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Old 02-15-2013, 09:11 PM
56FordGuy 56FordGuy is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Sumner Co. TN
Posts: 32

I can't help with the power hammers, but I have been around some gas forges. I weighed the build vs buy decision. I decided I was more interested in forging than learning to build forges. :lol:

I bought a 2 burner Blacksmith model forge from Diamonback Ironworks. At the same time, a friend ordered a Tabasco forge from Chile. My forge shipped within two or three days, his took a few weeks to arrive. It was built after he ordered.

The side doors on my forge are very small, and can be tricky to fit things through if you're scrolling or bending. The side opening door helps, but you lose a lot of efficiency that way. The openings on the Chile forge are larger, but you only have the front and rear openings.

The Diamondback forge does not come with a way to adjust the airflow. The Chile forge does. You can buy a choke plate kit for the Diamondback, or make them. It's a simple thing, but required to put them on even footing. The Tabasco forge from Chile comes with an adjustable burner. You'll want that to avoid excessive scale build up on your work piece.

My Diamondback has not been perfect. One burner is tricky to light, it often goes out when I open the needle valve fully and I have to relight it. The Diamondback is insulated with replaceable panels, the Chile forge is lined with a permanent liner. After about 6 hours of work, the top panel of my Diamondback began to crack in two places, beneath each burner. I contacted the builder, he send a replacement piece of insulation and a hole saw to make the holes for the burners. Said it was probably a fluke in the insulation. I replaced the top piece. After another 10 hours or so, a vertical crack began forming along the back panel insulation and the new top insulation began to crack exactly like the original one did. I contacted the builder again and he never responded. I've continued to use the forge, and keep an eye on the temps reaching the body. So far, the cracks have not had an effect on the insulating properties. They're beginning to expand, so we'll see what the future brings.

In my opinion, the Chile forge is a better product out of the box. However, the comparable model was almost twice as expensive as my Diamondback and took about 3 weeks to arrive after ordering. The Diamondback was on my porch in 3-4 days.

The Diamondback is not a bad forge, but may require a bit more end user attention than the Chile forge. For half the cost, it may be worth doing a bit of tinkering on your own. I'm certainly not planning to get rid of mine. With that said, if I were to do it over again I would probably buy a Chile forge. I need my tools to work, I don't need to be spending time working on my tools.
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