Propane Melting Furnace

I have resurrected my need to buy a propane melting furnace, crucible and tongs. I said that I would when I collected enough brass scrap to justify it. I have ordered the smallest furnace that Devil Forge makes that is still lined with cement and wool rather than just wool, but I am at a loss for what to buy for tongs. It appears that I need one set to remove the crucible and another to actually pour from it. I also need a crucible, but am waiting until the furnace arrives so that I buy one that will fit. Can anyone recommend the type of tongs that I will need? Thanks…Rob

Hi Rob,
I saw this video, on instagram, where 2 people were involved

one person used tongs to lift the crucible up a bit (just under the crucible “lip/ rim/ collar”

with enough space below her tongs, and the top of the furnace, for the second person to put position her tongs, lower down a bit…


This is a very small furnace. Think large coffee can. I hope it doesn’t take two people because there is only me in my shop. I think that I have found some tongs. They do both lifting and pouring. thanks…Rob

My new furnace arrived today. It is very well built and worth what I paid for it. Unfortunately, it came with no instructions. They appear to be fairly straight forward, but I hope that I can find instructions somewhere. The manufacturer (Devil Forge) does not post them on their website. Since they are in Lithuania, I will have to wait until late tonight for any reply to my email. Stay tuned…Rob

1 Like

Check YouTube; there are lots of videos of people using them. I’m considering one also. Pease let us know how you like yours once you get it going.

I have seen lots of videos, but none specific to this model. I am especially interested in how to season the furnace to keep it from cracking and how to flux a new crucible. I imagine the crucible isn’t any different than the open ceramic ones that I use in my shop.

Silicon carbide and clay carbide are a couple of options foe crucibles. You might want to find a foundry supply store to talk to.

I have a graphite crucible and a place to buy more. Thanks for the help…Rob

Devil Forge promptly sent me the instructions during the night. Now I can start drying out the insulation…Rob

1 Like

If you’re unsure of the moisture content left in the furnace lining, you can leave a 75-100 watt bulb in it overnight to make sure it’s dry. As to the crucible, if it’s silicon carbide or graphite, be aware flux can somewhat dissolve the crucible and shorten it’s life…aka use borax flux very sparingly.

I followed Franks advice and started with a 125 watt light bulb for several hours. Then I fired it up for a series a short, low pressure runs of 10 minutes letting the furnace cool down in between. These are basically the instructions from Devil Forge. I am now ready to move on to longer fires with the crucible inside to coat it with melted borax. In between firings, I went to a shooting range with a neighbor. First time shooting a gun in over 50 years. It was actually a lot of fun. While there, I noticed a lot of empty brass cartridges on the ground. I saved all of mine to eventually melt and cast into an ingot to see how cartridge brass works. Before I do that, has anyone already done this and can you tell me how cartridge brass behaves. I am really not sure what I will do with it after casting it. I know that cartridge brass has a lot more zinc than the jewelers brass that I use everyday. Thanks…Rob

Cartridge brass is very ductile. A friend was curious and I had the tools, so we reformed a 30’06 cartridge into a .308 Winchester, which is shorter and has a different profile, but takes the same size bullets. The resizing went smoothly and very easily. The neck wall got longer and thicker and had to be cut shorter and reamed. I mention that only to reinforce how ductile cartridge brass is.

Another instance of the ductility is in the firing of the cartridge. It actually expands in the chamber, thus sealing it so gases do not leak around the cartridge, but springs back a bit immediately so the case extracts easily. Repeated use of a case does lead to metal fatigue. I can’t tell you how many refirings that would take but it is a fair number. I don’t recall if reloaders anneal cases.

I was loading my own cartridges and used a powder that was too quick-acting for my rifle, which caused the cases to lock in the chamber but then stretch and get thin near the base - not a good thing. Another example of the ductility of the metal. This being under extreme forming pressure you won’t encounter in jewelry making. It should draw as wire very well and repond well to forging.

Some experienced reloaders fire a smaller cartridge in a larger chamber (with reduced powder load) to blow out the cartridge, converting it to a larger case with a different profile. Ductility again.

I’m sure you know, but primers should be removed before melting the brass - they are made of different metal. There are simple tools with which to do that.

Have fun recycling your brass!

Neil A

1 Like