DIY knife-making forge

Metalworking Workshop

The folks at TheWorkshop.Ca turned an old push mower, a leaf blower, a galvanized tank, and some concrete, ceramic filler, and aluminum dross into a small, mobile forge.

Knife-Making / Blacksmithing /Alloy Melting – Forge/Furnace

20 thoughts on “DIY knife-making forge

  1. hurf durf says:

    This is why I still read this blog. And there wasn’t any “repurposing” or gratuitous uses of the word “green” or “sustainable” or other bullshit buzzwords indicating the makers are superior and care more.

    One thing, tho. I can’t **STAND** it when people insist on *spelling out* a number (in parens, of course!) after the number being spelled out.

    I think they did it at least 3 (three) times in the article.

    I don’t understand why people do this, other than they’ve got some kind of weird perception that it makes them sound more important or serious. THE NUMBER IS 10 AND ITS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND ITS ACTUALLY 10 THAT I MUST NOW, IN PARENTHESIS, SPELL OUT THE NUMBER 10 SO THAT YOU CAN REST ASSURED THAT I ACTUALLY MEAN 10 HERE I GO (TEN).

    Stop it. Stop the madness.

    1. DIY knife-making forge Becky Stern says:

      Stop the madness indeed! ;]

  2. Paul G says:

    A nicely made video. I picked up a few handy tips on various methods.

    I had to laugh at the use of the cement mixed as a grinder and then mixing the cement in a wheel barrow. Why not use the obvious tool – the mixer?

    Point the blower holes downward to prevent the localised heating problem is my solution.

  3. Anonymous says:

    depending on if there’s cement under the blower tube it would just melt out the bottom of the tank as well. It would cause the cement to crumble prematurely if it’s under it. Just needs some tuning in use, or a blower tube with smaller and more numerous holes.

  4. FrankG says:

    Ms. Stern ?!? Not You too???

    Right off I refute Hurf Durf’s assertion that my “Special Treatment” of numerical characters is a form of self agrandizement…

    But You!!! Becky??? I thought you would understand that the world around us and all of humanities advances are based on numbers!!!

    Formulas, contants, equations, algebraic expressions, how could these be done without that small group of numeric symbols we all like to call numbers…

    Further to the point I believe that there were only 2 instances of written numeric values enclosed in parenthasis and in both cases the utilization was ligitimate…

    In closing, Hurf Durf (if that really is your name), I suggest to get a grip on that “CapsLock Key” of yours before you turn your keyboard to such accusational diatribes as listed above…

    Good Day…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey PaulG,

    We opted to use the wheel barrow for mixing the cement, largely because it was raining like crazy that day, and I just didn’t feel like getting soaked washing it out when done.

    The alignment of the air jets is set in the concrete so that’s not likely to get changed… But the solution is just to have more “Off-time” than “On” and keep the blades near the surface (that blade was buried with teh tip near the bottom.

    Ideally I’d like to use a light dimmer to slopw the blower, but this is not a Brushed AC Motor, so I have no idea if that will work.

    Anonymous’s suggesion would definately avoid such localized “Hot-Spots”…

    All the Best!

    1. says:

      The air holes in your tuyere are fine, it’s just that you have entirely too much air flowing through at any one time. Even if you cycle the blower, by the time your steel reaches critical temp each hole will have become a miniature cutting torch and slice right through your material.
      I’d consider either a new blower or restricting the intake so that you have less of an oxidizing environment.
      Great build!

  6. Sean Michael Ragan says:

    For those of you interesting in DIY knife-making equipment, I highly recommend Wayne Goddard’s “The $50 Knife Shop,” which discusses everything from homemade heat treat-ovens, to homemade forges, to homemade belt grinders. A great book that helps to tackle the “I’d love to make knives but can’t afford the equipment” bug-bear.

  7. Jason says:

    So who was covering the floyd and shredding in the beginning? Made the video even more enjoyable!

  8. Iceman086 says:

    I feel like I have to say this considering they made no mention of it in the video or blog.

    NEVER! NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER Weld galvanized metal of any kind! It creates a some EXTREMELY dangerous cyanide gas.

    While they did it in an outside environment with plenty of ventilation, it only takes a small amount to give a person Metal Fume Fever or Inhalation Fever. It can be a very dangerous thing that can easily kill a person.

    The project was well done and it is a good use of re purposed materials but I stand by this bit of safety information.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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