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Found 10 results

  1. I started out with what I think a lot of blacksmiths started out with: a 5$ hairdryer bellows, and charcoal. That worked pretty well, but it conked out on me a while back. One of my friends, as it turns out, used to own a bouncy castle, and still had the air blower for it. He was kind enough to let me have it, so I hooked it up to my bellows. It's much more powerful than the hairdryer, and has varied results. Sometimes it works great and gets really hot and powerful, sometimes it gets the inside of my forge glowing red, but there is no flame or heat at all (I can even put my hand over the top and it feels like a stove). My question is; is it possible to have a blower that puts in so much air that it's bad for the fire? or is this just an issue of me needing to build a better fire before turning it on?
  2. Hey, not sure if this topic is well placed, but I'm sure the moderators will find it a proper home if not. I have now worked with my charcoal steel wheel forge for several sessions and I now know enough to have some specific questions regarding fire management. If you would like to see pictures of the forge, it should be in this post. Quick stats are side blast with a 1 inch steel pipe for true iron. Fire pot is IFB and measures roughly 4.5 inches wide and 8 inches long. Tuyere sits only 0.5 inches from the bottom of the fire pot. I use a controller and old hairdryer motor for forced air. I have read all the relevant postings on charcoal forges, JABODs, etc, so I have some familiarity with the issues. That is not to say that I rightly remember any of it, though. Keep me honest, please. Here are my first questions: If I am able to see scale forming while the iron is still in the fire or immediately when I remove it from the coals, does that mean that my fire is somehow too oxidizing? I understand now that during my first forging session, I was not heating the steel up enough and I never saw scale forming until at the anvil. If the answer to the previous question is "yes", should I mound charcoal higher and cover any windows into the fire's heart? Should I have fire spikes exiting my charcoal mound each and every heat? I was playing around with the air this last forging session and I was trying 50% instead of my previous 30 to 35%. I seemed to get nice hot heats, more quickly than previously. I have many more, but they might be answered once folks chime in with their thought to these. It is hard during Covid 19 to go look at someone forging with charcoal, so I am left trying to find videos that show a clear fire and asking questions. Taylor, near Jeddo TX
  3. Hi, this is my first post, so I’m not quite sure if I’m doing this right... I’ve worked in a coal fire for a little over a year, but I’ve figured out that if I buy wood, turn it into charcoal, and use that instead, I can run the forge for 10X cheaper. I just tacked a plate with holes drilled into it on top of the grate of my coal firepot, (that I welded together myself; not cast iron,) and I’m now using that. I’ll build a side draft or Whitlox design (V shaped firepot) soon, however it works for now. I decided to buy a bit of hardwood lump charcoal from the store just to start with, so that I know the charcoal has been made properly, to make sure my firepot works, and to tie me over until I get my charcoal retort made. I’ve been using it for about a week now, and I’ve realized that if I have the fire going for more than 4 hours, (give it take,) I’ll get these weird clumps of mineral looking things. I know that charcoal doesn’t produce clinkers, but that’s the best way to describe them. I have asked a friend of mine, and he told me he doesn’t know what they are, but suggested that they could be pieces of brick, which made sense at the time. I have since removed the bricks from around my firepot, (I had them there for extra depth when I used Anthracite,) but I still found some of the weird things when I cleaned the firepot out. I’m not concerned, I was just hoping to figure out what they are so I could use them for something rather than just throw them away. I did have a picture that I was going to put up, however it wouldn't upload... I'll put a YouTube link, here. Thanks, Chris.
  4. Hey guys... after a lot of reading, mostly here, I decided to build a JABOD charcoal forge. Here is my start. In order to maximize my goals for reuse and thrift, I used all materials I already had. The wood is pressure treated 2x12 that is around 25 years old. It was a sand box I made for my kids when they were little. The stand is made of old deck boards. The bottom was hard packed topsoil from the back yard (mostly clay with probably 30% sand). For about an inch and a half coating over the base layer and pavers, I made an adobe. I used clay from the back yard mixed with sand from a paver project and wood ash from my smoker. The pavers and black pipe were also things I already had, so the grand total was $0 so far. I decided to not clean up the wood other than sweeping it off and ripping 1/4" off of each edge. I like that the forge looks like it is ancient. Someday I'll have a nice metal shop, but for now the rustic feel is cool. Besides... not spending any money makes it no issue with the boss. Right now I have a tarp draped over the forge to slow the drying and because we are supposed to have rain later in the week. Thanks to Charles and everyone else for all of the research and pointers! I welcome any feedback/input. You guys said you like pictures.. so here it goes...
  5. I am new to this forum and to forging itself, so please bear with me I have always been fascinated by the concept of molding metal to your will, into things that you imagine and can use afterwards. (A cool sword with a scabbard is my end goal) I chose a solid fuel for my first forge and I can't seem to get the charcoal hot enough to get to red for whatever reason? I know I should easily get orange/yellow temperatures with steel, but for some reason, which I suspect to be my air supply, it's just frustration and a lack of forging going on. I'm using Crown Oak natural charcoal (broken into 1-2" pieces), hair dryer, 2800 degree rated fire brick (2 or so inches thick), and a 2-3/8" chain link pole cut to size with slots pointed to the fire (side blower). My very first attempt, I used a metal vent metal thing with hose clamps for a tube, pointed directly into the briquettes (again I switched to real charcoal) and managed redish/low orange heat but ran out of fuel halfway so I made a compromised butter knife haha. Now, I can't get even red heat for some reason, and I feel like I am going crazy. The first forge was just inn the dirt with walls and a ceiling. The new one I built a little higher and made the floor, walls and ceiling out of brick now. Again, I suspect air flow is the culprit as the amount of charcoal isn't a problem (micro tabletop forges got orange heat that were inside of a literal bread pan). I don't know if I need more air flow and/or volume (wider tubes?) Yes, I looked for classes and they were booked until October near November and I would lose interest by then haha. I might try joining a blacksmithing group in plain township (Ohio) if they have one so they can help me out? Was also looking at a simple forge like this as I don't want to fork out 150-250 dollars for a welder for a brake drum forge. I very much want to explore this craft as I've basically not started it technically. I am slightly discouraged, but I don't give up that easily haha. Here is my sad, deformed, scratched (but shiny) butter knife I made, which, I am oddly proud of. The plus is I used a bolt, so it has those serrations that look cool (which I totally planned for... yup) Mind my hound lol she wouldn't move. I was also wondering about this mask I bought for zinc fumes. H.zip
  6. Hey guys I finished my new jabod this weekend and it just dried up good today since it just rained here a lot last week and I dug in the mud to fill it up I need to adjust the tuyere height since its only about an inch above the bottom of the fire pot I used 2 bricks to make the fire pot since that's what I had and it seems adequate I haven't got to fire it up yet but this weekend I'm gonna get in some time with the forge. Let me know what you guys think. Oh the second pic has my first 55 bottom blast forge in the background. The brick is for size reference.
  7. I'm a, 2 year experienced, blacksmith building my second forge and is an functioning recreation of an antique 19th century forge used in small towns all around Europe. The dimensions are 36" wide, 24" deep, and about 24"-36" tall. it will be made of fire brick and a metal fire pot. I've included a photo of my rough ideas but wish to known from more experienced blacksmiths if there is anything i should know or any tips?
  8. I'm up in Vermont for a for weeks at my parents' place, and thought I would build a small side-draft charcoal forge. We've got a bunch of firebrick that have been sitting out in a field, and they are very wet and moldy. Do any of you guys know whether they're ok to use?
  9. I'm wondering what the best way is to build one. I haven't been to town to look in the hardware stores yet, but thought I would ask you guys before I go looking. Per some great advice I received here at the forum, I want to make a "ram rod" or plunger type air restrictor for the tywere I am building. I'm pretty sure the tywere pipe will be 1" ID set in a v-trough fire "bowl". I want to be able to use the plunger or ram-rod to shut off air jets for making smaller fires, while leaving me the ability to have longer, larger fires on occasion. So what would be the best way to make this plunger? Is there anything ready-made that is round, and the right size to make the plunger head out of? Will I need to fab something?
  10. I have 2 forges at the moment that are operable. One is a champion cast iron table forge, with a fire brick, and mortar firepot, one with an homeadeforge, with a 12 by 24 rectangular firepot. And two rivet forges I need to go get, and 6+ blowers, I've been offered? If I buy them and sell them, would I make a decent profit?
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