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I Forge Iron

'Building Up' A Fire


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Hi all.
I've not long been forging at home, but i've made a start. I have a solid fuel forge, with a deep ish fire pot. I can get a nice fire going and have made a few things, but I get a bit stumped when trying to heat a bar at any distance away from the end.

Is there a good method to build up the fire, so it reaches up out of the top of the firepot (ie - increase the depth of burning coke)?

If I could do this, then I could heat the middle of bars and it would make my life a lot simpler.


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Does the firepot have slots on the side to allow deeper insertion of the bars?

Is it too deep to start with and so placing a couple of firebricks in the bottom with a "fake tuyere" over it to make a higher start to the fire might help?

Is it too shallow and so you can't mound up the fuel properly? If so placing a couple of firebrick on the sides of the fuel mound can let you pile the center deeper. Or when I made a small forge from a brake drum I put in a sheet metal fence that fit just inside the wall of the forge and went up higher with a slot where the ends met and a mouse hole across from it to allow me to slide billets wight through the hot spot without messing up the fuel stack.

DETAILS! You know what you are doing we DON'T!

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Sorry about the lack of details, but I was on my lunch break at work, so had to write it quickly and hope people would understand what I was talking about.

There are a few images in my workshop setup thread. In the first post!

As you can see the fire pot is quite deep and tapers in. There are no slots to slide stock into the fire.
I've been using coke as the fuel and getting a really nice fire going with it. The only blower i've got so far is a cheap hairdrier, but its working ok. Will look to upgrade after xmas!
I'd say the fire pot is about 4 inches deep. I get a few inches of nice glowing coke in the bottom, but really need it a bit higher to get the stock in there heating.
I wouldn't be able to fit a brick in there, so would have to cut one up into sections if I went that route.

Hope this information is helpful......

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Hi Tom,
Sorry but the hairdrier is not working ok for serious forgework, it will probably keep a small fire in that pot working for small items, but to get the hot spot higher, you will need to have more air going through,

If you get more air through you will then be able to build up the fire above the top of the firepot's sides and heat a bar laid through the cut outs at each side.

That forge has heated 30mm square bars to forge welding heats with the blowers we have at Westpoint.

Here are a couple of pictures showing it in action at the competitions at the last Royal Show held in 2009 at Stoneleigh.


And one where a collar is being forge welded on to form a ball end


More air, more coke.

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Maybe you need more air. Your firebox is fine, but we can't see how you are maintaining your fire. I mean how you're arranging your coa/coke. First off you don't heat a bar by putting it down into the firebox. If the bar is over your grate you are just throwing air at it not heat. The bar stays horizontal so that way you can slide it back and forth to get longer heats. That means the sides of your fire have to be built up. Like a small hill with the center burning. You should have burning coke under and over your bar that you are heating. That way you can control your heat and the length of it. This al take practice.

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Hi Tom,

First choice http://www.axminster...tor-prod725305/ can also be used as a fume extractor, reliable guaranteed and relatively quiet.

They also do a step down adaptor to get from outlet size to the 50mm diameter on your inlet to the firepot

or alternatively something like this


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Still - Open up the tuyer with some more holes / bigger holes. Your going to need to do that anyway.

Before you start opening up holes,(which in this case is not necessary) it would be wiser to get the blower sorted first, air volume supply is the problem here.

This is not a prototype forge, it is a proven one that has been previously used in National live blacksmithing competitions and as shown previously in post #7 is capable of being used all day on materials up to 30mm square and above and to fire welding temperatures.

Excessive air results in more clinkers and more fuel used, fire control is important in achieving the required results on the materials being heated.
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