Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives

Casting the Front Plate

The mold for the front plate started as a sheet of wood, melamine or plywood will work. Use a thick piece, a little more than a half inch is good. Cut the wood to the exact shape that you want the front plate to have. It should fit the front of your forge the same way you would want a steel plate to fit.

Cut some tin flashing into a strip long enough to go completely around the outside of the wood form EXCEPT the bottom and the door area. Cut another strip that will go scross the bottom and around the door area. The width of the strip will be set according to the thickness you want for the front plate. Mine was a little over 2" but you could probably get away with half of that.

Use screws to secure the tin to the wood to form the mold.You may want to use silicon caulk to seal the interior of the mold.

Get 3 long bolts about 1/4" or 5/16" in diameter. These will be used to secure the plate to the front of the forge. Cut 3 slots just wide enough to accept the bolts to about half the width of the flashing. Bend out the tab that you have cut loose as shown in the picture.

Place the bolts with their heads on the outside of the mold on the tabs and secure them with tape. Use tape to seal up the slot where the tab used to be.

Fill the mold with castable until it reaches the level of the bolts. Place a piece of heavy screen cut to the shape of the mold on top of the screws. This screen is optional but if the castable should break the screen should help hold the plate together. Finish filling up the mold.

If you need to set anything else into the castable, now is the time. I put in two metal tabs. Later they will have a vertical piece welded on to them to form a holder for a brick that will be used to reduce the size of the door.

Let the mold stand for at least two days. Then, carefully remove the mold from the castable. If you remove all the screws the bottom piece will come off easily. Then the upper part can be peeled loose and slid off while the plate is standing up.

The plate can be secured to the forge body by simply wrapping a few turns of bailing wire around the protruding bolts and the bolts welded to the forge body.

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Ray Rogers Handcrafted Knives