Propane or gas forge is one of the best companions of a blacksmith or anyone working with metal shaping as a hobby. The best propane forge provides you with a consistent and controlled amount of heat.
Typically, a 100lb propane tank is quite suitable for the forge.
There are more to know about propane tank now. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Should You Refill or Exchange a Propane Tank?
Instead of replacing your propane tank with a new one, you can either refill it or exchange it. Both the options are much cheaper, and for some, more affordable than buying a new tank.
To get a bit more amount of propane at an affordable price, it’s good to refill the tank. It also gives you the chance to get things done under your supervision. Again, exchanging the tank is a much faster and more convenient option for many. But for this, pay attention to the tank’s weight before it’s exchanged.
Let’s know the details from the below-
1. Refilling The Propane Tank:
Refilling the propane tank is quite cheap, and gives you the chance to control and know the exact amount of propane you’re getting. For this process, you need to make sure that the tank isn’t older more than 5 years, otherwise, you might get rejected to refill it by most of the refill stations.
Besides, you’ll find that many exchange vendors have a policy to not fill the tank completely. So, it’s recommended to be well aware of your local refill stations and vendors.
2. Exchanging The Propane Tank:
For many, exchanging the propane tank is a faster and convenient process. It is because it’s easier to find an exchange vendor than a refill station. Here, you get the assurance of a safe tank and quality product.
For this process, you’re recommended to pay heed to the tank’s weight and ensure that your tank is not expired. Besides, it’s good to get a 100lb tank that can hold 24 gallons of propane, as a larger tank ensures more discount.
Best Ways to Measure Forge and Steel Temperatures
To get the best result from your forge, it’s important to know when to take out the material from the forge. For this, you need to know how to measure forge and steel temperature.
By observing the color of the steel or by using a pyrometer, using a magnet or using a thermocouple, you can measure forge and steel temperature. The best one among them depends on your convenience and requirements.
Let’s get to know the ways precisely from the following steps-
Step 1- Observe The Steel’s Color:
It’s the easiest and cheapest process. For any steel, depending on the temperature, its color can range from bright yellow to blue. The beginners are recommended to experiment with different colored steel and note down the differences.
The yellow-white color indicates that the temperature of the steel is the highest. Depending on the steel, 1100 °F to 2000 °F is the range of forging temperature. This process is more fit for the pros than the newbies.
Step 2- Use a Pyrometer:
Though quite expensive and might be affected by smoke and thermal radiation, using a pyrometer is a good choice for accurate results, especially if you’re using an optical pyrometer. This device is good for very high temperatures.
A pyrometer doesn’t require to be in contact with the measuring object. If you’re planning to a pyrometer for blacksmithing activities, make sure to buy the one that has a maximum temperature of less than 2000 °F.
Step 3- Use a Magnet:
Measuring the steel temperature by using a magnet is another cheap and easy process. This one’s most preferable if you treat low alloy steels in a forge or with a torch without any equipment for measurement.
If the steel reaches the maximum temperature, it loses its magnetism and won’t stick to any magnet. Using a magnet might not be the most precise process, but it gives you enough idea to know about the state of the steel.
Step 4- Use a Thermocouple:
There are many types of thermocouples that you can use. But the type K is one of the most recommended ones for measuring the temperature in a forge.
This device has a wide temperature range and can measure temperature up to 2300 °F. On top of that, a thermocouple is also very accurate and quite inexpensive.
For a hobbyist or a professional blacksmith, it’s crucial to have a good kind of propane tank for the forge. In this article on what size propane tank for forge, we tried to cover some important topics like the size of the tank and measurement related to propane forge and steel.
We also tried to give you an insight into the refilling and exchanging process of a propane tank. We hope this article was helpful to you.