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I Forge Iron

Making a firepot from scratch, more or less


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Hi folks,


I'm thinking of making a firepot for my portable forge, and I was hoping for some advice. I've seen some for sale that look good, but which are a bit too heavy for my portable unit. I'd like to fabricate something, but I'm wondering about thickness. How thin can the walls of my fire pot be? Could I make it out of 1/4" plate? 3/8" plate? I really want to keep the weight down, but I don't want it to burn through on me either.


Any suggestions?

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Here's how I fabricated mine.


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It's made out of 1/2", but 1/4" would have worked if I wanted less weight and understood it would need replacing much sooner. I was tempted to do it out of 3/8", but the 1/2" I picked up wasn't that much more, so I opted to do it once and not have to worry about doing it again soon.

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IN MY EXPERIENCE, a small 1/4-inch wall firepot will hold up for several years of moderate use. I used mine outside, with no shelter, with green coal and coke for 2.5-3 years exclusively, and it was still serviceable at the end of that time.

On the flip side, an acquaintance of mine is reporting that his coke is turning the outside of his 5/8-inch plate firepot, a cherry red color.

My suggestion is, if you have the material and you are typically going to only work lighter stock (under 3/4-inch square,) go for it. It will give you some service at least!

5/8 and 3/4 plate are wonderful for firepots, but are heavy. We don't live in an ideal world, so go with the lighter 1/4-inch material. You'll be fine!

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There's a clinker breaker shown in my thread above. In it's current form I welded up 3 pieces of 1 1/2" x 4"  3/8" thick IIRC in a triangle around the rod.  I figured out the sizes based on what side dimension gave me the closest to 1/2" in the center when I had it all welded up. I may have had to drop down to 1 1/4" vs 1 1/2", it's been awhile. So far so good. If I did this again, I might look at either buying one of the cast iron ones from Centaur forge, or possibly one of the iron balls from King metals and reworking that. When I did my firepot I ended up wit ha rectangular bottom vs the square one I originally was shooting for. For that reason I simply made my own clinker breaker.

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