Introduction: Simple Small Forge

After looking around on line at various designs for a while I came up with this super simple forge design that requires only a couple of tools and minimal supplies and works amazingly.

Tools needed:

  • drill
  • scissors
  • crescent wrench

Supplies needed:

  • Charcoal chimney
  • 4 - 12" bolts
  • 8 - washers
  • 8 - nuts
  • 1" Ceramic fiber blanket (available on Amazon)
  • 1 firebrick (also on Amazon)
  • Propane torch (I used a TS8000)
  • rubber gloves

Step 1: Prepare the Chimney 1

Removed the extra metal pouring handle

Pull out the bottom metal cage and flip it around to give a bit more internal space.

Step 2: Prepare the Chimney 2

Drill four holes for the bolts.

Bend the bolts with a bench vice or by putting the bolt through a 2X4 to give it some nicer legs.

Secure them with the nuts and washers

Step 3: Add the Fiber Blanket and Firebrick

Next I cut the ceramic fiber to fit.

Cut two rounds for the bottom and two sheets for the walls.

Cut one more small piece to put under the fire brick.

pack it all into place firmly.

* I wore gloves for this as the fiber blanket is similar to fiberglass and is very irritating to the skin.

Step 4:

Next widen one of the side holes in the chimney with some tin snips so that the torch nozzle will fit in.

Push a hole in the fiber blanket where the hole is.

And that's it!

I fired it up and was able to forge a small knife in minutes.

Step 5: Couple of Small Additions to Get a Better Heat Treat...

After trying to heat treat knives using just a magnet with sub-optimal results, I made a couple of small addition/modifications to the set up.

First, I used a piece of angle-iron to create a muffle. The flame is applied to the top of the muffle to get a more even heat within the forge.

second, I purchased a Signstek 3 1/2 6802 II Dual Channel Digital Thermometer and a set of K-Type Thermocouple PK-1000 with ceramic insulation to measure the temp in the forge. I inserted the probe in the back-side, within the muffle to measure the temperature within the heating area.

Because I went with the TS8000 torch I am able to maintain the forge at near 1500F which works well for heat-treating 1080 and 1084 steel.

Step 6:

Comments

author
Mcfixr (author)2016-04-25

Really neat. How long does a bottle of gas last you?

author
TylerS93 (author)2016-04-13

Does the torch need to be a t4000 or t8000, or will something else get hot enough. Really cool forge, good job.

author
temminicki (author)TylerS932016-04-13

I'm sure there are other torches that would work. Propane has been working fine, but mapp heats up faster and hotter. The thing on the TS torches is that they have the air intake near the trigger rather than at the torch end. This allows you to have the torch further in the forges without it suffocating and going out.

author
TylerS93 (author)temminicki2016-04-14

Cool, thank you for your help!

author
TylerS93 (author)temminicki2016-04-14

Would the torch need to be something other than a pencil flame? and would it be better to use a propane hose? Thank you for the help!

author
temminicki (author)TylerS932016-04-14

a pencil flame might work, but would probably take a long time to heat up and might not heat the entire length of the forge. For doing 1080 or 1084 steel, you might get away with it. for any high grade steels, it likely won't work.

I have not been using a hose. Just attaching the little bottles to the TS8000. I have been thinking about getting a big tank and a hose though, so I don't have to worry about running out of gas in the middle of a heat treat.

author
jot5045 (author)2015-10-26

Great little forge! Simplest build I've seen, and I've been looking for a while. What size blanket did you use and what model torch?

author
temminicki (author)jot50452015-10-26

Thanks! The blanket I went with was 1" thick. A single roll (24" X 31") from amazon was enough for the forge. And the torch I went with was the TS8000. Both the TS8000 and the TS4000 have the air intake at the bottom of the tube near the trigger. This ensures that the torch can still get enough air when you insert it in the side of the forge. The nice feature on the TS8000 is that you can adjust the flame to control the temp easier.

author
tomatoskins (author)2015-10-02

Really cool idea! Thanks for sharing! I've always wanted to make my own forge and this looks like a really simple soluition!

author
temminicki (author)tomatoskins2015-10-02

Thanks! Glad you like it. I put the instructions together pretty late last night. I'll add some additional details to steps soon.

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