Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Build a Gas Forge

A gas forge allows you to heat metals before shaping and working with them. This small gas forge will give you the heat to do anything when combined with the right hammer and anvil set.

Safety gear must always be worn when working with forge.

Here's what you need:

  • 1 ½ inch black pipe nipple, 4 ½-inches (11.4-centimeters) long
  • Fire bricks
  • 5-gallon (19-liter) metal bucket
  • Two 1 ½ inch-by-1/8 inch flat bars, 25-feet (7.6-meters) long
  • Two 1 ½ inch conduit lock rings
  • Three ¼-20 NC bolts
  • Ceramic blanket
  • Gas burner, with burner holder

Here's what to do:

  1. Make the legs. Bend each of the flat bars, as follows. Make a bend 2 inches (5 centimeters) from each end of the bars. Make a second bend about 6 inches (15 centimeters) from each end. Remember, most 5-gallon (19-liter) buckets have a slight taper, so both legs shouldn't be exactly the same.
  2. Make the burner holder. Drill three holes for the 20 NC-bolts. Make two holes on either side of the bottom of the bucket. Make the third hole on top. Screw in the bolts to hold in the burner.
  3. Attach the legs. Bolt the legs onto the forge, so the long, flat end stands on the ground. Make sure the front of the bucket is at a 90 degree angle with the front legs.
  4. Attach the burner holder. Saw a hole in the forge body to hold the burner holder. Insert the burner, making sure it's well sealed so no gas will leak out [source: Reil].
  5. Install a ceramic blanket lining. Line the forge with a ceramic blanket. Make sure the one you choose has a safety rating of at least 2300 degrees Fahrenheit (1260 degrees Celsius) [source: Zoeller].
  6. Install some fire bricks. Secure the fire bricks to the forge floor. You may have to cut the bricks so they're the right size.
  7. Pile fire bricks in front of the forge. Seal the front of the forge (the open end of the barrel) with fire bricks, leaving an adequate opening for the type of work you plan on doing.
  8. Attach the burner assembly. Attach the burner assembly to the burner holder. Be sure the flare stays embedded in the ceramic blanket. This will protect the flare from the extreme heat inside the forge.

Your forge is ready!