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Vern Wimmer

Beginners beware

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There is a lot of advice on the internet. This gem popped up as a suggestion in my feed.

https://saltinmycoffee.com/how-to-choose-the-right-forge/

 

Among it's more brilliant statements was this stroke of brilliance. Introduce me to the person with a proper running forge with a good burner or burners who could go through a full tank of propane in one forging session without a power hammer or press (maybe even with one) and I will run the other diirection in sheer terror.

 

Please, before you believe what is said on sites like that, come right here and ask people who actually use whatever it happens to be for their arvice.

 

Screenshot_20190102-183749_Chrome_crop_690x592.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Coal forge can be just as expensive.  Of course if you out right buy one.  Then the cost of the fuel.  It would probably be about the same either way.  Propane just being a bit more spendy.   At least I think anyway.  Although you can get away with using a box of dirt as a first coal forge.  I don’t have a power hammer yet lol I’m doing just fine with out one actually.  But yea that was a good read Vern.

Edited by AndrewB

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I just can't see the day I go through a 40# tank with my Chili forge in one session.

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I'm with Vern, unless I'm trying to get up to welding temperatures my 20# tanks will go several hours of forging.

Doug

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Not only that but, as Alan points out often, exchanging tanks is a great way to pay more for less.

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Over here relatively good hardwood charcoal is cheap and readily available. A 25kg bag will cost you about $50 NAD which should be good for a forging session, when I do HTs it's about 1.5 bags that gets burned..... $75 NAD

I started with less than full 9Kg LPG bottle when I built the gas forge, costs $260 NAD to refill and I stopped counting after about 9 sessions and the bottle was still not empty.

I cannot get welding heat in the gas forge, but for normal forging there is no comparison when it comes to cost, ease of use and mess&fuss

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Only reason I use charcoal is I can make it myself :) propane is nice to use , but can get really pricey when forging larger stock.

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I only use charcoal right now. My forge does not like to savor its food.

and due to that I end up using a bag every time I go out and forge 

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Don't mean to resurrect an old thread but Wow... @Gerhard Gerber how are you going through 40 kg of charcoal in a single heat treat session? I have a 14 pound bag of charcoal that I use for heat treat/quench and I don't go through but about 1.3 of a bag. Are you meaning normalization, quench, and tempering? I can easily quench 3 separate times with a bag of charcoal. 

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11 hours ago, Cason Hicks said:

Don't mean to resurrect an old thread but Wow... @Gerhard Gerber how are you going through 40 kg of charcoal in a single heat treat session? I have a 14 pound bag of charcoal that I use for heat treat/quench and I don't go through but about 1.3 of a bag. Are you meaning normalization, quench, and tempering? I can easily quench 3 separate times with a bag of charcoal. 

My coal forge is built out of a truck break drum. A standard bag of BBQ charcoal at the gas station is 18kg I believe......that's a good starting feed for my forge.  I put the blades in a tube in the forge, that process consumes a lot of charcoal.

I've modified it slightly since to eliminate some cold areas in the corners with a taper to the bottom, that should make it easier to use and maybe a bit more economical....a bit :D

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Something definitely wrong with that propane post...Either that or I run my forge way differently....for a 100 lbs cylinder I typically get between 45-50 hours of run time...Also pretty sure my arm would be completely worn out from hammering long before I ever used up one complete 40 lbs cylinder in a single session....

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20 pound tank exchange here is $16

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If I am running at welding heat, I can burn through a 40lb tank in 4 or  5 hours.

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I use between 3 and 10lb of propane a hour for one gas forge depending on the forge . I hget a huge amount of work done with my gig welding forge  (that gets through a 47KG bottle a day.

 when I used coke I used to use a lot more 100kg+ for a heavy days foerge welding. but its half the price so the over all cost is the same. A gas forge can be very eficient if it is made for a single purpose and has doors matche dtoy your work. the more versatile it is the less eficient it is ..

 

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3 hours ago, Neil Young said:

20 pound tank exchange here is $16

Except the tank exchange places only fill to 17lbs.  They say it's for your safety.  I say it's yet another way to rip us off.  You get a much better deal if you go somewhere that actually fills the tank.

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I paid $153 for a 100 pound tank delivered.

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Im pretty sure I can get 20 hours out of a 20lb tank with my atlas 30k burner choked off a bunch, my furnace is 3-4" internal diameter, it goes a lot quicker when forge welding but its perfect for regular blade forging. For normal forging I run the gas as low as I can.

I might make a wider one for welding and big knives, there can be problems with the material blocking the flow of the heat.

Charcoal can go pretty quick, ive used a 10-15 pound bag in an hour and not accomplished anything a couple times.

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On 5/9/2019 at 12:57 PM, Alan Longmire said:

Except the tank exchange places only fill to 17lbs.  They say it's for your safety.  I say it's yet another way to rip us off.  You get a much better deal if you go somewhere that actually fills the tank.

that is true.  before he closed, the closest propane guy here filled up the tank for $15 cash.  now his property is bought and being turned into another strip center full or nail salons and check cashing stores.

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On 5/9/2019 at 1:04 PM, SteveShimanek said:

I paid $153 for a 100 pound tank delivered.

OUCH!  I paid ~$45 for my last 100# refill. 

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Working with both coal at work shops, and having propane at the home:

Working on small things, hooks - little trinkets, flowers etc, coal is the way to go in my opinion.  It has the versatility to do all jobs with just the manipulation of how the fire is built and fed (type of fire pot also helps).  1 five gallon bucket of coal will last me about 8 hours + and cost me ( due to where I am in the world) probably less than a dollar. 

Where propane shines, is in the quantity of work it can do all at once.  If I want to make 5 hooks, it's propane as I know it will not burn the steel as 5 hooks sit in the fire.  It can get big stuff hot, and It's also a little more available.  Biggest draw back I have with it, is you do not have isolated heat, and I can't work something bigger than the forge opening.  I also empty a 20lb tank in 8 hours. 

Say what you will about coal being more hazardous to your health, but propane is just as hazardous and can pose immediate danger. You're working with a compressed gas (although the tanks have built in safety) the the carbon monoxide build up is really something to consider.  Ventilating a shop for coal is one thing, for propane, you might as well work without a roof over you. 

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1 hour ago, billyO said:

OUCH!  I paid ~$45 for my last 100# refill. 

Steve is in American Samoa, which makes a bit of a difference.  ;)

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I noticed, but still, ouch!  I can only hope, but I doubt, that his salary is 4+ times more.....

Have a great week, all.

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