Mad Uncle Cliff

My first portable forge

Recommended Posts

Since I now have what is probably the smallest portable anvil on a stand - I can make an equally small portable forge.

After hunting around for a suitable starting point - I found this air cylinder in a scrap yard. The cylinder is around 15" across and the neck is 4" across. I like it 'cos I can sleeve the neck from the inside with a short length of 1/8'' wall thickness tube, and weld a flat plate to the top of the sleeve tube to act as the bed for the coke. This will allow me to build up a little pit of coke in the tube. The air cylinder will end up being the 'outer shroud', with the blower and legs all mounting off the flange plate.

Anyway - that's the plan. I will draw it up and scan the sketch in for this thread so I can get further comments from you all as I build.

Cheers,

Maduncle of the very small anvil.:p

14627.attach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't wait for the results. Screen name is awesome BTW, is that what the family calls you??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can't wait for the results. Screen name is awesome BTW, is that what the family calls you??



Long story.

Many moons ago I made some bookends for a shop to sell. The shop owner said' what do we call you on the price tag?', and I said 'Cliff'. (Being my name). 'Too boring' says he, 'we shall call you "mad uncle Cliff"'. So it stuck.

If you Google 'Antipodean Steampunk Adventures' you will see just how mad an uncle I am.:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fun looking through your blog Mad Uncle Cliff.

Most of my nieces and nephews call me Weird Uncle Jerry but I haven't delved into steam punkdom as yet. I can see I have some catching up to do. ;)

Frosty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I found a spare afternoon when I wasn't steampunk tinkering, gardening, looking for new homes or forging leaves for the Tree Project...

... so I got to mark up and cut up that steel cylinder for my portable forge.

Portaforge2.jpg

Here it stands, all marked up and ready for cutting.


Portaforge3.jpg

After a half hour with the angle grinder, the two halves seperated.


Portaforge4.jpg

Following a thorough hand file and a hit with the steel brush on the grinder, it now sits ready for some additions.


I plan to heat the three 'tabs' I cut and bend them out so that I can then attach a curved piece of rod around the edge as a tool hanging rail or handle.

Next step, modify the plumbing parts I have to make the blower inlet and ash dump. Then onto the coke pit.

Edited by Mad Uncle Cliff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's coming along well Cliff, how goes the hunt for a suitable piece of 6mm plate"


Working on that - waiting to hear from an engineer in Seymour and waiting to hear from my welder mate too.

Next option is to hunt down a plough disc to cut down I suppose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been working on the portable forge in the hope of having it ready for use in August. So today I mounted three leg 'spigots' under the forge, with the idea that I now find some tube I can bend, and then crimp square to sleeve over the spigots. I can tap the tube and use bolt to hold each leg on.

Portaforge5.jpg

Also - I have finished the air manifold and ash dump - using some plumbing parts and mounting up the blower tube, and I have all the components EXCEPT the metal disc for the coke pit and work area.

Portaforge6.jpg

I picked up a second hand waste pipe grate that slips inside the metal tube for the coke pit nicely, it just needs the walls trimmed back so it allow more room for hot coke on top. Nice thing is I now know a local scrap yard with a pile of these grates in various sizes!

Portaforgegrate.jpg

I may even get this forge up and running by the end of the week if I am lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

looks wicked uncle cliff - love how youve made it up nice not just bodged it! its going to be a pleasure to use!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Beth - I managed to get some old tube stock today from a scrap yard near work for the legs (five bucks!) and hopefully I get the plate today too!

As to whether it becomes a pleasure to use (or an interesting looking but totally useless forge) - I have no idea yet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it looks like one of the ones i have its made from a propane tank cut about the same way but yours looks nicer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have gone off the tripod legged approach and changed my mind to a 'monopole' mount for the forge. Bending tube was going to get messy, and I kinda like the idea of one big pole in the centre, probably fixed to a plough disc as a base.

I can screw a short stub of 2" plumbers pipe in to the brass T piece and use that as a sleeve mount into a 60mm ID pipe.

Hunting for 2 foot of tube tomorrow, I already have the plough disc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll have to post some more pics of it with a coat of paint and that gravity defying tool rest!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You'll have to post some more pics of it with a coat of paint and that gravity defying tool rest!


More pics later today after a final coat of coal black. And then we can show the blacksmithing world the completed portable forge. (And the amazing gravity defying welding skills of the Quang0).

But first I need to go and try to buy a house.:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly

WE WON THE AUCTION AND GOT THE HOUSE!!!

This means I am now a five minute walk from the home of the A.B.A!

Meanwhile - my nerves of steel at the auction deserted me once I got home, (read 'gibbering wreck') so to recover from the adrenalin rush of winning our new home I finished the portable forge. Paul had already done some great welding for me on Thursday night and taught me how to forge eyelets in rod and bend rod into a ring (well sort of 'ring-ish'). So all I had left to do was to apply a final coat of pot belly stove black and attach the blower.

Portaforge7.jpg
One completed forge.


Portaforge8.jpg
Detail, showing the coke pit (and almost circular forged tool rest).


Portaforge9.jpg
And by popular demand, the amazing Quang0's equally amazing gravity defying welds.

The plan is to christen this forge at the 'forge in' weekend, making leaves on it for the Tree Project.

I think that in making this forge modular by using stock plumbing parts to assemble it, I can also make an alternative 'workshop mount' that uses an electric fan, and fit the forge body to that when needed.

Next project - steel tool holders on my anvil block.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cliff,

That's nicer than most of the rivet forges I have ever seen. I was wondering what you filled in around the coke pit with. Seems awful smooth and even, or is that just a plate welded to the pipe?

Best regards,
Tim

Oh, and congratulations on the house too. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cliff,

That's nicer than most of the rivet forges I have ever seen. I was wondering what you filled in around the coke pit with. Seems awful smooth and even, or is that just a plate welded to the pipe?

Best regards,
Tim

Oh, and congratulations on the house too. :)



Hi Tim,

Thanks for the feedback. The coke pit is in fact a short section of thick walled tube, with a 6mm plate metal disc welded to it (courtesy of Quang0). This drops into place in the bowl, keeps all the heat off the bowl and makes the whole unit lighter to carry as it it not attached to any other part and can be lifted in and out.

Also - the cut down drain grate drops down the tube and over the air inlet and the lever on the brass 'T' piece operates a flsp valve inside the 'T' taht dumps ash down the support tube and into a neat pile under the plough disc base.

No visible mess!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well - it works!

I took it out on site today and fired it up, got a good hot coke fire going in the pot and forged a couple of small pieces. The outer bowl does get hot and actually started to smoke for a few minutes, but I think that was the 'pot belly black' hi temp paint curing as the smoke stopped shortly after.

Photos of it in operation soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a really elegant portable forge!! As neat and clean in design as anyone could ask. Congratulations on the forge and the House!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a beauty! What size stock do you usually work with? Is the ash drop area large enough for the length of time you tend to work? Do you have to worry about ground clean up after you are done? I would think a small sheet of 16 gauge would give you the ability to pick it up easy enough without making the forge unstable. I am sure you will enjoy the forge. Great job.

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brian,

The ash drop is 2" dia. inside the pipe, although the drop mechanism failed first time out (the threaded rod broke on the lever). So - I have removed the valve from the brass 'T' and kept the 'T' as the air receiver part. I have sourced an old 2" gate valve to now instal below the brass 'T' as the new dump, much more sturdy and it will raise the entire unit up the extra 4" it needs for ergonomic use. The ash gathers in a small pile under the disc, so it is hidden until pack up time (then I just need to sweep up).

I had it running for six hours and it stayed clean and hot. I was working stainless steel 6mm and 10mm rod as well as 3mm x 20mm flat (for the Tree Project).

The forge does rock around a bit as I turn the blower, so I plan to hang a quench bucket from the pole that then rests on the disc towards the front of the forge, so as to counter weight the blower. I may use an old brass fire extinguisher as the quench...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cliff, that's a beaut! be aware, if your back shield is galvanized, it might do a bit of offgassing in your face, and a bout of fume flue would do you no good at all, congrats on the house, and we look forward to more pics, and by the way, those welds are really somethin!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

News...

I got the 2" gate valve today so I polished it up and installed it in the forge. Now the forge is at a better working (and cranking) height, and I have a perfect lever action ash dump - a simple flick of the big old lever and the valve opens to dump ash down the tube.

For some reason the whole thing is now more stable and doesn't rock when you crank.

Next outing is the town fair in September.


Portaforgevalve2.jpg

The valve installed.



Portaforgevalve.jpg

Lever action close up, seems my forge is now called 'John'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She's a beaut Cliff.

Glad you got a handle on the name. . . Er. . . Name on the handle? . . . Uh . . . Nevermind.

How's it work?

Frosty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now