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I Forge Iron

Another, "Huzzah! I'm blacksmithing!!" thread

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Hey all

Last week I contacted a friend from my past blacksmith class, and we got to talking.
It turns out that he can't use the forge he built because his landlord is touchy about people burning things, and I have no forge to speak of.
I do however have a little space in my back yard where I can accommodate a modest smithy.

The clothes dryer vent tubing seemed like a good idea at the time, but it seems like it wants to rip and fall apart whenever you touch it. It gets a little tiresome doing makeshift patches every time you attach the blower.

Anyone have any suggestions as to what we could use instead?

[url=""] Originally my friend opted to use a large brake drum off a semi-truck for the fire pot. This proved to be much too deep.

I had a couple much smaller brake drums laying around, so I went ahead and filled the big brake drum with mud and ash, set the small brake drum inside, and packed everything in tight.

I also packed some mud/ash inside to raise the interior of the fire pot, which seems to be a good temporary solution until we go out and get some proper fire clay.

Even though this forge still has some work to be done to it, it's great to have something to heat up metal, and also have a like-minded forging partner.

Anyways, thanks for checking this all out.





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Drum in a drum is a great idea. Should hold up a LONG time.

Check out your nearby muffler shop for some flex exhaust pipe to replace the dryer vent hose. It comes in different sizes, one's bound to be close enough to work for you. That's what I have coming off my Champion 400 held by a simple hose clamp. A large muffler/tailpipe clamp would be even better.

Edited by Yance
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As for your air hose from blower to fire pot. I have made my own pipe out of thin sheet metal cut and rolled. Also you can buy stove pipe with adjustable elbow at hardware store like here in Utah Cal Ranch Stores. I have also used cans from welding rod they are 3" dia. just cut off bottom. (welding shops probably have some laying around or in the garbage.) Anyway just some of my ideas.

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Do not use the plastic clothes dryer vent. Use the expandable metal dryer vent and you can just crimp the ends with your fingers and attach using a radiator clamp or two clamps together to get the proper size you need.

If you are burning coal, I would suggest a lot more opening(s) for the air to get to the fire.

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Everyone thinks "Bigger is Better" when it comes to brake drum forges and goes for a Truck Drum. The brake drum is only the fire pot, and you surround it with something else, like the 55 gal drum forge etc. Just a large brake drum is far too deep for the entire forge.

I am glad I don't have any restrictions yet on a coal forge.

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I appreciate everyone's suggestions!

The guys at the neighborhood mechanic's shop just down the street finds the whole blacksmith thing rather interesting, and has given me a green light to go through their scrap (that's where I got the smaller brake drums)
I think it would be a good first place to look for any muffler tubing etc etc.

The idea about using metal welding stick containers is a good one, I will have to look around for that! Most I've seen are square and plastic though.......

Yes....plastic is a big no-no! Anything used will be made of metal or some other non-melt-able/combustible materials. My wife would have a big problem if we made an even bigger mess than we already have!

In the picture the grate on the bottom does look rather restricting, but that's just because there is just some dirt and ash covering the grate. The hole beneath it is a full 3" diameter with the screening just sitting on top of the dirt.

I am keeping my eyes open for a replacement as the screen is quite thin and will burn through before too long....I was thinking a mild steel plate over 1/4" thick with several holes drilled in it should work quite well.

Thanks for chiming in everyone


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Another cheep option for tubbing is spun aluminium dryer vent pipe. Works well and is easy to fit. Looking at the grates in Glenn's pictures, see if you can cut slits like that when you make your new grates. Much stronger and you can direct the air flow better by angling the cuts.

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My 3 inch diameter air pipe for the forge has 2 each 3/8 inch bolts welded across the pipe for a grate. The rest is open space to let the air get to the fire. Once the fire starts and cokes up a bit very little fuel falls into the air pipe, just the ash.

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