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I Forge Iron

Homemade forge help


Tenebrocity

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I've been working iron for about one year now and so far Ive been fairly disappointed in LPforges and in the little brake drum forge I'm using now.
However I have this small wood burning stove and I'm considering packing it with firebrick mix and trying get a makeshift solid fule forge out of it. My problem is I know close to nothing about actually making a forge. I was wondering if anybody had any ideas on how to make this stove as efficient as possible.
Please include what type of blower you suggest and where my blast intake should be.
any feedback is greatly appreciated.


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You don't say what tools or skills you have at your disposal to modify this item, sizes too would help, along with your location, as someone near may be able to help.

On first appearance, you should be able to modify the shell into a bottom blast forge relatively easily if it is made of steel and not cast iron

What is the problem with your brake drum forge? Personally I don't like them, but they work OK for many people, and you could find it simpler to alter/upgrade that, or incorporate it into this project.

Good luck with it whatever you decide.

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You don't say what your issues were with your other forges, and whether they were homemade also. Homemade forges can work adequately if they are designed, executed, and used properly. A well made commericial forge should deliver good performance. Making a new forge without understanding the issues with your current forges could be problematic. No one forge can handle every project; I have 3 in my home shop and my mentor has 6 or so. If you read all the many posts on this site regarding forges you should be able to determine if your project currently under consideration will meet your needs, and also you might be able to figure out what to do about your other forges. Good luck, Steve PS welcome to the site.

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You don't say what tools or skills you have at your disposal to modify this item, sizes too would help, along with your location, as someone near may be able to help.
On first appearance, you should be able to modify the shell into a bottom blast forge relatively easily if it is made of steel and not cast iron
What is the problem with your brake drum forge? Personally I don't like them, but they work OK for many people, and you could find it simpler to alter/upgrade that, or incorporate it into this project.
Good luck with it whatever you decide.


Well tools and money isn't necessarily and issue, the shell is steel and I have oxyacetylene to help with any modifications. Yes the brake drum works moderately for what it is and it gives me a lot of good practice, but I'm more interested in blade and swordsmithing and heat treating an entire sword is problematic when you can't heat it evenly. Secondly I inherited this stove from my grandfather and its slowly but surely falling apart, I thought packing it with brick and using it for my hobby would be a nice cheap way to extend its life and get some more use out of it.

By the way I live in central California and it would be great to find someone more experienced in the area.
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It's possible to lose dollars while pinching pennies;the same concept also applies to time.If you invest in good gear it will pay off in time & money saved later.
When planning your set up don't forget about your comfort.[do you want to vertually stand on your head every time you check a heat?]
A long pipe w/holes [along the length] under a bed of hot coals is great for temper'n long blades.
The forgeing is done 1 section at a time .I know I just hit a few high spots[i type like a troglodyte]
I hope this helps.

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Well tools and money isn't necessarily and issue, the shell is steel and I have oxyacetylene to help with any modifications. Yes the brake drum works moderately for what it is and it gives me a lot of good practice, but I'm more interested in blade and swordsmithing and heat treating an entire sword is problematic when you can't heat it evenly. Secondly I inherited this stove from my grandfather and its slowly but surely falling apart, I thought packing it with brick and using it for my hobby would be a nice cheap way to extend its life and get some more use out of it.

By the way I live in central California and it would be great to find someone more experienced in the area.


As Pete says, 2 forges one for the forging one for the HT,

You talk about packing it with firebricks and modifiying it, It will require cutting down the sides and seperating the top half from the bottom half then fixing a pipe tuyere the length of the base, to supply air the length plus of the blades being treated.


You dont say what fuel you are using, if its coke, you may not need as much insulation as coal or charcoal, if its charcoal you will need a deeper base.

Good luck whatever you decide
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In general when forging a long blade you *don't* want to heat up anymore than you can work before it gets cold. This helps prevent scaling loss, decarburization and grain growth. So a sword forge can be fairly small. When you need the length is for heat treat as you mentioned and while there are ways of using a small forge for a long blade one that is closer to size is a lot nicer. When I need a particularly long forge I dig a shallow trench in the yard and put a piece of blackpipe with holes drilled in it along the bottom and blow it with mu shop vac---wasting a lot of air before it gets to the tuyere as it puts out way more than I need and I don't want an oxidizing fire!

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