The Forging Perch

I’ve briefly covered my entry into the world of hobby blacksmithing in the Operation Belt Grinder post which included the acquisition of a little two-burner hobby propane forge produced by the great minds over at Devil Forge in Lithuania. Quick shout out to bigstackD over in Perth for paving the way in terms of proving how great their forges perform!

The forge kit included pretty much everything I needed to get going and a quick trip to my local Bunnings Warehouse allowed me to tick the fuel box in the form of a 9kg propane tank. I hooked it all up and it roared to life! Success! Let’s start forging stuff… on the… floor? Yeah nah.

A good 8″ of dragon’s breath pumping out of the tiny forge while running both burners at 1.6Mpa to anneal an old farrier rasp

Alas, where you place your forge is not quite as easy to settle on as you would think. You see, forges get hot, and take up loads of space. They should be used in well ventilated places but can’t exactly be left outdoors. All of these parameters call for the same solution: A portable perch that can be used to wheel the forge around, even when hot, to and from where it is used and stored respectively.

Now I have a tendency (whether it’s good or bad is debatable) to hold onto “manufacturing materials of useful sizes and shapes” and in this case decided to delve into my stockpile to construct an appropriate trolley for my newfound forge. In this case, I had some extra verticals from an old rack system laying around that were just the right amount to get it built. As in, there was literally ‘n 18mm cutoff that I didn’t end up using. Given that my double garage is already SUPER packed due to having to hold all my tools as well as two cars, I needed the trolley to have the smallest footprint possible whilst still being stable and big enough to cater for the forging of longer items that may protrude from either or both sides of the forge.

I decided to use a combination of the forge and tank to determine the smallest possible footprint I could get away with, with the propane tank located directly below the forge to lower the centre and gravity. I happened to have a set of 4x heavy duty castors laying around that I picked up at a garage a while back that was perfect for this project and would allow the trolley to be wheeled around as I pleased.

The rack in it’s raw form, with just the joins having been sanded down from the original rack’s powder coating to allow me to double weld all the joints with my trusty gasless MIG

Once I was happy with the general size and shape of the trolley frame, I gave it a coat of paint and made some quick and dirty racks from some pine slats I had laying around. Then it was onto the manufacturing of the extension rack that will hold the makeshift fire brick doors and any protruding forge-in-progress bits. This also included the manufacturing of little “feet” that grab onto the forge’s base and keeps everything stable and aligned.

For the finishing touches, I put some cable ties around the gas supply hose in strategic places to ensure that regardless of what happens, the hose would always remain routed along the side of the forge and not be able to cross either of the flame-spewing business ends.

This trolley was a fun little weekend build and has made a massive difference in the frequency and ease with which I’m able to use my forge. I’m able to quickly and easily wheel it indoors after use even while it’s still red hot inside and it’s at the perfect working height when using it alongside my anvil and other tools. Future upgrades will include a simple tong rack attached to the upper rim of the trolley frame so that I can have them available at arm’s reach and also be able to hang them while hot, thus freeing up some space on my otherwise congested hammer rack.

– M

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