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I Forge Iron

My first forge


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Well no pics but man was it exhilarating to heat my first piece of metal and strike it the forge get hot melted a bit of the thing.
Cant wait to do more.

It eats charcoal like crazy unless I was just putting too much in kinda like feeding your cat too much only it doesn't get fat.
Question how many cfms does a motor need for a forge its a small brake drum forge uses a vacum motor I rigged up blows a large volume of air even on a dimer switch on lowest setting.
I'm afraid its too much makes it sparky like mad cant really get close to it well two feet is good without burning my face off.

Is their a temperature that I shouldn't hammer anything on my anvil at I'm referring to low temperatures like winter 25c here for now.

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Firstly, what type of charcoal are you using? Is it a real wood charcoal or is it brickets which are used for grilling? If it is the latter then there is really nothing that you can do to keep them from sparking like crazy.

For the quantity of air, you can greatly increase your control over it if you make a plate that can pivot over the air inlet for the air pump.

Caleb Ramsby

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Charcoal does not need much air to work so a vacuum is FAR too much air. An air gate would work but it would be better to have less air in the first place. Can you get your hands on an old hair dryer? Use it on the cold setting and it will be great.

Other things about charcoal fires:

  • You need a deep fire - 5-6" would work for general use
  • You need to use bricks to keep the fire as narrow as possible so the excess charcoal does not burn and provide no heat to your work - wastes fuel.
  • Remember, charcoal does not need an air blast to burn, unlike coal or coke.
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Thanks instead of reconfiguring or changing my current setup could I just change over to coal I will still make a flue of some kind to limit air flow
I live in Michigan and cant find anywhere to get coal besides getting it shipped here but thats a fortune.

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Welcome from another Michigander! I get my Pocahontas #3 coal from Streat Fuel and Storage in Flint. It's a real treat to work with, especially compared to anthracite (yuck!) and charcoal (too many sparks!) It burns good and hot, cokes up nicely, and just has that lovely smell... ;)


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I don't recall their exact prices; you can call them to find out. (You should be able to find the number on google) They will sell basically any quantity, but there is a price drop beyond a certain weight; I think one is at 500# and another at a ton...

500# how much in volume is that say a 5 gallon bucket how much would that fit in weight.

I also found phone number thanks Ill call them sometime this week.
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Rob Browne, how deep is your trailer? Knowing it is 6x4 does not tell anyone what the volume is. 640 kg is 1408 pounds(slightly less than 3/4 ton).

I buy coal in 50# bags and have not tried to fit one into a 5 gallon bucket, but I think one bag would more than fill a bucket. How long 500# will last is a function of how much time you spend at the forge, fire control and the scale of your work.

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