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  1. I use a oooold coal forge which is supplied with air from a foot driven blower. I think I might have a problem with the coal I use. The coal burns pretty quickly, and goes from pieces around 30x30 mm to 5x10 mm. So within 45 min of the start of forge session I need to clean out the small pieces, since it seems like they dont burn. Are this the case, and I need to treat them as ash. Or is it just not enough air to heat the coal?
  2. Hi, I fired up my homemade coal forge for the first time today - it was not a great success. I have an old steel sink lined with foundry cement, with a leaf blower piping air through the plughole. The whole thing is outdoor and on a wooden frame. I'm burning house coal. My biggest problem is that the fire is quite out of control. Once it's properly lit I can only run the blower for about 30 seconds before thumb sized, white hot coals start blowing into the air. I've tried to weight the smaller, lit coals under bigger fresh ones but the whole thing is so hot within a minute ever
  3. Hi all, I am a newbie to this site. I had previously tried my hand at some backyard/ hobby blacksmithing before, but it was not very successful. The forge I was using previously had air blowing in from the side and I could not figure out how to get concentrated heat (I know realize air coming in from the bottom is much more efficient). I have now obtained a brake drum (which for some reason is pretty difficult in my area) and will be making a simple brake drum forge. *edit: I no longer have the side hole forge My problem is I live in a residential area with a small back
  4. Hi folks, I am looking for experienced input on large forging in an open coal forge. I have been heating and working with 3" square in an open coal forge which we open to be about 1.5" x 3" in cross section. So far, my best bet has been to try to manage the fire under the steel and build in "heat lines" in order to fire a fresh cover of coal over the top in order to light it and keep something close to a surrounding heat. Obviously, this isn't going to be nearly good enough by itself and it requires turning the piece repeatedly which breaks up my blanket and heat lines and
  5. Well I recently finished up my third forge and thought I'd share the build with you all as I think it turned out pretty well. Sorry about all the pics, but everybody like pics right!?!? Back in about 2007, I built a real nice propane gas forge for my very first forge, and while it worked well, I quickly realized that I needed something that could handle a wider piece. So about a year later, I ended up making a simple coal forge from a wheelbarrow tub and a clothes dryer blower. I figured I'd make something simple, quick and cheap... then when I get more experience and could figure out exac
  6. Hello, I'm quite new to blacksmithing. I have some questions about fire pots for coal forges. I understand what kind of design/shape I need. But I don't know what to use for material. I know I could use steel, but I scared of it warping or melting through. I could also use some sort of fire brick, but I don't have any experience with that. So it would be extremely helpful if someone could point me in the right direction. I didn't see any threads on this already so if I missed one sorry, If you could point me in the direction of it that'd be great. Thanks
  7. So finally stopped messing around and got my coal forge setup. This is the basic design. I used my old brake rotors to create a dead air space between the non fire bricks. All black pipe was used in the construction, except where PVC is noted. Still working on a baffle system for the top vent hole, but figured it would work for now. The grate is the end of an long lost hand meat grinder. Was lost in the move but this little guy stuck around. More for the cause I suppose. I though for a little bit about sealing up the gaps, but decided to leave them for now. Would like expert
  8. Finally got my permanent forge built, nice centerpiece to the shop, all reclaimed brick. I built a smoke shelf into it and lined the inside of the brick chimney to hold heat and improve convection. I only hooked into the 7" wood stove chimney flue but had done that with my previous temporary forge and it worked perfect so duplicated the design with the brick forge and worked a charm. I know you should use 10 or 12 inch diameter for the flue because the coal forge does not put out the same flu gas temps but it worked just fine. I built the fire pot out of 1/2 inch mild steel with interchangeabl
  9. I just finished up my new coal forge over the weekend. Laurel Machine and Foundry firepot. I built the hearth from 1/4" x 3" angle for the frame, 1/4" steel plate top. The blower and airgate is from Kayne and Son's, and was on my other setup. I'm very impressed with the Laurel Machine firepot. It's around 1" thick and a very clean castings. Great people to deal with. I had previously been using a steel firepot that I fabricated from 1/2" plate. And it is still holding up great after 3 years of service. I'm donating it to a friend who is getting started in th
  10. Greetings all, been a lurker for 3 years now, finally decided to make an account and join the discussion. Been running a really small what I like to call a Franken forge for 3 years. Basically an old charcoal bbq converted to a forge with a hair dryer to make the whole thing chooch. It worked alright for a while. Pretty right? Well it is time to say adieu to the Franken forge. She served me well while I lived in the city. New job finds me back in my hometown, on 15 acres and lots of room to play! So I got the go ahead from my beautiful lady to get all set up! And here we go. Will post pics as
  11. I found this sitting outside a turquoise shop in Austin nv today. It was a steal. It has like a centrifical clutch on the big wheel running the blower. All the belts are long gone and the cross member on the top is broken. One of the leather belts are still intact but the other is broke. The blower is free and spinning but will need sealed up. There is one oil port that still has the screw on cap but the other 3 are missing and will need cleaned out. is this a common type of drive system? All I have seen before was gearbox and crank. It also came with another bowl and blower.
  12. 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
  13. Hello I am new to this forum and am just getting started in blacksmithing. I have taken a few classes here and there and enjoy it very much... Anyway back to the topic, so I received some coal for Christmas (haha) and I tried starting it up for forging but the coal did not want to catch, I even built a fire before adding the coal and had it going for an hour straight while adding coal every so often, but with no success... Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong or how to fix this? Thank you very much, ACforge
  14. Hello, this is my first time posting here. I started forging about a year ago and I decided I needed a better forge. It is all 1/4" steel, 4" tuyere with 2-1/2" inlet. The firepot is 11x6x5, don't know if that is too big. Trial and error for the first build I suppose. Still have to make a lever for the air gate. I will be using coal as coke is hard to come by in my area. Any advice / criticism on improvements / upgrades would be appreciated.
  15. I have made a kind of a box out of brick for the structure of my forge and I was wondering how thick i should make the refactory cement layer. I also need to know how to get the cement i already have to dry. It's about a half inch layer in the base that still forms depressions when i poke it, and it's been that way for well over a week.
  16. hello, So i started building my new coal forge and im to the point now where its time to make my tuyere, air supply line, and the ash dump. i've got a pretty good idea of how im going to build it. my question is on air flow adjustment ive seen a couple different setups (via pictures on the internet ) 1. the "air gate" and 2. putting a door on the intake of the blower to damper down the air. im going to be using a Fasco B45227 115 Volt 265 CFM Centrifugal Blower. which one provides the best control while at the same time now over working the blower? I just want to make sure im not g
  17. The Berkshire Blacksmiths put on another great Age of Iron weekend at Hancock Shaker Village, Mass. recently and one of the highlights for me was the military issue Portable Blacksmith Forge, circa WW I. I would love to get my hands on one of these, so if you have one or know someone who does then I would like to hear from you. I did find one on Ebay, but the shipping from CA could make it cost prohibitive. I've just started looking, so I don't know how common they are in the New England area. Portable Blacksmith Forge.wmv
  18. Hi guys, First post here but I've been getting lots of inspiration from you all recently! I'm currently in the process of building my coal forge and hope to have it completed tonight. I'll post a build report later, I think you'll like it... Anyway, I have a quick question for you - I am looking to attach my blower to the inlet pipe on my tuyere. It has a square outlet around 3 1/2 ". My fabricated inlet pipe is 3" square. I have also fabricated an air gate with a 3" square opening which will be operated from the side, forming a more or less rectangular opening depending on the position. My qu
  19. I know this is probably an over-posted topic, but I've been looking for an answer for quite a while and I haven't found it. I've seen several pros and cons lists about coal vs. gas stoves. I've seen a lot of the same information, but also a lot of conflicting information. I'm looking to build a mid-size forge to be my first forge. I am a complete novice at blacksmithy. That being said, I've seen some people who say that coal stoves are the way to go for beginners. According to some, because of the versatility and better heat available with a coal forge, that is where all beginners should start
  20. Hello! I'm gearing up for blacksmithing and will be taking some local courses in Blacksmithing and welding here in the Baltimore Area. I have a backyard where I can smith but I need to be able to move the forge up some stairs into my basement at the end of the weekend. So I've set out to design a folding coal forge. Any comments/suggestions are appreciated! The top will be some light plate steel, probably 1/8 or 3/16 inch with some angle-iron welded around the edge to keep the coal on the table. Square or round stock pegs will be welded to the base of the plate to allow it to sit on top of
  21. Hello! I'm starting in on Blacksmithing as a new hobby after several attempts over the years (burned my hand in high school shop using the gas forge). I've signed up to take a beginner class with my local guild - Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland, but the class isn't until October and I'm itching to get started. Have also signed up for a beginning welding class here in Baltimore so I can assembly my forge after than - will be posting some plans in the coal forge section. Big challenge after that is going to be getting something like a starter anvil (probably some railroad track or an excava
  22. ATTENTION: Coal Forge Demo and forging play day this Saturday (5/30/15) in Wasilla - ALL WELCOME Several forge beginners (like myself) have asked about some forge time, so I will be running my coal forge on Saturday (5/30/15) from noon to whenever. Please stop by if you can. I have everything you need, but you are welcome to bring anything you'd like to try yourself. I will be unwinding 20' of garage door spring so the forge will be good and hot if you want to make something. To get to my house in Wasilla: we are basically at mile 10 Wasilla Fishhook Road directly across from McCasey Drive
  23. Well, as I just blew my last fuze running my garage 2'nd phase meaning I can no longer weld tonight, figure I would take a picture to show my current progress, and a few steps earlier. That and I need to take a break anyway, welding in a closed garage sucks. Time to let the smoke die down a bit. Was about 99% done welding too :( Guess after a break I will go out and begin fabricating my Tuyere, just will not be able to tack weld any of it together tonight, have to go see if I can find any fuzes for this old antique power box I have in my garage tomorrow before work.
  24. Ok...I'm a math flunky and I'm trying to build a new fire pot for my coal forge. What I can't figure out is at what angle do I cut the sides so that I have a square or rectangular pot that fits together?! There is probably an easy way to figure this, but is unbeknownst to me. Could someone give a pointer or two? Is there a calculator for geometry dummies out there or do I have to use online pyramid equation/calculators (which still keep me lost). I want to build a relatively standard firepot and I have 5'' by 1/4 plate. I thought 13 or 14'' sides would be good and about a 4''ish base for
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