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I Forge Iron




BP0553 Building a Brick Forge


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BP0553 Building a Brick Forge - Part 1
by Jeremy Knippel 2006


I will try to explain the best I can on how I built this forge. Nowing that if you build a forge similar to this, you may be using mat'ls of different sizes and or re-design it to fit your needs. I'm including a lot of pictures so that any cement contractor / or yourself can see how it's done and use their / your judgement as to any changes or modifications. These are the only pics I took during construction. If I don't have a clear picture of something I will try to explain it as I go.

*******This is just my design and may not be the best way or the right way to build this.*******


In the backround is a couple pallets of bricks worth and this shows the future placement of brick forge.


These are the dimensions for the brick layout. The 2 side arches are not dimesioned but as you will see in the following pics - you will understand how they are in relationship to the rest. All they are for is access to the ash dump and extra storage under the forge, so they do not need to be any place exactly. The 24" dimension is the depth of the chimney from the firepot up,(again later pics will explain).


This is the start of the lay out so the contractor can get a feel for what is wanted. The row next to his hand will be moved over toward him so the 2 bricks on top can be placed in between the 2 side rows so the width is 3 brown bricks an 2 red half bricks.


This is the start of laying the bricks. The red half bricks for the borders are set out from the brown bricks by a 1/4" for a bolder look. Concrete ties were used ( shaped in a U and inserted in the holes of the bricks and core filled) to help hold the border bricks to the rest of the main ones.


Another view of the start.


Working on the base of the chimney.


The bricks are layed up to were the arches will set now.


This is the start of puting in the archways. The arch support is made from 1/4" x 6" flat steel. Each end has a 1"flat extension to set on the bricks. Being the arch supports were made from mat'ls at hand I had to put a rod support on the back side to hold the arch from tipping inward during the brick installation.


Laying the top row of red bricks for the (coal tray and firepot support - # 2 in the series of 3).


Another view.


The brick work is done and ready for the chimney floor (will be the same level as the coal and firepot level).


The base below the chimney was filled with extra and broke blocks for filler and filled with cement. I used a 6" galvanized pipe for a clearance hole for the 3" air intake pipe. This is a critical measurement as far as height, so that after everything is done your air intake pipe will fit into the bottom of your fire pot. Also you can see were the back of the arch was filled with mortar and smoothed upward (as a fillet weld), this may not be necessary but I did it for extra support for the arch bricks.


Fire brick was used for the inside of the chimney area. Measurements are approximate - I did not measure these during assembly - I triied to get them afterward the best a could. These are as close as I could get - you may have to slightly change these measurements as needed.


Laying the brick up as the chimney is being done. The chimney opening is starting to take shape.


The opening is almost done(14" wide, 16-1/2 " tall, and 17-1/2" at the middle of the arch). The arch support on this one is temporary - it was removed so that there was no problem with different heat expansions between the metal and brick.


Things progressing along good.


By this time I was getting pretty exited as to how it was looking.



View looking down the chimney.


Another view.


Starting the tapering of the inside of the chimney.


Tapering the sides inward so the 12"x12' flue will have a place to set.


Another view.


You can see were the inside of the transition of the taper is plastered over with mortar to make smooth for the smoke. Also there is a smoke shelf just above the top firebrick row across the back.


The rest of the outer bricks were brought up to the clay tile area and the first clay tile flue was set.


Another view.


From the bottom of the 12 inch x 12 inch flue up - insulation was put inside the gap between the outer bricks and the flue. This helps to speed up the heating of the flue to start the smoke draw. This was done all the way to the top of the chimney outside above the roof.


Another view, ready to go through the roof.


Plastic was put on the tapered area to keep motar off while proceeding through the roof.


All the brick is done, acid washed, and sealed. The chimney above the inside ceiling was made with regular block around the flue and built up to the recommended height according to the distance from the peak of the roof. I made a stainless steel roof jack for were the chimney exits the roof outside.

That's how I built my forge -Jeremy Knippel

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A fine job indeed. I've been thinking about one incorperating a masonry heater. I'll have the mass there for the using, may as well heat the shop space at the same time.  Again a great job, inspiring.   

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Man that's Kick Ass!  Nice work now post some pics of you working with it. Could you also give us a ball park figure of the cost for all the materials please......Im inbetween charcole or LP....Either way it will be new....

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I want to build something similar to this but I have no idea on the material or how to start.  Do you have any blueprints or plans you would be willing to share.  I am going off your pictures, just not sure how much materials you used. 

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I pretty like your brick forge and i'll build somethink like this for my future forge; I'm a newby and i expect to begin in the early spring. The advantage of that kind of chemney is that it's easy to add an entry on the side for a wood stove. 


Real nice job Glen !

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Hi there Jeremy Knippel. I realy want to build this forde for myself amd it looks simple enough and you explain it well... But I think that you forgot a step... The step where you put in the fire pot.... And attaching the air intake pipe to the bottom of the fire pot and how all of that was filled up. If possible can you please send me some istructions regarding this? I did supply my email address. Or contact me on Facebook (Christopher Gutweis)

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