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Mike R

forge is finished

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Finaly finished the new forge. Hope to get fuel this week to fire it up. Top is 42 X 28 inch. 2 inch pipe with a gas furnace exhaust fan for air. Has a togle switch at the front and a damper on the intake side.

The fan is variable speed and if I need to I can add a rheostat. Still need to add edges but can use it as is.

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I've always considered a forge "finished" when it's thrown on the scrap pile. Up until then it is a work in progress as I add/remove/tweak things on it. I don't think I would be presumptuous enough to claim one as being "finished" that hasn't even been burn tested yet---how about "ready" instead?

My primary solid fuel forge firepot is in it's 4th "body" an it's about time for the 5th with the bells and whistles I've dreamed up using the previous ones. (Firepot is over 25 years old and going strong!) The next version will be tweaked to make hauling it around easier...

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Thomas there are deffinatly things I will modify as I get time and scroung materials. I would like to put some of those metal cart wheels on it to move around the yard as I don't have a dedicated area for it yet. The rest I will figure out as I go so I guess I can go with ready. :-)

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I sometimes see a mentality that people expect "perfection" before they are willing to start *doing* stuff where I think that getting started ASAP leads to perfection through practice. I tell my Students that a forge is a "consumable" in a blacksmith's shop and if they get going good they will probably go through a number of them in their career (and more of them if they teach! I think 1 class of college students does as much damage to my forge as a year of me working in it by myself!)

You've got a nice set up NOW GO GET IT DIRTY!

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I have found fuel locally but can't get it till after xmas so hopefully fire up by first of the year. Supposed to meet with a couple local guys and ck out there setups. See what a fire is supposed to look like at least.

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I can get real chunk charcoal at the local Walmart here in the USA. Or I can build a fire in my firepit and move hot coals into my forge. You don't have to wait! Real Charcoal is easier to work with than coal or coke too. I tend to start my students on other fuels and then have them "learn" coal after they already know some basic smithing.

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I would go crazy having to wait til after the new year to light a fire. Wood burns! Start a fire like Thomas said and move the coals into the forge. Any fire is better than no fire to begin with.
I also put wheels on my tool cart to move it out to the forge. Fire that puppy up!

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Finaly got fired up. First try discovered the used fan I got had bad bearings. Got a good fire going till the fan overheated but never got any metal in it. The pics with the kids are the first try.

Got a new fan this week and got mounted today. Had a different outlet on fan so had to rework the hook up a little and build a small piece of duct to transition from rectangle outlet to round pipe.

Got metal hot and punded on it today. Made a small heart like Brian showed but I used some rebar I had. Went thru a lot of coal. Think I was leaving the fan on to much. Also seemed like I had to build an awful big fire to get the longer rebar I started with laid in the fire and not shuved down into it. May need to put some bricks in the bottom so it is not so deep.

I was really suprised at how fast the bar got hot. I burned the end off a couple of times.

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Looking at the pictures, you need more coal in the fire pot. It should mound up and over the top.

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drewed I am thinking about putting some bricks in the bottom to raise it up. The pot is about 3 1/2 or 4 inches deep and I was using a lot of coal and coke trying to get it up higher. I had problems getting the long piece of rebar to lay in it because it just kept spreading out. I will just keep trying till I get it figured out. Going to need to get more fuel though. I guess I will have to take a trip to the valley.

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I would like to put some of those metal cart wheels on it to move around the yard as I don't have a dedicated area for it yet.


I put pick-points on mine so I could move it around with a hand truck that has large pneumatic wheels. Where those braces are across the bottoms of the sides of your forge is where I lift. I put a sturdy piece of angle iron in that location. Then I C-clamp the top rim of the forge to the top of the hand truck. I have no worry about the load shifting while I move it about the yard. And the hand truck can be used for so many other things instead having wheels dedicated to the forge.

I use one just like this.

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The pot is about 3 1/2 or 4 inches deep and I was using a lot of coal and coke trying to get it up higher.


That seems just about right to me. You need some fire under the metal. You just need to pile more coal on top as Drewed mentioned. Then control the fire by limiting the air and/or using water. I do both. I use a little 1 gallon garden pump sprayer to keep the fire under control. Many smiths use a tin can dipper with holes in the bottom. Whatever works.

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Tom I have a hand truck just like that so I may try that. I still think if I can scroung some wheels in the future it would be nice to attach them to the forge. I did have better luck with the fire on the second try. I also used a lot more coke and less coal and that was different.

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