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I Forge Iron

Square V's Circular Firepot


RatedZ4Zoro

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I am thinking of building a forge to replace my existing one made from a camp BBQ.

I have seen many Brake Drum Forges on the internet, aswell as many commercial and homemade forges that have a square or rectangular firepot as apposed to the circular one of a brake drum.

I am wondering what everyone thinks is the best design and why?
And if sloped sides are needed?

I will probably make the "table" of the forge approx. 2'4" x 2'4" and the fire pot about 10" square if this method is chosen. Otherwise ill mount a brake drum 2 inches deep with a diameter of 10 inches.

Any help is much appreciated.

Cheers

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I am thinking of building a forge to replace my existing one made from a camp BBQ.

I have seen many Brake Drum Forges on the internet, aswell as many commercial and homemade forges that have a square or rectangular firepot as apposed to the circular one of a brake drum.

I am wondering what everyone thinks is the best design and why?
And if sloped sides are needed?

I will probably make the "table" of the forge approx. 2'4" x 2'4" and the fire pot about 10" square if this method is chosen. Otherwise ill mount a brake drum 2 inches deep with a diameter of 10 inches.

Any help is much appreciated.

Cheers



My preference is for sloping sides, it is easier to remove clinkers, and no need for a clinker breaker. You just shut off the air blast, allow the clinker to solidify for a few minutes, slide a slice under the clinker and remove from fire, rake in fresh coke and you are ready to go again.

The depth of the pot can vary from 1" to 6"= deep depending on what you are forging, and fuel being used.

I have attached a couple of pictures of a proven design that may or may not be of use to you, they are approximately 2foot square and use forging coke. There are 3 stacked on top of each other in the picture (thought I better mention this as it could look confusing otherwise)

Good luck with your choice whichever it may be.

post-816-041309900 1273505070_thumb.jpg

post-816-014873100 1273505178_thumb.jpg

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The fire tends to follow the natural form of the pot so you'll get a more or less round fire from a round one and a rectangular fire from that pot shape. Farriers typically work on mostly round shoes so the round pot was considered a shoer's rig, while the rectangular versions were typically used for general work. However, it's pretty easy to sub one for the other so it may simply be a matter of personal preference. I put a round Centaur pot in a demo rig and used it for general work for several years with great success (and I never made horse shoes).

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I built a forge table from angle iron approximately 3 feet square, the size is up to you.

I built a rectangular fire box with sloping sides. It is about 11 by 13 inches at the top and 3 inches square at the bottom and is 4 inches deep. The fire box is 3/8 plate including the bottom. I don't have a clinker breaker, I just burned a couple slots through the bottom for air flow. I put a narrow rim around the top of the fire box, cut a hole in the forge table of the appropriate size and dropped the fire box in.

As John B says, I just shut off the air for a few minutes to cool and reach in with a hook to pull out the clinkers when necessary.

I like a deep fire like this. It is easier to contain the size of the fire and be able to bury your iron in the fire.

After 5 years of use the fire box shows no signs of deterioration.

Good luck with yours.

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The fire tends to follow the natural form of the pot so you'll get a more or less round fire from a round one and a rectangular fire from that pot shape.


In practice, those forges pictured give a rounded fire, they are relatively shallow and can be built up to give depth if required.

The spacings, diameters and positions of the air distribution holes as well as the shape and depth of the firepot will govern the characteristics of the fire.
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I have built two coal forges, both look the same.

I find it's easy to make a frame from angle iron, add a steel plate for the bed, (with a hole cut into the bottom), and add a fire pot. That easy!! I buy my fire pots from Centaur Forge. It's really an easy thing to build if you have a welder, cutting torch, and a cut-off saw. I built my last forge in about three hours or so. I figure the dimensions on paper before hand, then cut the angle iron all at once then start welding. I cross brace the legs with flat stock. Both have round, heavy duty fire pots. I don't know why I bought round. <_< Perhaps they were cheaper, but they work well. Next time I will buy the square pot.

You can kind of get an idea from the picture in the link below. I added the fire brick just to hug the coal around the fire pot but this is not necessary just something I like to do. This forge is in my ghost town blacksmith shop.

http://ironclad.shutterfly.com/47

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