kayakersteve

Critique my coal forge = Rookie's first forge!

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Well, this is the finished product of my first solid fuel forge.  Here are a few pics and am looking for constructive criticism as I am still learning.  It seems to work great and I can heat steel very quickly when it's hot.  Want to upgrade to a real forge blower, but can't afford yet.

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Well how does it work? If it works well then it's GREAT; if it doesn't then....

One change I would recommend: it looks like your ash dump is a screw on. Over time this becomes more of a pain making one that swivels or has a counter weighted cover will help.

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Very good for a first forge! It looks like you've got all the basics down, don't worry about the blower, one will find it way into your line of sight

before you know it. There's very little that's "junk" to a blacksmith. 

 

Have to agree with Mr Powers about the ash dump. Screw on will have to be cut off before too long as it rusts/heats/cools in place.

Easier than a sliding or counterweighted ash dump is an open ended pipe that sits in a bucket of water under the forge. Doesn't let air thru, ash sinks to the bottom and anything burning is immediately extinguished.  You're off to a very good start.

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Same comments as above, great work! 

 

About that blower... All a blower is, is a fan with a motor.... Yours has the bonus grill to keep flies out... I wouldn't change it until it burns out, myself. I might add a air gate instead of the dimmer switch... Might make the blower last longer.

 

Oh, one last thing- Turn over your horse shoe so the luck don't run out.....

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Oh, one last thing- Turn over your horse shoe so the luck don't run out.....

He has the horseshoe right, the luck is running onto his work!

 

Phil

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I've been using a dimmer switch on a cheap shop vac in sub 0 temps for over 3 years.  Shop vac and dimmer switch are fine.  Last winter we got down to -79F.  I just want to point out that I was NOT forging at that temp.  I love blacksmithing.  But there are limits as to how cold I will go out to the shop.  :huh:

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Well, this is the finished product of my first solid fuel forge.  Here are a few pics and am looking for constructive criticism as I am still learning.  It seems to work great and I can heat steel very quickly when it's hot.  Want to upgrade to a real forge blower, but can't afford yet.

that is one darn good first forge mine was a brake drum on a bbq stand it worked but I wanted some thing better

 

very good job

 

forge on

tristan

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I did the counter weight dump. as it seemed to me to be the quickest and easiest option since I wasn't using threaded pipe. that and I like the idea of allowing it to slam shut acting as a slight clinker breaker. and it can be used when you're still burning if you need too which is also nice.

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Since I was using threaded pipe that I had on hand I just used a matching flange and bolted and piece of scrap 18 ga.(?) that I cut out and then welded an old socket driver and spare socket as a swivel ash dump. It's gonna be a while before I can get it all built but I am piecing it together a little bit at a time.

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"Oh, one last thing- Turn over your horse shoe so the luck don't run out....."

 

Blacksmiths are the only ones allowed to have the "inverted" horseshoe. (I'm sure it's a federal law)

 

The only curiosity I see is that it appears that half of the fire is actually inside the hood.  Generally, you want the firepot outside of the hood and the smoke gets pulled in.  Not a huge problem, though.....

 

What did you make the thing out of?  Looks like some thick stock for the table, and I'm betting that it will last for a few hundred years, at least.

 

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Since I was using threaded pipe that I had on hand I just used a matching flange and bolted and piece of scrap 18 ga.(?) that I cut out and then welded an old socket driver and spare socket as a swivel ash dump. It's gonna be a while before I can get it all built but I am piecing it together a little bit at a time.

I like the pipe flange idea instead of something welded or tacked onto the side and end of a pipe.  I have to wheel my brake drum forge outside my wooden shop, and that looks more stable.

 

BTW, "soon to be Arkansas location"...you're gonna love Arkansas :)

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I like the pipe flange idea instead of something welded or tacked onto the side and end of a pipe.  I have to wheel my brake drum forge outside my wooden shop, and that looks more stable.

 

BTW, "soon to be Arkansas location"...you're gonna love Arkansas :)

Gonna be in the Baxter County area! Be about a year before I liver there full time......Working in TX to pay it off before I get there....

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Gonna be in the Baxter County area! Be about a year before I liver there full time......Working in TX to pay it off before I get there....

Nice area!  When you get up here, check out the BOA, Blacksmith Organization of Arkansas.  They have members scattered across NW AR and S. MO.  Some members are in the Mountain Home, Flippin area near where you will be.  Great group of smiths.

 

I just got started in trying to learn about blacksmithing a couple of months ago; finally finished my forge, got an anvil, have tools, eager to learn!

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I like the pipe flange idea instead of something welded or tacked onto the side and end of a pipe.  I have to wheel my brake drum forge outside my wooden shop, and that looks more stable.

 

BTW, "soon to be Arkansas location"...you're gonna love Arkansas :)

Wait a minute.... Don't you weld?

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Wait a minute.... Don't you weld?

Yep..."shortfuse" over on Welding Web. :) We've been talking about your forge over there...

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Looks great. If it were me I would put the stock in front the side rather than the front...unless of course you only plan to make small items...just my preference. 

I used a screw on cap on my first forge as a ash dump and I welded a small handle onto it...a LOT easier to turn when it did get stuck. On my latest forge I have an exhaust flapper with a counter weight (RR spike)...I like it a lot better.

And, as already mentioned, your horseshoe is oriented correctly! :)

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I just welded more weight onto my exhaust stack shield, super easy and you can make your extra weight an extension for easier reach, just buy the size that will fit your pipe.  Great looking set up.  I didn't know about the hood and how much you want it to cover so I am glad to see people's input.  I hope to convert my brakedrum soon.  I have everything but the sheet metal and every time I am in buying steel I price it and think I will head to the scrapyard. :D  

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