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I Forge Iron

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You have the basics, just some fiddly bits to tune up and you're good to go.


It needs a table or you'll drive yourself crazy trying to work anything larger than a horse shoe and you'll be losing stuff smaller.


The screen will NOT work for an air grate, it'll burn up within minutes of getting your first fire going. If you have access to a welder weld some 0.375" (3/8") to 0.5" (1/2") dia. steel bars with 3/8" spaces between them. You may want to cut a plate to lay flat in the bottom of the pot with the bar grate over the center air supply hole. Another option you don't need a welder for is a piece of plate that lays flat in the pot with holes drilled in it. 3/8" is almost too big but works fine. space the holes over an area almost as large around as the air supply hole. For example, a 2" air supply pipe would like about a 2"-2.5" dia hole.


The shop vac is serious overkill for air. It'll supply enough air for 4-5 forges that size and still be overkill. A blow drier is plenty for a small set up like you have. You don't have a table so building a fire that actually fills that size firepot will mostly waste fuel and burn up steel. You won't be able to build the fuel dome tall enough to make a sweet spot. A blower from a compact car heater is more air than a person usually needs.


I think those are the things that really jump out at me. A table is a REALLY good thing but not a deal breaker. Oh yeah, legs, you'll want something more stable than a couple stacked cinter blocks.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Like Frosty said, a table, and a plate instead of a screen. Tables are easy, you don't necessarily have to fab something, an old lawnmower flipped over or the bottom of a 55 gal drum works well.


 If you go with the plate over the tuyer, they seem to last longer if made from stainless. I use old circular saw blades for this, and go through about 1 or 2 a year. (it's not that they wear out, i end up accidentally flipping one on end and melting it).


Another option is drill a couple of holes in the tuyere and put same diameter rods through it to let ash and clinker by, but not much coal/coke.


Also, for air supply, agree on the hair dryer, you may want to put a little distance and use a dryer hose or something metal between it and the pipe so you don't end up dropping hot bits on it and melting it. Putting an air gate (just a bar or disc that slides in and out to provide more or less air) will allow you much better fire control. Another option is the inevitable dimmer switch.


Have fun, and good luck!

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