Survivalist Training Tips and Equipment

Make your own Mini- Metal (or glass) Forge.

A small metal forge cam come in very handy when you are living off grid.  Here are some instructions on making your own!
Picture of Itty Bitty Mini Forge
Step 1: Assemble Your Supplies
Picture of Assemble Your Supplies

You will Need The Following:

  • A can – we used a 28 ounce can.
  • A block of wood
  • A black iron pipe nipple – 1/2″ x 2″
  • Two L brackets
  • A pair of wood screws to afix the brackets to the block of wood
  • A pair of small metal screws with washers and nuts to afix the can to the L brackets
  • A small bag of sand
  • A box of plaster of Paris
  • A gallon ziplock bag to mix the sand and plaster
  • A standard propane torch with a spiral flame nozzle
  • Some water
  • Safety glasses
  • Fire Extinguisher – just in case

Step 2: Prepare Can

Picture of Prepare Can

Drill two holes, about a half inch in from either end of the can.

On the opposite side of the holes, about an inch from the back of the can, drill a 1/2 inch hole for the black iron pipe nipple, at a slightly downward angle.

 Step 3: Fasten L Brackets to Wood Block

Picture of Fasten L Brackets to Wood Block

Measure out your brackets against the length of your can and where you drilled your bracket holes in the can.

Step 4: Affix Can to Brackets

Picture of Affix Can to Brackets

Use metal screws with a washer and nut and fasten securely.

Step 5: Attach the Pipe Fitting

Picture of Attach the Pipe Fitting

Just screw it in. It should all look like this.

Step 6: Make & Pack Your Fireproof Lining

Picture of Make & Pack Your Fireproof Lining
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Mix equal part sand and plaster of Paris in a gallon Ziplock bag, with enough water to make a moist clay consistency. It’s a little too crumbly in this photo, and not quite enough. This was actually the hardest part for us.

We used a 12 oz plastic cup for measuring and based on that would recommend 3 cups each of sand and plaster, and about 1- 1.5 cups of water.

You have to work pretty quickly because the stuff starts to set up fairly fast, and starts getting crumbly.

Pack the mixture in firmly, until the can is about 3/4 full, then dig out a 1.5 inch diameter cavity (we used a plastic spoon), leaving about 3/4″ plaster/sand lining the can.* Carve a wider hollow towards the back (bottom) of the can, to create a better heat retention area.

Run a tool, or the back of your plastic spoon through the iron pipe nipple to clear out the plaster there. Wipe the outside of the whole thing clean with a wet paper towel, and then let it sit for a half hour.

*Alternatively (it occurred to us later), you can probably stuff the nipple with paper, and insert a toilet paper tube into the center of the can, or something similar, and pack the plaster in around that, then either remove it or let it burn when you turn on the torch.

Step 7: Fire it Up and Dry ‘er Out!

Picture of Fire it Up and Dry 'er Out!
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Insert the propane torch nozzle into the pipe nipple and light ‘er up! If the air holes on the nozzle are near the tip of the nozzle, make sure they’re not covered. Your itty bitty forge will burn cold for about 10 min. or so, until the last of the moisture in the fireproof lining is burned off, and then you’ll start seeing the classic red glow of a nice hot forge.

Step 8: Forge Away!

Picture of Forge Away!
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Now you can start doing some small scale metalsmithing and glass forging.