Make a Propane Forge for $50!

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Introduction: Make a Propane Forge for $50!

About: I'm an environmentally conscious experimenter who loves to bring people together, build things, and when possible...blow things up! See us on YouTube too! https://youtube.com/WildmanTech

If you're tired of using the BBQ as your forge, this project may be just what you're looking for! Using a combination of new and scrap materials, we make a propane forge for $50!

Step 1: Tool and Materials

Tools

(Minimum compliment)

  • Oxy/Acetylene Torch
  • Drill with masonry bit

(Standard compliment)

  • Hacksaw (I used a portaband)
  • Welder (Any would do, even oxy/acetylene, I used a MIG)
  • Drill with Masonry bit
  • Cutting torch (or plasma cutter)
  • Tape measure

Materials

To allow for maximum flexibility and use of available materials, I'll refrain for specifying sizes so you can more readily use the material you have on hand.

  • Firebricks (mine were 1½x5x9½" and I bought 11)
  • Angle Iron to frame the bricks (mine was 1½x2½x¼")
  • Plate steel to form the floor and ceiling (I found a piece the perfect size that had some interesting bends in it)
  • Steel tubing to form the legs (I used 1¼x⅛" square)
  • Propane Weed Burner

Step 2: Frame the Bricks

Lay out the bricks that will form the floor of your forge and cut the angle iron to frame them in. I cut triangular notches in the appropriate places and bent the corners for a really clean look. The piece I had was only long enough to wrap around three sides so I was not able to do it with a single piece. On the bright side, if all you had were short scraps, you could just cut mitered corners and build it like a picture frame.

I wanted to make sure a nice floor was in place to support the brick, so I cut a piece of plate steel and welded it in to fill the void in the middle of the angle iron frame.

Step 3: Add Legs

You can actually use whatever you want for legs. I used 1¼"x⅛" square tubing, but if all you have is angle iron, that will work too. You may want to add some cross bracing for stability though. I had two seven foot pieces of the square tubing so I cut four 40" legs. To give it some style and stability, I cut them at a 10° angle with a 10° miter. This resulted in an angle that, if aligned properly, would result in all four legs slanting away from the center of the floor. Miraculously, when I sat it on the floor it did not rock. Usually, I have to do some grinding to get things level.

Step 4: Put a Hole in the Floor

Determine where you want your burner inside the box. Many people want the burner in the top pointing down. Some people also like more than one burner. I'm on a budget and I like my stuff to look cool, so I went with one burner at the back pointing up out of the floor.

Set your brick into the floor and draw a circle on it where you want the burner to come through. Using a masonry bit, drill a series of holes around the perimeter of the burner hole. Drill them all part way through at first to establish the location, then come back and using a rocking motion, both punch through the brick and connect the holes to each other. If you're careful and patient, you'll be able to get a relatively clean hole in the brick.

Mark the location of the hole on the steel floor and burn it out with a cutting torch or plasma cutter,

Step 5: Frame Your Walls

This forge is fairly small with interior dimensions of only 5x7x9½." Plenty large enough my projects though. Because of the size, the walls of this one are formed with only three bricks laid on their sides and all I had to do was weld angle iron uprights in the corners to secure them in place.

Step 6: Install the Roof and the Burner

Two more firebricks as the roof complete the build and I found this cool bent shape that just happened to be the right size at the steel yard to cap it off and hold the roof bricks in place. I retrospect, I shouldn't have welded it on. That way should any of the bricks break, I can easily replace them. Live and learn.

I installed the burner by welding a piece of ½" square tubing between the two back legs and wiring the burner handle to it with the Clampmaker®!

Use another firebrick as a front door to keep the heat in, and to keep from singeing your eyebrows when you throw it into turbo mode.

All the steel I got for this project were remnants at the steel yard and only cost me $10 for all of it. Be frugal. Shop around. Metal recyclers are even cheaper usually, but I wanted all new materials for this project so it would be nice and pretty. I spent $20 on firebrick and $20 for the weed burner for a total cost of $50.

Step 7: Watch the Video!

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    user

    We have a be nice policy.
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    55 Comments

    What size weed burner did you use? I see a wide variety from 20k BTU up to 100k BTU available.

    6 replies

    500k BTU. $20 at harbor freight

    Or HFT Propane Torch with Push Button Igniter for $30 - should heat to around 3500 degrees.

    Got those bricks at Rustic on Power Inn Rd. $1.23 each

    The The firebricks I used were $1.66 each. I used 11 of them.

    I am in Sacramento - where did you get the fire bricks?

    GREAT JOB!!! Nice tidy little forge.

    If you mean Natural gas from your house, no. Not with this burner. Natural gas requires a different sized orifice. You may be able to modify this burner, but I don't know how...yet.

    You can pick up gas jets from pretty much any place that services or installs gas stoves or heaters or even gas fireplace logs. The orifice for propane is a lot bigger than for natural gas but they use the same size threads so they are interchangeable.

    I'll indulge you since you didn't wish to see the repeated references in the other snide comments. $20 for ALL of the brand new firebrick, $20 for the brand new weed burner, $10 for remnant steel from a local steel yard. It was actually closer to $45, but I rounded up just for you.

    user

    OK, I understand that you have the ways and means to construct this forge. With a plasma cutter, mig welder, portable band saw, and a bunch of extra steel laying around it does seem to save on cost. What I see as a way to cut cost, not reliability, is wrapping a piece of rusty old speaker wire around the weed burner. A solid structure for the burner to be secured by seems to be adding to this type of hard structure.

    It is clear from your comment that you not only did not watch the video, you also did not read the Instructable! If you're going to make comments, actually reading the material you're commenting on would put you in better light. For instance, the minimum complement of tools required to make this project is an Oxy/Acetylene torch and a drill with a masonry bit. This can be found in THE VERY FIRST LINE OF INSTRUCTIONS, which you obviously overlooked. A plasma cutter was not used in this project and all of the material was purchased BRAND NEW for this project for less than $50! The steel were remnants, but it was still brand new.
    It appears you're just looking for something to complain about. All of your dramatic/iinflammatory assumptions are incorrect, and you would know that if you had read the Instructable.

    Greatest. Reply. Ever!

    Amen. Great minds will always be attacked by small minds. I forget who said that.

    ...

    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people" ... Eleanor Roosevelt ...

    You have no need to defend your price. If people are to lazy to shop around then they will have to suck it up. Good build. Keep it up.

    looks like a great forge. Forget the haters comments. If it heats the steel to a nice orange that can be formed then it's a great design. I've got all the components laying around sans fire bricks to build one as scrap from a previous project but sadly my old stick welder quit so gonna have to budget in a new welder from harbor freight myself so mine may cost about $150 to build including the new welder but looks like a fairly simple design that will do the job, is relatively portable and will take up minimum garage space. Keep em coming just like this.