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Almost done w/ forge constuction!!


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My forge is almost done. I spent the morning in the basement hacking away. I went through several variations, and have settled on a small forge, with woden sides, and a steel bottom. The ash is cought in a bean can which has a hole for a pipe to the air supply (I'm unsure what it's gonna be) The bottom of the can is going to be some kind of trapdoor thingy. All of this will be attached to a small table (about 1 foot by 1 foot top) so it can be stood up.

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Way to go Archie!
One more little thing. Before you fire the forge for the first time, (or any other time for that matter) go and look in the mirror.

And the person you see looking back at you is the person responsible for keeping you safe. Then look at your set up and figure out every thing that you can think of that could go wrong, and then plan for it. When I started doing buggy and wagon restoration my Dad told me to over build, when things go wrong you can't shut a horse off with the flip of a switch. A forge is the same way.

I'm not saying this to discourage you, I do want you to go out and play with fire, just don't want you getting burned, hurt someother way, or worse.

So keep at it!

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Thanks Jim!
I did all of the stuff you said, and found an old hand bellows, which I hooked up to the bean-can, set the firepan up ready for a match, and then I went in search of "man's red flower". I found matches, all right, but not a single striker in the house, so I went down to the corner store to buy some, but the guy behind the counter said no. So I might not be able to light it up today, unless I ask my neighbors for a lighter, and they will probably say yes, so fingers crossed! :D :D

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type in your text to the point you need to put in an image

click "img" box, enter the URL for the photo on the web, and click "img" box again. it chould look like this in your posting box.


but without the --- at the beginning and end. also no spaces.

When you do it right, the program goes to the URL you gave and retrives and inserts the photo, like this.

This image is 200 pixels wide.

You can use the www.iforgeiron.com/gallery to post the photo. This places your photo in the IForgeIron Gallery and I will go there my self, get the photo, fix it if need, resize it to the maximum 400 pizels wide needed for this forum and edit it into your post.

Or you can use www.yourimg.com as a posting service as a place to park your photo on the web.

IF you do not resize the photo before posting to a maximum of 400 pizels wide or tall, which ever is greater, it may be too large for for the forum and cause problems. This information is also on the Forum under a thread of how to post images or sothing like that.

Try it and see if you can make it work with the URL http://www.blacksmithforum.com/photo/blacksmithing/fire04.jpg You can preview your post to see if it works before you submit. Once submitted, you can still edit the post, you just have to click "edit" top right of your posted topic. That will take you back to the "post a reply" screen so you can fix things.

As the administrator, I can usually correct any mistakes you will make. I have made enough of my own learning this software, so I am almost good at fixing things at this point. :? You will make mistakes and that is expected. It is not a problem, but part of the learning process.

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It's working!!!! It's working!!!!! Tommorow I'm gonna tweak it, and make a better bellows for m'self, because the fireplace one a) should go to the fireplace, and B) it's got a few leaks, and anyways I want one specifically built for my forge, and c) I want to have built the whole setup, 100% archieforge :D (also I'll take some pics tommorow, but I'm going to bed now, splitting headache)

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Archie, your enthusiasm beggars belief. Dogged determination is a good thing and I can see you outstripping all of us that have tried to help you get started in a very short time.
I notice there is an unrevealed until now stipulation in your smithy that everything has to be archiebuilt. If that's the case your new bellows are staring you in the face. Take the little fireside bellows and study hard. If they were six feet long and about four feet across you'ld have a fair dinkum set of (single action) blacksmiths bellows. Check out


http://www.hammerinhand.com/maxpages/Making_a_Bellows

for double action bellows which are what you'ld more likely find in a 'ye olde' blacksmiths shop

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I didn't get round to bellows-ing today :cry: but I did do some lighting of my forge. UNfortunately, I couldn't get the steel to heat up enough, I wanted to heat a railroad spike I have, but it never got quite hot enough. The forge, lights and functions beautifully, apart from the heat problem, though :D

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Archie you might have to find a better relationship between the size of fire and size of stock. I would have thought mniscule and railway spike is not quite the right combination. But I bet your learning stuff by the truck load.

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The ash is cought in a bean can


If your bean can fills with ash to such a level that it obstructs the air flow to the forge, it will cut off your wind to the fire.

Just one more thing to consider when problem solving.
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It's amazing what you can do with a little ingenuity. Alex Weygers, in "The Modern Blacksmith" shows a coffee can hanging in a tree with a 12' long, 5" diameter stack attached for natural draft. He punched a few holes in the can and loaded it with charcoal through the front hole. With this, he was able to attain sufficient forging heat to make wood carving tools and chisels.

Archie, if you can find a copy of this book, you may want to get it. Weygers lived in a lot of primitive places and made do with very little but he was a gifted artist in both wood and metal.

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Thanks! I will try and pick up this book as soon as possible. I agree Strine, that my choice of stock was not very good. I will use more fitting stock in future. I also picked up an extra tank of propane for my torch, which I will hook up to a small can-forge (I heated up some nails to a perfect cherry red in seconds with that thing :D 8) But I am going to use charcoal for most of my work. Lighting the forge is not as easy as it seemed, and it took me severl tries, but with the newspaper and sticks method, I started it, and then I kept it alight for 2 hours, fooling around with it :D

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I have just baught a bag of hardwood charcoal, 20# for $6 it smells amazing, and is beautiful, not a speck of ash, and charcoal all the way through. It doesn't just rub off and crumble onto my hand, it holds together very well. I also lined my big wooden box with crushed fuller's earth kitty litter, a handful of wood shavings, some plaster and sand, mixed into a refractory, and packed my forge. I am using a sink pulg as my ash grate, with a bean can (again), as the tuyere/ash collector. The only problem now is an air supply big enough to handle the thing, so I will use, I think, a hair dryer for now, and make a large bellows for it. Pictures Soon :D

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Hi Archie
Theres nothing wrong with a hair dryer for a starting set-up!
I'm a newbie blacksmith myself, It was roughly a year ago that I fired up my up my forge for the first time. I started out with a blow dryer on my forge and am still using it, and for myself I can see no reason to use anything different in the imediate future because it's done everything I expected of it SO FAR! :D

Using a hair drier you will need something to cut your air flow way down at times. I use a "lighting dimmer switch" myself and so far have nothing to complain about. I can go from enough wind to blow the fire right out of the pot down to just the slightest breeze wafting through the coals.

:wink:

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Thanks!
Right now my "Kitty-Litter and Wood Shaving Refractory" is drying. It came out far more gravelly than I had hoped for, so I might replace it in future. It says on the side of the bag that you can use it as a bed for coals in a barbecue, so I am using it as a bed of charcoal for a forge. The sides are tightly wedged-in bricks, soI will only have to replace the bottom inch or so. I may also have to widen the holes in my tuyere which runs lengthwise across the box. This thing weighs about 40 lbs all together, so I mounted it on a big prism shaped chunk of lumber, and then into a big red radio flyer cart, so I can tootle around with it now :D when it dries (probably by tommorow) I will take pics of it's first light.

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