Jump to content
I Forge Iron

starting a new forge


Recommended Posts

Some folks do not like it when I answer questions by providing some reseaerch for the person asking,,,but It is simply easier on me to not type for the next hour. Did you read in this part of the forum about New knife makere? or the one on answers for folks wanting to make knives? They both provid a ton of information for you,,,as well as almost any thing that has been posted in the knfe section of this forum, and do not forget the heat treat stickies. After you spend time on that data and still have some questions pop back in and we wil help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The basics are: Something to heat it, something to hit it with and on and something to hold it---and something to hit of course

So solid fuel or propane (or NG or induction)?

Look into all the prior posts on improvised anvils

Get a couple of nice hammers at the fleamarket and dress the faces---don't go to heavy at the start, or too light.

You can start with long pieces you hold in your hands or use visegrips, pliers, or get a set of tongs that fit your needs.

I suggest starting with a good automotive coil spring cut down opposite sides to give a double handful of pieces that you can work with till you learn how *that* alloy works as you can experiment with heat treats and forging temps with the alloy the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Thomas said, you need a forge, an anvil, a hammer, tongs and something to shape. Leaf springs are slightly easier to start with, IMO. I would add paper and a pencil, since you need to give yourself something to guide yourself; few things are harder then starting with no end point.

All these things can be made or improvised for cheap; I'm an example of that.

Welcome aboard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i was just looking for basic information that you find helpful. i think i want to go for a solid fuel forge. until i start really getting into forging, i want to know the shortcuts you guys know of. im talking about things like using a RR bar instead of an anvil, use a drum brake as and forge, etc. i need all the small tips about forging that you guys can throw at me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I was in the same boat, but keep youtubing and googling to get some of the basics down.. But I can share is what not to do.

Anvil - If your going to use the track i would suggest getting a bigger piece than 12". It is what i am using now, i wish i would of had a bigger piece than 10" so I could of set it up vertically so that the striking surface may be small but it has a lot more mass underneath it. It is good for the shaping the blades, but when you start getting bigger and thicker pieces of material this is where it doesnt do so so well. I got mine for 10 bux at a local scrap yard pre-cut. Instead i would highly recommend contacting your local scrap yard or maybe even forklift repair shop and getting a Forklift tine. My local place offered $50 for one of the bigger forklift tines.. not the common ones you would see in like Cosco for example. That was for the tine and for them to cut it for me. I wish i would of went this route when i first started.

Forge - Brake drum - Good if you can find a breakdrum for free, but the only thing I do not like is how deep the well is and the diameter of the drums.. Good for smaller knives and tools and what not, but you will need to pile that thing up with fuel in order to heat longer bars and material. I ended up cutting a section out in order for longer things to be heated, for example making TONGS! So what i use now is a break disc, that sits on top of my old break drum. I used a salvaged catering tub thingy and cut it so that my fuel has a place to rest. Most people say to use 2" piping for the air delivery system, but 2" piping is expensive compared to 1 1/4" so i went with that instead.

Here is what im using currently:


Tongs - If you can, try to look for some used tongs somewhere because this was the biggest hassle/headache/obstacle in my experince. I bought 5 dollar long locking pliers from harborfrieght. Dont get those. .they are terrible. Instead i would suggest for now the biggest set of channel locks you can get/afford. And before making any blade i would suggest making a couple of tongs first, esp ones that can hold Rounded items, and another that is used to hold wider flat material like blades. I do not know the proper names for these. Im still trying to make better tongs, because that is my biggest struggle with smithing.

Some other essentials that I found to be important in the begining stages are:

Files - For shaping
Hot cutting Chisel - for cutting your material.
Vise - Hold material, Knives for finishing, handles, etc.

I hope this helped, not a complete guide but this will help get off to a good start, and my reasoning is to make the forging process as effecient as possible so that the work put in is not harder than needs to be with the lowest budget possible.

One last thing. Dont put your workshop outdoor with no roof.. Been raining for 3 days and I need to pound!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I once did a pattern welding demo for a fellow at his place using a chunk of rail, a claw hammer, charcoal sifted from desert bonfires and an improvised firepot. Only "real" blacksmithing tool we had was a hand crank blower. Oh yes one other item: *decades* of practice allowing me to work with an improvised set up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...