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Old 06-21-2020, 09:56 AM
Shade Tree Welder's Avatar
Shade Tree Welder Shade Tree Welder is offline
Grumpy Bastard
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kankakee County, IL
Posts: 20,860
Default Forge Build

Well, now that the kid's Grand Am is up and running, yeah I need to update
that thread as well, been running for about 2 weeks I reorganized the outside
shop and created a hot work area. So I need to build a forge. I was chatting
with our resident expert Blacksmith, and she gave me some great advice as
always. I have an old portable air tank I am going to use. It was ten years out
of certification so I replaced with a HF version I picked up for $30 USD. Both
are the 11 gallon size. So the old one will be the shell for the forge. Since a lot
of firebrick comes in 9 x 4.5 x 1.25 inch dimensions I will line the forge with 12
of those in a hexagon pattern and 2 lengths or 18" long. The cylinder on the
old tank is about 20" in length. I will use brick for the doors/gates on either
side. KISS will be heavily involved in this build. I will be using a naturally
aspirated T-burner (x3) for this build. Need to buy the plumbing parts and
regulator for it. I will have the burners, etc. removable as this will live outside.

"Prepare to defend yourselves."
-- Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley, Ia Drang Valley
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Old 06-21-2020, 10:58 AM
Matt Shade's Avatar
Matt Shade Matt Shade is offline
Made From Scratch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3,109

Fire brick is great for a floor, but it soaks up a lot of heat. If you want to be able to do quick projects or use the forge for simple bends when repairing stuff you might want to consider Kaowool and a thin coat of satanite. This will get the forge up to working temp about twice as fast as what bricks will. It isn't quite as durable but if you are careful loading the forge its not bad. I get several years out of a liner.
I buy all of that stuff from Darren Ellis, he re-packages the stuff in smaller quantities and I've always gotten good service.

I think you might find that 3 burners is overkill for a forge that size unless they are pretty small. My forge is made with a 25 gallon compressor tank but there is a hollow in the bottom and the top has 2 inches of kaowool so the volume isn't enormous and I can weld in it with 2 home made medium sized pipe burners.

I actually have a valve on mine to shut one burner down but I never use it because the burner acts like a chimney and the gas lines at the top start getting hot. I need to come up with a way to block it off.
Handcrafted Leather
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Old 06-21-2020, 11:01 AM
toprecycler's Avatar
toprecycler toprecycler is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Petoskey, Michigan
Posts: 5,611
Default Forge Build

Come on up to my place for some free firebrick for SFT members! Or pay shipping costs.

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You don't know what you don't know.

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." John Wooden
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:21 AM
seagiant's Avatar
seagiant seagiant is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: central Fla.
Posts: 243

+1 on the K-Wool and Satanite.

Propane forges is about saving fuel, this involves time as the gas is always burning.

Another thing savings are increased by using a forced air system instead of the naturally aspirated. (air is free!)

Remember you have to use a quite higher gas pressure to get the burner to pull in air to burn correctly.

Another plus is the forced air burner is also easier to build.

Here is a pic showing what I am building now and with the K-Wool and Satinite

Should give me the most economical forge I can build and will be able to forge weld easily and quickly!
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“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace.
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Old 06-22-2020, 08:25 PM
bigb bigb is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Arizona
Posts: 190

I used Kaowool as well then a layer of Kast-o-lite refractory over that. My doors are hinged in the front with fire brick liners (the real light, white porous fire brick) with an oval observation/stock hole in the middle. A 1/4" steel flap in back for long stock to pass thru. I utilized a 1/4" bypass line with a needle valve so I can reduce the gas flow to a minimum when not heating, and the small flame keeps the forge warm for really quick re-heats. Instead of the popular cylinder shape I chose a larger pipe and cut it down into a "D" shape and welded plate to the bottom so the floor is big and flat. I have pics somewhere.....

To cure the Kast-O-Lite I dragged home a discarded electric range and hooked it up on the back porch and went through the stepped curing process, came out nice and solid.
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Old 06-22-2020, 08:41 PM
Walker's Avatar
Walker Walker is offline
Standard of Excellence
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Cave Creek AZ
Posts: 4,671

Well Shade, I will have to say I am with the others on the firebrick,
I use Kaowool. You might be justified if it lives outside not covered, otherwise use the wool. I use bricks for both front and back doors so I can reposition them, r build extensions based on the work. Put a valve on each burner. You can brick off parts of the forge so it doesnt need to be heated every time.
I have built lots of burners and placed them every different direction. Stay away from burner positions promising vortices or any other funny words. Point ‘em straight down to the floor. Build your own pipe burners and put a 90 degree elbow in them. That way when the forge goes off the heat doesn't rise through the burner really fast and cook your orifice. If you use an elbow burner you can leave it installed outside all the time with nothing damaging happening.
Chief slag chipper and floor sweeper, Ironwood Artistic
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:23 PM
Tim KS's Avatar
Tim KS Tim KS is offline
Master Procrastinator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: SC KS
Posts: 5,003

I was interested in building a forge a few years ago....... ...but lately the hammer seems too heavy.
Let FAITH be bigger than your FEAR.
Pray like everything depends on God, and work like everything depends on you.
The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion. --St. Mother Teresa
In life it's important to know when to stop arguing with people and simply letting them be wrong.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:29 AM
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digger doug digger doug is offline
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Location: NW Pa
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:56 PM
bigb bigb is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Arizona
Posts: 190

I'm going to attempt to post a video of my "D" or "mailbox" shaped forge with my burner at an angle which causes a very nice swirl and brings the work to temp very quickly and evenly. (The doors are open for filming purposes)
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Old 10-02-2020, 06:23 PM
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Scotts Scotts is offline
Stuff, Just stuff
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Wichita Kansas
Posts: 5,401

That is hot stuff.


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