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Propane Forge Build


Doug Martin

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Hello all, for about three hours now, I have been looking through threads and sites and the internet and am now wanting to build a small propane forge for small objects, like RR Spikes, Short Stock, etc... I have a basic understanding of what I will need to use and do.

 

It's going to have a close back with a slide down door on the front that goes about 3/4 of the ways down. Probably about 10 or 12 inches long, 8 or 10 inches in diameter. Will use kaowool and that ceramic brick for the bottom. (I think it's called ceramic brick, the long piece that looks kind of like a piece of wood. I want it to reach welding temperatures. Will it need a fan as well?

 

Um, where am I wrong? And Could any of you help me with this or give me directions. I've looked at Zoeller forges for a while and fredlyfx's forge for a while as well.

 

Also, safety is number one prioirty on my list, don't want it exploding and illing me or getting Co2 poisoning. :( WHat not to do how high the max PSI should be, etc... Garden hose lying around etc...

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This is such a complex question, and, although you seem to have done some research, some of your questions lead me to believe that you still have some ways to go.

 

I want it to reach welding temperatures. Will it need a fan as well?

 

1) Fan or venturi? It's one or the other. Venturi burners need high PSI (15-30) to make the venturi run. In turn, you need a gas source with a regulator that will give you the PSI you need. The cheap ones, like from a gas BBQ won't do the job. Venturi burners are a bit trickier to build, but can be bought from a couple of sources. Blown burners can be built from plumbing parts, fans can be as simple as a bathroom vent fan.

 

Also, safety is number one prioirty on my list, don't want it exploding and illing me or getting Co2 poisoning. WHat not to do how high the max PSI should be, etc... Garden hose lying around etc...

 

2) What not to do covers a long list. To be safe, walk away now, become a software engineer. Code never explodes, never burns you, or sets you beard afire. Code never drops hot steel into your boot top. Code weighs next to nothing. :rolleyes:

 

The forge will produce CO (not CO2), lots of it. You need to work in a space that is WELL VENTED. A year ago December we had a big storm in the PNW. The 10 days after the storm were cold, and 500,000 people were without power. A couple of teenagers were killed going into a garage to refill the fuel tank on a generator. The first one died just a few feet inside the door. The second died trying to pull him out. CO is FAST and ODORLESS.

 

Propane eats plastic, over time. Garden hose is plastic. BAD BLACKSMITH! BAD! STEP BACK FROM THE GARDEN HOSE!

 

In critical areas, like hoses, fittings, and valves, spend the money to get the right stuff, and check it often. A spray bottle with some dish soap and water is what the pros use. Spray all of your fittings from the tank to the burner, under pressure, every time before you fire up. These guys can sell you hoses, fitting, valves and the like.

 

Ellis Knife Works

 

There is another thread live called Blown Burner (I think), I've posted pic's of my burner, and some other stuff, you should read that, too.

 

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I want you to be safe. If you were in my part of the country (where are you?) I'd invite you out to see what I've done, and suggest you get involved with the NWBA. Since we aren't hands on, I want to make sure that you are as safe as I can make you, given the limitations of the media.

 

Geoff

Edited by Geoff Keyes

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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I think the first impulse for the first time builder is to build too big. Your idea on length is pretty right on but I would leave an opening in the back just in case one of these days you get a wild hair and decide to make something longer than will fit in that length of forge. If you want two layers of 1" ceramic matting for insulation and a three inch diameter fire chamber, that only comes out to 7 inches in diameter that you need. One burner should be fine for that size of a forge, either blown or venturi, but I'd recommend blown. Forges of any type, except for electric induction forges, gush out carbon monoxide when they are tuned the way you want them to run to not cause scaling. Both oxygen and carbon dioxide will burn carbon out of the steel and cause scaling; you want it to produce carbon monoxide.

 

I think that it's pretty safe to say that most smiths have more than one forge. I have both a charcoal and a blown gas forge in the back yard that I use somewhat regularly. Actually my gas forge is the second incarnation of the second gas forge that I built. I'm on my second charcoal forge too and it constantly morphs on me. I also have a couple of mini-forges that operate off a hand held propane torch. Take a look at what you will be doing and build what you need. As your needs change, you will probably find yourself building more forges.

 

If you are looking for a safe hobby, try collecting stamps. Using a modicum of common sense, knife making should not be truely dangerous, but safety equiptment, such as eye protection is a must. I like a welder's glove on my left, tong, hand. It is too hard for me to control my hammer with a glove on my right hand and it's also more tiring to try. No synthetic garments around open flame. That material, melts and sticks while it burns. Leather aprons are a real clothing and hide saver. A slack tub is a must whenever you have a fire going. It serves as a real good fire extinguisher and it works well to cool overheated body parts as well as overheated tools. Keep a first aid kit handy. I think that I have burned and/or cut myself with every knife that I have made. I guess that I'm just too stupid to stop.

 

Doug Lester

Edited by Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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Okay, i was probaly going to go with hybridblowers or hybridburners can't remember right now, my bad. I'm actually going to go with his 22in long one, but shrink the diamter to about 8 so that i have 4 in with kaowool. Door for back and door with opening in front. Do you think I will need two burners now?

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Okay, i was probaly going to go with hybridblowers or hybridburners can't remember right now, my bad. I'm actually going to go with his 22in long one, but shrink the diamter to about 8 so that i have 4 in with kaowool. Door for back and door with opening in front. Do you think I will need two burners now?

 

Doug 22" is long for your first forge. I have three working forges, small, medium and the largest one is a piece off pipe 9"x 16" long with three venturi burners and 1" of kaowool which I use to weld Damascus.

For forging knives, I use a small forge, an 8"x12" with one venturi burner and 1" of kaowool. Some people swear 2" of kaowool is best, but 1" is all you need. All my forges use firebricks for doors, don't use steel, it won't last.

 

Dennis

Edited by Dennis K
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