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  #1  
Old 05-09-2017, 11:18 PM
FMLOL FMLOL is offline
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Fire resistant materials for work table?

So I've got a decent wooden work table and I'd like to set up a small forge on it. Any recommendations for inexpensive material to put underneath the forge to prevent damage to the table? I'm just making a small fire brick forge.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:59 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Yeh personally I wouldn't put my forge on anything that is wood. if you must grab some thick sheet metal. Even if you cover it in sheet metal it will probilly protect it from actually catching fire BUT the sheet metal could get hot enough to leave burn marks on the wood. I have mine on a metal tool cart, they are cheap and you can move them around
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:06 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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I would advise against placing a forge on a wooden table/bench. Even if you were to cover the table/bench with sheet metal, you're still running a big risk. I've seen several individuals loose their shops, and a couple who lost their homes because of this very thing.

Anything less then a full metal/steel stand/table for a forge is just not a prudent decision.


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Old 05-10-2017, 08:17 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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A small metal cart costs about $40 at Harbor Freight., here is a link.

https://www.harborfreight.com/16-inc...cart-5107.html
You need metric wrenches and or sockets for assembly. I have one and use it quite a bit and if I had a forge it would go on one of these so I could take it outside. A forge indoors needs significant ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide build up and I do not like the smell of burning propane either.


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Old 05-10-2017, 09:19 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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What the others said. I assume a propane forge?
Here's my experience. My wife had a little wooden end table she was eventually going to refinish. I used it first time with my homemade propane forge. I put a piece of slate under the front of the forge. The heat from the opening cracked the slate and the wood underneath started scorching. Oops...

I have a post and base and table from an old drill press. I though that will make a great forge table with a sack of birdshot on the base to stabilize it. It's only about waist high & so a little low. So I added a little wooden box on top to raise the propane forge. Having learned my lesson with slate I put fire brick underneath, the stuff that is about 4"x9"x about 3/4 or 1" thick. Okay worked great...for about 30-45 minutes and then started smelling wood burning and looked around. Oh, it's under the fire bricks.
Okay, on to the next plan. Next I put a layer of KOA wool underneath. Okay that worked....for about an hour and didn't realize the wood was converting to charcoal underneath until smoke started seeping out. When I realized it I had to pour water on it to keep it from flaming.

And so, now the forge sits on the cast iron drill table, albeit a little too low, and even then with firebricks underneath, as I'm afraid given enough time, the cast iron will melt. Forges by necessity, burn very hot. They can melt steel and so what I have learned is there is no really safe way to put one on wood and adequately insulate the wood.

Only way is to raise it high enough above the wood surface, maybe with a layer of sand AND refractory wool, and to do that it still would not be advisable for indoor use. Just simpler and makes more sense to, as mentioned above, build something dedicated to the forge alone from steel or masonry, or use something like the metal cart listed.


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Old 05-10-2017, 10:00 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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WNC...Seems you figured this out already hopefully he wont have too cause you already did....That "wood converting to charcoal" is exactly what I ment by even if it doesn't catch fire it could still burn under sheet metal (or what ever your using) and if you don't pick everything up and look under the metal when your done and don't see it it could sit there and burn away and possibly take your shop with it. As jim pointed out the metal rolling table that I use for my forge and I think jim uses for his grinder are cheap enough 40$ so you don't burn the house down...enough said
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:36 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Yeah, that KOA wool "blanket" just kept enough oxygen away to keep it from flaming up. I was outdoors so no biggie but I did get a lesson on how hot it gets just outside of the opening and below a propane forge.

I like that rolling cart Jim posted. Could come in handy for all manner of junk! I try to stay out of HF. I see too many things I "need".


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Old 05-10-2017, 05:22 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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I have my grinders on a much bigger and heavier duty cart guys and it's plastic with a wooden frame I put the grinders on so the top doesn't sag, the metal cart I linked is too small for both my grinders. Would be noisy with my 1x42, but my 2x48 is quiet and barely has any vibration. I use the metal cart a lot with a piece of plywood on it for cutting leather for belts and such.

And with certain precautions like putting some fire brick under the forge so it burns off the edge and not burn the paint would be great as a mobile forge with the tank on the bottom shelf. Of course you can turn the top shelf over and not have a pan top, but a nice flat surface that the forge could be secured to as well.


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Old 05-21-2017, 02:26 PM
J.Pierce J.Pierce is offline
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A steel table would be my first choice, but I think a decent sized pad of fire brick could be made to be safe also.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:47 PM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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I keep my forge on a cinder block close to the ground.

I keep my Paragon KM-24 on a wooden bench with a sheet of insulwool under it.


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