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  1. Hey all, So I know this has been asked before, but I am new to the world of forging and am on a limited budget so I built a brake drum forge, with a 1.5 inch flange and pipe welded onto the bottom, with the tee fitting to allow for an ash dump and an air supply (two speed hair dryer). I initially made the mistake of using anthracite coal, so I switched to lump charcoal, because I cant find bituminous. I am able to get the forge hot enough to bring my rail road spike up to a nice glowing red, but after the first heat it's a constant battle to get the spike back up to a good temp as well as getting a uniform even temp on the spike. Not sure what I am doing wrong, because I know it gets hot enough, I melted one of my spikes in half. I have spent almost 50 hrs trying to make a single knife, so I am getting discouraged. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. I decided to try designing a fire pot for my eventual coal/coke forge and I'm not sure if my clinker breaker design will cut the mustard. Does anyone have any input on if this design will work or experiences with a similar design? Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Best Regards, Jason
  3. So I recently picked up a 'new' 2nd hand forge. From what I could see on first hand is that is is quite a good shape, the last owner said that his dad gave it to him brand new a couple of years ago and that he'd wanted to get in to blacksmithing, tried it out and found out it wasn't for him, and he had it sitting in his workshop for a few years and decided to sell it. I paid 165 euros for it and it works like a dream. I am extremely happy with my purchase, I practically stole it from him
  4. I've had next to no luck trying to find some local coal over here in Oregon, more specifically the Portland area. I've been buying my coal online for at least a dollar a pound! And it's really killing my wallet. Sure I can use lump charcoal for most things but it produces quite a bit of flaming debris, and getting a good forge weld is next to impossible. I've called every stove shop around and they've all stopped carrying, and yes I've called valley farrier (stopped stocking), mountain brook forge (haven't picked up phones in 2 weeks, sucks because they seemed like a real good option), central fuel in up in Chehalis (stopped stocking). I've heard of somebody down in Monroe that sells coal, but haven't got a phone number, nor do I know if he still does it. Ive made really sure to dig through all the forums and old threads before I started this one, I used the iforge iron function and the google :iforgeiron function. So can somebody help me either..... A- learn to somehow forge weld with charcoal? B- Find coal locally for a good price C- Give up and move to a gas forge? ps- I'm 18 years old and I'm trying to get into blacksmithing, none of my friends are interested which doesn't really bug me, I like blacksmithing because it's of the old world anyways. So I'd really to find some friends to forge with -Jonas
  5. For those that haven't seen my post about me acquiring an antique forge recently, the picture of it is below. I wanted your advice on how I could make a firepot about softball sized with extra flat space (I don't know the specific name of it, like a table) around it for holding coal. Since my forge is a rivet forge it did not come with a firepot and with the tuyere about half an inch above the bottom of the pan. My idea was putting dirt into the bottom of the pan so it would fill in that half an inch under the tuyere. Then I'd make the firepot out of sheet metal. The pan is 18" diameter. Thoughts on this idea or if you have another idea?
  6. So to start off hello everyone, I've been trying to start, but i'm having some worries about how i can build my forge, at the moment i was going to use the box forge that's pinned but i haven't had time to build it, so my father decided to do it but it seems like he went a bit overboard this thing is absurdly large something like 3ft x 3ft and a foot deep and he used what i think is treated wood (I know treated wood had arsenic in it and couldn't be burned im not sure if its still like this today, but is it safe to heat it? aka being the box? ) now in the last few days someone heard i was trying to start blacksmithing and gave me a whole bunch of firebrick he had from a chimney or something, so i'm wondering is the box safe to use, or should i just do something with the firebrick? or line the box with it? sadly i don't have access to many tools or cash or i would have probably just rebuilt it or made something else but im hoping someone can let me know what i should do or at least give me an idea of a direction to head
  7. I am looking for blacksmithing coal in the chicago western suburbs. I have done an extensive search and I can only find coal in southern Illinois. I am hoping someone can help me find some coal locally.
  8. I've been reading on techniques for using coal in forges and I read something on a beehive fire style setup. What is this? How do I do it? Do you recommend it?
  9. Greeting all! Just wanted to say hey. I have been creeping IFI for about 2 years, and then finally made an account about 3 months ago. Hobby blacksmith here. Have a small shop set up with a 132# Buckworth anvil from my Grandfather. Coal forge. Just hear to learn and find some others with like minds. I don't talk too much, mostly read and comment only if i know exactly what is needed being said. If you are within 100km of Lakeland County, would love to hear from you. Only know 2 other blacksmiths personally. Lyons Creek Forge down in Crowsnest Pass, and Frontstep Forge in Edmonton. Would really like to have another couple people closer by to bounce ideas off of....
  10. Hello I just set a simple backyard forge up today and tested it out. I used some wood charcoal (i was unable to find any smithing coal) and am a little concerned about the three to four foot fountain of sparks that i got when my i started up my blower. Any tips or tricks to mitigate this? I am open to any advice or recommendations.
  11. Hey ya'll! Its your friendly neighborhood Texan here! I've started the construction of my coal forge! Got a F250 Brake rotor, some scrap sheet steel, and some rebar. sizes: 30"x22" rebar frame It's all going to be welded together today. I'm not sure what to use for the legs... I'm just going to stack some cendar blocks for the time being. Picture: I'll update as I progress.
  12. Well folks today was an interesting day. I recently picked up an old coal forge for 250$ CAD and was pretty excited to fire it up. Today I finally got the chance to do so and about 30 minutes into the session we heard a loud bang and watched a crack form into the cast table. Is there anything I can do to rectify this situation? I'm assuming considering it's cast welding is not an option. Maybe it would be best to just pull off the blower and attempt to recoup as much of my cost as possible! Maybe this is an omen letting me know I should switch to propane. Let me know what you think. Spencer Dirks
  13. Man oh man! I'm in need of some coal and can not find any. I'm in Florida so it's hard for me to get some besides eBay and they're proud of their coal! I keep reading that people are buying their coal for $50/ton! It's crazy and I would love to be able to buy from someone that can ship. If anyone knows where I can buy some please let me know!
  14. Hello! I'm new to the site and the trade! I was wondering if oiled coal has any disadvantages compared to non-oiled in a forge? Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks
  15. I have built a brake drum coal forge and have started trying to work a piece of steel from an old barbell into a spoon chisel for wood carving. I know it's probably too complicated a job for a beginner, but I'm a "dive right in" kind of guy. The problem I have is that the steel doesn't seem to stay very hot and workable for very long. When I pull the steel out of the coal it is red hot, but not a glowing bright white or yellow that I seem to see when people are working mild steel, and it cools pretty rapidly making my work that much harder. Is there anyway I could tell if I was heating it too little or why it won't stay workably hot for very long? Any feedback or help is greatly appreciated! I'm eager to get into this and make some cool stuff!
  16. Hey there, I'm new to blacksmithing (started about three days ago) I am in Shreveport Louisiana and was wondering if anyone know where I could get some coal. I can order it online for $20/50#'s but I was wondering if I could find a place I could drive too. I am willing to drive a few hours and am looking to get a couple hundred pounds. I saw some other posts from people in LA but they were in baton rouge and I don't plan on going that far, I've got smithing to do haha. Well thanks for the help, I'll probably be needing lots of it as I go down this path
  17. I'm almost out of coal. The only place withing 200+ miles of me that has coal is the power plant, its extremly soft bituminous coal. Should I go out there and talk to the silo master, or order it by the bag from Centaur? (My areas north central Texas 76384)
  18. Hi, I have reached the stage where I need to procure some fuel and after reading this segment in the recent BABA newsletter I am going to try and get some of the suggested Scottish coal: For many years the very best forging coal was Maltby peas. This pit has now closed and the alternative coal wasKel- lingly which has also now closed. A few smiths have been using Welsh steam coal that is fine for general smithing work but has to be broken down to a reasonable forging size. A new mine (opencast I believe) has opened in Scotland and I have been sent a sample to try out using my standard test for forge fuels. My colleague John Beavis and I have tried this coal out and it is very good. It is not as good as the Maltby, but far better than the Kellingly, and at £260.00 per ton plus VAT is a very economical fuel. This coal burns very hot with a low blast (we both use bellows), produces very little clinker and ash, is a low sulphur coal so welds well, has a reasonable burn rate, low smoke once the fire is established, but does not cake up like the Maltby and Kel- lingly; and gives off some surface heat but not excessive. It comes in smith's singles that is fine for most work and comes in 25kg or 20kg bags. The coal merchant is K G Smith and Son, Northampton and is new to me, so I cannot give details on delivery etc at the moment [Note – I’ve bought Monckton coke from K G Smith in 2-tonne bagged loads for years, and they’re a very good firm to deal with – Keith Smith the CEO is very helpful and progressive - DQ], however as the smiths in the area club together to get a full lorry-load down and bagged to the distribution point in Swindon, I know he will deliver local deliveries free, At the moment I am trying to put together an order for a full load, so anyone interested in trying this coal out can get in touch with me for a ton or 1/2 a ton minimum. At the moment we are up to 10 ton and I am sure the coal merchant will hold any full load surplus back to sell on to individuals who are not in a position to order just at the moment. I was wondering if anyone with in the South West and possibly Plymouth, had already organised a delivery I could contribute towards or failing that would anyone be interested in organising a joint delivery to this area? The Author of this review (Hector Cole) lives in Wiltshire, I am trying to gauge if there is the demand to get a bulk delivery further south. Thanks Andy
  19. Hey all, I have another Old forge table I am trying to rehab. I believe this table is a Champion no 8. it came with original 400 blower that still works and the firebox with is pretty solid still. I located a tuyere from the same era.... and it matches some pictures i have seen...but i have not seen this kind of grate on firebox before in the pic you will see that it dips down into the tuyere about 2 1/2 inches. This Clinker breaker actually come out of the tuyere about 1 inch.... So I have a problem.... other than that it mates up well and once i get it drilled and threaded i can mate them up..... but before i do that anyone have any genius Ideas about what to do about the Clinker breaker?
  20. I've gotten the bug and as cheaply as possible I've put together a shop. Rag tag items like a forge made from an old grill and a piece of railroad track for an anvil. My mantra to taking on this hobby/ possible future business, is to make money to put forwards purchases. in my opinion wood as a fuel source is not very efficient. Seem to be going through a lot of it really fast without it ever getting really hot. So I may need to spend some money to make money and find a good coal source for my area. But I can't seem to find anything close by. Any Charlotte area smiths have any leads on any suppliers? Thanks in advance.
  21. This is my work in progress traveling barrel forge...need to finish the tuyere & mount the brake drum / leg straps etc. I can't decide what to vent the top of the barrel with pipe wise...Black 8"pipe? This will be sitting outside and burning charcoal & coal. So what do you think? Will this work? Should I keep the pipe to the back of the barrel so it's offset from the fire pot or should I vent it directly over the firepot? Once I get this up & going it will be my first time forging...so excited! Thanks...Bruce
  22. The plans for my forge were from a book by Randy McDaniel's and it was made from steel scraps and material donations from friends. The total cost of my forge was a $40 angle grinder (the $20 angle grinder caught fire) and $10 worth of cut off blades. The blower was from a clothes dryer, and had a rheostat, but the air restrictor on the intake worked much better. I spent a long time on the clinker breaker, but never used it and it would work better without it. Five pounds of coal gives me about 45 minutes of heat. If you continuously load it, that time is infinite. The 600° high-heat paint has never burned off, no matter how hot I run it or how long I worked. You don't need a lot of expensive tools to start with. When I started, I held the metal with Vise-Grips, then made simple tongs, then cut-off tools, coal working tools, hammers, froes, knives and a giant screw driver, so you make the forge first, then use it to make what you need. I get all of my coal out of the ground, so it is very economical to run.
  23. Hi all, I have been using a gas forge for several months and enjoying it. I had picked up a coal forge and several hand crank blowers over the last year at farm auctions and I finally have a large forge and champion crank refurbished and ready to go. The only thing stopping me from ordering coal is not having any idea of how much I should expect to burn through how quickly. I'm sure as I get some time in I'll get more efficient with it. But I have no idea how much a #50 bag translates to in forge time. Of course the more you get the cheaper it is. My shop is 14 x 24 so I can store a little bit. Thanks for the replies in advance!
  24. I'm currently building my first shop, and I need a design for a forge. I just wanted to know what you guys preferred in a forge, specific qualities, design, things to avoid etc... I use anthracite, there are no suppliers of bituminous near me. Also I go to a local trade school for welding and I can make everything from steel. So im trying to make a forge that lasts and is preferably made from steel. Thanks for the help guys!!
  25. Hi all, it's been awhile setting up the shop but I have it all done for the most part. Main Room, built the bench and started laying it out to put the forge in. Put in Chimney The Chimney is actually another 3 feet taller than in this photo. Bricking Process - Red Clay Bricks (Left overs) also used changeable kiln firebrick in the front closest to the heat so if they crack or break I can replace them. The Firepot was from an original blacksmith shop near a town I grew up in. It was the same place that I got the blower. The pot had some cracks in the outside rim so I made some side braces and bolted it down. I also ran a bead of weld around the corners to stop anything from getting underneath. So its not welded to the pot just the table has the weld All Setup getting ready for testing Video of first lighting - A bit of smoking issue Underneath All Completed now So as you can see in the video she was a little smoky. It was extremely windy outside but I wanted to see if the wind does effect it in worst case scenario. When I cracked the window it began to suck no problem. This coal was all right from the bag too and never burnt so there was a lot of flame. Normally it is about half that so I partially think it was too much new coal all at once. This is my first "Indoor" forge so I am open to any suggestions on how to make it flow better. I really don't want to breath that every time I use it .. It's 8" pipe outside and 7" at the top of the forge. Thanks Ciron
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