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Old 05-12-2006, 12:04 PM
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bullsi1911 bullsi1911 is offline
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Location: Austin, By God Texas
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Building a firepit/ heat treater

I just saw a backyard propane powered firepit for sale and started thinking about building my own. And like all 'tinkering' projects, I started thinking about taking it one step too far.

Now, I'm not trying to build a forge. I think my neighbors and wife would kill me if I started hammering on an anvil. But I'm just looking to build something that will take O-1 to non-magnetic so I can quench it.

I was thinking of repurposing old grill parts like the regulator, burner, valves, etc... to turn a galvenized tub (or other metal container surrounded by rocks/ bricks) into a backyard gas fireplace like this: .

But it would be cool to be able to kick into high gear and have a fire that I could heat treat blades with.

Would I have to build a seperate burner to create that kind of fire, or could I just turn it up to eleven and get it done?


"It's a shame that Stupidity isn't painful"
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Old 05-12-2006, 01:55 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Location: Wauconda, WA
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I don't think anyone can answer your questions with certainty in absolute terms. From the looks of that pit, I would guess you would need a burner that just DUMPED propane in huge quantities to get that to a steady 1500 F above the sand over an area large enough for a sizeable blade and hold it for any length of time.

A one-brick forge can hit those temperatures using only a propane torch for the heat source. The trick isn't only how much fuel you can deliver, it's how much volume you can insulate and how well you can insulate it. The problem with that pit is the volume it's trying to heat is all of the outdoors....


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Old 05-12-2006, 02:53 PM
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bullsi1911 bullsi1911 is offline
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Good point, Ray. My idea as it stands now is to have a low-volume burner like a grill under some grill rocks for the ambiance flame and cooking hotdogs over a fire.

Then have a side burner I can turn on could blow into a one brick forge or pipe forge. I'm just getting tired of using the Acetylene torch with it's pin-point flame to do the heat treat right now.


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Old 05-12-2006, 08:33 PM
darrin clause darrin clause is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: brantford on. canada
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Hi bullsi1911 buy a rosebud tip for your torch it'll heat a 4" area of steel in a minute.
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Old 05-12-2006, 11:35 PM
Drunkenduck Drunkenduck is offline
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Exclamation A word of caution

Just a quick point. If you are using any galvenized material it cannot be subjected to high heat without causing a serious health risk. If you use a galvenized tub, you will have to insulate it some way so that the steel does not get heated or you can produce zinc vapors that could make a widow out of your wife.

Doug Lester
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blade, forge, knife

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