Need help building forge!

Hello, i’m pretty new to blacksmithing, but I took a class and want to build my own home forge. We started the class with “primitive” forges that used billows, and I quite liked the design (but I want to use a hair dryer this time around). The forges were made of some sort of clay/sand mix, and I was wondering if anyone has every heard of something of the sort.

@Chris0 i am also new and have the same questions and one of my own and my question is would an old water heater work for a forge to do large projects

@ric A gas or coal forge? A water heater is very large, and you would need some pretty serious burners and insulation in there to get stuff up to temperature - I would not recommend that scale at a beginner level as that is just a lot of money.

@Chris0 I have some resources on the type of forge you are looking to build, I’ll gather that later tonight and reply again unless someone here on the forums beats me to it :slight_smile:

it would be a gas forge and it would only be for large stuff like a scottish claymore ect
for small to medium thing i am not sure what i want to use gas or coal

and sorry for such a long time for not answering as i been working hard

For a claymore I would use a coal forge setup,as coals are shapeable to cover long or short blades. It would take many propane nozzles to cover all 5-6 inches of claymore, although if you have the money for various propane parts I ain’t stopping you from using it. I would use a small gas forge for small to medium projects, because smaller forges are less costly from using less resources and can heat quicker in that smaller space. I have made a working coal forge from random materials around my house, and it has it’s goods n’ bads; I could adjust where the coals are and where the air comes from and stuff.

Hi Chris,
I have parts all set to go but am in grad school, so sadly, my garage is lonely and my desk an overused mess. I am building two forges this summer, I will use an old offset texas style barrel smoker, so the firebox will be my small one, and the smoking chamber my long one. See attached pics. Point is, you can make a forge out of about any heavy gauge steel, pipe, red iron, bucket etc, or even brick. Kaowool blanket ( not the cheapest stuff) and firebrick ( not bad) are readily available. Pipe fittings and a small 120 v fan can give you a blown unit which develops more heat, and is more efficient fuel wise. You just build a carburetor, so a pipe T or inline elbow with a valve to adjust air input, and a valve on your fuel supply. Nozzles can be MIG welding

tips, pretty cheap, any welding supply has them. I am still struggling w/ figuring out how to use natural gas instead of propane. Good Luck!


ne ( like 32". Don’t forget, your hilt won’t be heated typically, so 32" of forge is good for most blades. A claymore or O katana an exception of course. Alternatively, a chunk of large diameter pipe or rectangular tubing can make a good shell for a propane forge. Just a thought

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