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I Forge Iron

Can a forge be too small?


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I've done a lot of reading. Here, ABANA, and several other sites.

A forge that's 3 inches wide X 8 inches deep and has a 2 inch wide flat floor is less than 47 cubic inches. If you reduce it to 6 inches deep, it's only 35 cubic inches.

Is that too small? It seems like you'd want the smallest forge you can have. Or, no bigger than you'll ever need.



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Unfortunately a lot of blacksmithing involves *bending* your piece.  I do teach my students that the first rule of bending is that your piece MUST fit back into the propane forge before you can stop even if the intermediate bend is nothing like the intended finish bend.  So yes as small as possible that fits what you will be doing and realize that what you may do in the future may not be what you plan right now.  (How many 1 seat cars do you see on the road?)

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I built a naturally aspirated forge that was 3" tall x 4" wide x 4" deep (inside dimensions).  My wife nicknamed it "The Pocket Rocket"...:P

I designed it expressly for a large production job that involved putting points on 1/4" to 3/8" stock, where it excelled.  I would stack 15-20 pieces in the front, let the outer ones get to temperature, then start pulling them out and forging with a hand hammer.  The stock was then bent on a jig into a small shepherd's crook, all this was accomplished in one heat.

However, I had three other larger forges at the time for other work and this one had a specific purpose.  So to answer your question, a forge is too small only when it won't hold the work or get to the proper heat.

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