You can make your own propane-gas forge for small metal and blacksmith work. All it takes is some common materials available at your local hardware store. This device will allow you to heat metal to red hot so it can be transformed into a variety of shapes and configurations. The alternative is a store-bought forge, which can cost thousands of dollars and take up lots of room. You can do the same essential work with this small, homemade model.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Large coffee can
- Propane tank, regulator and hose
- Spray nozzle
Line an empty coffee can with about 2 inches of Kaowool. Kaowool is a ceramic-based wool that replaced asbestos. It is used to hold heat inside your forge. Be sure to line the sides and the bottom of the can.
Cut a circle of Kaowool slightly larger than the diameter of your can. This will be used as a lid.
Drill a 1-inch hole in the side of the can. This is where you will insert the burner.
Attach an all-metal spray nozzle, such as the ones found on garden weed-sprayers, to your propane hose. Test for proper functionality. With the gas turned on, slowly open the regulator and light the tip of the nozzle. It should produce a blowtorch-type flame with the regulator fully open.
Place the piece of metal you wish to heat inside the can. Hold the tip of the lit nozzle up to the hole in the can, but do not insert it into the can. Inserting the tip will subject it to more heat than it can handle, and it will eventually melt.
Cover the open end of the can with the circular section of Kaowool. Check the metal every few minutes until it reaches the desired temperature.
Tips and warnings
- Remove the metal with tongs after heating, and form it with a hammer and anvil.
- Always wear safety equipment when forging steel, including eye, hand, body and foot protection.
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