Mankel Forge was started in the late 1960's by a Michigan Farrier, Ken Mankel. Back then, most farriers, bladesmiths and blacksmiths were using coal forges. Ken began developing parts for the only forced air model Forge of that day. Lots of brands of gas forges are manufactured and sold today. Here are several reasons we feel the Mankel gas forge is the one for you:
- The refractory cement liner in the round-bottomed Knifemaker’s model will hold up to repeated use of flux and forge-welding heat, without requiring replacement. This refractory cement liner also reflects heat efficiently, bringing your work-piece back up to forging temperature quickly. The Knifemaker’s model can also be used for general and architectural blacksmithing
- Liners in the other Mankel models hold up to regular use better than those of most of the other gas forges available. Mankel forges don’t use an insulation blanket as lining or have fragile coatings applied.
- Adjustable air and gas flow allow for better burn and temperature control in various weather conditions and elevations.
- The open 3 sides can be closed off in a variety of ways so you can customize the forge configuration to suite your specific project needs.
- Adjustable top height on all models, using additional firebrick and longer threaded rods, allows for working larger stock.
- All 4 models of Mankel gas forge can be ordered for use with either propane or natural gas, and can be switched from one to the other at any time, with minimal equipment change.
- Gas shut-off valves can be added to each burner so fuel won’t be wasted when doing smaller jobs in multi-burner forges. A 2-burner Knifemaker’s model, running continuously at 3 pounds of propane gas pressure will consume about 20 pounds of LP in an 8 hour period in Muskegon, MI. This will vary somewhat at different elevations.
- Any model of Mankel gas forge can be ordered with either an electric blower or with a 12-volt DC blower, for use where electricity is not available.
- The 2-burner models weigh 90 -110 pounds, making them very portable. The 3-burner models weigh 130 - 170 pounds.
- We have spoken with multiple customers who have been using a Mankel gas forge for 35 years or more, without need of repair and are just now calling for replacement liners or other parts.
- When comparing the cost of a solidly constructed, low maintenance, reconfigurable, versatile Mankel forge with the competition, other factors must be considered. Add in the material and labor costs of multiple relinings and flux resistant coating application to their units; factor in costs of lost productivity while their units are being serviced; consider the cost of increased fuel consumption by their units; consider their size limitations.