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I Forge Iron

Greetings from Connecticut

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Hello there! I am new here, as you can probably tell simply from where I am posting this, and I am also completely and utterly new to blacksmithing. I found this website a few months back, but since I am almost ready to create my first forge and start working, I figured I should make an account and start talking to people. So hello!


I am working off the design of the 55 Forge, using an old ELF oil drum and my old engine exhaust. This leads to my first two questions to this community, one that I thought up and my friend also brought up when I told her my plan. Because I am using an oil drum (I am currently in the process of cleaning it to make sure it is safe for cutting), I am not sure how well it will hold up to being used as a forge. Would the heat from the fire/bellows, as I am heating up the metal I am working with, start to melt the drum itself? Secondly, do I have to de-rust metal before forging it down into a chunk of iron for me to then work with? What I am planning on melting down is the rest of my old exhaust, which is very rusty (that being the reason I had to get a new one), but I wasn't sure if the rust would simply come off in the fire or as I hit it.


I am very aware that I have no idea what I'm doing (surprise!), and I am also trying to find books and whatnot to read to learn more, but those two questions are the big things I'm thinking about currently since my first and main goal is to turn my old exhaust into a single chunk of metal.



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If your forge design is sound, the heart of the fire is always the hottest.  If your air supply is blowing against the forge then you've got a problem.  There's a lot of info here also is some very good books.  You've probably got a smithing groop near you also.  Hands on experience is worth it's wieght in gold.

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