Mokume in a forge?

Happy holidays!

Once again, thank you to all of the orchid community for all of your
insight and technical knowledge. In a follow up to my previous brass
rail cap question, they decided to hot form it, and it came out
beautifully. My fiancee (a blacksmith) and I (a novice silversmith)
want to make our own wedding rings, and we have decided to give
mokume gane a try. We have decided to learn the technique using
copper and brass sheet, rather than melt hundreds of dollars worth of
precious alloys by accident. My question is this: If we are using a
gas fueled forge is it necessary to put the bolted together plates
assembly into a charcoal envelope? What is the atmosphere in the
average gas forge, reducing or oxidizing? It seems like if we aren’t
heating it in a kiln we would need to see the metal so we can tell
when to pull it out. I just got a bunch of copper and brass plate so
I think we’ll try it next week, but I wanted to see what you all had
to say about it first.

Thanks again, and happy holidays and new year to everyone,
Richard Hanberry


Merry Christmas, I use a vise like press inside an atmospheric gas
furnace or forge to compress the metals with the right flux into
Mokume. There is a really great book out there on how to do this,
but I can remember the title. I believe it was written by Steve
Midgett. Book is worth it’s weight in gold for the tables in it.

I made my vice out of ductile iron and bolts that are heat resistant
up to about 2500F.

Hope this helps, congratulations and Merry Christmas,


Hello Richard,

I’m into Mokume Gane aswell. I tried it the hard way, sometimes
with good result and more often with bad ones. Fact is that their is
a critical point that you have to examinate by experience. Little
know how’s, doe’s and dont’s. Be very observative and focused!

A very good advice which I strongly recomment is the purchase of two

Mokume Gane by Steve Midgett and a second one from Ian Fergusson both
available by or other online stores. These two books made
a hell of a difference to me. The book from Ian Fergusson gives you
more info about Kiln or forge method. I’m sure that other members of
this forum have lot’s of info for you

A visit to James Binion and Steve Midget old and new website can
show the the possibility’s of this art. The knowledge of both people
go’s far behond of what I know about this specific craft.

Take your time to dig in and do some “homework” first which will
safe you from lot’s of errors and trials.

Merry Christmas and a happy Newyear!

Steve’s book is out of print and has been replaced by a double DVD
set. Ian’s book is still available. Bill

Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sharon
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc
928-634-3434, 800-876-3434, 928-634-6734fx

Steve's book is out of print and has been replaced by a double DVD
set. Ian's book is still available. 

There are 4 used copies of Steve Midget’s book available on Starting price is $150.


just some info about the book of Ian ferguson mokume gane…

The book is still available at

4 new books are offered and 7 used ones. I had a look today (27 dec
08) in order to pass this info to who’s concerned having it.

Best regards,

There are copies of Ian Ferguson’s Mokume book through
This place offers used books from hundreds of sources. Search and be

Oh yes the Mokume books are $6 to $30. Not bad huh?


The problem with Ian’s book is is does not address making mokume in
the forge and all his data is based on using his very nice but
expensive and complex hot press. The only book that does address the
forge is Steve Midgett’s “Mokume Gane a Comprehensive Study” not his
“Mokume Gane in the Small Shop” which details how to make mokume in
his small torch fired kiln. All three books are worth having but
only the Comprehensive Study book gives detailed instructions for the
forge. It is in the section written by Bob Coogan. If you are going
to do this I highly recommend Steve’s method in the “Mokume Gane in the Small Shop” It will require making some small amount of equipment
but the scale of his system is suited to precious metals and you will
have more control than in a standard gas forge. I also highly
recommend doing several learning billets of copper and brass before
putting $2000 worth of gold in the fire and yes that is about what a
small sized gold billet will cost you.

If you have any specific questions feel free to ask. But try
practice billets first.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts