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choppertrike

My new homemade forge

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My 1-ton van brake drum seemed to big so I welded up a firepot from 1/2" steel plate, knocked tohether a bed-rail frame with shopping cart wheels and old freezer shelves. I'm using a bathroom fan for air, but sometimes I get distracted and burn up the steel so I'm going back to my hand crank Champion blower - it gives me "thinking time" while the steel is heating.

 

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It's pretty minimal, but it seems to work well. Suggestions for improvements are welcome!

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Good looking forge, I like the use of the storage racks and the pan under the dump gate.  What sort of fuel are you using and would you include a pic of the tuyere/grate?

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Well, okay, there's a pic! That'll work, I'd maybe put a higher rim on it especially where the coal's piled. I have helpers on my gas forge that slip in or out as needed. They're simple affairs made of 3/4" rd. tubing and 3/4" angle iron with 1" rd. tubing welded under the table so the helpers can slide in and out. What I discovered after installing the things is they're perfect for holding tongs right where you need them and will give you a memorable reminder if you grab a pair by the bits.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I use bituminous coal from a supplier about 35 miles away from me, it comes in 50 lb. bags.
The ash domp pipe is welded to a 1/2" plate with a holejust big enough to pass 2" pipe. One tuyere is a short piece of nipple with a pipe cap drilled & slotted (shown on the top shelf on left.) It sits in the pot and gives me a shallow pot for small work. (Sometimes I don't have a lot of gumption but I still wan't to do something, hooks, decorative items, etc.small fireball so this may save on fuel?)The second tuyere is a 1" piece of pipe with 3 x 3/8" pieces of rod welded across the end. Again, it just sits in the bottom of the pot, and gives me full depth for normal work.


Frosty, you post faster than I can type! This is the second time I've hit the "post' button and there you are! I still have to go back & anawer the one in the other section.
I am going to raise the rim around the sides & back (with a flap opening in the rear for longer stock). I do seem to lose some over the sides, it being a fairly small table.
The stock rest folds down whwn not needed, and the center rod slides as needed. (rod with a nut on each end,) I may go to the sliding type if this dosn't work.

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Greetings Chopper,

 

Welcome back....  It looks like you have things going your way...  You have already had the Frosty tweek so I won't add much...  If your fan has a plastic housing I would watch when you shut down..  Those ashes and clinkers get in the wrong spot all to often..   Keep her down wind and start a thumpin...

 

Forge on and make beautiful things

Jim

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Chopper, nice looking forge!

 

My forge is very similar to yours.  Original sides were 1 1/2" angle iron and coal kept falling off.  I made some side boards out of 1/8" x 3" flat stock.  I cut and tack welded some vertical strips to the flat stock, opposing inside and out.  I can slip the sides on and off over the 1/8" original sides as needed.  I have not taken them off yet, but for long steel pieces they are easily removed.  Also, I have added an ash dump...best thing since sliced bread.

 

 

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Jim, the front grill on the fan is plastic, the rest metal. I had it already so I just set it up to see how it would work, it does great. I am however going back to my hand crank Champion blower, then I have to stand there & crank. It will give me more "think time". I have burned up a few pieces of metal because I turned away from the forge for a minute to get a tool or whatever.

 

Arkie, I like the tabs idea, my sides are just tack welded on. I'll change it and bring them around all three sides.

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this is a nice forge. the part that interests me is that you used a bathroom fan for your air supply. do you have it on a dimmer switch or would that burn up the fan. or do you use an air gate? i ask because i recently had issues controlling the air flow in my forge and was exploring new options. as much as i would love a hand crank blower i dont have one and a blow pipe is a little to crude for me. i dont mean to hijack your thread, but seeing as you have a homemade electric blower, i figured id ask. thank you

 

Riley

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Griley, I read somewhere that bathroom fans don't play well with dimmers, I think they draw too little juice? I would suggest an air waste gate instead. Mine seems to blow just the right amount of air for a very hot fireball, but doesn't blow ash or anything out of the fire, so I just used an inline on-off switch.

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Griley, I read somewhere that bathroom fans don't play well with dimmers, I think they draw too little juice? I would suggest an air waste gate instead. Mine seems to blow just the right amount of air for a very hot fireball, but doesn't blow ash or anything out of the fire, so I just used an inline on-off switch.

 

chopper & Griley...

 

I use a bathroom fan for my blower.  Runs as off or on.  For air control, I made a blast gate (air gate) by notching a 2" black pipe union and making a sliding sleeve with a hole in it to control the air volume.  For most work it's only about 1/4 open, but for a lot of heat I leave it wide open.  The blower is a cheepie; $15 at a big box store, rated at about 60CFM.  Agreed, dimmers don't play well with bathroom blowers.

 

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A bit off topic, but what kind of material you use? And could people use RVS f( rust free steel)or the frame?

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Awe shucks. It's often much easier to answer a question or toss out a few suggestions, especially if they're based on experience or things I've read here than it is to ask one. You have an advantage over many of the other new guys, you're a fabricator and we speak a very similar language so you ask clear understandable questions. Or close enough.

 

When I built my coal forge (back when I thought I could get good coal) I used exhaust pipe for the air supply. 3" x about 12" for the main tuyere and "T" welded 2" about 4" off the low end for the blower. I just used a 3" exhaust stack flap cap with a long piece of 1/4"x3/4" for a counter weight and handy tong target so I could open the ash dump with a poker, tongs, hammer, whatever was handy. I welded a flange to the air grate end so I could just pop rivet it to the table. The forge is a duck's nest so there's no fire pot, just a missing 1/2 brick. The table's lined with fire brick with the joints filled with ash, fire clay and whatever was handy

 

A duck's nest is just a depression in the clayed liner of the forge pan/table/whatever with the air grate in the bottom. Mine is as I said a half brick, it's 4 1/2"x4 1/2"x2 1/4" and loosely tamped in place with damp fire clay. I made my air grate before I knew how to make one but it works well and is adjustable. It's a round piece of 3/8" plate maybe 4" dia with probably 25 5/16" holes, it adjusts by blocking holes with shallow headed rivets.

 

What I really like about a duck's nest is making whatever size fire I need simply by stacking fire bricks around it to act like a fire pot. Duck's nests are what you see in rivet forges,just a round pan with an air grate in the center, ram a little clay in the  pan and leave a depression that exposes the grate. Viola, duck's nest!

 

Professo: If it's steel and not plated it's probably just fine. You can clean paint off but removing plating is a hassle that leaves you with a hazmat to dispose of. I don't recommend grinding galvanizing though it isn't particularly toxic as dust it is still an irritant to be avoided. Avoid chrome and cadmium plating they ARE toxic.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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