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Mini forge with torch


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Hello, 

 

I'm wondering on build a small coffee can forge for small projects ( up to 5 cm or 2'' ) and I have a kitchen torch like this one on the photo.

MAÇARICO COMPACTO GUEPARDO COM ACENDEDOR AUTOMATICO E CONTROLE DE  INTENSIDADE DE CHAMA FLAME GUN - Arsenal das Trilhas

 I want to know if the forge will get enough heat and some opinions and experience or tips on it, like how much time it will take to get hot.

 

Thank you all!

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You can and the torch will work, but it's not really efficient.  I have a 2 brick forge that I used to make and HT springs for a project.

A burner like the one here  

but made in 3/4 inch pipe and a smaller fan will work better.  I really depends on how much you plan to use it.  For occasional use, what you are describing is fine.

 

Geoff

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My purpose is mainly making tools for woodworking and I will use recycled metal for this, but, I tried to heat a 1/2'' x 1/2'' thickness bar with the torch in the air and I didn't get much heat for anneal it, so, I'm asking if a mini forge like this will do the job.

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I made my first two forges from coffee cans.  I just drilled 4x holes in the bottom to put in bolts to use as legs to secure it.  I used fire wool to line the inside with a small cutout for the tip of the burner to pop through.  I used a basic propane burner along with those small green propane tanks you can get in two packs at Wal-Mart.  The propane burner and bottle were strategically placed to act as a 5th arm to add extra stability to the forge.  I also put a cheap fire brick on the bottom.  It works but it is very inefficient for making knives but it will probably work just fine for small things.  I also used some basic red bricks around the front to try to hold in as much heat as possible.

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18 minutes ago, Larry Pyne said:

I made my first two forges from coffee cans.  I just drilled 4x holes in the bottom to put in bolts to use as legs to secure it.  I used fire wool to line the inside with a small cutout for the tip of the burner to pop through.  I used a basic propane burner along with those small green propane tanks you can get in two packs at Wal-Mart.  The propane burner and bottle were strategically placed to act as a 5th arm to add extra stability to the forge.  I also put a cheap fire brick on the bottom.  It works but it is very inefficient for making knives but it will probably work just fine for small things.  I also used some basic red bricks around the front to try to hold in as much heat as possible.

What did you mean with inefficient? It takes long time to heat up? The torch does not heat up evenly? Also my gas tank have propane but is only 6%, the rest is butane and iso-butane, how this affect?

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I've never used butane torches before so I don't know anything about them.  The propane one that I used took a long time to heat up and the wait times between the steel being hot enough to hit were much longer than your traditional propane forges.  It works but it does take a while to get to temperature.  Heres a picture of the burner and bottle that I used in my first coffee can forge.

20201205_184403.jpg

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The problem with those small propane tanks is that they run empty fast.  I've never tried it but I understand that there is an attachment that will allow you to refill them from a 20 lb tank. A better solution that I have heard of is a hose that will allow you to attach the hand burner to a 20 lb tank.  However, I've never seen one advertised.  I've just seen them mentioned on one of the knifemaking boards.  Maybe someone will chime in if they have ever encountered either one of them, or better yet, used one of them.

 

Doug

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1 hour ago, Doug Lester said:

A better solution that I have heard of is a hose that will allow you to attach the hand burner to a 20 lb tank

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-High-Pressure-Propane-Hose-And-Adapter-5-Feet/19897422

 

was only $10 a few years ago...  Yay inflation.<_<

 

Mr. heater and coleman  make lots of propane accessories .

Edited by Bruno
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10 hours ago, Doug Lester said:

The problem with those small propane tanks is that they run empty fast.  I've never tried it but I understand that there is an attachment that will allow you to refill them from a 20 lb tank. A better solution that I have heard of is a hose that will allow you to attach the hand burner to a 20 lb tank.  However, I've never seen one advertised.  I've just seen them mentioned on one of the knifemaking boards.  Maybe someone will chime in if they have ever encountered either one of them, or better yet, used one of them.

 

Doug

I think they run empty fast if you use it daily, I'll use sporadically.

Edited by Sony Neto
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Here is a nice page on Zoellerforge that shows a simple set up and the torch that he recommends. I've used something similar in the past before I purchased an Atlas forge and it will get up to temp. It can take a bit for a small torch to heat up the forge, but it does work!

 

http://www.zoellerforge.com/miniforge.html

Edited by Brian Myers
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4 minutes ago, Brian Myers said:

Here is a nice page on Zoellerforge that shows a simple set up and the torch that he recommends. I've used something similar in the past before I purchased an Atlas forge and it will get up to temp. It can take a bit for a small torch to heat up the forge, but it does work!

 

http://www.zoellerforge.com/miniforge.html

I've already seen this site, but it only tells about propane gas, mine is butane. Although the manufacturer of my torch mention that it can beat up to 1300°C or 2372°F

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Butane is actually a negligible amount (3578 F/ 1970 C vs 3572 F / 1967 C) hotter than propane. 

 

https://www.elgas.com.au/blog/1688-butane-vs-propane-vs-lpg-isobutane-liquefied-petroleum-gas

 

We don't use it straight in the USA because it freezes at a much higher temperature than propane, making it unsuitable for cold climates.  Otherwise the two are interchangeable.  In fact, if you buy "LPG," or liquefied petroleum gas, it's a blend of propane, butane, isobutane, propanol, and other hydrocarbons.  If it doesn't specify 100% propane, it's usually not. 

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6 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Butane is actually a negligible amount (3578 F/ 1970 C vs 3572 F / 1967 C) hotter than propane. 

 

https://www.elgas.com.au/blog/1688-butane-vs-propane-vs-lpg-isobutane-liquefied-petroleum-gas

 

We don't use it straight in the USA because it freezes at a much higher temperature than propane, making it unsuitable for cold climates.  Otherwise the two are interchangeable.  In fact, if you buy "LPG," or liquefied petroleum gas, it's a blend of propane, butane, isobutane, propanol, and other hydrocarbons.  If it doesn't specify 100% propane, it's usually not. 

This answer was enlightening, but the kitchen torcher can take a 1/2''x1/2'' thickness steel to the required temperature? If yes, how hard it is to get it?

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I suspect your kitchen torch will not be able to heat something that big, no matter what kind of forge you put it in.  You need more flame than that can put out.

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27 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I suspect your kitchen torch will not be able to heat something that big, no matter what kind of forge you put it in.  You need more flame than that can put out.

Well, I judged, by the video that I posted earlier in this topic, that it can take the steel to the temperature.

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I used a general Benzomatic hand torch that had a click starter and a tip that caused the gas to swirl, making it mix better with air. I liked using MAPP gas because of its slightly high temp range, but its really only by a hundred degrees or so. Any big-box hardware store should have one if you want to experiment with it.

 

I should state that for the most part, I make blades through stock removal, and use my forge for heat treating and some mokume gane which I'm still figuring out lol.

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22 hours ago, Sony Neto said:

Well, I judged, by the video that I posted earlier in this topic, that it can take the steel to the temperature.

I think it should be noted: the video clip in the tagged area shows the maker hardening a small square plate of steel (in the shape of a plane blade).  That temperature is on the low side of forging temp( if even in the range of moving metal, depending on your alloy), and the video does not show how long it took to get to that temp.  While it may be possible to get to a forging temp, it may not be time efficient or economical in the long run.  I think I would suggest either:

A) Listen to Alan (and the others who posted suggestions above), research and buy yourself some new hardware for a larger flame output to be more cost effective and time-efficient. OR 
B ) Just go for it!  If it works it works, post up a video of it heating material! It'd be pretty neat to learn another way for us to make forges

Edited by Jaron Martindale
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