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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.