Newbie forge advice needed

I want to get a propane forge. I am going to use it mainly for spiraling
square stock, heating the ends of various steel pieces and hammering to
shape, and simple tasks. I need a forge where I can heat up the middle of a
square bar and spiral, so it has to be open ended, and heat up about 12 to
18 inches of the rod. Since I will be working a lot with 1/2" and less rods
and flatbar, I need one that has open sides, or small doors on the ends..
Ideally, it would have openings on the ends and on one side.
Is something like this made? Can you refer me to any sites?
Aside from that, I have the tools, time and talent to make a forge. I have
been to many sites looking, but as of yet, I haven't been able to grasp all
this and apply it to my situation to make a forge. Is there a simple book
for dummies that explains the basics?
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I made a very simple first forge from a bit of angle iron and a few big firebricks :
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And a 3/4" burner from Hybrid Burners:
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You could easily make chunks of side & back removable, to get the openings you need. It wouldn't take more than an evening to put the whole thing together.
The firebricks are beginning to crack up a bit, and I suspect I'll end up building a new forge from a gas cylinder & ceramic wool in the next year or so, but this has been an easy way to get started.
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Richard Sewell
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every thing you will need is here. happy forging.
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There is a wealth of information around the web on building forges. I too am a (cough) newbie at this stuff. I've been spending all my allowance on tools and things and was kind of nervous about buying all the forge design materials that you will soon start to aquire. I came up with a great starter solution for the forge. Go to Harbor Freight and buy one of those weed burner hand torches for about thirty bucks. I got the one with needle valve and the turbo lever built into the grip. Pick up about 20 or 30 fire bricks and make yourself a forge/kiln by stacking them to suit your needs. I stack them lenth wise so there is a layer one deep on the bottom, two thick along the sides and two thick across the top. I createde a channel into one end of the pile by laying a layer on the bottom and one brick along each side to lay the torch into but still allow it to get plenty of air. I make a shelf at the back end so there is some venting so the flame doesn't want to reflect back at the torch and use the same opening to stick my steel into the forge. Works like a champ. I have to admit that it doesn't get as hot as you might need for some applications but as a starter forge for the money you can't beat it. When you are done (after it cools) you can tear it down and stack your bricks away while you're not using it. A beautiful solution to my needs. Check the pics on my web site:
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So, I paid 30$ for the torch 40$ for a 5 gallon propane tank and 20 dollars for the brick. 90 bucks into it all together. Cheap starter forge. I do plan to build something a bit more permenant eventually but this got me to the point where I could start to see for myself what I wanted out of my new hobby. I use a three foot length of railroad rail as an anvil. Had it modified a bit by a friend with a cutting torch and spent some time on it with a hand held side grinder. The rest is your usual shop tools; bench grinder, vice, etc. Good luck!
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