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I Forge Iron

My first forge (fully fabricated coke forge)


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Hi All,

I've been working on this for the past couple of weeks, drawing lots of inspiration from users work on this site and others, thanks guys!


Here's the tuyere, air gate and blower - thanks to Daswulf for pushing me to do it this way, it works great!


The underside of the tray is reinforced with coped and welded angle iron supports, which are flush with the bottom of the tray - you could have a party on here and it ain't goin' nowhere!


There's no clinker breaker unfortunately. I could have done it but having the fire pot parts laser cut would have stalled the project so I just had them sheared from 12mm plate and drilled holes in the bottom. When this one burns out I'll make or buy a replacement with a clinker breaker. I'm not too fussed though as I will mostly only be using this occasionally for a rather specific purpose (putting 45 degree bends in angle iron) - hence the cut-outs for the long material.



I wanted a way to attach the tuyere without bolts, but still wanted to be able to remove it. After contemplating this over a bottle of Hobgoblin, I came up with this:


It looks loose but I assure you, it's going nowhere, I had to knock it out with a no.2 Thor hammer to get it off!

I fabricated the ash gate assembly with the help of my small brake, so it slides onto flaps at the bottom of the pipe. With some knocking and levering I was able to get it to snap shut quite nicely, with no significant gaps. This idea was inspired by a youtube video by Modernblacksmith, where he makes an industrial coal forge. In fact, I drew a lot from his build, although he would say that I had gone too far as his moto is "good enough is best". I suppose we all work to a standard we expect from ourselves and one man's "good enough" is another's...etc,etc...


The air gate and reduction pipe was all fabbed from 3mm sheet. Obviously, the gate would not have been able to move after tightening the bolts so I had to cut a shim the same as the centre piece from 0.7mm sheet to give it some clearance. Initially I was just going to mount the blower directly onto the air gate, but like I said, Daswulf encouraged me to put a reducing cone between the air gate and the blower as the outlet is slightly larger. I'm glad I went to the trouble as I assume it will minimise back pressure and cause less disruption to the air flow. The thing works so it's all good I suppose...




The blower is a centrifugal fan I found on eBay, from a Bulgarian company (model number BR09E-2M-160). It's a 250w, puts out about 350cfm and just over 2 in wg of static pressure, which I figured to be just about perfect for an electric forge blower from what I have read.



I tried firing her up last night and there's no shortage of air as you can see. Despite this, I couldn't get much of a coke fire going with these Monktons coke beans so I'm gonna start her off with some charcoal first then start feeding the coke in once she's blazing. Any further advice on starting a good coke fire would be greatly appreciated...


Here are my final sketchup plans for the fire pot and forge, which evolved as the build progressed. Overall I'm very happy with how she came out, the only thing I would change at this point are the holes in the fire pot - they sometimes get clogged with smaller coke beans and ash but hopefully there's enough static pressure from the blower that it won't cause too much of a problem. If it does, I may just cut a large hole in the bottom and use another 12mm plate with slots rather than holes as this would still allow air to pass - or I could build another pot with a proper clinker breaker but, like I said, this forge will have a specific purpose and won't be used all day every day...

If anyone else is building a similar forge please feel free to take what you want from these plans if they are helpful to you. I found it very useful to take ideas from other peoples forges on this site (in fact, the fire pot dimensions are lifted straight from an iforgeiron member called Locky.au, although they are not as detailed as his - Thanks mate!) so I hope I can be of similar assistance to others.






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Welcome aboard Thanaton, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you  might be surprised how many of the IFI gang live within visiting distance.

Masterfully built forge, machinist fabricator over built, unless you're planning on working on heavy industrial parts the forge table doesn't have to hold but around 100lbs including fuel and tools. No sweat though, it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

The ash dump is probably the only spot you'll have trouble with clinker and such dross jamming it. A flap can't jam and if you get a little detonation of forge gases prevents coals from being scattered around the shop.

Beautiful work though, I spent too many years fabricating not to enjoy good work. I tend to overbuild too, I'm famous for it in fact.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for your kind comments Frosty. Yes, it is overbuilt for sure, but this is the stock I had around and I wanted something I could rely on not to collapse in the middle of a job. Plus, like you i'm sure, I don't like flimsy things! I do have some castors to put on the legs so it's easier to move. I reckon it weighs close to 150kg...

I hadn't thought about forge gasses causing detonation! When might this be likely to occur? I don't fancy the idea of a red hot coke meteor shower!

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Combustion gasses usually collect in low places when the blower is idling and when fresh air is introduced it can pop. It's not uncommon burning coal but is probably less likely with coke unless makes a lot of CO.

A flap cap ash dump will just pop open if a backfire happens so it only cleans out the tuyere nicely. I like to put a bucket with a little water in it under mine. Not that I burn a lot of solid fuels but when I do I like things under control. I have a thing about giving fire it's head.

Frosty The Lucky.

Edited by Frosty
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That's a wonderful build.  Always better to go with a stout construction so you're not always worrying about it falling apart when you need it most.  Your metal-working skills definitely stand out and will impress anyone with an eye for such things.  I'd be real proud to have a forge like that!

The holes in the grate will continue to be a problem for you.  As the clinker grows, you can expect more of the holes to clog and more of your time to be spent digging obstructions free.  One way around this, considering that you've got the whole thing welded up (and what beautiful beads those are!) is to fabricate a truncated pyramid that drops down into the pot.  With the top of the pyramid cut away, you have a 3/4" hole for the air to pass up through.  Because the sides are sloped, most of the clinker will fall to the side to create a doughnut that can't block your air.  A single large hole is also easier to keep clean in the event there is a block of some kind. 

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Looks great - but I agree with Vaughn about the holes clogging.  I've welded up several firepots with various types of air passages and the best thing I've found is one slot down the middle.  3/4" by 3" is a good start and you can up from there if you like...but use it for a while and see whether you want to change anything.  You don't really need a movable clinker breaker - a poker will work fine to punch through any obstructions or pull out big pieces.

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I'll give it a go as it is for now, and if I have trouble maybe I'll join up the three central holes into one slot. I think my plasma cutter would struggle though, maybe I'll just plow through it with the die grinder...I always feel like a maniacal dentist using that thing!

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