Monday, August 8, 2011

Home Made, Low Tech "Forge"

With this little chisel making project I've got going on, I thought that I should figure out a little better system of heat treating O-1 tool steel than just laying the steel on some fire bricks and holding a propane torch over it. I was able to heat treat my striking knives on a bed of charcoal, but that wasn't really ideal either. I did some internet research and found what looked to be the easiest, most economical solution to be a "paint can forge". I bought a new 1 gallon paint can from Lowes, and found the insulation and refractory cement at a wood stove store. I used a propane bottle to form the insulation around. Once that was packed in tight, I pulled the propane bottle out ( very important step :) ) and drilled a 1" hole for the flame to enter the forge. Then I slathered on a coat of refractory cement, let that dry, and applied a second coat, making sure to coat the opening for the flame also. Apparently this insulation is pretty nasty stuff and you don't want any of it exposed to flame. Next step; try her out and see if she works.

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