Building A Coffee Can Forge – Success!
Safety Alert! Before I start I want to stress safety issues. Make sure you wear the proper clothing, have buckets of water and sand ready and a fire extinguisher.
Finally! After almost two weeks of prepping the garage and gathering the needed parts, we finally made the coffee can forge! And it works! I’ll embed the video we followed to make it later in the post. But first a few words about using such videos.
We watched several videos on making the forge and it seemed fairly straight forward. Funny how when you go to do it, its not so easy. So here are our mistakes in case you decide to build your own.
Make sure you get the sand/plaster of paris mix wet enough. Ours was too dry and set to quickly; so quickly we couldn’t get the center can (used to keep the forge cavity open) out. It also left an air gap around the side pipe we used to keep the hole open for the blowtorch. Scratch one forge. I manage to save the can buy knocking out the sand/paris core. Second time was almost the same even though we made the mix wetter. This stuff sets fast! But we made it.
The second mistake we made was making the side hole for the blowtorch too big. The torch we got came with 3 different size “burners” and 2 nozzles We choose the biggest burner for size of the hole, thinking, bigger is better. Wrong! The bigger burner produced to large a volume of flame which shot out two feet from the forge – Dragon’s Breath. So we went with the smallest burner with no luck. Then we switched to the smallest nozzle and burner and it worked. While none of the videos gave any dimensions, upon watching them again, its clear they were using a very narrow burner to concentrate the flame. So now we have to come up with a way to house the smaller burner in the bigger hole. For now, its a two man job to use the forge; one to hold the burner and one to do the blacksmithing.
Here’s a link to our forge in operation. I’ll have to get my son to upload it to YouTube later so I can embed it here.
Here’s his first blacksmithing job. It’s a small flat punch or cutter that had the end bent. Using our coffee can forge and poor man’s anvil (sledge hammer face in a vise), my son was able to flatten it out. It needs more work but we just wanted to see if it would all work. We should have taken a before and after shot but we were so keen to see if it would work. Here’s the after photo though.
Here’s the video we used to make our propane coffee can forge.