Gas Forges for Knife Making - Everything You Need to Know!

  • Published on Jan 11, 2019
  • Propane forges are popular with blade smiths for forging knives and swords. In this video knife maker Walter Sorrells discusses the ins and outs of gas forges. If you've ever wanted to make or buy a gas forge, this will tell you everything you need to know.
    More at:
    Tactix Armory:
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    Walter's Instagram: walterstactix
    Tactix Armory Instagram: tactixarmory
    Twitter: @WalterSorrells
  • Howto & StyleHowto & Style

Comments • 78

  • Gary Rose
    Gary Rose 28 days ago

    their is never a 'Everything You Need to Know', learning is a continuous process...

  • justin woodward
    justin woodward 2 months ago

    I am in the middle of my forge now. Need to build the burner, was doing a forced air ribbon burner.

  • Ethan Lane
    Ethan Lane 2 months ago

    fire brick breaks down and crumbles at repeated firings. get a kiln shelf for your floor, it will take more abuse and can withstand flux damage better.

  • nightmarejr
    nightmarejr 2 months ago

    What about ribbon burners? Where do those fall?

  • Justin Whittenberg
    Justin Whittenberg 2 months ago +6

    "If you're hesitating about making a forge, don't worry. It's not that hard.
    Secondly, a single tank of propane can blow up your entire neighborhood..."
    Thanks, Walter

  • tallanvor
    tallanvor 2 months ago

    'A single tank of gas can blow up your entire neighbourhood' ... Not if you're living in Germany ^^

  • TEXAS MADE WELDER knives and Fabrication

    I have a wool type insulation for my propane forge. Do you have to coat the insulation with a rigidizer or no?

    • Fire Creek Forge
      Fire Creek Forge 2 months ago

      If you don't, you'll probably be breathing microscopic ceramic particles as it gradually breaks off during use, which is very bad for your lungs. Also the lining won't last as long.

  • JKeetonKnives
    JKeetonKnives 2 months ago

    Great video! To make my forced air forge more safe I bought a solenoid off of amazon. It seems to get the job done without leaks. Power goes out = no gas supply to the forge.

  • Johnny L Gulledge
    Johnny L Gulledge 2 months ago

    Nice hair cut.๐Ÿ‘

  • Greg Foster
    Greg Foster 2 months ago

    Another quality helpful video, thanks Walter

  • Michael Andersen
    Michael Andersen 2 months ago

    Thanks for the overview

  • jeffrey barnes-allan
    jeffrey barnes-allan 2 months ago +1

    What do you use to seal the ceramic wool for safety

    • Phil Byrd
      Phil Byrd 2 months ago +1

      Satanite Refractory Mortar, it make a paste that you kinda slather on, then you gota dry it out into the candy shell :)

  • Ricky Calica
    Ricky Calica 2 months ago

    So why is it forges have two openings but then when you see someone making knives they block up the back side? Why not just build it with one opening if you're going to block the back end up anyway?

    • Blaine Hill
      Blaine Hill 2 months ago +1

      If you have 2 openings, then you can make things that are longer than the chamber; if you make something that isn't longer than the chamber, you can block the other side so it retains heat better.

  • dani subi
    dani subi 2 months ago

    I would really like a video on how to avoid warps and lateral curbaratures on the heat treatment.
    Great one by the way

  • MerchantMonk
    MerchantMonk 2 months ago

    I have a ferrier forge, 2 burner venturi.
    Good to go? Or make a new one?

    • Kenneth Kustren
      Kenneth Kustren 2 months ago

      Farrier ... as in Horseshoes and Trimming for equine industry... I knew you knew. Right ?

  • Joseph Rector
    Joseph Rector 2 months ago +2

    Walter you must of done a large production run of tactix armory blades and ran out of arm hair and used your hair on your head for testing..

  • Terence Gill
    Terence Gill 2 months ago +4

    when warning about the use of the dangers of propane you failed to mention; when propane leaks it acts somewhat like water. So when it leaks it lies low to the ground and builds up, unlike natural gas that can be detected quickly . always store it outside and run a fuel line from the outside if you can. As an retired pipefitter and inspector I have seen a number of fires caused by a build up of lp gas. A good idea is to have a vent close to the floor so if there is a leak it will flow to the outside,
    another mistake is not shutting off at the tank. if shut off at the forge and a fire starts and melts the hose, now you have a propane tank feeding the fire.

  • GoFindYourself GFY
    GoFindYourself GFY 2 months ago

    Fantastic video as always, thanks.

  • 3RDi
    3RDi 2 months ago

    It Will Kill.....

  • Rick Rabjohn
    Rick Rabjohn 2 months ago

    Terrific video Walter - one of your best I have seen. Should be a big help to the community. So, thanks for sharing; Booyah!

  • Studio OOOMS
    Studio OOOMS 2 months ago

    Question for everybody interested in forges: I used an old fire extinguisher, cut open one side , put a tube in it, filled the sides up with concrete and removed the tube when the concrete was hardened. So far it seems to work fine but does somebody know why it might be dumb to use concrete?

    • Studio OOOMS
      Studio OOOMS 2 months ago +1

      Thank you for your reply. The crumbling makes sense... I might have some water glass here so I will just soak the inside with it and see what happens.

    • Bengt Cenatiempo
      Bengt Cenatiempo 2 months ago

      Guido Ooms I've always heard that without water glass to like, seal the concrete and give a heat resistant binding agent to hold the concrete together under the high heat of a forge. without this taken into consideration, the concrete will tend to crumble and breakdown sooner and thus need replacement sooner. I've also heard of using like perlite in the concrete mixture not so much to stretch it out, but to add air pockets and increase its refractory ability. since air is a very good insulator.

  • Sandro Kraner
    Sandro Kraner 2 months ago

    Walter what is your opinion on the forges form Devil Forge? I am walking on the fence of buying a forge or making one.

    • 3RDi
      3RDi 2 months ago

      I bought one and really like it. Originally I thought, if the forge sucks at least I have a burner to use but the whole thing is quite good for the money.

  • Dylan Zrim
    Dylan Zrim 2 months ago

    Castable con #2.
    Needs curing.

  • Jeremey Allen
    Jeremey Allen 2 months ago +1

    KEAL not KILL

  • Logan Sumrell
    Logan Sumrell 2 months ago

    great video...thanks Walter

  • Working Hands Making Stuff

    I think a more important role for a thermocouple is to cut off the gas if the heat drops. These are standard in commercial gas cooking equipment (pizza ovens, fryers, etc). You need to hold an override button down to open the gas on your pilot until the thermocouple heats up and keeps the valve open, then you start the oven. The pilot should stay in all the time but I've seen them blow out from stupid reasons. Leave one of these running all night and trying to light something the next day would be disastrous.
    Putting something like that in line in your forced air propane forge would cause the propane to cut off shortly after the power went out resulting in the flame going out.

  • Seraph X2
    Seraph X2 2 months ago

    how exactly do you sponsor your own show? that makes no sense.

    • Jon Clarke
      Jon Clarke 21 day ago

      By someone saying hey, I love this guys work but I really don't have the time, patients or skills to make my own. Maybe I'll just buy one of his knives. Advertising is always good.

  • Sharp Works
    Sharp Works 2 months ago +12

    2:30 that carbon monoxide warning was perfect ๐Ÿ‘Œ

  • thinePAC
    thinePAC 2 months ago +1

    Thanks for another great video Walter. Iโ€™m wondering if you have experience with or could comment on use of a ribbon burner - specifically as it applies to knifemaking & Damascus/pattern welded steel?

    • Daniel Crawford
      Daniel Crawford 2 months ago

      I was hoping he would cover ribbon burners too. Hope he does at some time

  • Pete's Creative Recycling
    Pete's Creative Recycling 2 months ago +6

    I made my 1st forge. It was small but got me through what I needed it to do... It was a coffee can, lines with plaster of Paris/Florida sand mix and a map gas can with the Home Depot trigger kit. It worked well and was really cheap! I made some decent knives and was able to sell some for more than the cost of the steel... then I used the money I made from using that to buy one from NC Tool. Money well spent! Making one yourself to start is great, but soon as you can buy a good manufactured forge you'll step that game up tremendously!

    • Pete's Creative Recycling
      Pete's Creative Recycling 2 months ago +1

      +Dylan Zrim yeah... but by that time I made enough money for a real forge. If I didn't, I would have just made another one. I used it for a whole year and it's still good and works fine years later. Really, you should outgrow the thing before you wear it out.

    • Dylan Zrim
      Dylan Zrim 2 months ago +1

      Pete's Creative Recycling until you need to change refractory. Then you realise it's a tin can with refractory in it.

  • Shaping Silver
    Shaping Silver 2 months ago +1

    Very nice summery. I'm planning to build one for toolmaking in the near future, so excelent timing. Thanks Walter.

  • Bower Creates
    Bower Creates 2 months ago

    How well does natural gas work for forging?

    • Daniel Crawford
      Daniel Crawford 2 months ago

      +Johnny Martin , thanks brother. I had forgotten about the low line pressure for household natural gas. Great catch there sirSir awesome that someone else can pick up the game and share info.
      Blessed days sirSir, Crawford out

    • Bengt Cenatiempo
      Bengt Cenatiempo 2 months ago +1

      I've considered tapping into my natural gas line in order to do a similar situation. though I have no own doubts and concerns about messing around with the already older gas plumbing in this old house. plus it's a rental....

    • Daniel Crawford
      Daniel Crawford 2 months ago +1

      Someone may have more known factors and true numbers than I. That said the btu's from natural gas are to some extent lower than that of propane. As such it is necessary to use more natural gas to produce the same temperature in a forge/ foundry.
      I guess the basic answer is yes qualified by it will take more natural gas to produce the same results.
      Blast of luck and blessed days sirSir, Crawford out

  • elindred
    elindred 2 months ago +1

    Nice video. Do you have an opinion on induction type forges and their potential use in knife making?

    • Dylan Zrim
      Dylan Zrim 2 months ago

      elindred mostly heat treat/temper.
      Rather slow, and not very precise for other work.

  • Roman Tressler
    Roman Tressler 2 months ago

    As a person who repairs different equipment (food equipment) and gas ovens and what-nots are among them, many thermal couples can't handle temps as high as forges, shoot after a while many probes go bad dude to constant heating and cooling after just a couple years in equipment getting no hotter than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. So it would be a waste of money and time to put those in a forge

  • Wing Nut Bert
    Wing Nut Bert 2 months ago

    Great video Walter. Any thoughts on high heat paint for a forge? Will it survive in/outside surface temps and slow corrosion? Or just a waste of paint?

    • Daniel Crawford
      Daniel Crawford 2 months ago

      I've heard ITC 213ht is one of the best coatings for the metal or painted metal. May be something you could check out.
      Best of luck and blessed days, Crawford out

  • Oskar Skoglund
    Oskar Skoglund 2 months ago

    Really good video, make more gas forges people!

  • noble green
    noble green 2 months ago

    Hey walter try making sworss from different backgrounds

  • Freshkryp69
    Freshkryp69 2 months ago

    Patreon sucks ran by a bunch of snowflakes.. Use Paypal instead...

    • Wing Nut Bert
      Wing Nut Bert 2 months ago

      Jeez, I hadn't thought of that.
      Does Paypal have a "Donation" function to send money w/o the receiver issuing an invoice?
      I'd never have the budget to do monthly. But to be able to do a donation when I can afford to would be awesome!!!! I think this would be great for a lot of YT'ers.

  • ืฉื•ืŸ ื—ื•ืกืžืŸ

    fire extinguisher is a good choice?

  • Philip F R
    Philip F R 2 months ago +1

    Liked like always! :) You and simplelittlelife have been a big inspiration to me

  • chris diaz
    chris diaz 2 months ago

    Any DIY guys are out there doing a forced air propane forge
    Use an electric gas oven regulator for gas safty,
    should be easy enough to find one on the side of the road or a backyard somewhere.

  • ifell3
    ifell3 2 months ago +3

    Great video, a perfect forge is someone else's on TheXvid aha

  • Joel Westlin
    Joel Westlin 2 months ago

    What would be your recommendation for a propane forge if heat treatment is the primary use?

  • Nart Wumar
    Nart Wumar 2 months ago

    Any specific ratings for the gas pressure ?

    • Daniel Crawford
      Daniel Crawford 2 months ago

      That would be dependent upon the temperature requirements for the work based on burner construction and position and if its venturi style or forced air whether direct applications or ribbon burner style.
      Venturi style seem to operate from 12 to 25psi from what I've read.
      Direct forces air seem to operate from 5 to 10psi.
      Ribbon burners seem to operate from 2 to 8 psi from what I've learned.
      Of course these are generalizations of what I've learned and do very widely dependent on the forge shape construction and materials plus altitude one operates and the ambient temps during operation.
      All of these things are subjective and I'm pretty sure that's why nobody gives like exact settings, however I think these generalizations can be as useful as starting points.
      Best of luck and blessed days sirSir, Crawford out

    • Don Vaughan
      Don Vaughan 2 months ago

      At least 0 to 30 psi.

  • Metalerman
    Metalerman 2 months ago

    I made my forge about about a year ago and it works grate. It easily gets up to forge welding temperatures hereโ€™s what it looks like

    • Lyle W
      Lyle W 2 months ago

      nice little write up. good job.

  • Billy Martin
    Billy Martin 2 months ago

    Bub u have told me more in this one video then I have learned in the ton of videos I have watched about what stuff to use in making forges and what's the best way on what u are making and what to use for liners wish this vid was up a few month's ago. Thanks bub keep up the great vids

  • Gabriel Marineau Plante

    I'll most likely make one with my brother in law over this summer. Looking foward to it.

  • grandadmiraltony
    grandadmiraltony 2 months ago

    Any recommendations on suppliers for burners, and insulation that you like/prefer?

    • Wing Nut Bert
      Wing Nut Bert 2 months ago

      Can also look up on YT burners that are assembled out of black iron pipe fittings and use a specific MIG welding gun contact tip for the gas orifice. No welding even needed I think.

    • Cecil White
      Cecil White 2 months ago

      Larry Zoleller (, has a lot of designs and sells his stuff. if you have a local furnace/firebrick place you can get kaowool (ceramic fire blanket), or you can order off of ebay/amazon. There's a new fire blanket out that you don't have to coat, can't remember what it's called, but it doesn't metastasize in your lungs, and costs about the same as kaowool. You can make your own refractory cement - water down furnace cement (available at Menard's, Tractor Supply, and most places that sell furnace duct) to the consistency of plaster of Paris and combine with Perlite (not vermiculite).

  • bwhip
    bwhip 2 months ago

    In a vertically-oriented forge, what supports the workpiece? Isn't it above the bottom of the forge?

    • Perry Wolf
      Perry Wolf 2 months ago +1

      No, you'd still use fire brick for the floor bringing it up to the front opening. He's just saying in the vertical forge the floor brick is easier to replace.

  • Plantbased Outdoors
    Plantbased Outdoors 2 months ago +1

    I've been using a coffee can forge I made using plaster of paris, sand, and water for about 5 months now. So far it is holding up great. It was very cheap to make. But the downside is that the plaster/sand mix is very heavy.

  • Michael Bear
    Michael Bear 2 months ago

    I love watching your videos. Always very informative!

  • Memnochthejew
    Memnochthejew 2 months ago +2

    Nice video