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making a side blast coal forge


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Ive been blacksmithing as an apprentice for about a year at a historical site that exists solely to make stuff. As I started I fell in love with the old brick side blast coal forge, and i have been wondering how somebody could put together one, and if there are any blueprints that exist on pdf that i could download

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There is one BP on side blast forge. Basically you blow air through a 1 inch or 1-1/4 inch black iron pipe into the forge. The pipe was about 2-3 inches from floor of the forge, but depending on the forge this may vary. Yes the pipe will erode, but if you start with a length of pipe, just push it forward as needed. It takes a long time to erode the length of pipe, and it does not cost much to replace.

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Hi ol120 whereabouts are you? If you search this section you should find loads of information on side blast forges. I have posted some of these pictures before which should give you a good idea of how they are/can be constructed,

If you are building a brick forge, you will need about 4" plus under the base of the tuyere, a water tank is essential if you are going to use it for longish periods at a time.

It is also advisable to protect the front extension of the tuyere by packing around it with a solid barrier (ash, firebrick, etc) as this reduces heat transference to the coolant.

You also do not have to fill the hearth with coke when it is finished, use a bed of brick, sand or ash to take up some of the space, leaving a working "firepot" area around the front of the Tuyere.

The front of the tuyere should be well in front of the back of the forge to allow you to pile up new fuel ready to be raked down to be used in the fire as the fuel is consumed in use.

The tank illustrated does not have an air control mechanism fitted, a slide valve is my preferred method to control the air blast if you are using an electric blower. You will not have this problem if using a bellows or hand cranked fan.

Go with the electric fan if you are using coke as it goes out very quickly.

I hope this is of assistance, the descriptions on the pictures should help in figuring out what they are supposed to be illustrating, and good luck in making and using one.

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Side blasts are more useful than bottom blasts, but it can be down to your preference and space available.

In a side blast, clinker gathers beneath the working fire space,well below the air blast, bottom blasts have clinker directly under the working fire space with the air blast going through it. This tends to make for 'dirty finish' to your work if you have excessive air coming through, this can also occur in a side blast if the air is excessive, but not usually to the same extent.

You can usually work longer without having to remove clinker in a side blast, it is also easier to hit the various heat areas in a side blast, Normal/oxidising etc. once you get used to the fire.

In a side blast you can get a long heat from putting your metal in from the side of the fire, and a short heat ideal for upsetting by putting your metal in from the front of the fire, (You would have to stand your work vertical in a bottom blast to achieve this)

You can also vary the configuration of the fire in a side blast by judicial placing of refrectory or reflective materials to alter the shape of the working fire.

The drawbacks to a side blast, it takes a bigger footprint up in the workshop, and you need a water supply nearby, they are not as portable if you want to use it for site work or demonstrations, and they probably take a little longer to make than a bootom blast.

Basically the choice is yours, try one and make up your own mind, I am happy to use either, but prefer to use the side blast in the workshop.

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