Here’s how i made my second (current) forge.
From memory it cost me about $500 to make, including a burner i already had from my first forge. I had to chase everything around online because local supply is non-existent and no-one was offering ready to go kits at the time. It was a real pain in the arse, to be honest. Ended up getting refractory cement for the lining from Melbourne Fire Brick and the ceramic wool was donated by a friend who had it lying around in the pile of “that’l come in handy even if i never use it” stuff…
Still, not as bad as my first forge, which was made from a concoction i found on the YouTubes involving making my own water glass and mixing it with vermiculite & aluminium oxide… fuck doing that again!
Step one was to chop up a spare beer keg i had lying around:
I cut the top off for access with larger projects and a hole/door in either end to work on longer projects.
Then drilled/cut hole for burners and lined it with a double layer of ceramic wool.
Then i mortared over the wool and let it go off, then placed refractory tile for the base so that flux wouldn’t destroy it so qickly and gave it all another good mortaring. I used alfoil to help form and let it dry of natural causes for 3 days… who knew tinfoil was good for anything other than hats???
So the door is held on with 3 case clips so as to be fully removable.
Next step is to fire the refractory to vitrify it.
Then you heat shit up and make random stuff like this…
the weed wacker…
nordic inspired puukko knife…
EDC i made for a mate who runs truffle dogs.
As for performance, i can get it up to welding temp ok but only just. More to do with my construction than the burners, i think. My next mod will be a set of thermocouples to regulate temps for more precise heat treats. It is more than hot enough to melt brass in a crucible!
If you want to make a dedicated foundry, you could do something similar but stand it up-right with no hole at the bottom. You would cut the burner hole/s around the bottom 1/4 like one of Bentaz’s rocket stoves. This way you can lift your crucible in and out vertically and it would be far more thermally efficient being a vertical cylinder.
Something like this:
Thanks so much for going to the trouble to post all that it is much appreciated. I have been thinking of getting a knife from you actually since your very first ones. Only reason I haven’t is that I don’t like putting one on and off my belt all the time. The pocket knives I have are great and you just slip them in and out of a pocket and are concealed if you do forget to take them out when you do an unexpected run to the shops or dropping the kids off ect. I will prob send you a PM or have a chat re specs on a knife I would like just because.
Knife making is not what I am interested in doing. I want to melt down brass from 22s and make stuff like belt buckles and other nick knacks. I did it in school when I was in the US for a short time when dad got a transfer. They have killer wood and metal shops makes our Tech schools like high School trade shops.
Realistically, mate, I won’t have time to make anything for quite a while. I’ll post a heads up when I can see an opening to fire up the forge.