After looking around on line at various designs for a while I came up with this super simple forge design that requires only a couple of tools and minimal supplies and works amazingly.
- crescent wrench
- Charcoal chimney
- 4 - 12" bolts
- 8 - washers
- 8 - nuts
- 1" Ceramic fiber blanket (available on Amazon)
- 1 firebrick (also on Amazon)
- Propane torch (I used a TS8000)
- rubber gloves
Step 1: Prepare the Chimney 1
Removed the extra metal pouring handle
Pull out the bottom metal cage and flip it around to give a bit more internal space.
Step 2: Prepare the Chimney 2
Drill four holes for the bolts.
Bend the bolts with a bench vice or by putting the bolt through a 2X4 to give it some nicer legs.
Secure them with the nuts and washers
Step 3: Add the Fiber Blanket and Firebrick
Next I cut the ceramic fiber to fit.
Cut two rounds for the bottom and two sheets for the walls.
Cut one more small piece to put under the fire brick.
pack it all into place firmly.
* I wore gloves for this as the fiber blanket is similar to fiberglass and is very irritating to the skin.
Next widen one of the side holes in the chimney with some tin snips so that the torch nozzle will fit in.
Push a hole in the fiber blanket where the hole is.
And that's it!
I fired it up and was able to forge a small knife in minutes.
Step 5: Couple of Small Additions to Get a Better Heat Treat...
After trying to heat treat knives using just a magnet with sub-optimal results, I made a couple of small addition/modifications to the set up.
First, I used a piece of angle-iron to create a muffle. The flame is applied to the top of the muffle to get a more even heat within the forge.
second, I purchased a Signstek 3 1/2 6802 II Dual Channel Digital Thermometer and a set of K-Type Thermocouple PK-1000 with ceramic insulation to measure the temp in the forge. I inserted the probe in the back-side, within the muffle to measure the temperature within the heating area.
Because I went with the TS8000 torch I am able to maintain the forge at near 1500F which works well for heat-treating 1080 and 1084 steel.