Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Making a coal forge


Dean Christman

Recommended Posts

I'm looking to make a coal forge, preferable one with a table. I'm obviously a newcomer to smithing =) and i would love some input from the community of the forum. I've been digging through the forum for some ideas. I've been debating or not whether to maybe buy one from centaur forge? But they are a bit out of my price range. Any type of input from you guys/gals would be greatly appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brake drum from whatever, a sheet of steel like an old shelf, something for legs, some plumbing parts for the air and a blower of some type.

Cut a hole in the sheet of metal for the drum to nest into, there is a ridge on most that will catch the metal. Affix legs, and the air source. Get to work! Sheet metal studs can make legs easy if you lack the shelf uprights.

Glenn may post his famous 55 forge too.

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i agree with phil

a brake drum forge is perfect for a beggining forge. In fact I still work from one when I use a solid fuel forge. I;ve been considering making a larger forge, but every time I think about disassembling the brake drum forge and making something bigger I think to myself I have my gasser for larger items and....i can only work a small section at a time so why bother building a bigger forge.

if you need to see how a brake drum forge is built I reccommend youtube...search for purgatory iron works. this guy ussually works the renfest here in GA and we shop at the same store for our refractory. I got the bug from watching this smiths videos and went out and built a brake drum forge and I've been heating and beating ever since.

remember always have fun and be safe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


What would you advise using to cut a sheet of steel the table? I lack welding tools but could borrow some, i dont believe a have a way to get any type of cutting torch.

you have several options hacksaw, sawzall with metal blade, angle grinder with cut off wheel, cold chisel and hammer, tin snips (if thin enough sheetmetal) get creative and be safe
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shears or a grinder depending on the thickness. If it is an old storage shelf it is probably #20 or thinner so a good set of shears will make short work once you have a hole started, and you can punch that cold. If it is something more robust then a cutoff wheel in a grinder will make short work. Better to size your hole a hair small then open it up after a test fit.

Phil

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i Built a forge a month or two ago and have been doing a bit here in there. It almost looks like a gas forge but i burn solid fuel in it. It doesn't nearly get hot enough but thanks for the info all. Obviously ive been going in the wrong direction this whole time haha i watched trenton tye's videos and thats what got me first started in blacksmithing. I will be scrounging in the junk yard this week for sure!! Thank you so much you guys, this forum and all of its members are great people! =D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wrong direction? how so...if it burn coal or charcoal without melting or over heating then all you need to do is tune it and it will get plenty hot enough. I actually had a campfire going at forge temps once...using the provided grill grates at the local DNR campsite...I got the grate(3/4-1inch round bar) glowing a nice shade of yellow....wife looked at me cross eyed over that one....but the point is...a fire can be tunes to get as hot as you need it...you say wrong direction , please explain what you mean by that

Link to comment
Share on other sites


By wrong direction i mean i have been over complicating things. I hope i can get a brake drum or rotor sometime soon.


Call up some repair shops and ask. Explain that it will not be installed on a vehicle. Be honest about the intended use. While you are there as for some other scrap iron like coil and leaf springs, and drive axles so you have some good medium carbon practice and tool stock.

Asking at a parts store may work too as people bring odd junk in and don't want to take it home after getting the correct part.

You may even be able to score some exhaust pipe for the tue at the same time.

Phil
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just an update if anyone cares haha scored a brake rotor from a truck repair shop for free, a xxxx load of angle iron from my shop teacher at school aswell as some steel pipe and a huge sheet of sheet metal. Borrowing a friends welder this weekend and ill weld up a frame and a little table for my new forge ill be sure to try and post some pictures for a what i hope to be a nice example of a brake drum forge!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Curufin,

I have a "55 forge" which is a brake drum forge with a shallow pan from a 55 gallon drum as the table. Kinda.



This is a really easy forge to make. There is a blueprint on the site telling how to build it.

http://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/f7/Blueprints-100-200/bp0133.html


I already had my brake drum forge built but when I used the 55 forge idea, I switched brake drums to get one to sit lower in the drum. Look at the plans and see what you think.

Good luck!

Mark<><

Link to comment
Share on other sites

scored a brake rotor from a truck

I do not know how large that would be but usually a drum or single plate rotor from a automobile is about the right size.
Do not over complicate or over engineer simple. It is just a container to hold the fire. A "table" of some nature may be needed to build a fire of sufficient depth to forge in, usually you want a 6-8 inch diameter fireball, or larger. Additional coal is over top and around the fireball.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I should have ask what size truck (grin). Big Rig or just a 3/4 ton pick up?

One word of caution, if it is a single rotor your ok, but if it is a double rotor you will need to fill the space between the two rotors with something to keep the air and fire from going between the discs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I guess I should have ask what size truck (grin). Big Rig or just a 3/4 ton pick up?

One word of caution, if it is a single rotor your ok, but if it is a double rotor you will need to fill the space between the two rotors with something to keep the air and fire from going between the discs.


Alright I will be sure to check for the two part rotor and it would definitely have to be a rotor from a 3/4 ton its to small to be a big rig. I'm pretty excited to put it together this weekend!
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I'm looking to make a coal forge, preferable one with a table. I'm obviously a newcomer to smithing =) and i would love some input from the community of the forum. I've been digging through the forum for some ideas. I've been debating or not whether to maybe buy one from centaur forge? But they are a bit out of my price range. Any type of input from you guys/gals would be greatly appreciated!


I just saw this thread this morning.

Here are some pictures of my forge. It is the simplest one I've worked with so far, and I've worked with just about every different coal forge out there. This is my favorite one, also.

It can be made with no welding. The pan is not welded to the frame, and the fire pot is raised off the pan with 1" square tubing. There are good reasons for this; the heat from the fire pot does not warp the 12 gauge pan, and the lowest level of my fire pot is even with the edge of the lip of my pan so I can get any size of material to my fire pot without any obstructions in the way. post-4954-0-72596800-1289475363_thumb.jppost-4954-0-82291800-1289475397_thumb.jppost-4954-0-31541600-1289475439_thumb.jppost-4954-0-86381000-1289475504_thumb.jppost-4954-0-84318600-1289475548_thumb.jp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...