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I Forge Iron

Almost done w/ forge constuction!!

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I just lit it up yay!!!! :D but, yet again, I couldn't get my steel to heat up correctly grrrrr... I need to put bigger tuyere holes in, and also I need to find a way to plug them so that I don't waste air pressure. I got the coals up to white hot by blowing on them from the side with my bellows again, but I REALLY need to get/make a big bellows for it. I wonder...could it be the charcoal I'm using that stops the steel from getting so hot? it is hardwood, though.
No pics yet, because the camera's batteries died just as I was lighing... :cry:

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To aid in your finding the right combination of air volumn and grate hole size, I took photos of the air holes in 3 forges. I have included a AA battery for size comparison, and a ruler measurement.


This is a brake drum 13 inches diameter. It gets enough air through the holes and works well.


This is a piece of cast iron 4 inches diameter. The holes are larger and it works better as it gets more air through the larger holes.


This is to give you a size comparison between the two fire pots. One easily fits inside the other. The other grate is 2-1/2 inch exhaust pipe from a automobile with 2 pieces of 1/4 inch round for the grate. It is the grate from the 55 Forge. All air supply tubes are either 2-1/4 or 2-1/2 inches in diameter, and all use the same small electric squirrel cage blower for air. The fan and air pipe are not connected to each other and air flow is regulated by how much air blast is aimed at the pipe leading from the fan to the forge.

Each fireball is a bit different and the forge is chosen for the job at hand. Big forge for big projects, small forge for small projects, big forge for long heats 6 to 8 inches, small forge for 3 to 4 inches. Play with things till you find a combination that works for you.

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There are enough sources of air available at little or no cost that you should have no problems in the air department.

Bwilloughby came up with a novel approach for his air problem by converting a HVAC whole house furnace fan to a blower for his forge.

Jim Carothers solved his air problem in another direction, by using what the neighbor threw into the trash. You will have to look up BP0128 Forge Blower to find out what he started with to get the fan :wink: I am sure there is at least one available very close to your location LOL.

Both of these will move a LOT more air than you need for a solid fuel forge. Plan on venting, diverting, or using a valve of some sort to keep the excess air away from the forge. Hint: A fellow could put a "Y" or "T" in the air line and use the excess air to cool the blacksmith.

But do not overlook the little blowers that still a LOT of air for their size. This one was recycled from a junk yard and has been in service over two years. It puts out too much air for my forge and I vent the excess.


If you had a big kitchen table you, some scrap wood, and a little canvas, you could just build your own bellows. :D See BP0127 Bellows

An old hair dryer, vacumn cleaner on the blow side, and lots of other things have been used. You need to find out what is available in your area and put it into service making air.

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