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I Forge Iron

Forge Fire Pot

Jim Rehrer

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Have a quick question for anyone out there...I am going to build a coal forge, and found some plans to fabricate my own fire pot. I was going to make it out of 3/16 sheet steel. i read 1/4" would be better but i dont have that! Is there anything I can use as a coating of sorts to help prolong the life of my pot? i have refractory cements and such from propane forges I have made, but this is my first coal attempt...comments suggestions?

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Hey Jim, welcome to IFI. Have you thought about using your steel for a table and having a brake drum inserted for the fire pot. Used brake drums are plentiful and cheap and make a good fire pot. You can use the 55 forge idea with your steel.


I have a 55 Forge that I have been using for about a year and a half. It works great.

Lots of people here with lots of experience to help you out.

Mark <><

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Firepots are a consumable in the long run. be happy that you have 3/16" and think that it will be just that much sooner till you can make your *next* one and modify the design to suit yourself after having used it for a while.

BTAIM I made a firepot out of the axle cover from a banjo rear end (1930's? Ford?) and it hasn't given out in over 25 years now though it is in it's 3rd forge body and hopefully soon to be 4th!

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I have post many forge plans and pictures look under solid fuel. 3/16 will work for a while I would just do it. So you spend a little time and money welding but make the pipes and damper an ash dump able to be re used then you only have to re weld the fire pot. It should last you about 5 years I have a 1/4" one that is 10 years old. and still going strong. The best advice I ever got was not to over think it forges started as a hole in the ground.

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Don't over think the things, after getting the size you want it doesn't make a lot of difference, it'll get burned through eventually. Cast iron cook ware works reasonably well as does welded steel, brake drums, etc. etc. You're just holding a fire, it's not like the fire pot is going to have a lot of weight on it so there's little reason to use heavy metal.

If you're going to line it, mix a good amount of sand or crushed fire brick grog in and barely dampen the clay so it'll compact hard. Then ram it into place do the final shaping with a blade and burnish it with a piece of burlap. The smoother it is the less will stick to it. If you make it an inch or two you can use wood to support it.

Like so many have said, it's not complicated nor difficult.

Frosty the Lucky.

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Regarding just getting started, Thomas put it pretty well in another forge thread:

What the new person lacks is the ability to see how what they find can be used and to know if it's "working right" or not.

Don't put too fine a point on it. It's better to build and start than design and agonize.

(I may just use that quotation in my signature line!)
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Mine is a brake drum forge using 1/4" plate for the table. The brake drum slides in place under the plate. The slides are angle from bed frames off the roadside. I need wheels cuz I don't have a permanent smithy with roof as yet so lawn mower wheels and other mower parts make me mobile. Had to stop at a few auto repair shops to get the drum. BUt this was on the way home from work so no biggy. here is a pic. I like this much more than the gas forge I built. Hotter, quieter, puts the heat where you want not everywhere. I do like the gas forge for heating larger items in order to straighten them. I used the hole cut out from the plate for the base of th fire pot. Drilled holes in it (1/2 and 3/8).




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