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  1. I'm long winded. I'd rather say too much than too little.. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the more important things I'll emphasize in bold Nothing can replace learning how to manage a coal fire in person from someone of experience. That said some folks may not have that opportunity. When I started using coal in my forge I wasted a lot of time, energy and fuel. I've learned things from trial and error, but even more from places like this. Proper fire management is one of the most basic skills anyone wanting to learn blacksmithing should know. I’ve had to teach myself most of thes
  2. Hello! So I am currently talking to some people about this in my other topic, but I figured it might be nice to just have a subject about it for beginners like me. I am curious about how much air certain fuels need. I am using coal, but answers for coke and charcoal would be great to for others. For me, I don't believe I am getting enough air to my fire. I don't have any obstructions, maybe some clinker, but not enough to stop my fire from getting hot enough. I am using either a small Chinese hand crank blower or a small squirrel cage blower. The fire would get hot, but it was
  3. Hey again! It's been a long time since I've been on here. I posted a while ago asking for help with a brake drum forge that wasn't getting hot enough. Or I wasn't using right. I got a lot of good help and advice, but I quickly learned it wasn't quite built right, so of course I go on a hiatus. Now with all this time on my hands due to Covid-19, I went out and started building a shop with a chimney so I could stop adding smoke damage to the porch roof. I disassembled the old forge and grabbed a 55 gallon barrel. I cut a door out of it, a chimney hole in the top and a big hole in the
  4. Hey guys! I've posted and talk about a propane tank enclosed forge me and my dad are building, but now I have some questions about our old brake drum forge we built maybe 4 years ago. It's pretty open, (Check pics) though it holds a decent enough amount of coal. But the problem is that I'm not getting enough heat. It take a long time to heat up the steel, and it's hard to heat up even just a rail road spike to bright orange. So... What can I improve on this forge to fix this? We only have the one pipe at the bottom of the forge for airflow with a little door at the bottom to let out xxxx,
  5. Hello IFI, I've been passing through this forum for quite some time and as I just fired my first home built forge I though it time to join. Here's the build out list: Brake Disc, 16x30 metal cart, Buffalo blower, 2 inch piping for tuyere, clay, fire brick, and regular brick. sheet metal. I clayed the entire cart around the disc under the bricks, this leveled things out for the brick mostly, but also added a nice added layer of thermal protection to the cheap cart metal. Fire brick is cut around the disc face, giving me a pot 3.5 inches deep and 7 inches wide. Picked up the blower
  6. Hello everyone out there. I am from Indian River Michigan. I have been reading a bunch of the post, and trying to figure everything out. Maybe I just have not found the right post yet to answer my question. Or I am just so new idk what I am talking about yet. I am trying to figure out the difference between the hard fuels used in a forge. I am looking at building a variation of a JABOD forge and trying to go cheap as possible, but trying to figure out fuel now. I think I know two of them. Charcoal: made from burning/drying out wood? Coal: is dug up from the earth
  7. Hello everyone out there. I have been looking around this site on and off for a while now. I am relatively new to forging and trying to get a forge up and going. I tried a coffee can forge with a Walmart special propane torch. It does not get hot enough to even get the metal workable. So I have decided to make a coal forge out of a old propane grill. I have been seeing a lot about JABOD forges and I am thinking that is the way I wan to go. What should I know about making one. And any other suggestions or tips I should know. Any help is greatly appreciative. I am mainly looking to make knive
  8. I'm looking for some help identifying this forge I recently picked up. Instead of a hand crank, it uses a lever/pump action to move the blower. It's definitely been repaired on top at some point over the years as it looks like the pan probably rusted through. Everything else is in original shape and works great, although the legs are pretty wobbly at this point. Should I restore them and make it usable again or leave it as-is and sell it to someone who needs a decoration? The hand crank mechanism works, ie. it blows a bit of air, but it's a lot more work than turning a hand powered version, ev
  9. Hello there! New member here, me and my dad are in the middle of building a propane tank forge. So far it is all put together, cut open and ready for refractories. Here's our issue: He have some ceramic wool to line the inside, 1" thick. We know that it is better to do 2", and I think we have enough for 2". We Also have 2 5-gallon buckets of unknown refractory cement (We don't know what kind/brand it is, we just know that it is refractory cement). Our original plan was to line the forge with the wool, and then coat it with the refractory. But as I've been reading and looking around, I've heard
  10. Does anyone have any information about this item or it’s value. I’m sorry for the horrible picture & the tiller the way. It was my grandpa’s. Located in Des Moines, Iowa. I appreciate your help-tyi!
  11. The following is a quick summery of the 55 Forge. More in depth design and discussion can be found on the site. The original 55 Forge was bottom blast. The fire shown is a little shallow, so if there is a question, just add more fuel. The tuyere was a piece of auto exhaust pipe with 1/4 inch holes to accept 1/4 inch round bar in a X pattern to form a grate. Lots of open room for air to move up and into the bottom of the fire. The next test modification was to put a brake drum into the 55 forge as a fire pot. You can see the cone shape to the ash
  12. What's the best coal to use. I am in Australia and heard that Jarrah was great and left nothing behind ?
  13. I've been thinking quite a bit about ways to minimize exposure to coal smoke. Even when my chimney is working well, the smoke sometimes will still linger around in a cloud (the forge is outdoors), resulting in me breathing some in. I'd also rather NOT have a nasty cloud in the backyard, given the choice. Here's my idea, as I imagine it working in a perfect world: Since my chimney is just a side draft from a tall piece of stovepipe, I could cut out a section and make a small hinged door somewhere in the middle of the chimney, and place a grate inside the pipe. Then, before lighting the coa
  14. So I have a question as to the cost of coal. Like many I bought anthracite from TSC. During my quest for a solid fuel, my son found a place in Western Missouri called Continental coal company. He said he called them and it was $65 a ton. Then he couldn't find their number. My local TSC doesn't stock either. No anthracite, or coal of any kind. The stuff I got, I got while out of town visiting family. Finally I located the phone number (according to Google) for them and called. The number listed was their fax machine. After a bit of searching I located another phone number and called it. (I
  15. I managed to get a 55 gallon drum this week that used to have hydraulic fluid in it. I was also able to get 2 different size brake rotors. I started by overflowing it with a garden hose since I could tell there was some fluid left in there. I would rather have water on the shop floor than hydro fluid. Less chance of busting my rear from sliding around. I then cut the front open. Used my plasma cutter to Cut the bottom using a smaller brake rotor as a template. Flipped it over cut a slightly larger hole in the top using a larger rotor as the template
  16. Anyone know how I could make a Cinder-block coal forge?
  17. Hi, I'm fairly new to blacksmithing and I don't know where I went wrong, but today I broke my blade. I was flattening the handle of a drop forged wrench, and I put it in the forge. It's bituminous coal and I use a hair dryer attached to a pipe as an air source. It gets the metal orange-white hot. I took it out after 5-6 minutes and I noticed a chip out of the blade, it was the spine so I dismissed it. But as I started pounding, a crack appeared that ran next to the chip from the spine to the side that the edge was going to be on. I don't know where I went wrong, but I have a few therioes.
  18. So basically, I built this forge out of an old aluminum grill top. My hopes were to use this as a small coal forge for bladesmithing. My question is, will the aluminum shell be able to withstand these temperatures with proper insulation? The shell is approximately 28" wide, 20" long and 8" deep. Essentially, I did a 3 inch layer of pea gravel on the bottom, around a black steel air intake. I used a mound of foundation sand for the pit, and filled in the empty space with a clay top soil. I'm pretty confident that this will be sufficient insulation on the sides/bottom, however I am concerned abo
  19. 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
  20. This is my first post and I just started learning but found a good place to get coal if you don't mind a drive depending where you live. It's in xxxx, colorado. Probably a bit of a drive but their coal is $100 per ton, just call xxxxxxxxxxxx at xxx xxx xxxx. Follow their menu to purchasing and they will direct you to the person to buy through. I'm not sure what kind of coal they have as I haven't managed to pick any up yet. Once I do I will update everyone with more detail.
  21. Looking for somewhere I can get coal without the hassle of buying bags or shipping. Anyone have any leads? Thanks!
  22. Good morning all! I am new to smithing and new to this site. I am attempting to build a coal forge from some parts I have and want to get some feedback before I finish it. I had a metal cart and put in a truck hub into it. I notched out the sides to be able to put a longer piece in it in the future. At the Bottom, I plan to put a pipe feeding air with a tee in it and attach a blower to the end. The blower I want to put on a dimmer (not sure if this will work yet) so I can control the air flow. I already have the blower, just needing to buy the piping. Does this look like a good approach
  23. Hi All, I've just started out, and the supply of fuel that came with my forge is very close to running out.... Any Smiths in South Central/South East England that have a good supplier?? I can't seem to find anything!!! Sorry if this has been asked before!! James.
  24. Ok so I built a shop recently for blacksmithing. I needed to make a chimney set up so I took an old water pressure tank and used it as the hood. I have 6" chimney single wall going above the roof. The hood opening is 13" tall and about 14" wide. The hood is also resting on the forge. Anyway when I tried using it smoke did go up the chimney but some would puff out towards the top of the hood. The smoke buildup is not good and hard on my lungs. So my question is what am I doing wrong here? I did a little reading on threads and other websites about the chimney needing to be at least 10" or the ho
  25. 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 a
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