Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Building a Miniature Forge

(Photo:  Copyright  )

   One of my sons is a degreed sculptor.  He remains badly injured from the lightning strike he sustained, now two years ago.  When he is physically able, he builds or repairs things that are often simply labor saving devices for himself, or sometimes for me.
            I would like to share with you, the mini forge he built recently.

(Photo: Copyright veraseri )

We start this build with a 4.5" i.d. Stainless pipe from a scrap pile. This was from a refit/replacement job at a nuclear plant. 

(Photo: Copyright veraseri )

 All of the pieces are cut to length, and the edges de-burred as well as conditioned.  

This is the picture from the top of the page.    (Copyright: )

 The forge is then welded and other pieces such as the tabs for feet, and the hinge for the door are added. The piece is then sandblasted and coated with a paint that can resist up to 1200 deg. F

(Photo: Copyright )

Here we are cutting sections of Fiberfrax Duraboard for the inside insulation of the forge. This product cuts very nicely, is exceedingly durable, and is very easy to replace in the future.

(Photo: Copyright )

The Fiberfrax Duraboard has been installed and a hole has been cut for the burner entry. It is ready for its first test.

(Photo: Copyright )

The door (in the rear) is as well insulated and can be opened to heat much longer pieces.

(Photo: Copyright )

In this picture, the rear door is closed.

(Photo: Copyright )

The first test fire went perfectly, and came to heat very quickly. Here I am using a BernzOmatic TS4000 for its ease of starting and its MAPP and Propane cross-ability.

The mini forge is up, running and operational.   The survival uses of such a device would include knife and instrument making,  bracket construction, repair of metal car or tractor parts, or farm implements.  This forge makes some excellent hoof picks.   It can be a resource for metal casting.  If your distant enough, you could cook a hot dog or toast marshmallows !

For those who can't weld or want a more disposable unit, there is a video on Youtube which was posted by someone other than my son, which I have embedded below.

   Please be sure when doing anything of this variety to wear eye protection, work in the outdoors in order to prevent inhalation of carbon monoxide and other substances, and take reasonable precautions to avoid the ignition of your surroundings.

The Soup Can Forge   

******On another topic, please read: 

Gorges has a great blog and some important common sense views.


kymber said...

Jane - i knew he was talented but i did not know that he was THAT talented!!! another piece of free info printed from the net because of friends who want to share. we WILL BE USING this information in the future...we will need it...and it will be there. because of friends who share.

sending jambaloney over to read this right now - you know it's right up his alley. thanks sweet Jane! your friend,

jambaloney said...

impressive craftsmanship and utility - he is VERY talented....

i might make something like that, but it wouldn't look nearly so good!

love to you and yours,

Ian H said...

Thanks, Jane. I may have to give this a try.

PioneerPreppy said...

Neat!!! I want to make a larger one behind my shop. I have most of the stuff already. It's on my list although I am going to go with one I can use multiple fuels in.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

That is a neat piece of equipment that can get the job done quickly and efficiently. Nice design.

JaneofVirginia said...

One of the great things about the internet is that we can all share the things we have discovered. I am making much tastier food as a result of both of your blogs ! Thanks for your kind post, Kymber !

JaneofVirginia said...

Jam, Thanks for your kind words. He was pretty impressed with your work on the greenhouse ! He also tries to use materials that came to us at no or low cost. He has an arrangement with a local builder to take delivery of leftover materials, which he catalogs and uses. (And occasionally gives back if the man needs just a piece or two) I think your things look very good also ! Love to you both,

JaneofVirginia said...

Thank you for your comment, Ian. I would like to have a forge myself, but I would never pay the hundreds of dollars it would cost, even for a small one. (Our farrier has a wonderful small forge) This gives us an alternative, a way to do small forging projects without such a terrific capital outlay.

JaneofVirginia said...

A forge is such a valuable thing.. This one uses either MAPP gas or propane, but I can see how multiple fuels could be helpful. Thanks for your post.

JaneofVirginia said...

The design is based on a small forge we saw at a farrier supply house coupled with the video below. My son then made modifications to the plan that pleased him. The Fiberfrax Duraboard really works well. Thanks for posting.

BBC said...

You don't need to make a small forge for small items like that, I have a torch outfit that will do much more than it will. And a mickey mouse pan forge I made that uses wood pellets.

JaneofVirginia said...

Torches certainly can do a lot of things. My son has welded and repaired plastic car bumpers in the past with torch outfits, but a small forge attains some temperatures that make some more challenging objects possible.

Linda said...

Well, I am impressed! I have certain things just so someone can use them for me. . . .lol. The forge would be one of those things. Your son is clever to have made that.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, Linda. My son has always made interesting things, even as a young child. The sculpture and extended media degree broadened his horizons in terms of teaching him to work with bronze, stainless steel, and other metals, wood, and even electricity, as many times, sculptural installations must be electrically wired to do what you wish them to do.
This is his website: It turned out that a degree we thought might not be a practical one, was the most practical of all, because it heightened his planning, design and creation, and broadened his horizons. Who knew ? I am glad we encouraged the two of our kids who studied unusual and perhaps counter-intuitive majors.