building. If I do go here, between the two decks at the seminary housing where I live, it would be a good place to put a tarp over on those really hot days. 

Sorry if my rambling doesn't make sense. It is one of the first days of my spring break, and my brain and I are not even in the same state!!


These pictures should work better.



Edited by Will Brouwers
Deleting extra pictures
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Dear Will,

That actually looks like a good forging area to me.  The decks are too low to act as benches but you will still find them convenient places to lay hammer, tongs, etc..

Just plain forging isn't very loud, IMO, unless you have an undamped high ring anvil.  No worse than driving nails and maybe less.  The noise comes in with various power tools and things like treadle and power hammers.

Not forging related but our 1977 house has similar double decks, one outside the dining room and one outside the master bedroom.  Do you know when your housing unit was built?  That may have been a design thing in the '70s or '80s.

Also, if you don't mind telling, what seminary are you at?  My wife's late husband was a Presbyterian minister and studied at several seminaries, none in Michigan, though.


"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."


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Thanks for the input. As you can see in the second picture, I have used this area in this specific set up quite a bit. I would put brick on the deck to be able to put hot work down. The deck was great for all the stuff I was working on. In the first picture, you can see where I would stand, because the grass is all worn away in one spot next to the deck. 

Now that I have the grill, I am considering keeping everything in place. Most times when I forge, I move the anvil out into a specific place in the grass, as well as the stand I have rigged up for my vise. I am just trying to think through all the options I have here between the decks or moving everything to the grass.

I probably should have just asked the question, forge between the decks, or forge out in the grass? There are pros and cons to both. When it is hot and sunny, I can use the sides of the deck to support poles for a canopy, I can also level the ground and potentially put found pavers there too and make a nice floor. However, it is cramped in my opinion, and I don't feel as out in the open, which is good and bad I guess. Finally, and I think you answered this George, the noise level. That and the amount of heat against the building. But again, I think I should be fine.

I forgot to answer your last two questions. I think the housing that we live in was probably done in the 70's-80's. I am at Calvin Theological Seminary, in Grand Rapids, MI. I am studying to get my Masters in Divinity and go on to be a pastor in the CRC, hopefully in a rural community or small town. Fingers crossed!!

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12 hours ago, Will Brouwers said:

I have now decided to keep it outside, but wasn't sure how forges do in the Michigan weather.

You want to make sure that the forge isn't exposed to the weather when it's not in use. A fireproof cover that keeps the wind, rain, and snow out would be best.

1 hour ago, Will Brouwers said:

forge between the decks, or forge out in the grass?

That's a bit tricky. You definitely want to be able to move comfortably, but forging in direct sunlight can make it difficult to judge the temperature of the steel. If you have some way to rig some shade out on the grass, that might be your best option. Being able to shift things around as needed also helps, as long as your anvil's stability isn't compromised.


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Keep your eye open for a junked gas grill you can clean out and keep your forge in---just close the lid at the end of a session! 

My propane forge is on a gas grill stand where I junked the grill part, ran sheetmetal between the sides with SDST screws and then the forge sits on the sheetmetal. I can wheel it from place to place on the grill stand.  Over the years I replaced the wheels with better ones and added cross bracing to make it sturdier.  No problem with a brick backdrop. It should never get too hot to touch unless you have the exhaust hitting it---in which case you are doing it wrong! 

I have taken a forge up to our church's summer camp and did the basic S hook session up there.  One time I had mainly Pastors attending and so after working them through making an S hook I asked them to NOT tell the Bishop that I was responsible for all the hookers at our church camp...  

Have you thought about using coal?  A faint odor of sulfur and brimstone can be a real conversation starter at seminary I would think.

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TP. I saw a few of your posts mentioning your setup. Can you get me some pictures of it? I am planning on doing basically the same thing, and the grill has already undergone "modifications."

I originally wanted to use charcoal, as I am also a cheap, Dutch, graduate student, but where we live is within the city, and there are permits and such that I would have to follow. Do lots of other people around me still have fire pits which are not allowed? Yes. Do I want to risk it and get caught, or worse, catch something on fire. No.

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