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Found 20 results

  1. 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 and the rim of the fire pot. The bricks were added to give the fire more depth for the project at hand. Ash will build up to the top of the tuyere in the bottom blast in a fire or two. There is a T configuration below the bottom of the forge that is not shown. The T section is close to the bottom of the forge and the down pipe is 12 to 18 inches long (what ever you have on hand). Clinker is not really a problem due to the size of the tuyere. Just let the fire idle for a minute or two and the clinker will solid up and can be hooked out. Ash will at times fill the down pipe and need cleaned out. I have run this forge using coal dust or breeze. Once the fuel starts to coke ( a couple of minutes into the fire ) there is very little fuel that falls into the down pipe. The next modification was to make the 55 Forge a side blast forge. Just cut a slice in the side of the wall and add an air pipe. The depth of the slice was to the top of a house brick laid on its side. It was available. The fire shown is a little shallow, so if there is a question, just add more fuel. I like this design as it is so simple to build and works. That is an aluminum clothes dryer vent pipe being used to transfer air from the blower to the forge. With the side blast version the ash and any clinker builds up under the fire. On either 55 forge, the cut edges of the metal as they are sharp. You can roll them over, or cut a 2 inch piece of metal from the parent drum, fold it in half long ways, and place it over the cut edge of the metal pan. The 55 forge was developed so that any one in any third world country could have a forge with little or no cost. The forge runs on solid fuel, coal, coke, wood, charcoal, lumbar, pallets, etc. As has been stated many times before, Fuel does not make the fire hot, Air makes the fire hot. If there is a question about how hot, then add more fuel and more air. It can and has reached welding heat. It has also melted the metal if you do not pay attention to what your doing. ( Do not ask how I know this as I was not paying attention.) The 55 Forge is a great design that is simple and works. It is easily modified to adjust the size of the fire pot, the depth of the fire pot, different tuyere configurations, and the list goes on and on. Folks thought a brake drum was needed, so I tried both a brake drum and rotor. Each has advantages and disadvantages and in the end were not required. It simply adds a level of complexity to the system and overcomplicates simple. The fun part of the 55 Forge is make one, use it, modify it as you wish. When you finish there is another 55 Forge on the other end of the drum as a spare. The label on a drum is NOT accurate, it only means that is what the drum contained just before the label was applied. I found a empty drum at a auto repair shop. The label said 5W30 motor oil with a brand I immediately recognized. Somehow the top of the drum was hooved or domed a bit. When I removed the bung plug from the bung hole there was release of pressure and an overpowering aroma of gasoline and other very volatile materials. I ask the shop manager about the drum and he said "Oh that was the one they used for racing fuel last weekend." ALWAYS choose a drum that you can pronounce what it contained before you brought it home. NEVER use anything that throws off heat or sparks when you open a closed container or drum. If in doubt, have someone else cut the drum in half while you go get a burger and fries for the both of you for lunch. The 55 Forge is just a way to get you started quickly, so you can play in the fire while you research and plan on what your second forge design will look like.
  2. So, I currently run a charcoal side blast forge. I basically filled it with clay and then the actual firebox has a cob lining made of refined earth clay, grass clippings, grob and a small amount of lime to act as a plasticizer (less water required to make the mixture wet). I get very good heat from it, some would say a little too good, So much so that the clay actually melts. like not little particles and clinkers but actual viscous, honey like liquid slag at the bottom of my forge. This doesn't overly affect the forging too much, as the tuyere is above the slag, but I don't like having to rebuild it every 2-3 forging sessions. Does anyone know a good liner or recipe, whether it be store bought or made (like my cob mixture) that could work better and melt less? Bonus points if it is refractory and doesn't draw heat away from the work piece. Thanks in advance
  3. I made charcoal. On Tuesday night my lady and I made a little fire while we had our video call with the Community Group crew. I filled a green bean can with some thicker sticks, then pressed it into the fire open side down. We built the fire around it. When we were ready to go inside for the evening, I spread the fire out, but left the can in place. This morning, I dumped the contents of the can onto this old pan. The result is black, glassy, and sounds crispy. There is no un-pyrolized wood in the center of the sticks. Success! Next step: try this again, but with a piece of steel chimney pipe covered at one end. We'll see if I can scale it up. I am extremely happy right now. This is my first step beyond hardware-acquisition and planning toward actually heating up steel.
  4. 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 for a steal on auction, ugly on the outside but beautiful on the inside, once I cleaned it out and re-lubed it turns like brand new. Currently I've got a 2x4 and metal straps holding it rigid with the piping but plan to swap that for some metal brackets in the future, it was just all I had laying around at the time. Lastly I added the simple metal surround for wind protection plus the added benefit of being able to pile extra fuel up that back wall in the corners. Fired for the first time Sunday with some nice lump charcoal, wally world was having a sale so why not... As it was over 100 degrees out I mostly just beat up some rebar I had laying around before shutting things down, test firing was a huge success. I noticed a few odd hot spots underneath the cart and decided to clay in the interior of the pot as well which I should have done it to begin with anyways, but that should take care of my errant heat. We'll see in a few days when I have time to light it up again. Outside of heating things up with a torch and beating them until they submit to my will around the homestead I've only ever worked steel on a lathe and that was a few (read 20) years ago. I've done some forging of specialty tools made out of soft metals like copper and bronze in the distant past as well but never what I would call blacksmithing of anything. I've been wanting to get into this side of things for quite awhile so I'm excited about this forge build and can't wait to see how ugly my first projects turn out. Ha ha. Attaching some pics for your pleasure or verbal destruction, whichever your bent.
  5. 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.
  6. While doing research on various designs for charcoal retorts both on IFI and elsewhere, I ran across this interesting variation that I wanted to get folks' thoughts on. It's an indirect-method retort, but rather than a double-barrel design with the fire around the outside, it appears to be essentially a 55 gal drum with a rocket stove in the middle, fueled by the wood gasses being piped back in through the fresh air intake. Has anyone here ever seen/tried/used/built anything like this, and would they recommend it? On the face of it, it looks like it wouldn't be terribly complicated to build and wouldn't require quite as much firewood to get up to heat, especially if the outside is well-insulated. Thoughts? Addendum: another video from the same guy shows a similar retort that he build with bricks and clay, not even using a drum.
  7. Starting up my first forge, I've done the research, I have the first draft of my forge plans, what now? Materials and thicknesses and the like get confusing when one person says one thing then another site says another thing! Some help from the pros?
  8. So I basically designed this off of a JABOD forge but used a high heat fireclay as the base foot the mix. It ended up being mostly a mix of 2:1:1 fireclay to sand to perlite. I used Portland cement and more sand for the layer past the 'fire pot' because I needed more volume. Also reinforced the edges or crumbling bits with store bought Hercules heavy body sodium silicate which works like a charm for those curious. I used lump charcoal and it got decently hot but threw Sparks like a xxxx. Currently working on an insulating and spark trapping dome. Link to pics on drive because chrome doesn't like me today: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B69b0Z0wuf7xSkZfMGNWSENYZ3M
  9. I'm currently building my first shop, and I need a design for a forge. I just wanted to know what you guys preferred in a forge, specific qualities, design, things to avoid etc... I use anthracite, there are no suppliers of bituminous near me. Also I go to a local trade school for welding and I can make everything from steel. So im trying to make a forge that lasts and is preferably made from steel. Thanks for the help guys!!
  10. I'm building my first forge and I sort of want to go for something all-in-one here. The hope is to be able to have a multipurpose system that can use solid fuel or propane injection, have the ability to be both forge and foundry, and also to be utilized for my glass blowing. I think I'm on to something here but I was hoping for some feedback from those more experienced. Not pictured I plan to also build a door for the front of refractory brick or cast o lite (or similar material) to close the forge up for smelting. Things I'm not sure of : 1 the shape of the mobile table in front 2 the necessity of the bottom mounted blower in the forward table 3 is this even feasible... I'm really not sure.... I really appreciate any advice you can give.
  11. Made my first forge from a semi brake drum ... after using it w charcoal for a few weeks I'm realizing the "fire pot" is way too big and wasting a lot of fuel. I know this isnt exactly a revelation but I'm not ready to ditch it yet so trying to make the thing as efficient as possible ... So far I've tried building up 2 sides w furnace cement (a waste of time and money) it never really cured properly and what did harden has already chipped off. I tried inserting a couple of pieces of 12ga sheet metal to form a more V shaped fire pot - in principal it seemed to do what I was after ... concentrate the fuel closer to the work piece but with nothing behind the sheet to insulate it I'd think I'm losing a lot of heat. My questions ... is there any real drawback to using just the sheet metal? What's involved in placing fire bricks ... can i just place them in there or would I need to cement them to the sides of drum? What about putting a few regular bricks on two sides? And finally, I've read a bit about using clay to insulate - can I build up a clay lining on two sides. Pics attached for reference ... thanks in advance for comments / thoughts
  12. Hi everyone, i'm here to ask you all for yet more advice. When i bought my anvil, vise and tools the seller talked me into taking his forge too, which at the time seemed like a good idea. Now the problem is that i've had to buy materials for and build a lean-to/workshop type structure down the garden, to eventually work in, and generally make sure its suitable for what I intend to do. i've spent months working on this trying to get it all ready to use before winter and my personal deadlines keep being missed and its disheartening. Now the forge I got is a beautifull thing, however i've never even had the chance to light it and after the cost of building and aquiring everything to actually start swinging i've now ran into the issue of electricity to power the blower on the forge and it's starting to get demoralising. The cost of laying a cable and getting power would be madness and due to recent circumstances money has suddenly became a very precious comodity. What i'd like to know is if you all think I would be better served selling or trading my current forge for somthing smaller and simpler to get me started, and worry about paying for such luxurys as a blower and power points when i'm skilled enough for that to be more of an issue and can hopefully make my forgings pay for itself. This is very much currently a hobby too, though it is my hope than in a couple of years it could be a side-business. I'll attach photos, and thank you all again for everything. I'll also add coke or smokeless fuel is a virtual must. The neighbours are very particular and while the noise and hammering is fine if they think smoke could get to their lillys there will be letters to the local council etc. This is in the West Midlands, UK
  13. anyone know of a supplier of coke near huntingdon, I know one 25 miles away in my direction but was wondering if there were any closer as in september next year I have an event there that will need some
  14. I finally got the materials and time to put together a new solid fuel forge. I looking forward to using it as soon as I pick up some flexible tubing for the blower. It's built out of scrap, I assume fab shop drops and stuff. I cut off a brake drum and practiced my welding. My welds are ugly as sin, but they stick. Also, I found a few places in most of the welds that actually looked decent. Now if I can just repeat the right way instead of the wrong way. Welding in holes was a new thing for me. That turned out ok. Does anyone know of a good bituminous coal source in Colorado? I usually use home made or lump charcoal, but I'd like to try coal
  15. I have a bit of an issue with some large nut coke...I've used small nut before and it's worked great! Burns hot and everything, but now I'm almost out, but large nut (averaging 3 to 5cm) isn't getting hot enough, I made a roaring fire with wood today, slowly placed the coke in the fire, the coke heated up, and got REALLY hot... But only on the sides..The centre wasn't even burning even after alot of poking and prodding and shaping so I started to get quite frustrated...I was wondering if I could request help with this problem. I have a small...I dunno what you'd call it..I guess a small old 'rivet' forge, it's got a hand cranked blower and reasonable room for coke, so by rights it should work, but it doesn't. :(
  16. Heeey everybody, after a little break am back with an new project. This time its an homemade solid fuel forge. Made from scrap, welded with mma rutile, painted on black matte. I´ve finished it after 2 days of hard work :). Board is made from cast iron (before used as board on old furnace. size: lenght - 80cm width - 51cm height - 88cm weight - 60 kg. fireplace is replaced with drum brake from skoda 120 :-3 i hope u enjoy it. Viktor :)
  17. so after being on this site for awhile and looking through posts and posting a decent amount myself and talking about building a low budget brake drum coal/charcol forge here is what i have so far, i got the drum from the scrap bin at the auto parts store before they canned me, the pipe i found spelunking in my dads old and very very tired garage, its 2.5 inch diameter pipe which is perfect because that was the size of the hub hole on the drum, the plate welded to the drum is 1/4 steel, i stick welded the wheel stud holes to the backing plate and then stick welded the pipe to the plate, which was probably the hardest part so far( i miss the tig welder i used when i was taking classes) reading through the threads i ran across several that were discussing wooden forges so that is what i decided to make since i have plenty of lumber laying around, i cut four pieces of 2x5.5" and sanded them down then stained what i intend to be the outside and beings as i am in washington and it isnt exactly optimal staining conditions the wood is sitting in the garage to cure then i will assemble it. now comes to my questions, would it be a good idea to stain the entire thing then coat it in polyurethane to protect it against the weather or would that be a rather large fire hazard? im going to fill the main box of the forge with sand so i will get good spacing from the wood that way, as far as a blower i havent decided yet what i will use. Ideas and criticisim are both welcomed gratefully, oh and i almost forgot, would it be a good idea to line the forge with refractory cement to shrink the area the charcol is going to sit in? i was thinking of an upside down funnel style. thank you everyone for your time.
  18. I am building what will be a stationary, long term forge. Here is my idea on paper and some photos of what I'm using. I would like any advise I can get.
  19. I want to sing the praises of using Coke in a forge instead of Smithing Coal It does not produce any smoke or smell at all, no matter what you do. It burns hotter than hell and produces little or no ash or clinkers. The fire never settles down, no hollow spots, nothing but pure heat. Just add fresh coke as needed. It's a little harder to start a new fire in the forge, just use a little more kindling. I was told that it needed a strong blast to keep it running, but I didn't have any problems using a hundred year old, no name, hand cranked blower. A blacksmith friend gave me a bag of coke, which is what I was using, but I would like to find a regular dealer who sells it. Does anyone know a dealer in the New York or New Jersey area where I could buy some??
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