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I Forge Iron

Show me your Forge


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Hey Thezls,
I would put some relief cuts in that forge table, when you spread out your coals, or get it really hot its gonna warp. I would use a few pieces of sheet so they can expand and contract when they heat up. Just my 02 cents. Beautiful forge though.

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Using a metal firepot mounted in a wood frame seems as though it would not be a good idea when a person first thinks about it.
BUT! Our blacksmithing group held a Hammer-in at a Grist mill "Benson Grist Mill" located in Tooele Utah.
To my suprise the forge was made of wood with a metal fire pot.
They allowed us to use this old historic forge. It worked well. The wood was considerably scorched around the pot area but never the less it worked!
History of this shop; :DBolinder Blacksmith Shop- This building was moved from Grantsville, Utah to its present site in 1987. Built in the late 1920's, it was owned and operated by William "Billy" Bolinder, a skilled craftsman, who learned the blacksmith trade from his father.
So!!!!!! If it works, it works!
Have fun forging!
Stone "AKA" Ted T.

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I understand that a wood forge with metal pot isn't the most durable combination. I chose wood for a couple of reasons...

As a period demonstrator smith, most of my smithing involves nails, J-hooks, S-hooks, pokers, simple forks etc. This forge will only be used a few weeks out of the year for special events. For most of my forging, including anything really involved, I use my work forge (I work at Storrowton Village Museum in West Springfield, MA) The blacksmith shop there is all stone, built in the early 1850's with a stone forge and a huge double chamber bellows. There are about 6 anvils, some excellent swage blocks and a wide variety of tools. This little thing is just for fun. :D

Wood is easily replaced when it burns out. Simply unscrew the wood and replace it. Eventually, I would like to put a network of angle iron and firebrick. Right now though, I just didn't need something that involved.

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post-13874-027051100 1276968942_thumb.jp
here is a picture of my brake drum forge I have mounted on a 55 gallon drum. I need to clean it out.

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You can see the bathroom fan mounted to the froint under the sheetmetal cover, and the dimmer switch I used to control the air flow. I originally had an open air forge setup and no where to get it out of the rain so I covered the ELECTRIC fan with some tin. then I built my shed around it.

you can also see My make shift chimney. As I build my shed around my forge and I ran out of tin sideing so I had a hole in front of my forge. I used some lighter weight tin to make a chimney, kindda. it works so I guess I did a good job. it's just ugly, and dirty
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The forge stands 17 inchs high, the bench that it sets on is 22 inchs high. That puts it up to a good working highth for me.

I think that is a bit small for blacksmithing, that it doesn't have enought surface area for some things.

Thanks for the input.


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Here are my two forges one from an old sink that needs rebuilding and the little red one belonged to my wife's great grand father. I have the buffalo blower on it as the original was mounted on the bottom of the forge and to hot to use. 100_2399.jpg100_2402.jpg100_2400.jpg

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Started putting together my brake drum forge today. I had "help" on assembly. The sandbox is great fun while I was making noise cutting with the grinder.

This is the air tank I cut up because it was holed
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This is the folding workbench that was broken, and not very useful to start with. It was not assembled the way I thought it was, but that was no problem.
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This is the legs on the sheet after I cut the hole for the brake drum, and trimed for size.
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I had help bolting the top on the legs. Emily is making sure the drum stays put.
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Marking a piece of scrap from the table to make a grate, we didn't cut it yet (didn't really mark it either)
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I was having problems flattening across the weld, so I cut it away.Currently there is a 1 1/2 inch flange bolted to the brake drum, I have not decided how I am going to supply air, I will need to buy some pipe if I use the floor flange. I have a bathroom vent blower, and plan to burn charcoal for now.

More later, might be a while.


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Here are some pics of my 55 forge. It works great and I'm really pleased. Using Coal.

It took me about 4 hours to build but if I had a decent sawzall blade it would have taken about 3. Easy to build, good plans on BP.

It's a brake drum forge with a 55 gal drum for size.

The pics are poor quality sorry. Cell phone.

If I knew how to make them bigger I would have.


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  • 1 month later...
post-710-0-43633100-1291329672_thumb.jpg post-710-0-01887000-1291329725_thumb.jpg post-710-0-29758200-1291329773_thumb.jpg post-710-0-81514500-1291329808_thumb.jpg post-710-0-16960800-1291329912_thumb.jpg post-710-0-90970900-1291330019_thumb.jpg
Here is a forge I am working on. I should finish it this week. I have incorporated as many features as I can think of. The side draft super sucker and chimney are stainless. I have added side extension on both sides of the fire pot for long material. The side I stand on also has an adjustment for material height as well. The blower is a 271 CFM and is connected to powere by an on-off switch located on the side of the forge. I made a friction adjustment for possitive feel on the air-gate. The cut outs on the side walls for the material being forged is level with the top of the fire pot which is a HEAVY DUTY set up from Laurel Foundry. I know someone who had one that was 15 years old and still going strong. They were also used at J.C. Campbell so you know they hold up good.

I would like to have some in-put from ya'll. What other features would you like to see or have seen in other forges. I will strongly consider anything put out there. Maybe together we can come up with a coal forge that is almost perfect. I plan on doing a detailed article on this build and have taken many photos.
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Amazing work and it looks like its nearly got it all. The only "extra" I would add is a speed control on your blower. At over 200 cfm it will just about blow your fire out of the pot and choking it down with a gate will just add load to the motor. I have a 90 cfm blower that has a variable control and most times it is hardly working at all. Use the speed controller to regulate the speed you need for the job and turn the air on and off with the gate instead of trying to control a hurricane.

Just my two bobs worth..................

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A question about tarheelsteel75's charcoal forge. or atleast the fuel in the picture... should charcoal like that, the natural lump charcoal, be broken up into smaller pieces, or is brning it like it is ok? I burn it as is in my forge, and I have wondered for a while would it work better if i took the charcoal and break it into smaller chucks before using it.

my thoughs behind this and not doing it are:

1. smaller pieces would have more surface area, so more can burn at one time, ie...more heat in the fire
2. large pieces are hard to work with
3. smaller piece might be easier to light
4. easier to feed into the firepotcon's
1. more surface area means it will burn up faster requiring more fuel
2. larger pieces are harder to break up than just burning the larger pieces
3. i'm lazy that way

anyway if you can add to either list or offer annectdotal evidence as to why to or not to reduce the size of natural lump charcoal(aka charcoal made from construction scraps) please chime in...

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Amazing work and it looks like its nearly got it all.

I thought about a speed control and actually had a place for one but was told I could not use it on the 115 volt motor with a capacitor starter on it. Does anyone know if this is true or not. I would like to use a speed control if possible. If I cannot do it I have very good control with the gate valve. THANKS for the input.
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