To supplement my previous post about gas forges, below is an article providing the fundamentals of a blacksmith gas forge:
Blacksmith Gas Forge Fundamentals
Blacksmith Gas Forges are an Economical and Clean Alternative to Coal Forges
The basic flame for a blacksmith is the forge. Traditionally the forge used charcoal or coal as the fuel. These are generally still used today and are referred to as solid fuel forges or most often coal forges.
In recent times with the availability of propane gas, an alternate form of heat source developed. The blacksmith gas forge is really a small convenient tool that allows similar temperatures while not quite as hot as a coal forge but with out the mess or even the smoke, and it is quite portable.
A gas forge has many advantages and some disadvantages as a heat source for a blacksmith. The main disadvantage is the fact that it usually has a lower heat than coal forge. Another disadvantage is that no matter what you\’re heating, it needs to easily fit in the box. Large complex shapes become very difficult to work with.
The blacksmith gas forge is ideal for knife makers and many artistic blacksmiths use it too. Knife makers are often working long straight bars for their knives. they can also employ the gas forge for heat treating many alloys of steel. It typically has a longer more uniform heat
than the usual coal forge. This means you are able to heat treat a longer blade in a gas forge than the usual standard coal forge.
In several parts of the world propane is easily available and it is cost effective in comparison with coal or charcoal. The bottom price of a blacksmith gas forge is greater than a coal forge as there are many parts that have to be synchronized as well as some exact tolerances.
It is a fact that a coal forge is more versatile and cheaper to construct however it does require a supply of coal and isn\’t very portable. What this means is you need a dedicated spot to do your blacksmithing. This location needs to be within an area where smoke isn\’t an issue.
Gas forges and solid fuel forges consume oxygen and produce both deadly carbon monoxide (poisonous) and carbon dioxide. Smoke is a major by product of the coal forge. Proper ventilation is essential for both. The propane forge can be vented just with keeping the windows open and doors or with a collector and vent above the forge.
A coal forge needs a chimney to draw the smoke from the building. A well constructed chimney will remove all the smoke easily. Look for plans for any side draft forge for just one of the best options. For chimneys which have under optimum draw you can also add a fan
within the stack so that it will be a power exhaust for that smoke. This is effective.
Although a coal forge reaches higher temperatures, the heat is more concentrated. A properly constructed fire radiates hardly any heat into the room. A gas forge radiates a great deal of heat into a work shop. This is fine during the cold months but can be horrible in the summer time.
Many blacksmiths love the tradition of the coal forge. Lots of other blacksmiths have discovered the simplicity with the propane forge, and it is a great place to start or a versatile supplemental tool. Some blacksmiths utilize it as his or her main heat source for all their work.
About the Author
It is possible to build a gas forge and save money as well as being able to customize it for individual blacksmith needs. For details on building your own gas forge visit Blacksmith Gas Forge Plans.
Many blacksmiths wish to buy a ready made gas forges which can be found at Blacksmith Gas Forges