Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'side blast forge'.
Found 4 results
Hi everyone! I have been lurking around the forum for the last 9 months this weekend I finally built a forge and tried making a knife. I built a side blast charcoal forge from an old BBQ grill and a few Hard Fire Bricks. I used the fire bricks because they where free. the teyure is a piece of 2 inch horse fence pipe. My wife got me a 15 pound HF ASO and a HF1x30 belt grinder for my birthday. I'm working with used farriers rasps because I get them for $1 each. I checked the rasp for hardness by heating them to non magnetic then water quenching it. after it cooled I placed it on the ASO and gave it a smack with a 18oz framing hammer and it broke clean in half. I know working with mystery steel isn't the best way to start but I figured for learning how to grind and shape its a start for really cheap. the forge has 3 bricks on the bottom to make a flat shelf then 6 bricks to make the fire pit. I have a large cotton wood tree that fell and have cut my wood from that. I started the fire with just plane wood then placed the steel into the charcoal once it burns down some. for a air source I have a 2 speed heat gun that I'm currently using. so far I have made one blade and I feel pretty good about the setup. there is a few tweaks. I have to give everyone on this forum a huge THANK YOU for all the information you provide. Looking at the hobby it looked like I could never get into it but ready the forum made me realize I could get started with a little scrounging. I have $0 into the forge and other then what my wife has bought me I have used tools I already had in my shop.
So, I just started blacksmithing about a month ago...mostly teching myself with some help from youtube videos, trial and error, and a video course by Alec Steele. I've posted some pics of my current forge that I've been using and I was hoping for some advice for improvements on either its construction or my technique. Sorry for not having an pics of the forge in use since I normally don't take time to take pictures while crafting. The piping pictured is an idea I had for increasing airflow. My idea was to drill holes along the length of the pipes so that air was sent along the entire brick where my charcoal is normally put. Another idea was the online have one side of that instead of both sides. Currently i use a standard hair dryer with a black iron pipe (2inch diameter i think) going in the gap between those two upright bricks. The charcoal (about to shift to either coke or coal) sits on the single horizontal brick between the two angled vertical bricks. All those bricks are fire bricks. The bricks not on the table are standard bricks meant to hold up longer pieces of steel stock while working.
I'm not sure why but, after many months of reading and talking to blacksmiths I know I decided to make a side blast forge for my first forge. I was going to make a propane forge out of an old propane canister but decided I wanted to go with coal because I wanted to go "old school" plus I wouldn't have to buy all the metal working tools up front (welder, grinder, etc..). Well, I ended up having to buy all that stuff anyway. You know what they say about the best laid plans... I was able to scrounge most of the materials because I have access to the scraps from a fencing company (unfortunately most of his scraps are galvanized) so I only spent about $90 for materials on this forge. I refuse to count the cost of the tools as cost for the forge...just because. Anyway, here it is: The base was a scrounged scrap storage rack from the fencing company as was the 1/8 plate steel that are only clamped on to the sides. I wanted them removable just in case. The design is based on what I have read from books and online but it was completely based upon the materials I was able to get. I'd say the biggest limitation to the build was my ability (or really lack of ability) to stick weld. I spent the $90 on the 1/8" plate steel for the bottom of the forge and the bosh in the back. The tuyere is a 1 5/8" pipe jacketed by the 3/16" square tube seen here. The biggest design flaw I have noticed so far is the size of the air outlet. It is now about 3/4" but I think the size differential is causing a pressure drop and has made air a challenge. Right now I have an old dirt devil vacuum that is way too strong (I use it to establish the size of the fire) and a bathroom vent fan that struggles to overcome the pressure drop (I use it to maintain the fire once it is strong). Switching air sources is tedious and I'm looking for a quiet but stronger option. From this view you can see the bosh. The pipe runs through and out the back. Welding this up was a serious challenge and I ended up deciding to double down and use some high temp silicone sealant as insurance. I had a few small leaks and didn't feel like chasing them with my welder for days. According to everything I have read I should not have put the wall of the bosh right next to the fire but, so far I have run this thing for over six hours and not reached boiling temps with the water tank (it holds about 20 gallons I think). The shape and size was totally based upon the materials I was able to get cheaply. I could have paid to have plate steel cut to my dimensions but I'm too cheap. Here you can see the drain I installed along with copious amounts of insurance caulk! The duct tape is for fitting the pipe with the pvc elbow I use as an adapter for my Frankenstein air system. Please feel free to laugh at my welds. I'm still learning how to use this thing efficiently but it sure can create a super hot fire. Right now I can't get the control of the heat and have quiet at the same time. I hate running the loud dirt devil vacuum and would love any ideas for a more quiet option. Currently I'm using anthracite because it is the only thing available to me. Plus, I live in suburbia in an uptight town and fear getting shut down if I produce too much smoke. Problem is, anthracite is really picky about needing constant and consistent air. After reading some here on IFI I'm thinking about using two fire bricks to shape my fire better but, aside from that, I would love more feedback and ideas on how to improve my setup. Thanks in advance, Lou
Today I finally got to test my new side blast forge. I made it with a remote bosh connected with hoses. The bosh is a 30 gallon plastic tub, I tried galvanized trash cans and buckets but every single one leaked when I tested them. So far so good, I had it going for about three hours and the water never got above room temperature. After I'd welded everything up, it struck me as very "piggy" looking. I figured I'd give it some ears and eyes to give it some personality. I've got a ways to go to get used to the side blast. So far I like it a lot. I'd like to thank everyone who helped answering my many questions about side blasts, especially Charles and Bradus.