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Help with chimney for outdoor table forge, please

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Howdy...new here from SE PA.
I'm a barely-above-beginner.
I have a pretty large table forge (probably 4'x4') and I think I would like a chimney...but feel free to try to talk me out of it.
Of the 70 or 80 total hours I've spent at a forge, most of it has been with a chimney, and I found it much more enjoyable than smithing without for ease of managing the fire and cooking up a good supply of coke to keep moving toward the center. but maybe I just need to get better at managing the fire.
Does anybody have any ideas for an easy chimney that van be mounted to a table?
I do have a gas welding rig that I can cut and weld with.
Looking forward to being here.

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Hi, and welcome to IFI !
I'm from SE PA as well - Aston.
Based on your description, I have a very similar setup to yours. 3 1/2'x4' outdoor forge table that I wanted a hood to keep the smoke from blowing into my face. I used the "Super Sucker Side Draft Forge Hood Plans" by Lester Beckman. I built mine over a weekend using 1/8' sheet metal for the hood. Rather than bending the top, back, and bottom as illustrated in the plans, I just cut the individual pieces out and Migged them all together. The Chimney is 12" diameter, made from 2 four foot sections of 6" black stovepipe opened up then joined and screwed along the seam for the section connecting to the hood. I used the same sized pieces of Galvanized HVAC pipe for the second 4 foot section to save money. Don't used Galvanized pipe to connect directly to the hood - It could get hot enough to burn off the zinc galvanization which could really ruin your day. The top section on mine has never gotten too hot to touch, so not a problem (at least for me).
Even though the chimney isn't the optimal 10' high, it still draws very well.
- Jim

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Here is another option.

The sides kept the wind from blowing the smoke around. I later made a chimney from two 55 gallon drums that I cut apart, flattened and formed into a 6' or so high rectangular chimney that slipped over the top of the hood.

In the back I made the bottom of the hood with a flap that hinged up to allow long stock to go through the back.

Never got smoke in my eyes.

Caleb Ramsby


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....and I found it much more enjoyable than smithing without for ease of managing the fire and cooking up a good supply of coke to keep moving toward the center. but maybe I just need to get better at managing the fire........

With good coal/coke fire management and a decent firepot, you will learn to manage the fire without creating smoke. Spending a few hours with someone to help you with fire management could give you a leap forward in what you can do and how long it takes to heat your projects to forging and/or welding temperature.

There are several blacksmith groups near you depending on .....how far you feel like driving. Some of these groups include:
- Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland: http://www.bgcmonline.org/
- Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac: http://www.bgop.org/
- Blacksmith Guild of Western Maryland: http://www.facebook....?ref=ts&sk=wall
- Mid-Atlantic Smiths Association; http://masametalsmiths.org/
- Pennsylvania Artist Blacksmtih Assoc: http://www.pablacksmith.org/
- New Jersey Blacksmith Assoc: http://njba.abana-chapter.com/
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I guess that Coal varies quite a bit, from place to place.

The "Blacksmith's Coal" ( Bituminous ) that I get from a local Coal Yard, in Mechanicsburg, PA., ... hardly smokes at all.

When I put "green" coal on the fire, I get the typical "sulfur smoke" for about a minute, and then, the fire is virtually smoke free.

This doesn't strike me as being much of a problem, and I feel no need for any sort of chimney.

Perhaps coal from other sources, has different characteristics, in regard to smoke.


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My main reason for building the hood wasn't just for the smoke, which wasn't that big of an issue. It was more for the exhaust fumes. All that CO and CO2 didn't like my lungs very much and made my eyes water, especially in the very windy wide open country that I was living in at the time. My first outdoor forge had no hood and all though it got in the way at times, I was glad to have it on my second outdoor forge.

Caleb Ramsby

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