October 31, 2006

Propane Tank and LP Gas Forges

My apologies to those of you who read my posting on IForgeIron.com, as the first part of this post will be very familiar to you. Scroll down to see my thought on moving from "have tank" to "have propane forge". For those who have not been to IForgeIron, they have blueprints (step-by-step instructions and photos) of a few burners and gas forges.

My dad used to drive a propane truck, going to houses and filling their tanks. I told him once that I could use a propane tank, and he mentioned a 275 gallon tank on a trailer. That seemed a bit large to me, but then he remembered a smaller tank that came off of a tractor or a truck. It is a 43 gallon (358 pound) tank, with a gauge to see how full it is, valves for liquid, vapor, bleed off, vapor return, etc. And of course, a pop-off valve just in case someone fills it too full. This tank is heavy! I could lift one end, but we used a tractor's front end loader to load it into my truck.

I still need to get the gaskets inspected, get a cap for one of the return lines, paint it, and get it filled. After that, I will stop by my brothers to see if the hose, regulator and (hopefully) gauge from his old barbecue grill will be useful. I would prefer to have a "hard line" rather than hoses for my daily use forge, but I would also like to have a portable forge.

I would like to have two propane forges at the house. One of them should be a small, portable forge for demos, Saltfork Craftsmen's meetings, and going to a friends house (informal hammer-in's). I'm thinking about a freon tank forge here. The other should be larger, and capable of heating a car or truck coil spring for straightening. I would guess that would require a 12 or 14 inch diameter shell. So far, I am thinking of buying a pipe burner kit, some dura-wool and a small tub of "Plistix 900F" and making the freon forge. After I use that for a month or two, I will have a better idea about my needs. Maybe instead of making a large forge, I will get a T-Rex burner and make a brick-pile forge.

To satisfy your propane forge browsing needs, here are some links:
Zoeller forge price list
Rex Price's (T-Rex) Hybrid Burners
Chile Forge
Ellis Custom Knifeworks
Cashen Blades gas forge combustion processes

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