So finally after months of idleness Matt and I have got back to work on the forge. Last time I posted we had simply stacked the bricks and a lot of propane was leaking out between the cracks. At that point we were planning on buying a 55lb bag of refractory cement and only using a very small portion for this project. Since then we found small containers of pre-mixed fireplace mortar which seems to be working for now:
Now that most of the flame is contained inside the forge we were able to get some 12 gauge copper wire heated to "red hot" which is about 650 degrees C or 1200 degrees F. Not nearly the 1080 or so degrees C needed to melt copper, but a good start.
It seems like the next hurtle will be coming up with a better "burner" as our "sidewalk torch" is producing too much turbulence inside the furnace. So much turbulence that increasing the propane above a certain point actually lowers the temperature inside.
For now more pictures: