How I Build a Gas Forge by Wayne Coe
I have been building gas forges for a number of years and this tutorial will show you what I have learned and how I build gas forges. Keep in mind that this is the way that I do it and I have never had any problems in using any of these procedures. With this said, because you are dealing with flammable and explosive gases and are doing things beyond my control I deny any liability for any injuries or damage that you may experience.
Below are three files that you can open in PDF format. The first is the tutorial explaining how I like to build gas forges. The second it the article written by my friend, John Emmerling, that was published in the Winter edition of the Hammer’s Blow, the how to publication of ABANA (www.abana.org), the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America. The third explains how I mounted and plumbed my Ribbon Burned Forge.
Below are forge building supplies that I can provide
Inswool insulating blanket 24″ wide, $ 9.00 per running foot plus S&H
Kast-0-Lite 3000 degree castable refractory, $15.00 per 5 # bag plus S&H
Plistix IR reflective. (similar to ITC 100 but much cheaper) $ 15.00 per pint (1 1/2 pounds) plus S&H
Metrikote IR reflective (similar to ITC 100 and Plistix). $20.00 per pint (1 1/2 pounds) plus S&H
My supplier builds large furnaces, kilns and forges and tells me that they like the Metrikote better than the Plistix. The last time I re-coated my gas forge I used the Metrikote and it seems to work well and hold up well. Not having done a side by side comparison I can not determine if one is better than the other.
I have recently built a new forge using a Ribbon Burner. I am very impressed with this new burner and strongly encourage anyone considering building a forge to consider it. It does require a blower. John Emmerling wrote an article for the Hammer’s Blow Winter, 2006 issue which gives detailed instructions for building this burner. There is an attachment above for those instructions.
I now have special castables (the Kast-0-Lite does not work well for this) needed for casting the Ribbon Burners. One pint of either is enough to cast a 3″ X 3″ burner, two pints will do a 6 inch burner. If your burner is larger 1 pint will do each 3” of burner length.
I have had at least one customer tell me that he had bought three pints to build a nine inch burner and that it was not enough to fill the form so you might want to buy an extra pint just to be sure. I suggest that you build your wooden form first and then fill it with dry sand, or flour, or rice, or some such product measured in pints to make sure that you order the correct amount of needed castable.
Castable #1 is $10.00 per pint.
Due to supply problems Castable #2 is no longer available. I suggest that you use the Castable #1. This is a good, strong, long lasting castable.
A 3″ burner is a good size for a Freon Bottle or Balloon, Helium bottle forge.
A 6″ burner is a good size for a 20# propane bottle forge.
I have found that 1/4″ NPT needle valves are hard to find and finally located a source that I can provide at a reasonable cost: $15.00 each.
A source for the blower needed for a forced air forge (Ribbon Burner) is
Check with me for shipping costs. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Please note that all sales are FOB the shipper. If you want your shipment insured be sure and ask that it be added to the shipping costs.