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I Forge Iron

forge base Brick or fireclay


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I have a medieval style forge it’s very similar to Mr. Habermann’s forge in this video (below) . I have used fire brick for the last several years, but the brick around the tuyere or the whole where my air comes out always breaks or cracks after a few weeks. I have great fire control but still it burns out, I decided to use a fire clay mixture, is this a good idea? or is there something better out there that I have been missing?


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You could retrofit a cast iron pot, but I don't think you want to do that by how you ask the question.

The clay mixture that has been recommended for rivet forges is an option, but it does move, so you need to allow for expansion space between the firepot area and the rest of the forge. The mix is 3 part sand, 1 part Portland, optional 1/2 part clay. It appears to have vitrified in my brake drum forge.

If you put a spacer around the firepot area, like a layer or two of corrugated carton (yes it will burn away) you should get a solid area that can expand and contract separately from the rest of the brickwork, yet be close-fitting enough that tools and debris will not catch, and after a little ash builds up you may not even see the gap.


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Phil medieval forges were not bottom blown but were side blown---no firepot but just a tue iron at most protruding from one of the sides, many of them just had a gap in the masonry for the air to come out of or for very early medieval perhaps a bellows stone.

You are correct that it is most likely a problem with expansion and contraction though, especially if there is a metal-brick interface. I might leave a gap near the front of the joint to be filled in with ash over time and mortar the back end of the joint to keep it air tight but where the temperature swings are not as great.

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