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I Forge Iron

Perment forge


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Well spring will be upon us soon and I want to build a permanent forge in my garage/shop. I love coal and will build a side draft type forge but I want to use natural stone not brick (at least not all brick). Has anyone had dealings with this ? I have heard if I use the wrong stone they can get to hot and crack and break.
I would love to hear from anyone who has done this as I want to end up with a lovely forge as well as a functional one as well.
Thank you
Jim Heckman
Hampden, Maine

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Actually some stones explode and can cause blindness or death when heated. However most ultramafic igneous and metamorphics are generally more polite and the bad ones merely crack. (as a geologist I used to get the duty of fire testing stones for a LH kitchen where we cooked by heating stones and dropping them in water.)

However in a masonry forge the stones are more of a frame and the actual fire area should be made from firebricks or fire clay.

May I suggest you locate a local historical forge and see how they did it and how well it lasted with local materials?

Out here I'd go with basalt...

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Jim- If you ever get over to Vermont check out the historic replica forge at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. They have a very nice stone forge, works very well. We (Green Mtn. BA) have hammer-ins there sometimes. I have heard that Dimitri Gerakeris isn't too keen on drop-in visitors, might want to contact him first.

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My experience with slate would indicate that "it depends" Had slates that were very fire safe and other that crumbled when heated---we used to cook chestnuts on a roofing slate in our fire place...

But as mentioned if the stone is away from the hot zone not much of a problem...

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Seen large permanent forges here in Aus that were built out of timber and roofing iron, you just need to make them large enough so as the heat does'nt get to the framework. Most of these timber forges were filled with dirt and clay with a side blast tuyere. Just make sure the rocks don't get hot and it will be no worries.


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I don't know of any stone that would work being in direct contact with the fire, they will crack, explode or basicaly melt from the heat.
Build it out of anything you like but make the fire pot out of firebrick or refractory and you won't have any trouble with the stone.


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