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I Forge Iron

Home made firepot


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I am new to blacksmithing, but do welding and other metal work. I am trying to build my own coal forge from scrap materials. The firepot is the problem. How thick does the metal need to be? I will have to weld a few pieces together for some thickness. Suggestions, comments ?
Bill R.

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The Thicker the better it will last longer. The steel will oxidize away as you use it. I have heard of people using 1/4 inch plate. I made one years ago out of some I-beam flanges that were 5/8". If you are going to take the time to make your own use the best material you can get your hands on. Cast iron would be better as it stands up to fire better. I suppose if you could get your hands on some stainless steel that would work very well for the job. A lot of people use old brake drums.

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I used one of the axle covers off a appx 1937 Banjo rear end for a fire pot; got two of them that had been made into jackstands at a fleamarket for $3 20+ years ago---still using the first one.

Don't worry about it too much as you may want to change out the form your firepot has a couple of times before you are happy and then make *that* one out of heavy stock!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Actually the metal for the firepot doesn't need to be very thick as long as you protect it. I use firebrick and have seen others that line their forges with refractory cement. Firebrick is much less expensive that 1/4" steel plate

That said, if cost and fabrication are not issues then go with heavier guage steel, 3/16" or 1/4".

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