My Version of the Vertical Forge

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
I've used a horizontal propane forge for many years and had issues with it. I still have it and wouldn't sell it but with 3 burners on top there are hot spots not to mention the floor is always contaminated with flux.

I went to a vertical forge about 5 years ago. I made it myself from 16" diameter heavy steel pipe and its about 19" tall. It has a blower that puts out 126 cfm (cubic feet per minute) and will reach welding heat (2300) in about 25 minutes. The blower puts out too much air and after I reach my temp I must close the intake door nearly all the way to prevent overheating. It has been well over 2400 several times. Thats just too hot. I use a pyrometer to monitor and adjust the fuel and air mix so I can get correct temperatures for both forging and welding. Its very accurate.

This forge is not what I would call cheap to operate. It has too much space inside that is not necessary and thus uses allot of propane to heat that big area. It needs 10 psi (pounds per square inch) at the regulator to reach and maintain welding heat. 2 1/2 days of forging costs about $60 in propane costs. I've put up with it tis way for those 5 years. After all it does make good damascus and is very reliable.

I've been on a quest lately to build a better forge. One that is efficient and economical to operate and is a quality piece of equipment for the knife shop. I've not spared much expense in its construction. It has 1/8" steel walls. The top and bottom are sheared, nipped and broke by a local fabrication shop. They are also 1/8" thick steel. The front door is 3/16" thick 4" x 4" square. The back door is cut at an angle and is self closing. It also is 3/16" thick steel and is 3" x 3" square. The burner adaptor is 1 1/2" schedule 40 steel pipe and uses a 1 3/8" schedule 40 burner.
The inside lining is #60 density kao wool and 1/2" x 1/2" square metal fabric to stiffen and keep its shape. This is coated with 1/4" of satanite (4 coats) and 4 coats of ITC 100 ceramic. The bottom is filled with kitty litter (cheapest stuff possible) to seal the bottom and help take up room inside the forge. The top is 2" #8 density "safe" koa wool. Safe means it is not ceramic and not dangerous to your health if it gets ruptured.

This new model forge is smaller and more economical to run and should last many years. The burner is one of the first things to burn out, this one has a replaceable burner. This forge is 12" wide and 12" tall. The inside is 10" wide and 8" tall. This smaller inside area is easier to get to temp and hold it there. The front and back doors have 4" ledges to help hold the work piece. The back door opens by simply pushing the work against it and gravity closes the door when the work is removed. There is minimal heat loss this way.

The red high pressure regulator only needs to be 0-10 psi so the cost is less right there. I suggest buying a gauge so it can be adjusted for consistant and repeatable heats especially if you choose to not use a pyrometer monitoring system. This forge runs great at 4-5 psi. even at welding heats.

I should be able to post some pictures tomorrow. Thanks for reading my forge spiel.
 
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ddavelarsen

Well-Known Member
Okay Bruce, you've piqued my interest - now you're committed to photos! :) That sounds awesome; can't wait to see it. Thanks for the excellent description.
 

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
As promised here is a barrage of pictures. I gotta tell ya right now I made 5 of these and want to sell 4 of them. I'm not sure if the buyers want to go with this blower as it cost around $125 but it is absolutely the finest blower I could find for the price. To get consistent results I think its a must but most any blower with 60-65 cfm should do the same thing and they are around $65 at Zoro.com This Korean made blower comes in a larger size but for this medium sized forge its not necessary in fact its just plain too much air and overheating will surely happen.

 

David Roeder

Well-Known Member
I am going to be building one this Spring for myself. Not sure where I will put it, but I'd like to have something at home for welding rather than having to drive to Hermiston all the time.
Thanks for the pictures Bruce !
 

McClellan Made Blades

Well-Known Member
Bruce,
if I understood this correctly you built this 12" tall?
Is that correct, that would explain why the 4"front door looks so huge!!
The front door does look like its overly gigantic, but with the amount of space your not wasting
it looks about as perfect as any I've seen or built, when I built my last one, I used an old
30#propane tank I found at the scrap yard, I think they gave it to me, I'm not sure as to why...
may have been when I started asking if it still had gas in it, because I didn't want to pay for the gas...
that was about when the guy said you can have it! Since everything there is charged buy the pound, when I go there looking for treasures, I look at the stuff I can use and be able to either break the excess weight off, or dismantle it
in some way, so that I don't have to pay and take home the excess. The gas was useless to me, since the main valve was damaged there was no way to recover it.

My thinking in leaving mine almost its full length tall, was that heat rises, burner placement was the more critical decision to make for mine, that and insulation.

I picked up a DVD from Batson's one year, and finally sat down and watched it when I decided to build a new forge, this was new info that I didn't have some 6 years prior, when I built my first one. (thats the forge the Ed Caffrey basically held my hand through the build making sure I didnt blow myself up, and having the patience of Job to make me understand the concept of a gas blown forge! For that I will always be thankful!) The biggest mistake I made in that first one and really the only mistake I made, was the blower tube, with the gas line, I put too much distance from the blower to the forge, and too many elbows. One of the best things I learned from that DVD was to make as straight a connection as you can. From the blower to the forge, a straight line is best if you can do it. Everyone has different needs, abilities, wants, and especially space constraints. You just have to make it the best you can to fulfill your needs.


This looks like it will be a phenomenal forge for you Bruce, I really like the wire inside it, kinds like re-bar in a foundation, genius! Also, I was wondering about the back door, was it cut at an angle to give you more length at the bottom for more surface area contact?
One more thing, did you put your burner in on a Tangent to the circular burn chamber? I think that is about the most important thing to remember, calculate, plan and execute when building one of these.
Thanks for sharing, it's DEFINITLEY a beautiful piece of equipment, one that I'm sure will be spitting out fabulous pieces of museum quality art in no time!
Rex
 

ddavelarsen

Well-Known Member
Korean Hangul script on the blower is my favorite part!

훈민정음; 訓民正音
Since I'm lazy and hurried, will you tell me what it says? I got a real kick out of seeing the Korean kanji (what are these called in Korea? I feel dumb) on the casting.

Bruce...

Bruce, I absolutely love everything you make. That thing is just so pristine and perfected. I feel ashamed of myself when I see what you do! And I'm told I'm picky. :D They know nothing! Thanks for the great images. I'm still smiling and will be replaying them all evening. I love this stuff...
 

Depdog

New Member
Bruce, how much are you asking for one and where are you located. If I missed this info please forgive me. I was just pointed to this thread and just joined the forum. It's my 25th anniversary today and I'm getting the evil eye as I type.

Thanks
Glenn in GA
 

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
Bruce, how much are you asking for one and where are you located. If I missed this info please forgive me. I was just pointed to this thread and just joined the forum. It's my 25th anniversary today and I'm getting the evil eye as I type.

Thanks
Glenn in GA
Hey Glenn, Happy Anniversary. Kaye and I used to spend our anniversary at a knife show. Thats about as romantic as I can imagine.

I can sell the complete outfit or just the forge itself. Are you forging now and have the regulator? This blower is matched perfectly to this forge so I'd like to sell them together.

For the entire "Turn Key" set up Im asking $675 plus half the shipping costs. UPS is going to want about $95 for shipping and I'll pay half.

Here is the entire set up for $675

 

ddavelarsen

Well-Known Member
Hi Glenn; welcome and happy anniversary! I trust you're attending to the Mrs right now and will see this later. Bruce is an incredible maker - of anything. You cannot go wrong here. Almost makes me want to start forging! :D Well, almost...
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
700 bucks and it doesnt come with propane or do it all for me either? Hmmmmmm That looks well planned and am in awe over the sheer wow factor for this newbie.
 

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
700 bucks and it doesnt come with propane or do it all for me either? Hmmmmmm That looks well planned and am in awe over the sheer wow factor for this newbie. 
Its actually $725 because I'm paying half the freight costs. It cost me $27 today just to box it up at the UPS Store. Thats around $12 worth of peanuts.
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
I never claimed to be a mathamatician. Lol Bruce those are some very well tought out and made forges. I would love to have the budget to say ship it to me. Alas I dont. Was trying for the haha with the beginning of my comment. Hope I didnt offend.
So I guess working for peanuts now has a value? Best of luck on these being a hot seller. I do honestly wish you the best and hope that you have a waiting list for these forges.
 

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
I never claimed to be a mathamatician. Lol Bruce those are some very well tought out and made forges. I would love to have the budget to say ship it to me. Alas I dont. Was trying for the haha with the beginning of my comment. Hope I didnt offend.
So I guess working for peanuts now has a value?  Best of luck on these being a hot seller. I do honestly wish you the best and hope that you have a waiting list for these forges.
Thanks much. No waiting lists for forges yet. This one is spendy I know. It does come with everything needed to start forging though. I,m working on a "kit" for the DIY guys. You may be interested in the kit. It just needs a recycled propane bottle or a 12" thin wall pipe and a welder and 4" angled disk grinder. I just need to figure out the price.
 

Raymond Richard

Forum Owner & Moderator
Hi Glenn; welcome and happy anniversary! I trust you're attending to the Mrs right now and will see this later. Bruce is an incredible maker - of anything. You cannot go wrong here. Almost makes me want to start forging! :D Well, almost...
Dave, I've been trying to get you forging since we were kids. Sounds like BS to me.

Bruce, I think you hit the jackpot with your forge and burner. I'm still trying to figure out where you put the trigger.
 

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
Dave, I've been trying to get you forging since we were kids. Sounds like BS to me.

Bruce, I think you hit the jackpot with your forge and burner. I'm still trying to figure out where you put the trigger.
Ray, no trigger on this one. Just fill it with black powder and and ball bearings, stand back and
throw a match in!
 
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