Ed's Editorial

Installment #1, Building a Vertical Welding Forge (WIP)

I thought this information might help some folks along. This is the 1st installment of a WIP (Work In Progress) of the last vertical welding forge I built…


It’s time to build a new welding forge! For several years I’ve been using a Kawool insulated welding forge, mainly due to the high cost of castable… but seems I’m doing much more forge welding these days, and the lining only lasts a couple of months… in short I’m just tired of repairing, and being down for a week until things cure enough to use the forge again. So, time to “bite the bullet” and spend the money on a forge that should last several years.

First order of business is a “shell”. My pal, Steve Kelly, donated an old air compressor tank to me a while ago…..and it’s just the ticket for this project. 16″ diameter X 24″ long. First thing was to cut the ends out, and then split it down each side…

I’ve been forging larger and larger billets, so I decided I wanted a “chamber” size of at least 16″ long X 10″ wide. Since the castable needs to be at least 3″ thick to perform well, the 16″ compressor tank is just right. In order to achieve the distance I wanted, the tank was split lengthwise. First I built the openings of 3/4″ X 6″ A36, making the front door 10″ X 4 3/4″. This allows me to stack standard sized firebricks to make the opening smaller, or remove them to enlarge it… depending on how large the billet is.


I also built a “back door” that is 5 1/4″ X 4 3/4″… that way it can be closed off with two firebricks when not needed as a “pass through”.

Once the “doors” were welded to the shell, it was time to add in 8″ extensions on each side to create a large oval.


Now it’s “bite the bullet” time… shelling out the approx. $500 for Kast-O-Lite 3000F castable refractory, and the FOB (shipping cost) to get it here. The best deal I could locate was $58.90 per 55lb. bag, and $150 FOB whether they ship one bag… or an entire pallet. I’m getting 6 bags, which should do the entire lining of the forge, and give me a left over bag for future needs.

Once the castable arrives, the first thing is to pour the floor, and let it cure for a week, then get the burner holder placement set, and the forms built for the inside. I’ll get more pics at it goes along and continue on this thread.

This is the first installment… more to come!!!

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