Glenn

Show me your Forge

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This is my little forge for now. 

Brake drum with seamless steel scafolding pipe for the air and ash. 

The little pink hairdryer was donated by one of my nurses.

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one of mine packed up

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assembled

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in use at an event, a friend dishing a breastplate.

note the logo on the front.

forge is 2 foot square and 6 deep and with coke we get a fire from 2 TO 12" diameter depending on fuel depth and airflow

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I like it, clean and simple. Break down and packs without special tools and being as it doesn't look like it's lined it should answer the question about needing to line a solid fuel forge.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I recommend a shovel full of sand in the bottom, the steel tray is 3mm thick ( about 1/8" ) and the tue is about 17mm thick ( about 5/8" ) and is not steel.

the sides dont get hot, just warm, turned up full we can get an incredibly hot fire like recently when I had to anneal a piece of tool steel about 4 3/8 diameter and nearly 2 foot long, just annealed about a foot of it for machining, see rhinoplaste thread.

it did not take very long ;)

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Time to bring this thread out of the archives and back to the surface.

Found this forge constructed of wood. Seems to work for the blacksmith from the Ukraine.

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   Indoor photo shows my home made Whitlox inspired V-box on the left hiding under the vent hood. 11ga. mild steel frame & 2" stainless tube inside 2" stainless pipe for the air control, fire brick lined.... did I say "inspired" ?  (look closely under the hammer/tong rack and you can see a never used forge pot laying on the floor)

  To the right of the V-box is the almost completed "English" side blast. 14ga. sheet & 3/16 x 1-1/2" angle. 2" black pipe, 1-1/2' reducer, a home made diverter made from a "T", filled with sand ready for a clay 'skin'.  It will have a water cooled bosh tank/tuyere later on.

   Outdoor photo is my old portable bottom blast made from a UTG (hubless) trailer wheel and a cast iron floor drain that sits down inside the wheel. The legs are removable as well and held in with spring pins. Blower is a brushless furnace inducer (exhaust) motor that I rebuilt which is super quiet and moves air !

   Todd 

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Wow so many different ways.

Here is my beginners build. I had a lot of clay bricks that were fired. Used a 4 inch pipe with slots cut into the pipe under the clay brick fire pot. These are cut one third of the way into the pipe and are spaced nearly 1 inch apart. I think I got 8 cuts. The fire pot is just two and a half bricks leaning at an angle on either side of the pipe. The hair dryer works well but for charcoal I have noticed it gives of to much air. For a wood fire it works very well. The chimney is now a 6 inch pipe, before I had just some sheet bent in half but a lot of smoke got in the 'shop'. The chimney is attached with some home made fire clay and I got a good draft going. 

Cheers David. 

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44 minutes ago, Work With Nature said:

The hair dryer works well but for charcoal I have noticed it gives of to much air.

True: charcoal needs less air that just about anything else. The simplest way to fix that would be to change the angle of the hair dryer so that it's not pointed directly at the tuyere or to increase the gap between the blower and the tuyere -- in other words, so that some of the air blows past the opening rather than into it. 

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If there is a cap on the other end of the pipe you can replace it with an adjustable one that will allow you to waste air at that end too. (simple version would be wooden plugs with a different size center hole in them---perhaps burnt through with a piece of hot steel.)

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My little forge. As far as I know its a rivet forge with a replaced bowl, leaving it flat bottomed with some gaps around the tuyere. I bought it from a really cool old man named Walt, who brought it down from Alaska with him when his wife needed a desert climate. He was not a smith, and never fired it in the time he owned it, just a packrat like most of us. He was selling things off in preparation for returning to Alaska, so I bought it and some hammers to supplement my every growing addiction, though it took several years before I ever fired it up!

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The dark line below the crank is weld fixing a large crack where tension is applied to the brace-wing things that clamp the blower down to the frame (no idea what they are called). The bolt was overtightened long ago and cracked, then repaired. That little cast iron wing is the piece I'm trying to replace, as it has recently broken again due to somebody's (>.>) overzealous cranking when learning anthracite. Overall it still works, and as I have progressed in fire control I worry less about it falling apart because I find I no longer have to crank like a madman just to get heat... also read the posts about too much air, and applied them ;) 

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Greetings Randell,

         Glad the charcoal worked out for you... Just a few suggestions... Purchase a file handle and drill it out to fit your steel handle.. This would be much easier on your hands..  You could make a fish plate to repair your Forge bracket just 2 plates and a few bolts..  You might try cutting an area in your Forge to allow a pass through for longer stock... Comming right along keep up the progress .. Try a few hooks and make some chisels it's good practice... 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

 

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I'm trying to make one of the handles like it should have had, from the videos I have seen. Its slow but I will get it eventually. Until then I have a piece of axe handle I have been working to shape. My file handles are preciousssss! I will look up fish plate, is that the proper term for that part of this contraption? My pan is 6 inches deep, approximately, so I was unsure if it was ok to cut into it to lower stock. The stuff I was reading was largely for bituminous, but it still indicated a fire 3 inches or better from the grate. I generally keep it pretty heavily loaded, the fire seems to like that.

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Do you have access to a drill press or lathe? Either one will make quick work or the handle issue. 

It looks like your rivet forge is plenty deep. Adobe will be fine to sculp a nice fire bowl and  or trench, even if you don't notch the sides. 

Cast is touchy to weld, even to braze some times, fish plates are certainly an option or just fabricate a new bracket, your a blacksmith, right? 

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One fellow I know preheated the cast nicely and then poured molten lead into a dammed area to deal with a broken piece of cast iron.  Babbitt would be better...

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I think they are outside of my limited skillset to craft... the inside is fairly precise, grooves and braces to hold the blower steady.

Mr. Stevens, I don't have access to either of those tools except at work... and embarrassingly enough, I only know how to weld from a high school course. I was strongly discouraged from picking that trade up by the parental units. I'll see if I have the required skills to create new plates, I know I can use the taps at work.

Mr. Powers, solid idea, but I am not playing with lead. I am in bad enough shape already!

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Here is my robust forge (I use mostly wood), I took idea from Whitlox.

12V marine air ventilation fan runs under the table and about 2 inch steel pipe with holes is under the tiles. The anvil at right is 70kg "Lokomo". 

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You are getting at least 4 inches of hot coals below and another 4 inches above your work piece right?

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No, this works little different. There will form bed of charcoal under and at sides and top are coaling woods, so there is then nice "nest' for your workpiece. Enough heat for smaller needs like knifes etc. You can even burn you steel with this using only wood (Done :( ).

If I need to run this with more energy for bigger stuff, I use charcoal / coal / wood mixture.

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Randell: Think of fish plates like splints on a broken bone. They are simply plates that cross a break or place needing reinforcement.  In your case you attach them with drilled holes and screws OR you can drill and tap the casting so you can use machine screws. (bolts if you use a nut, yeah I think it's a silly distinction too but there it is)

A welded fish plate needs to have ends that taper to points so forces aren't concentrated along a straight line, sides can be straight but not the ends. I used mostly right triangles and long diamond shapes when fish plating. Anyway, fish plates will reinforce the welded repair on your blower but will take a little time and work to do right.

Funny story about the fellow you got it from. Smithing tools and equipment are like gold up here, little survives in a country that not much was needed. Shipping smithing tools from here to NM to sell is just backwards. Oh well, Alaskans have their own ways.

Frosty The Lucky.

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They moved here in a big truck and brought everrrrrything. After his wife passed he kinda gave up, he decided to sell everything (was in his late 80s, early 90s, poor health). He was really nice to talk to though. When he started selling stuff it took a couple days to see it all and even the tail end of it, when I picked up the forge, was pretty busy. Some of it he ended up just abandoning when he sold the property it was on and moved back north with his kids. Guess he got his grandkids started on college funds pretty well, from what dad told me.

Still looking up fish plates. I think I may go with Mr.Steven's idea of trying to make my own brace though. I am a terrible welder.

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Olvin; as a bladesmith for over 36 years now, I am concerned with keeping the blade steel in a REDUCING atmosphere.  I do not see those forges as being good for that the way you are using it.

They have been using charcoal as a furnace fuel since they were beating on bronze blades; why should it getting hot be a surprise?  That type of forge is using charcoal, it is just making it as you go along and not in the best way either.

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