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I Forge Iron


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I am now interested in starting hobby blacksmithing for quite more than 12 years and have not started yet.

I have one tong, hand cranked grinder (antique), a blacksmith's pole vice and I also have a 100 pound Londen anvil (no dents or marks yet).

The grinder and the anvil was given to me as gifts. I bought the tong as scrap but bought the vice for some money, before everything became expensive.

I have all types of modern tools, even a screw cutting lathe.

However, before I can go further I must build a forge (I prefer a coal forge as gas are too expensive). I have browsed around, but I am still looking for a fan or plans for a fan. Maybe I must buy the gears and make my own design for a hand cranked one. The fan part will not be so difficult. I had something that were used to spread sulfur dust om treas but just as I managed to melt bras the little gear box unit ceased up. I will therefore use my forge as a little furnace as well for aluminum and brass.

If anybody can direct me in some direction I will appreciate it.

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HI JOhan - i dont know which kind of design would be right for you but i think if you click on archive at the bottom of the page you can look at all the threads about forge design pros and cons will be thoroughly aired in there! good luck:)

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Try making your forge firepot out of a brake drum off an old car, see the Metalworking Lessons off the front page. As for an air supply you could make a fan runnning off a bicycle crank for gearing, I've seen photos somewhere, or a Japanese box bellows or use a heater fan out of a car (comes complete with speed control).


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Welcome aboard Johan, glad to have you.

Check out the 55 forge in the Blueprints section, it may not be what you want ultimately but it will get you up and forging. There are also a number of threads about building bellows of all kinds and blowers. Searching the archives will bring up lots of info.

My advice though is don't wait to get all the "real" tools, build a fire in a hole with a blow drier in a piece of pipe or whatever. Just build a fire and start forging, no tool will do the job, it's your skills and experience that will and the only way to develop those are by doing.

You can gain knowledge by reading, watching and listening but not skill, that only comes one way. ;)


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