Johnson forge question

Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
122
I have the opportunity to get this Johnson forge for free, and thought I would get your folks' opinions before I do. Is this any good for knifemaking? Or is it just gonna be something else to hassle/tinker with. Think it gets hot enough for forge welding? What's the intended design behind a forge like this, and does it have certain quirks? I'm only familiar with my homemade venturi style propane forge, not commercial units like this. Thanks!
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Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
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Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Aug 20, 2004
Messages
32,989
Post the model number and some photos of the blower. It looks like a 121 or a 1200..

Those old Johnsons are industrial/commercial beasts. They cost thousands new. The hitch is they run off natural gas. I don't recall anyone converting one to propane. They use a LOT of fuel. You will have to find out if you have sufficient gas pressure in your lines to run one at a home.

A long time ago I had a very old Johnson Bench/Rivet 101 forge from the 1920's. It was cute, but pretty much useless for anything I did. Bought it for a $1 at a yard sale in the 80's. Gave it to a friend to use as a decoration on his front porch with petunias growing out of it.

I suspect you could easily rebuild it to run on propane with a ribbon burner and have a very efficient forge. That would be my suggestion.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
122
Post the model number and some photos of the blower. It looks like a 121 or a 1200..

Those old Johnsons are industrial/commercial beasts. They cost thousands new. The hitch is they run off natural gas. I don't recall anyone converting one to propane. They use a LOT of fuel. You will have to find out if you have sufficient gas pressure in your lines to run one at a home.

A long time ago I had a very old Johnson Bench/Rivet 101 forge from the 1920's. It was cute, but pretty much useless for anything I did. Bought it for a $1 at a yard sale in the 80's. Gave it to a friend to use as a decoration on his front porch with petunias growing out of it.

I suspect you could easily rebuild it to run on propane with a ribbon burner and have a very efficient forge. That would be my suggestion.

Awesome, this was exactly the sort of answer I was looking for. Thanks as always Stacy! I'll see if I can find the model number/pics.
 
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