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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...
Today I had some extra time, and will be heading up to Nebraska soon to visit my cousins, and though it would be fun to bring a portable shop, something that wouldn't fill a 5 gallon bucket. Obviosly this topic is about the forge, but for the anvil I will be bringing a 2"x3" x 5" block of mild steel, will be buying charcoal there, and will find a stump there. They live in a rich boy neighborhood, and their parents don't want me digging a hole in there yard, that is the reason for this, or else I would just bring the pipe and hair dryer and go to town on that. Anyways, it didn't even take up an entire 1"x6" which I found down at the creek. Was just 2 15" pieces and 2 19" pieces, that I cut a slot half way the width of the board, just slots that the other pieces slide into. On the ends I took some think oak planks to brace the ends so they wouldn't break off. For the slots I just did two parallel cuts, and then used a chisel to knock out the piece. On one of the shorter pieces, I drilled a hole, and using the scroll saw cut out a hole for the pipe to come in at. There is no bottom to the forge, it is meant to be used on the ground, and will probably be use on concrete, though today I used it on grass. For a little test run today, I just filled it with soil from our area, which is practically sand. I see why ya'll recommend clay! the sand just sloped once it dried out, but id didn't seem to make much of a difference in function, as it just made the fire pot the right shape for charcoal. I made a little coat hook with the forge on a piece of in bolted down railroad track, just to kinda go back to the days when I was starting out, It was lots of fun. With just wood I could get it to a yellow, though if I had used smaller pieces I betcha I could have gotten it to forge welding temps. Then just for the heck of it I through in some coke, and it melted actually a good bit of steel, what I'm trying to say, is it got HOT! so like I said, I will be taking this to Nebraska, and my cousin and I will do some small scale forging, should be fun! It's like a Porta potty, except it smells better! Littleblacksmith any suggestions and critiques are always welcome, especially ones on "portable shops", obviously I will only be bringing a couple pairs of tongs and a couple hammers, but everything else I'm still not %100 percent sure on. Littleblacksmith