Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

A Blown Mini-Forge

This is the complete forge ready to use, battery powered and completely portable. The body is an 8" section of stove pipe but it could be any coffe can or similar container. The front and rear plate is thin sheet metal (don't use galvanized). The burner is easily assembled from common hardware store parts and the blower is a battery powered pump used to inflate Coleman air mattresses.

The inside of the forge has two layers of 1" wool and a single layer at the front and the rear to protect the thin sheet metal. There is a hole punched through the shell and the wool so the burner tube can get into the heat chamber. I put a small piece of fire brick on the bottom to protect the wool from welding flux but this isn't necessary if you are just using the forge for heat treating. Before the final assembly I coated the interior and all exposed wool with a thin layer of Satanite to prevent the wool fibers from becoming airborne.

This is the same Ron Claiborne designed burner that is on my larger forges, I just scaled it down. The burner is easily assembled from common hardware store parts. A 1/2" gate valve has a 3" or 4" black iron nipple screwed in to each side. The input side has the blower attached by a piece of rubber heater hose. The output side ends in a 90 degree elbow with a reducer and a 3" section of 1/4" black iron pipe (don't use galvanized). A hole has been drilled in the 1/2" nipple on the output side of the gate valve to accept the nozzle of your propane torch. Remove the screw on flare from the end of your torch - the torch will not be lit, it is only used to provide the propane to the forge.

The forge in operation...

Looking into the heat chamber. The chamer is 6" deep, the door is about 1.5" wide and about 1" high. Large enough for small blades or even small billets for damascus. Propane will provide enough heat for heat treating and forging but to get enough heat for welding MAPP gas is more reliable.

The melted goo on this piece of steel is anhydrous borax forge welding flux. This indicates that the forge can reach welding temperature on small pieces of steel....


A forge is not a toy and messing around with large quantites of flammable gas can be very dangerous! It is YOUR responsibility to exercise due caution and care if you chose to build a forge. Be sure to comply with all local regulations and restrictions. This web page is not intended as a guide for you to use when building a forge. It is merely intended as a record of what I did and as a way of illustrating the basic fundamentals of how a forge works. I am not responsible for what you choose to do with this information.

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Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives