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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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Old 07-23-2016, 11:46 PM
oif3vet oif3vet is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Coeur d Alene, idaho
Posts: 1
Help with first time forge make

Hopefully the link above works for the pictures.

This is my first attempt at a firebrick forge. I'm having some trouble getting my steel hot enough. I don't know if the openings to big or what the issue is. I have been leaving the steel in for about 15m but it only gets hot in the area around where the torch hits and it doesn't get hot enough to really do much with. I was thinking of using two torches but not sure. Any insite would be great!!

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Old 07-24-2016, 01:00 AM
RedstickJP RedstickJP is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 124
The map gas torch is a little small to be heating an opening that size. But instead of adding a second one you could build a small basic Venturi burner to use with propane. Get more heat with less money that way. Ray has a great DVD that covers basic forge building as well as building "dirt cheap" Venturi and forced air burners
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:32 AM
damon damon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 410
the type of brick might also be an issue.
if it absorbs heat rather than reflecting it, itll take a lot more juice to heat up.

I 2nd investing in rays DVD. takes a lot of the guess work out of forge building.
with the proper application of peanuts, squirrels can build anything.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:54 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Acworth, GA and/or Hanging Dog, NC
Posts: 3,490
Just judging by the pics, I'd say damon is right about the bricks - they are most likely sucking up most of your heat. Medium and hard firebrick hold heat and are not insulators. If you used soft fire brick the torch would work better and be sufficient for that interior volume/space.

Also you have the flame pointed directly at your steel. This creates a hot-spot and is not conducive to good heat control for cutlery steel. The torch needs to enter at and angle that directs the flame so that it comes in at a tangent to the interior wall and not directly on the steel. This will heat up the entire chamber instead of one spot.

Thirdly - You may be a bit ambitious with the size of the chunk of steel you are attempting to forge for that size forge. You will lose a lot of heat being adsorbed by that much steel. Would suggest splitting that steel and cutting it down to a more manageable dimension for that size forge. You will learn forging skills, thermal cycling, and working the steel much quicker on a smaller scale.

Ray's video will help immensely, but also it will do you well to connect with other smiths in your area (you will have to hunt for them). Get some first hand FTF. It's amazing how much faster you can get things going in the right direction if you do. Makes a really big difference and cuts way down on the frustration factor.

Carl Rechsteiner, Bladesmith
Georgia Custom Knifemakers Guild, Charter Member
Knifemakers Guild, voting member
Registered Master Artist - GA Council for the Arts
C Rex Custom Knives

Blade Show Table 5-J
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:23 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
Founding Member / Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
Posts: 9,793
Forges seem mysterious when you first start thinking to build one but they can be much simpler than you would imagine. In my video I build a forge body and two different style burners in about an hour once the parts are on hand.

You should try to come to the Chat Room tonight. Its the next best thing to visiting another maker in his shop. Details are in the Sticky threads at the top of this forum ...


Your question may already have been answered - try the Search button first!

Last edited by Ray Rogers; 07-24-2016 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:47 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: putnam county NY ....about 45 mins north of new york city
Posts: 1,443
as already said wrong brick i tried those when i first started IF your going to use bricks you need the soft ones they are very light weight and almost white in color...also in the long run if you plan on doing this more than once or twice a year just build a steel body forge with some venturi burners and yeh rays video is perfect for that as he said he shows how to do it in a very simple way that works....his video taught me how to do it (after my 100 million mistakes on my own)
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:07 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Decatur, IL
Posts: 2,561
When ever I see a forge with heated with a torch I think of how expensive the tanks are and how quickly they empty. Whatever you use for a body of the forge you will need to have a blown or venturi burner on it supplied by at least a 25# tank. Those torches will just about get a blade done and then run empty. I know-been there, done that, have a bunch of empty tanks stacked in the corner that have turned into a disposal problem.


If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:48 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: putnam county NY ....about 45 mins north of new york city
Posts: 1,443
Haha doug very true...those cans go quick i remember when i was making my first knife out of a file (way back before i found all of you guys to help me) i remember my father driving me to home depot and when i came out with 6 or7 of those cans he said why you need so many you building a bomb?....lets just say by the end of the day i had one can left!....much cheaper building a proper forge and burner
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