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I Forge Iron

New Forge, Advice and Tips Please! With Picutres.


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I finally got around to completing my forge. It is 35'' high to the table, around 12'' wide and 15'' deep. The whole thing has a wooden frame (it had to be im a carpenters son!).
The base has cement patio bricks and the sides are clay fire bricks, i know i shouldn't be using cement bricks but i lined the whole thing heavily with clay.

I plan on making a hood for it because i noticed i will be blowing out lots of little pieces of ash and such.

I will be using wood as fuel, mostly red oak and pine with some birch and honey locust thrown in.

The air source will be a hair dryer for now. I plan to buy a old boiler fan, they are shaped much like forge blowers so i want to add a fan in there and a hand crank so i can run it without electricity. This is at the end of my yarrd and i don't want to be wrapping extension cords every day

The anvil is 75lb and cast iron, my dad bought it a while back, i am working on buying a new anvil soon. Just the other day i worked out a deal for a english 85lb steel anvil but the guy lives quite a way away so no deal until he runs into Toronto.

Back to the forge. If anyone as any tips on how to change it or improve upon it please share your advice.

Thank you





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Like you I started out the same way. Although it would be better to loose the wooden frame. I do understand you can make a borax water wash and give the wood several coats and that will retard fires. Second, using wood you can expect the fireflys (all those little sparks that burn you and anything else) so you'll just have to deal with those. You can expect to attain a low end forging temp and that's about it. You can make your own charcoal from that wood, plenty of info on that, probably even here. Charcoal will get hotter than just plain wood. Those cast iron anvils or ASO's aren't that great, you'll want to get something better in the future. As David said, look up local smiths, seeing what they do will help. Good luck.

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Turning the wood into charcoal in the forge is inefficient, the burning wood is smokey and and does not allow you to see into the fire nearly as well. A good charcoal fire is nearly smoke free, and you can see the color of the iron in the fire. Every culture from Japan to the Middle East to Europe used it as the standard heat source for kitchens and metalworkers for thousands of years. It is still the preferred cooking heat source in the third world, and my BBQ.

You can buy bagged wood 'natural lump' charcoal, found alongside the briquettes at some grocery stores and other outlets if you search hard enough. Try a bag: break the chunks into gravel sized pieces so there is not too much air space between, just as you would have to do with lump coal. Then you can decide for yourself if making your own charcoal is worth your time and effort.

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