Mini Propane Forge

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About: I love creating and making things. From leather wallets, wooden rings to DIY projects. I also make videos of everything I make, have a look at my YouTube channel.

Intro: Mini Propane Forge

In this Instructables, I show how I made my mini propane forge. I know quite a few people have already done this and mine isn't really much different. But I was making my own so thought best film it!

It's very simple starter forge, and ideal for people just getting into knife making or blacksmithing. I have quite a few knife projects planned and needed a decent way to heat the blades up for heat treat.

For this project you will need;

Step 1: Bricks

I used these J23 Soft Fire Bricks. They are nice and easy to work with and light to move around. I needed 5 bricks in total, 4 for the main body of the forge, and 1 for the back to keep the heat in.

Stacked them up in the formation that would give me a small camber in the middle.

Step 2: Cut

The chamber area is quite small as it is. It might be fine if I was working with small bits, but my first knife project is going to be a large chef knife, and this would not fit in. So I measured a 1cm wide groove on the inside of each of the bricks to increase the size.

I used a regular woodworking saw, and carefully cut away the bricks along the lines. The soft fire bricks are super easy to cut through, though they are quite crumbly.

Step 3: Cement

I then took some Refractory Kiln Cement and put it on the bricks. I'm probably going to get ripped apart here, but I just wore some gloves and worked it onto the edges that were going to come into contact with each other. I put it all round and stacked the bricks together and lightly clamped them in place.

I left them to set for 24 hours and it was done.

I'm using a small Propane tank and a torch to heat it. I originally planned to drill a hole to poke the torch in but couldn't decide where I wanted that to go. In the end, I left it just loose at the end and it works just fine.

Step 4: Final Images

And that's it. In the end, I added some pieces of angle iron and welded them together to make it all a little firmer. I think this is totally optional but where I have my forge, I end up having to move it around a lot so I wanted the added security. I will have a few knife projects coming out in the next few weeks. So make sure to subscribe to my Instructables + YouTube Channel.

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    19 Discussions

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    bruce500

    Question 6 months ago

    i have a place to get firebricks and some Refractory Kiln Cement i am thinking of forge weld heath using a weed torch do you feel these forced can hold up the the heath needed for forge welding a farish rasp

    2 more answers
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    aCuriousCreatorbruce500

    Answer 6 months ago

    I don't think the weed torches quite get hot enough. I looked into one but didn't get hot enough for my needs Have a look what the max temp is for the model you are looking at. I might get hot enough just to work the metal? Farriers rasp sounds like a cool project!

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    bruce500aCuriousCreator

    Answer 6 months ago

    i have a blue torch i have not used it with a firebrick forge , i was thinking a harbier fraight torch for more flame and heat


    • Turbo blast trigger for a burst of extra heat
    • Durable steel nozzle jet and flow valve
    • Insulated ergonomic grip
    • Heats to over 3000º F

    Requires 20 lb. propane tank, not included

    the rasp i want to try to forge weld a hatchet i have seen these on you tube thank,s for that instrucable

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    IJustLikeMakingThings

    6 months ago

    Nice simple design. With the indirect heat are you able to get the steel hot enough to heat treat or forge? For mine, I have to have the flame directly on the steel to get it hot enough. But my chamber is larger than yours.

    3 replies

    Hi, yes it does. I've done a couple of knives all heat treated perfectly. Using O1. It takes about 10mins maybe to get up to full heat. But definitely gets hot enough. I think Mapp Gas gets hotter? Not sure sorry!

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    aCuriousCreatorToga_Dan

    Reply 6 months ago

    No there is a 5th brick at the back. I mention it in the first section. Didn't really show it much though sorry! I left it open on purpose so I can make it bigger if needed!

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    bpark1000aCuriousCreator

    Reply 6 months ago

    There was comment about allowing torch gasses to flow through chamber. Why not have back brick just sitting there, with small gaps for flue gasses to escape?

    Do bricks in oven need to be cemented together? What if they were just set together?

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    aCuriousCreatorbpark1000

    Reply 6 months ago

    The back brick is just sat there loose. the Idea being I can feed longer pieces through if needed, or extend the length of the forge. I think leaving it sat loose with small gaps might work letting the gasses escape enough.

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    Gadisha

    6 months ago

    Nice little forge!

    Do you think it could also be used to fuse (so not fully melt) metals like copper or silver 925 with the use of only a small butane torch (1300 degrees celcius)?

    I've been looking for a way to connect metals without the use of solder, maybe if I leave the opening very small it could be possible?

    1 reply
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    aCuriousCreatorGadisha

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thanks! I tried to melt down copper, I got it to melt into a ball but not liquid. So this set up might be enough to fuse the two. That's actually something I'm going to try next few weeks to try and make some mokume :)

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    aCuriousCreatorLesRobbo

    Answer 6 months ago

    This method is just using already formed bricks rather than having to pour your own cement. Thanks

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    PhyllisF2

    6 months ago

    can you use this forge to melt metals (ie: silver ) for jewelry? What temp can you get it to? Can you melt glass for fusing small pieces? I see a lot of inexpensive uses for a small forge.

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    aCuriousCreatorPhyllisF2

    Reply 6 months ago

    I've not tested how hot it gets yet (waiting for laser thermometer), also it's been snowing in the UK last few days so not really fair. I managed to melt some copper down, but couldn't get it full liquid. I'm going to try using some Map gas and see if I can get hot enough. I wanted to try casting some silver. I will let you know!