Homemade Forge

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i want to start blacksmithing but i don't have a forge and i want to make one for a small amount of money if possible. can anyone give me any instructions on making one and where i could find some good metal?

Edited by buddy215216

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Posted · Report post

Go to a scrapyard or junkyard. You can pick up an old brake drum from a bus or some other large vehicle for the firepot there and find the tubing (pipe) or solid rod to make legs and tuyere (T-pipe).

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Posted · Report post

Hiya buddy,
Welcome to IFI you've come to the right place to get all the info you need, but first click on User CP at the top of the page and add your location so you can get hooked up with people that may have knowlege about your specific area(suppliers,groups,etc) check the blueprints and getting started sections, they have lotsa forge plans with the simplest being the 55 side draft. I built mine out of a old gas waterheater tank ,some vent pipe, clay and a hairdryer... check out my page below for the details

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Posted · Report post

also what kind of forge is cheaper? gas, charcoal, or coal? i would think charcoal but i don't know, oh and which is safer? :D

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Posted · Report post

you will use more charcoal versus coal. Depending on where you live can decide what you use. I live in a townhouse developement. Coal would not work with the neighbors but charcoal, gas and coke would.
Gas and charcoal will be more expensive than coal. Coke will be more expensive per poundage but 50 pounds of coke roughly equals 70 pound of coal.

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Posted · Report post

so either coke or coal right?

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Coal would be cheapest if you are in an area to use it. I'm having problems finding a close source of coke or bulk charcol in my area. I will probwbly have to by alot of bagged wood charcoal from Lowe's.

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Posted · Report post

ok um i have no clue what i can find for coke or coal.

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Posted · Report post

here is some contacts for the New England blacksmith Guild in New Hampshire. they should be able to help you find coal. they might be a good guild to join in your area.

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Posted · Report post

um where are the contacts?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

oh and i think i found a place but i think its closed found it on yellowpages.

p.s. i have looked in the blueprints but i can find a forge design for a coal or coke forge i only found a gas one.

Edited by buddy215216

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Posted · Report post

Look at BP0133 the 55 Forge (solid fuel), BP0192 Gas Forge, BP0191 Gas Forge Burner.

The fuel is just a way to get the metal hot, and a forge is just a way to contain the fire. You should first find what fuels are available in your area and use that fuel. Second, find a source for a fuel you like. And there is no reason not to have two forges and run two different types of fuels.

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lol i found a few videos on youtube telling me how to make a brake drum forge which i think i will use, also think ill use charcoal(i also found a video on making charcoal for forging, :))

video url


The brake drum forge is 2 videos 19 minutes in length. The making charcoal is 2 videos 15 minutes in length.

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what i did was took a manure spreader tire rim (its big) cut the centre out and took the centre of a car rim flipped it over and welded the two together, then took the pipe needed to make the T-joint, welded it together, and made my self a tray on the bottom to collect ash and stop air from simply flowing out the bottom. the only thing i dislike about the forge is its hard to keep your fire small.

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Posted · Report post

lol ok um i really am only 13 so i wont be able to do some stuff but i got my parents to allow me to make a brake drum one(finally)

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WOW ... 13 ...

For 13 I would actually recommend making a charcoal forge for your first forge.

Brake drum forges are great with coal and coke, but there are some differences in forge designs between coal and charcoal you should know about.

Coal and coke are much heavier than charcoal and their forge designs tend to be what's called "bottom blast" design. The air delivery comes up from the bottom of the firepot (in this case, the brake drum) through a opening in the centre attached to the tuyere. This gives you an efficient and controlled burn of your fuel.

Charcoal forges are usually "side blast" design which means the air is delivered from the side of the fuel pile through the tuyere. There are some charcoal forges that have air delivery from below, but these tend to have small holes in the tuyere for the air instead of large openings (1" or larger) like in other forges. There are some great plans for a washtub forge in this forum (look them up).

The reason for this major difference in coal and charcoal is mainly because charcoal in a bottom blast forge (like a brake drum) would be blown up and out of the forge by the air balst because it is so light - this makes a huge shower of sparks and embers making a very dangerous situation. This doesn't happen with coal or coke because it is heavier.

Charcoal forges are really easy to build. You could build a simple forge with a 4" deep table packed to the top with sand, some fireplace bricks as a heat shield for your air supply, a 1" steel or copper pipe for your tuyere and an old hairdryer with a high and low speed for your blower - no welding skills needed. Should do for most smithing applications as you learn techniques (maybe not forge welding).

The other reason I recommend charcoal is that it is usually easier to find and buy than coal or coke (depending where you live). You do burn up charcoal much faster than coal or coke, but you're only 13, you're not making a carreer of this (at least not yet) so you probably won't be running your forge as long as some of the people in this forum do. Fuel costs won't be as crucial an issue for you as it would be for a full-time smith. A jumbo bag of charcoal can last you quite a while when you're first starting out. Later as you get older and more experience under your hammer, you can always switch to coal, coke or propane.

The other thing i like about charcoal is its safety. Coal and coke can stay hot for quite a while after you've turned off your blower and finished for the day. You could have glowing hot coals underneath a layer that looks like it's cold. Charcoal burns itself out completely in a shorter time. Its a minor point but I feel better at the end of a demo knowing that I will end up with cold ashes when I pack stuff up.

I'm glad to here your parents are supportive in this - you're a lucky guy. I hope you have a lot of fun with whatever forge you build.
Don't be afraid to ask question - you have an unbelievable resource in the skills and knowledge from all the people on this forum.

Aeneas

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Posted · Report post

Buddy...
Here's a link for that washtub charcoal forge I mentioned.
Charcoal Forge

Good luck.
Aeneas

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Check out beautifuliron.com as well, it has lots of good pictures of forges and talks a lot about the designs for forges, chimeny, stands, etc...

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lol i have already checked out the kaoa and ill check out the beautifuliron now

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