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I Forge Iron

The crazy chef forge


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So I built the first part of my forge today. Im calling it the Crazy Chef Forge since its made from a wok. No, seriously, its a 16" 14g high carbon steel wok i nabbed from a local restaurant supply for $17, some black iron piping for duct ($8) with that end being PVC so i can tool it a bit depending on what blower i attach (broke the one i had put on there). The end only gets warm to the touch, no worry. The rest is fire brick and refractory mortar i got for under $30. I am working with a friend who has access to a plasma cutter and industrial welding equipment to make a good stand. Im thinking i will put locking caster wheels on it so i can move it around as needed. I have only fired it once but seems to do a smashing job and coal cokes very nicely in it. I will fire it again tomorrow and push it a bit harder and try working a bit with it.


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Nice forge. My first forge was made out of an Hibachi. Welded up a air tube and ash dump, lined it with refractory (as with yours) jamed a wad of chicken wire in the air hole, and forged away. You may have bigger better forges in the future but this one will always be remembered with satisfaction.

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Might want a table around it but otherwise that is a sweet setup. See if you can find a discarded sheet pan, or an old steel shelf so you can have some added fuel storage. Cut a hole in the sheet so the wok fits in.

Nicely done!

Thats exactly what i was going to do. Cut a circular hole in a steel full sheet pan and then weld a stand around it with another sheet pan bent/wrapped around one end as a shield and backstop for more fuel. Was only going to make it only about 3 foot tall as i want it to be pretty small and portable. Then i will have to work on a proper stand for my anvil. Which i have cleaned the scale off and painted with high temp engine enamel. Its cherry red and looks badass, haha.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been working with my new toy a couple times (i have 2 knives im working on i will show later when they are done) and i have learned much both on everything involved. Though a critical critique has come up about my forge that may require a rebuild.... Namely that the fire pot is too deep. While the 7" deep conical shape is extremely efficient at retaining and reflecting heat. I can get 1/4" x 1" stock from room to yellow heat in under 2.5 minutes with it and welding heat about 3-4 minutes. A bit too much air and i even accidently melted one piece i was working on. (live and learn) It also seems to be reasonably fuel efficient as well. With about 15 hours of hard burning on it I seem to have only gone through maybe 10-15lbs of coal. But because the pot is so deep i can only heat about 3" sections of the first 5-6" of a given piece. Good for small knives, but last night i was trying to make some long handle tongs and couldnt get far enough down the metal to heat where i needed to work the rivet section. So i think i will try to make a new one that is a bit larger with a fire pot thats only about 3" deep, flat working surface, and more surface area for coal.

TL;DR Fire pot too deep, will need to redesign.

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