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I Forge Iron

nuts and bolts


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So here is the deal I am building my first break drum forge and I have basically everything I need. I just need to know what type of washers, bolts and nuts are safe to use to bolt the drum to the flange on the pipe. Now I understand galvanized is a big no-no, but according to anvilfire's safety section on fumes you shouldn't be messing with stainless steel either. On another thread in this form I read to use stainless steel. the link to that particular thread I mentioned is below. Sorry if this is a re-post I searched the forum and did not find a suitable answer.


I have picked up "black steel pipe" not black iron pipe to use and just wanted to know if that was safe as well.


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Good Morning,


Use whatever you have, as long as it isn't galvanized or cad (cadmium) plated. If it is black, then it's beautiful. Don't worry about cast iron versus steel, generally cast iron handles heat better, but for what you are doing, just get it done.


Brake drums normally are mostly cast iron. Cast Iron doesn't warp like steel does with heat.


You NEED!! Something to heat, something to heat it with, something to hang onto it with, something to hit with and something to hit it on. VERY SIMPLE!! NO RULES OR EXCEPTIONS.


Enjoy the journey, don't build yourself too many walls. :) :)



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Well put Neil.
Standard hardware verity nuts and bolts will be fine (grade 0, as grade 5&8 will lose theirs additional strength when heated anyway), the small amount of platting wouldn't cause you any difficulties. If you want to be double sure you can some them in vintager overnight. As to "black iron pile" the steel schedule 40 stuff at the plumbing supply is what every one is talking about, cast iron has very limited use in sewage lines. Stainless fasteners might alow you to disassemble the forge, but if it is so far gone it needs to be torn down to replace the drum, just cut the fasteners. The price difference will buy you a new set. As to chromium in stainless, I don't imagine burning it up in the forge would be to good, but there is enough nasty stuff in green coal to discourage you breathing the fumes anyway. By all means stay away from the galvy, hevy metal poisoning is a real concern.

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The nuts and bolts on the under side of a fire pot aren't going to get to the ignition temp of zinc unless you build a super fire. The air blast will keep it all cool as well, especially if you ram some clay into it. Still there's no reason to take chances you don't need to so just get unplated bolts, the stainless ones are an unnecessary expense. It they're rusted solid when it's time to unbolt the air from the drum, just take a sharp cold chisel to them, they'll shear right off if you lay the chisel on flange and drive it into the bolt/nut.


Black "iron" is just what people call unplated pipe, it's all steel now days. Heck, I used exhaust pipe on mine and it works a treat. Remember, you're just directing air and so long as it isn't IN the fire it won't get more than hot coffee warm.


Frosty The Lucky.

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There is a small amount of plating on almost all nuts and bolts that you buy at the hardware store, not shure what it is but is keeps them shiny for a little wile, and it dose burn of when you weld on them. But as I said, I don't think the small amount of whatever they plate it with is a great consern.

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