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Ron Benson

Do you think this mini forge is worth the effort...

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... for a total newbie? I had no plans for getting any type of heat treat equipment, but I ran across this video today. Simple to build and very cheap. But as a newbie, I'm concerned about controlling temps. But maybe there are some beginner friendly steels that might work for someone like me? I'm not talking about forging at this time - only heat treating.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifTIuNt3aNY

 

Thanx for looking.

 

Edit to add that once you view a topic on you tube, they send you more videos on that subject, so I am now getting other similar videos - including coffee can forges. These just add to the confusion... :wacko:

Edited by Ron Benson

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It'll definitely do the trick.   Personally, I'm considering building a heat treat forge like this one:

Cheap to build, and I think it'll be more consistent and much more user friendly. 

For steels, you can search this site and find all kinds of threads discussing the "best" beginner steel.  I think the general consensus has been that 1080/1084 is arguably going to be the simplest to heat treat accurately and yield good results.  There are definitely other options as well, 5160 is another one, with a little research you can find the best one for you.

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Or, the very first pinned thread in "Beginner's Place"

 

 

If all you plan to use it for is heat treatment, all you will be able to use a forge for is the hardening. Shove a baffle tube in there and learn to watch for decalescence/recalescense. Temper in the kitchen oven for the controlled heat when needed.

Edited by Joshua States

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One thing to watch for in those videos: most of them have no idea what or why they're doing.  The main thing to know is that plaster of paris with sand is NOT a refractory mix.  It'll hold up for a session or two, but that's it. 

For heat treating, bigger is better.  A larger chamber evens out the heat so there's no hot spot like in the video you linked.  The link Alex posted is ideal if you can find a big enough torch.  Or make a small burner...

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Thanx All for the comments. I don't know if I will go in this direction, but it does look like makin' a forge is not as complicated as I thought. And with help from the people here, it might just be doable.

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Theres some pretty good how-to's in the Tools and Toolmaking subforum.  With a little time spent reading you have all the information you need at your fingertips.

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Check out the Build a Gas Forge and the Ribbon Burner attachments on the Forge Supplies page at www.WayneCoeArtistBlacksmith.com.

Let me know if I can help you.

 

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Ron - I have a coffee can style forge made from an old metal milk jug and using the plaster of paris/sand mixture. I yanked a burner off of an old coleman camping stove, removed the built in regulator and installed a 0-30 psi one. It has been wonderful. Don't expect it to last forever (as Alan mentioned) because each time you drag the steel in and out it scrapes the lining into powder. 

All in all, that forge cost me about $40-50 I think. Works wonderfully. Would recommend using a large cardboard tube for your chamber mold, though. Don't use a brand new can of PB blaster. 

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