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I Forge Iron

Good ventilation pipe?

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I am looking into building my first forge and this is what i have come up with.

my forge is going to be in an iron oval bucket, i am going to run a pipe into it from the longest bottom side, i intend to drill holes into the pipe and then pack Clay into the bottom and up the sides and only leaving the top of the pipe exposed, i have seen this build looking around other sites and it seems like it would work well, my other choice in heat reinforcement would be furnace cement but i would have to order it off the net being that my local lowes/stines doesn't carry anything.

will clay get the job done? and my main question is what kind of pipe should i use to supply the air with? i am worried about it melting, and also if someone could list their supplier of the type of pipe i need.

thanks for any help.

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Welcome aboard, glad to have ya.

What you're thinking of should work fine. You don't really need cast iron if you clay it. Just in case you'd like to cook something in the pot.

Plain black iron pipe will work just fine and won't be expensive to replace when necessary. Wrap it in a couple layers of newspaper when you ram the clay around it for clearance so it's easy to replace. It's called a tuyere or air blast pipe, etc. not a vent FYI.

Mix your clay with as little water as you can. You want it to clump in your fist if squeezed hard and to break cleanly without being sticky. Some sand or crushed pottery for grog will improve it's longevity too. Regardless, you don't have to get fancy, claying a forge is pretty basic.

If you'll click "User CP" at the top of the page and edit your profile to show your location it'll make a big difference. IFI is represented by members from more than 50 countries and a lot of info is location specific. If guys know you're in their area they can invite you to get togethers, tip you to tool deals and lend a hand directly.


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the only smith i know in my area is Jim Daffin, which is my stepmoms stepdad. he has traveled to a few different festivals blacksmithing and i would want to ask for his help but his forge hasn't seen coal in a few years i beleive.

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My supplier for such things is the local scrap yard; *MUCH* cheaper than buying new.

Also if possible have the pipe go all the way through the tub and have a cap on the back end. Makes it a lot easier to clean out any ash/clinker/crud that falls into it if you can open up the back end and sweep the pipe.

Have you checked if there is a local ABANA affiliate down there?

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well i just had my first attempt at making the forge. my weekdays are pretty well shot when i get in from work, so on the way in i stopped at a Stines and picked up an Alluminum? bucket. the description didnt say, and it was fairly easy to bend, but i picked it up from the painting section, then i picked up a few tubes of Fire Mud, or something of the sort. it is safe up to 2000F degrees, i had an old steel pipe in the back of my truck from somewhere, anywho.

i only put the pipe in one side and not go all the way through for the first test run. i plan on hooking it to a hairdryer (this should work huh?) since i am just starting i dont plan to be working on anything too big.

in my bucket, looks about the size of a coffee can. i built it up about 2" on the botton and then about 1/2" on the sides. i will try to test burn it tomorrow if its fully dry, instructions say to build a very small fire in it and make sure its the same size for 1-2 hours and then crank the heat to 1200F degrees and then it will be properly cured. if it seems too hot i will reinforce the walls with a little clay. but this stuff is supposed to work as good as fire bricks >.<

so do you guys think it will work as is? or do you think i will need some clay? :)

but no Thomas i havent checked that yet. i will do that now.

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As a side-note in regards to hoods and chimneys...I worked in the woodstove/Chimney business for a number of years and when we did a new install for chimneys, you basically used the formula of sq. inches of opening (door) multiplied by 5%...this roughly gives you the diam. size of the chimney you need for it to draw properly. So, for a 12 by 12 opening/door, you'd end up with 144 sq. inches...times .05 (5%) gives 7.2" diam chimney. Have to either size up the opening and go for an 8" chimney or size down for 6"

I used this formula on the install of my woodstove and you have to be careful when you open the door...otherwise it sucks the cat into the firebox...lol

Just a random tidbit....don't flame me too bad :-)

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