ZaxmyththeBlaxmyth
So after doing my fair share of research on good beginner forges to build, I've settled on using a Reil Burner. This one sounds the easiest with my other skills, there is even an "EZ Burner" modification as well. Has anyone ever built/used a Reil? Any other recommendations for building and setting up a cheap hobby forge just for honing skills?
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jmccustomknives
As far as my forge goes, it is a diamondback and the burners are very simple. They were made from off the shelf parts that can be gotten at a hardware store. I'm not familiar with that style but I'm sure if you build it right it will work. Just don't test it out of the forge as burners don't work right without the forge chamber.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Hank Rearden
You might find this coffee can forge interesting. Made on the cheap with simple parts. http://www.theironforgefire.com/post/claying-or-using-a-hi-temperature-refractory-cement-7206514?highlight=coffee&pid=1285401616#post1285401616
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2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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NorrinRadd
I am not an expert on much of anything, especially blacksmith related, especially gas forges. But I'll tell you what I did YMMV.

I built a very small gas forge out of half a muffler, a few firebricks, and some fire cement. My first burner was a propane weed torch from Lowes. If you can get one of those for free or really, really cheap its okay, otherwise its not worth it IMHO.

I eventually broke down and bought a 100,000 btu burner of Ebay, from someone that seemed to know what they were doing. They are sold as "Mini Atlas" burners and mine came with a regulator, for around $60.(I don't sell them and am not affiliated with anyone that does) If I would have taken what I spent on the weed torch and applied it to the real burner I would have been better off. The new burner worked much better than the weed torch, night and day. And after I researched all the issues people had with their home builds, I'm sure it works better than anything that I could have built.

I'm not saying that You can't build a fine one if that's what you want to do, a lot of people have. For me it wasn't worth it at the time, my coal forge was out of commission and I really wanted to make stuff.

My gas forge as it is, is just a get by, kinda ugly too. I haven't used it since I built a new coal forge.  I have some kaowool and rigidizer to make a better one with the other half of the muffler [wink] that should get the most out of the burner I have. I should have done that to begin with and that's what I plan to do soon.

I know none of this happened unless I have pics so I will try to get some. I just wanted to share my experience. Like I said YMMV and good luck.
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NorrinRadd
Finally got a pic of my gas forge
[20150407_222639] 
I hope to build a better one this summer.
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Hank Rearden
I think it's great to just do something like this. If for no other reason to know you can do it.  How does it heat? Give us the pros and cons as you go.

 I like the coal for a number of reasons. Although if I had a small gas set up it would be easier to forge on work nights. As it is I have to pull everything out of the garage. So time savings would be a huge benefit.  I think building a gas forge is next winters project for me.

Using an old muffler is eco friendly! Yeah!
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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jmccustomknives
Victor, you don't know convenient until you use a gas forge.  I can (and did earlier), fire up my gas burner and heat treat 2 knives then forge up a couple of billets.  All in about 30 minutes.  The advantages of gas is, you'll never burn up a piece of high carbon again (although for heat treat purposes you can overheat it).  The only disadvantage is it doesn't get hot enough to do wrought iron. 

Nice little forge, I got one question though....how do you work the steel when the forge is one the anvil?  [tongue]

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Hank Rearden
Yeah; The anvil makes a nice stand though.
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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NorrinRadd
jmccustomknives wrote:
Victor, you don't know convenient until you use a gas forge.  I can (and did earlier), fire up my gas burner and heat treat 2 knives then forge up a couple of billets.  All in about 30 minutes.  The advantages of gas is, you'll never burn up a piece of high carbon again (although for heat treat purposes you can overheat it).  The only disadvantage is it doesn't get hot enough to do wrought iron. 

Nice little forge, I got one question though....how do you work the steel when the forge is one the anvil?  [tongue]


Yeah I was wondering if anyone would catch that [wink]  that way I get the most out of the heat...nah I just sat it up there and fired it up for a second for the pic.

The gas forge is really convenient and easy, if you don't want to weld. But some do get hot enough to weld.

Mine works OK with the bought burner, but my design was kinda flawed. It has a sweet spot that gets hot enough to forge but most of the heat shoots out the ends from the corner opposite the flame. It worked better when I capped the end with a brick. The cavity size is limiting. 

I cant wait to make another one.

I personally do like coal better for general forging but propane is readily available so it makes sense to have a gas forge.
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NorrinRadd
Just saw a good video of another guy's gas forge. It has force air and it seems to make a difference. I had never thought of doing that. I had recently heard about doing that but didn't really understand how it would be done. Seems simple enough of a concept to try.

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Hank Rearden
I have an old tank I thought might work well for a project like this. (After I bleed it, remove the valve and fill with water to wash out any flammable residue). One thing that gets my attention is the flame coming out the end. If I get to building something like this I'm going to sit at the drawing board for a while to figure a way to minimize the potential accidental burn.

My initial thought is to make a jacket over the top to act as a flu and draw the flame into it and up. That might not be possible or practical. I remember the furnace in metal shop was vertical. It served as our forge and also smelted metal in a crucible. (We smelted scrape aluminum.) I don't remember flame coming out of the opening. There was a lid with a smaller opening that slid over the top to increase the efficiency to smelt.  I'm not sure it had a flu. I think it did. The flame came in along the edge of the fire brick. This caused the flame to curl and wrap the center of the work area inside... It's possible the flue was angled in the opposite direction to pull or catch the flame tip.

I think I just figured out my design issue. COOL!!!! I just do it in a horizontal design when the time comes.    

Maybe it just needs to be a little longer. Like welding two together end to end.

I'll sketch a few ideas so it helps convey my thoughts and post them some other time for comments pro and cons. 

I did think the adjustable handle or metal rest was clever.  
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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jmccustomknives
There isn't a whole lot that can be done to minimize the flame, if you can figure it out you might get rich.  lol.  That's why they are called "Dragons Breath" forges.  And the reason I weld long handles on my work.  That's the one advantage, other than getting hotter, that coal has;  the fire ball is more concentrated.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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