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I Forge Iron
Sam Freeman

$2 Forge (First Forge)

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First post, so I may as well start with the first thing I built. $2 forge, only cost was in the 44 gallon drum from the local tip, hair dryer pilfered from the wife and the rest I had lying around. These pictures are during the build and it has had three knives and sword through it and works a treat. A few modifications included adding steel mesh over the blue stones with more blue stone on the mesh to help the air pipe flow air through the entire length of the forge and also reducing heat on the kiln cladding. I have also added a slit on one side of the drum so I can bring my sword blades flat to the fire.

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Strage thing however, last night it was down to 8 celcuis so I had the forge on until 1 in the morning while doing my leather work to heat the shed and in the morning after it cooled the blue stones had somewhat 'welded' themselves together? strange!

Anyway, the name's Sam & G'day

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Hi Rob, I live in balingup western Australia, formally from the UK though. Married indeed. Facebook seems to have chosen my avatar!

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Sam, nice to meet you. That looks like a heck of a forge. That kiln cladding, is it what is sometimes called fibre/ceramic blanket. What doesn't kill you sometimes slowly makes you weaker over time instead of stronger. =) I've heard that loose bits from un-coated fire wool can be no good for ya. Personally I wouldn't let that discourage. But it's kinda expensive in small quantities.
I made a very similar forge for heating long lengths, but I took a different approach. I was concerned with insulation and I so I tried "soft" firebricks and bentonite clay cat litter. I'm not sure of the availability of either there, but perhaps something else is usable.. Many silicates are effected by heat. Things like commercial available "lava rocks" despite their name and use in some heat applications will melt around forging temperatures.

Take care.

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