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I Forge Iron

My version of a brake drum forge

Steven NY

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This is my forge, it was made out of an old brake drum that was left over from an auto garage that used to be behind my house, I have been saving it for years and have finally done something with it. The tuyere was made out of and old drill press column, it measured around 3.5 inches in diameter. It has a weighted gate at the bottom for the ash dump. The wooden box you see is my blower, it was made out of an old ShopVac motor I scavenged and wired to a wall dimmer switch with a toggle on and off switch. I had to drill a relief hole in the top of the box to vent off excess air as my blower used to blow my fire all over the place. The brake drums bottom is double plated with 1/4" steel. I do not have a grate in my forge, just the clinker breaker that is more or less cam shaped to allow me to keep my air flowing by grinding up spent coal and clinker. The hole setup is built on wheel so I can move it if I need/want to. This forge has worked very well and will produce a lot of heat I have burnt a few pieces while not paying attention. If I where going to change anything it would be the size of the table top that hold my extra coal, I think if it where a few inches bigger it would be a little better, but as the whole thing was made from scrap it was what I had. I will be adding a tong rack at some point but for right now my tongs and hammers are laid out on a bench next to the forge.

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Really nice job on the forge. I see that you have a window fan for exhausting the smoke/fumes. Glad to see that. Do you plan to build an exhaust hood and chimney/stack? Be nice to lose the smoke but not the heat as you are in NY.

Both Sam and Rob have good points. More room for more fuel means less time loss fetchin fuel and gaps on the edges allow for longer stock to be inserted into the sweet spot.

Have fun!


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Going higher would be a much easier way to help control my coal than going wider at this point, I had not thought of that. Good call on the sweet spot, with the 2inch angle iron I seem to hit the sweet spot so maybe 4 inches on the side leave the front its current height and taper the back to the middle.


I am planning on building a side draft hood for the forge that will exit under the fan. The fan was installed and used for painting motorcycles, and you are right about the heat! After a weekend of forging with temps in the 20's I really need to get the hood going. I just need to find the scrap to make it out of I have had my eye out but have not come across anything yet.



Thank you all for your comments.

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