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Firebrick Gas Forges


The building of these gas forges was inspired by the work of 
Helmut Hillenkamp and Jim Kennady.   I have seen quite a few gas forges lately that were made using firebricks for the forge body.  I thought that this is a quick and cheap way to build a good usable gas forge.  So I decided to build a couple of different size firebrick forges and see how they work.   I will be posting pictures and more information about building them and how well they work as the building process progresses.  For the body of the first small forge I am using (9) 9" long  x 4 1/2" wide  x 2 1/2" thick  2600°F  Insulating Firebricks.  The dimensions of the interior are 9" deep x 4" wide x 4" tall.  This gives the interior of the forge a volume of 144 cubic inches. 




October 10, 2008:  Here is a picture of the initial layout of the forge with some of the frame work cut for it.



October 10, 2008:  I now have the top and bottom frame pieces drilled and the bottom ones taped for 3/8-16 threaded rod.  I want to be able to take this forge apart so I can  reconfigure or replace any of the bricks.



October 17, 2008: Today I made the burner holder assembly.  I cut a piece of 11 gauge plate for the base of the burner holder and used a 1 3/4" hole saw to cut the hole in it.  I cut a piece of 1 1/2" schedule 40 pipe 4" long for the burner holder and drilled and taped three holes for 1/4-20 NC bolts.



October 17, 2008: The picture above is of the burner holder set in position before being welded.  Most of the pieces for the forge are now cut to size all that needs to be done is weld the frame work together and drill the hole in the top for the burner.  I used what steel I had laying around in the shop to make the framework.  The side pieces are 1" x 1/8" angle iron and the flat bars are 1 1/4" x 1/4".  The legs on the bottom of the forge were made from 3/4" pipe.  If you decide to build one, you can see the framework doesn't need to be anything fancy just functional and you can use what you have on hand.  November 08, 2008:  When I first started building this forge I was trying to think of a way of building it so you did not need a welder.  The only problem was the burner holder.  Bill Heuser saw my firebrick forge and decided to build one and he came up with the idea of using a 1.5" floor flange and a 1.5" nipple for the burner holder.  So this away there is no welding necessary.  There is a picture of his forge on my Customer forge page.



October 17, 2008: The picture above is of the drill bit that I made today to drill the hole through the firebricks.  It will act like a bit in a core drill.  I made the bit using a piece of 1" pipe,  1" coupling, 1/8" x 1" bushing and a 1/8"pipe nipple.  I cut three 1/4" wide slots in the bit using a 4 1/2" angle grinder.  The slots can be seen on the bottom of the bit.



October 20, 2008:  The picture above is of the firebricks after I used the drill bit that I made to drill a hole through them.  I drilled the hole using a drill press and the homemade bit worked great.  The hole is the same size as the end of the burner flare so this will make a nice transition for the flame to go through.  November 08, 2008:  After running the forge a couple of times I decided that the hole in the firebrick was causing some restriction of the flame.  I take a round file and tapered the hole from a 1 3/8" at the top of the brick to 2 1/2" at the bottom.  This made a great improvement in the flame.



October 20, 2008: The picture above is the forge with all of the frame work welded and the 3/4" side arm burner installed.  I TIG welded all of the framework this gives you nice clean welds.



October 21, 2008:  This picture is the back of the forge with a couple of spacers between the two bricks.  This will let you pass the stock through the forge if you are wanting to heat the middle of a long piece of metal.  When you don't need the hole you can take the spacers out and close the back of the forge up.




October 28, 2008:  The picture above is of the interior of the forge with about 20 psi on the gauge after running for about 10 minutes and the temperature was over 2200 degrees and climbing when I checked.



Please send your comments or suggestions to : zman59@earthlink.net

Copyright ©2000 - 2008 Larry Zoeller 

Last Revision 10/28/08