Forging may be dated back to at least 4,000 BC for the production metal implements and weapons. The type of forge you use while blacksmithing is likely to be the most essential decision you’ll have to make.
Today, there are primarily two types of forges in use: coal and gas. If you are a novice, a gas forge is likely to be a cleaner and safer way to begin your work.
If you’ve set up a good forging area in your garage or workshop, you’ll know that if you’re using coal and there’s thick black smoke pouring out, even if it’s from a chimney, forging may be extremely invasive to neighbors.
A propane forge may solve this problem and keep you out of problems in your community. Consider coal versus gas forging.
Our Best Propane Forge for Forge Welding
1. Cast Master Elite CMF 2000 Double Burner Portable Forge
This is the most recent and biggest addition to the Cast Master forges. An amazing oval-shaped forge with multiple burners that can achieve a temperature of 2433°F, allowing you to work with almost any metal.
The bottom has two fire bricks, while insulation is provided with a 1.5-inch Kaowool fire blanket to provide equal heating. Checking the Herb Stripping Tool will be helpful as well.
- Excellent for huge tasks.
- Heats up to a high temperature
- Outstanding construction
- 2 fire bricks and Kaowool insulation
- There is no refractory coating.
2. Hell’s Forge Propane Portable Forge
This is a good forge for blacksmiths that need a tiny propane forge. It has a 1/8-inch steel body and, despite its modest size, has a 3.5 foot x 3/4 inch x 10 inch area.
Despite the fact that it only has one burner, it can easily reach 2000° F. and can go as high as 2300° F. For fire control, this forge includes an adjustable choke. The oval form is made of Hellcote Refractory Material, which ensures heat retention and endurance.
The insulation is a one-inch ceramic fiber wrap that protects against severe temperatures, and the ceramic paint can withstand temperatures of up to 2000° F.
The bottom has a fire brick that is 10 inches long and slightly under 9 inches broad, ensuring a firm foundation. It is inexpensive and does not need sophisticated hookups or a chimney. Simply connect the burner to the gas supply and you’re ready to go! For more suggestions, you can read about Microwave Bowl for Oatmeal.
- ready to go
- Excellent design and construction
- Regular maintenance is not required.
- Only suitable for tiny metals
- It can be noisy.
- Without ventilation, it will emit carbon monoxide.
3. Hell’s Forge Propane MAX Double Burner
This is a 2 burner forge with a large fire bed that warms evenly. The body is made of stainless steel. Burners employ Venturi technology to generate a blue flame that heats quickly.
The Hellcote 3000 refractory coating, like with other forges of this type, is included to strengthen the longevity of the ceramic fiber insulation. This combination ensures higher heat retention, effective heat reflection, and protection from hazardous vapors.
The shape is square, with two vertically positioned burners. You may use a single burner instead of two, but it will take longer to achieve 2300°F.
At 11-gauge and 0.13-inch thickness, the construction is strong. What was the surprise? It weighs about 29 pounds and has a handle for convenient transportation.
The flame temperature may be adjusted with a 30 PSI pressure regulator and a 48-inch pipe. The kit includes a forge, a pressure regulator, two refractory coated burners, two fire bricks, and a 3/8inch flare adaptor.
- There is no coal dust or clinker.
- Simple to clean and operate
- Rapidly reaches 2300° F.
- It emits a lot of heat.
- Without ventilation, it will emit carbon monoxide.
4. Hell’s Forge Propane Double Burner Forge Large Capacity
This is a huge capacity forge that is also lightweight. Heating is consistent and rapid thanks to two vertically positioned burners. You may use only one of the two burners if you need to operate at a lower temperature.
You’ll achieve the maximum temperature in minutes thanks to 180,000 heat BTUs. The oval shape is versatile, allowing for work on both little and big tasks.
Because of the Hellcote 3000 refractory coating included with the forge, ceramic blanket insulation is one inch thick and will preserve heat.
It’s portable and lightweight at 22.1 lbs., with a non-heating handle for easy moving. If necessary, a fire brick can be added to seal the open end for greater heat retention.
This forge includes a high-pressure (20 PSI) regulator and a 3/8-inch flare adapter. The length of the hose is 48 inches. There are also two full-sized bricks provided.
- Simple to use
- Rapidly raise the temperature
- High fuel usage
- Large metal items cannot be heated.
5. Simond Store Single Burner Propane Forge
This one burner forge is best described as inexpensive, efficient, and lightweight. This is an excellent option for blacksmiths, jewelers, and bladesmiths. It is lightweight, weighing only 24.6 pounds. For longevity, the burner is made of Grade SS-304 steel.
This is the forge to use if you need to twist or bend little items. Ceramic wool is used to insulate the forge. A high-pressure nozzle, in conjunction with the choke, ensures a neutral flame. This forge also comes with a support for your tongs.
- Temperatures can reach 2600°F.
- Tongs on a stand
- A single burner may require more time to heat up.
What exactly is a gas forge?
This is a forge that will run on propane or natural gas. Gas forgers are relatively new innovations, as blacksmiths did not previously have this choice.
These forges do have certain advantages:
- The dial control that initiates the heating is simple to operate.
- Temperature control is simpler and more accurate.
- Much cleaner without the filth, dust, and smoke that coal produces.
- There is no need to devote continual attention to keeping the fire going.
There are a few drawbacks as well:
- Size. They are often smaller in size, so bear this in mind if you have a large job.
- Temperature. While they may achieve high temperatures, much depends on the forging. Most gas forges are more than capable for forging steel, but they may struggle to forge iron.
gas forge or a coal forge?
Gas is definitely a better choice for a starting blacksmith. The quantity of heat produced by a coal forge is one of its drawbacks. It can become so heated that it melts.
It will then most likely generate trash. Clinker formation leaves you with a problem to cope with before you realize it.
A gas forge is not only substantially cleaner, but it is also incredibly simple to light. It will not contaminate your job, like coal may or may not. The benefit of using a gas forge is that you will not be dirty and coated in coal dust at the end of your job, nor will you be breathing coal dust, which may be harmful to your health. Gas is unquestionably a cleaner alternative for your workspace and may be beneficial to your overall health.
You may also work on many items at once without fear of overheating or burning because the heat is pre-set at the start. However, the sort of metal you intend to forge might be the deciding factor. If it’s iron, a gas forge might not be the best choice. Gas forges also require sufficient ventilation for safety reasons.
Professional blacksmiths or those with extensive forging expertise may choose the coal forge. Because they can achieve greater temperatures, they are better fitted to forge iron.
A third form of forge that is rarely mentioned anymore is the wooden forge. Historically, blacksmiths used them to temper metal. Previously, the benefit was that firewood was easier to get than coal and was less expensive, if not free.
These forges are no longer utilized due to technological advancements.
What to look for when buying a propane forge
Because there are several options available on the market, you must examine your requirements when making your selection. Here are some considerations to make when purchasing a propane forge.
1. Dimensions and Form
Gas forges come in a variety of designs and sizes. There is no one form or size that is superior than another. The form will be determined by what you wish to create.
One of the lengthier cylinder-shaped forges may be more convenient for forging a sword. You might choose a smaller one if you will be working on little tasks.
So, the most critical factor to consider here is the sort of thing you wish to forge. Keep in consideration the size and shape of your project when selecting a forge, and portability is a plus.
2. The Cooker
There are two types of burners used: air driven burners and Venturi burners. The air forced burner will be more difficult to use as well as less secure.
If you are a novice, the Venturi will most likely be a better choice. They are simple to use and highly safe and secure. They will also most likely be less expensive.
For gas, many DIYers will utilize a twin burner. If your projects just require a single burner, go ahead and select the single gas burner.
The burner regulator should ideally have dual gauge, indicating both intake and exit pressure.
Insulation is essential. The three most frequent forms of insulation are:
Fibers that insulate. These are the fibers that are often used in housing insulation. They have a texture comparable to wool. Fiber is especially useful for cylinder-shaped forges since it can conform to the contour of the forge.
It’s adaptable and light, durable, and provides excellent insulation. It also does not take heat away from the forge, allowing it to heat up rapidly.
The Fire Brick. There are several options for this sort of insulation. It may be both firm and soft. The softer fire brick provides higher insulation. This form of insulation is ideal for box-shaped forges or for forge bottoms.
It is available in thinner slabs or reasonably thick bricks. This sort of bottom insulation may be removed without causing damage to your forge’s walls.
Refractory Castables These are similar to Portland cement or concrete. It is particularly resistant to high temperatures. You just mix it and form the mold.
When it hardens, you’ll have a refectory insulator. They absorb more heat than the other varieties, which implies slower heating and maybe less efficiency, but they are extremely durable.
Because you won’t be purchasing a forge every week, opt for one made of at least 11″ gauge steel. Low-quality steel may deform at high temperatures.
Your budget is always a consideration. Just because something is pricey does not necessarily make it the greatest, and vice versa. The product you choose should provide good value for money.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
1. Is a forge required
Yes, if you wish to reshape or temper metal. A forge is required for blacksmithing.
2. What is the finest forge in a neighborhood setting when people are present?
If you are concerned about the well-being of your neighbors and are concerned about the environment, you should avoid using a fossil fuel such as coal. In this instance, a propane gas forge is your best choice because it emits far less pollution.
3. Is a blower required for my gas forge?
No, not always. The Venturi burner is used in many forges. The oxygen/propane ratio may be adjusted by turning the choke.
4. Is a chimney required for my gas forge?
No. Unless your local rules mandate differently, a gas forge does not require a chimney or even a hood. A well functioning gas forge can also be used indoors. If you use it indoors, put a low oxygen or carbon monoxide sensor inside to protect yourself and others from dangerous gases.
5. Is it necessary to maintain a propane gas forge?
No. It requires far less upkeep and cleaning than a coal forge. In addition, it will keep your workshop warm throughout the cooler months.
6. Is it feasible to use a lower pressure propane forge?
Some forges are built to operate at lower pressures.
7. Is it possible to transport a propane gas forge?
Yes, many types are portable.
8. How long does a propane forge last when used?
A 20-pound tank will most likely last seven hours or more. It will last longer if you have a larger tank.
9. Is propane forging dangerous?
Safety is the foundation for success in all aspects of blacksmithing. You must be cautious regardless of the sort of forge you employ. Any form of negligence will result in accidents, and in the worst-case situation, a large fire will break out.
If you’re searching for a low-cost solution, check Simond Store’s Single burner forge.
Our top pick is the Cast Master Elite CMF 2000 Double Burner Portable Forge, although any of these forges is worth considering. Have fun blacksmithing!