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John N

Simple, inexpensive and very effective heat treat forge

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Thought I would share this little design I came up with, as it has been a game changer for me !

 

I call it the Jizzer, for obvious reasons when you see the photos :) 

 

The idea of the design was from using Owen Bush's 'Don Fog' 55 gal drum forge many years ago.

 

The beauty of this design is it just requires a standard plumbers propane torch, with a low pressure regulator. I have 'probed' it all round and it is within a couple or 3 degress C ! Ive run it up to 900C (in error) and it did it no harm.

 

The forge will hold temps of a couple or degrees for soaking blades, even for longish soaks, just adjust the plumber torch, and block / unblock the opening a bit for fine tuning. 

 

Hopefully the photos are self explanatory. It is lined with 1" of ceramic wool. The blade hangers are M5 stainless 'all thread' . I can do 5 knives at a time in it, and have done chefs knives 11" blade no problems.

 

The baffle the burner is pointed underneath is essential. I used a piece of pre-perforated stainless plate. Without the baffle you get a horrible temperature gradient.

 

The forge body is a 25L tin. The forge weighs nothing so can be shoved under a workbench when not in use.

 

Any questions Ill be happy to answer !

 

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Non of the photos show what the tin contained, its a degreaser called 'Jizer' ..... the name thing might make more sense now :rolleyes:

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Nice one, John!

 

I saw the "home skin care system" label and didn't want to ask...  :lol:

 

Unfortunately, it's very hard to get that sort of torch in the US, they limit us to much smaller ones.  Unless we feel like paying way too much, of course.  They used to make one, the Bernz-o-matic JT-33, but apparently it was too good so they discontinued it.  Back about 15 years ago it was the torch of choice for paint can forges.  I reckon some lawyer thought the "don't aim the flame at the hose" warning was admitting liability for idiocy or something.  :rolleyes:  We can still get that style from welding supply houses for a few hundred bucks, of course, on the theory that if it's expensive enough it keeps the morons at bay.  Would that that were true!

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Land of the free Alan ?! :blink: 

 

Buy an AR15 in wallmart, but your not allowed the equiv of a high school bunsen burner!

 

Hopefully the post will still be interesting to people who can buy basic plumbers torches :P

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Thanks John. Bookmarked this for when I start playing steel that needs a soak.

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Thanks for sharing John, looks excellent! 

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@John N I assume this is the forge you mentioned in your reply on my thread about efficiency......

The thermo couple changes things completely.

I don't think I ever did a bad heat treat before I got the electric kiln, but it's very assuring to work with accurate temperatures. 

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8 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

@John N I assume this is the forge you mentioned in your reply on my thread about efficiency......

The thermo couple changes things completely.

I don't think I ever did a bad heat treat before I got the electric kiln, but it's very assuring to work with accurate temperatures. 

@Gerhard GerberYes, this is the one I mentioned! - I love it, and think it will tide me over until I pull the trigger on salt pots. (I would get an electric kiln as a stopgap if I was doing stainless) 

 

I did a week long sword class with Howard Clark many years ago, and the reasons for accurate temp and soak were clearly demonstrated. 

 

I have another type 'K' that is about 18" long, I can poke this in through the front door of the forge, and check the temp anywhere within the oven away from the other TC. Its reassuringly even all round. I discussed getting a paragon type oven with a clever chap I know a couple of months ago, and his opinion was I would be no better off with one, but would probably have more decarb issues with a commercial electric oven. Good enough for me to stick with the rummaged from scrap oven!

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15 hours ago, John N said:

but would probably have more decarb issues with a commercial electric oven.

 

This is true.  A friend of mine has a larger HT forge along these lines, made from a 30-gallon barrel, but thought it wasn't "professional" enough for the kind of temperature control he wanted, so he got an electric one.  Took him a long time to figure out how to avoid serious decarb.  For any "simple" steel this kind of thing is the way to go. 

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Thanks for making this a sticky post @Alan Longmire ! I think its a good low cost solution to (pretty) accurate heat treat - A lot of the things I have done are optional extras, like the angle iron base!

 

I will rigidise the wool as an upgrade at some point in the future, which is a sensible thing to do it you are building a little oven like this one. I will get round to doing it to the Jizer at some point, but its fairly low on the monthly exposure list of things that will shorten my life at the moment. Still needs addressing though!

 

The nice thing about this oven is you can make it with next to no equipment, Pistol drill, and I used a 1mm thick cutting disk in a grinder to chop the lid off the can, and the hole to poke the blades though.

Edited by John N

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One thing i'm careful to do when heat treating with this, is not to let the cutting edge of the knife rest against the stainless all-thread that supports the blades, I suspect it would let the stainless hangers rob carbon from the blade steel in a soak.   

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