Young and Dumb

Hi everyone

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Hi guys and gals. Been viewing the forum for quite some time now and thought I should make an account. Before I talk too much about myself I would like to thank everyone here for all the information/support they give, especially with the safety section. IFI seems like an awesome community.

A little background about myself. Im a young guy in the mechanic industry. Been doing it for about 6 years now. I live in the beautiful las vegas nevada.

Me and a friend of mine have been talking about starting blacksmithing since the beginning of the year and are now finally moving towards getting started. Unfortunately we don't have very good financial situations so we're doing what we can with little money. Going to start building a forge here pretty soon. He is interested in blade work and personally I am more interested in smelting. Im not in a hurry to pursue that because I know there are more dangers and also it wouldn't be the smartest of ideas to do with little property and neighbors close by. Figured some basic blacksmithing would quench this urge to make things with my own 2 hands. I am interested in blacksmithing but smelting just seems to tickle my fancy a bit more.

If there's anyone in town willing to give some kids a bit of knowledge/help, I would love to get together sometime. Well, thanks for reading and having me in this great community.

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Look for the thread for Las Vegas smiths. There are a few of us in the area. I get into Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada on the weekends, but there are others that live in various parts of the valley that may be able to lend a hand.

Look into a side blast 55 Forge on here. It is a good design that works better than a lot of the brake drum types. 

What part of the valley are you in?

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I would second the "simple 55 forge" for thise who want a bottom blast, or a "side blast 55 forge" for thise who want a side blast (better for charcoal) as honestly brake drum forges cost more with the 2" plumbing fittings. 

When you say smelting do you mean acualy converting ore to metal or do you meen casting? Melting metal and casting stuff? A great thing to go with old pistons and such...

Don't get "tool itis" as a lump of steel, a hammer, a hand full of files and a simple forge will get you in a place to make most of the tools you need.

 

Remember on the forge, the 55 gallon drum is just the container, a drain pan will work for the "simple" wile a 2" square box 8" deap from an old pallet will make a forge like Sherman's troops used on their march to the sea. 

Here is a simple tuyeer and air supply suitable for a side blast, under $30 in new parts. 

 

image.jpg

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Take a gander at the "Tim Lively washtub forge"  one easy and cheap to make and uses charcoal---which you can make yourself for fuel.

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Lively style works and you can "coke" wood into charcoal in it but they are a bit fuel hungry for general forging as one, they are bottom blast and two, unless you plug up part of the bottom they are to long, as you only forge about 6" at a time. 

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Look for the thread for Las Vegas smiths. There are a few of us in the area. I get into Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada on the weekends, but there are others that live in various parts of the valley that may be able to lend a hand.

Look into a side blast 55 Forge on here. It is a good design that works better than a lot of the brake drum types. 

What part of the valley are you in?

I live in the north side of town. Pretty much next to aliante. Unfortunately I work on the weekends. Ive seen the post and planned on jumping on it, just thought I would introduce myself first. Thanks for letting me know though.

Been thinking about doing that design. Unsure if we want a side blast or bottom though. Depends on if we can get our hands on coal or charcoal easier.

I would second the "simple 55 forge" for thise who want a bottom blast, or a "side blast 55 forge" for thise who want a side blast (better for charcoal) as honestly brake drum forges cost more with the 2" plumbing fittings. 

When you say smelting do you mean acualy converting ore to metal or do you meen casting? Melting metal and casting stuff? A great thing to go with old pistons and such...

Don't get "tool itis" as a lump of steel, a hammer, a hand full of files and a simple forge will get you in a place to make most of the tools you need.

 

Remember on the forge, the 55 gallon drum is just the container, a drain pan will work for the "simple" wile a 2" square box 8" deap from an old pallet will make a forge like Sherman's troops used on their march to the sea. 

Here is a simple tuyeer and air supply suitable for a side blast, under $30 in new parts. 

 

image.jpg

I mean actual smelting. The thought of taking ore and producing metal fascinates me. Been doing a lot of reading from lee sauder. Don't know if you fellas know about him but he seems to have a lot of good information.

lol I'll try not to buy too many tools. Have that issue as a mechanic haha.

Take a gander at the "Tim Lively washtub forge"  one easy and cheap to make and uses charcoal---which you can make yourself for fuel.

I'll make sure to take a look at it. Would it be under the blueprint section?

 

Thank you all for your replies.

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Started as a GM tech out of the Army, now I shoe horses, lol. 

Smithing alows you to make tools, including wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, hammers etc...

beats paying the snap-on man. 

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@Charles R. Stevens that would be nice. Darn tool guys take all my money lol.

I thank you for serving our country. As well as everyone else on the forum who has.

Also you mentioned using 2" plumbing fittings with a brake drum forge. Is that the common method used to connect the tuyere to the drum?

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The most common is to use whatever you can find that's cheap!   I used to buy largish pipe fittings at the ReStore as they were very cheap indeed there compared to going to a plumbing supply.  Got a friend who's handy with exhaust pipe and a torch?   No plumbing fittings needed!

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Most refrences on the net use 2" pipe fittings, but I think the original guys that started using drums used the old ones that were riveted to the hub.

xxxx bugs

It realy seems to get nasty about particular posts...

Most refrences on the net use 2" pipe fittings, but I think the original guys that started using drums used the old ones that were riveted to the hub.

 

A large 2" bell reducer works beter. 

As TP points out exaust tubing makes a good inexpensive tuyeer, and a modified exaust flaper makes a good ash dump. 

But I still think a side blast is easer and more versital. 

Just less portible

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Thomas Powers: lol thats true. Well im not too shabby with a welder. A buddy of mine has a small one from harbor freight. We can weld up some small stuff but wouldnt be able to do thicker stuff.

Do y'all mind explaining why drum brake forges are impractical? I have been debating on making a drum brake forge or a 55 forge. Drum brakes are more easily accessible for me, but I have no clue where I can get an empty 55 gal drum. Ive seen a lot of comments saying that drum brake forges are a waste of time but found no reasons why that is. And let me know if I should just make a new post under the forge section.

Charles Stevens: ya it's been giving me issues as well :/ spent a while trying to type this out at work and then it didnt send it. Had to start over -.-

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The fire pot does not need to be deep, rotors actually work better. The problem with bottom blast forges is that they are more complicated than the side blast design which essentially is a fire with an air pipe stuffed in the side of it. Coal makes clinkers that can plug up a bottom blast air pipe, not an issue with the side blast designs.

My vintage forges all have shallow pans. They only dip down around an inch or so.

 

IIRC there are some guys up your way.

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@BIGGUNDOCTOR so it's more of an issue with bottom blasts?

Didn't cross my mind that sideblasts wouldn't have an issue with clinkers. Makes sense.

Im trying to read through the vegas post now. Don't want to just jump in not knowing the conversation lol.

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Several reasons the brake drums and rotors are ineffecent as fire pots (or my opponion any way)

Top is size, you can only hand forge about 6" at a time

So a 8-10 drum is a bit much, even the big commertial pots are 7x14"

Second is hastle, sorce and cut a plate for the bottom unless a 2" floore flange will work

Buy 2" fittings or fabricate a tuyeer from tubing with a ash dump. 

They work and many smiths started with them, and still use them but I think they are a PITA.

As said, a pan with a simple tuyeer and some sand, ash, dirt or adobe works fine for a bottom blast. 

Dosn't have to be a 55 gallon drum (talk to who ever supplyes the oil for the shop) a clasic oil pan or big commertial one will work (the big ones are based on oil drums)

An old bar stool, some exhaust tubing and a exaust rain flaper...

one can mahe a rivet forge look alike prety fast. 

Now bottom blast is easer to make portiable, but charcoal dosnt like them much and you have to go deaper than coal to get it to work. And they tend to be more fuel hungry with charcoal

A side blast can be built in anything, as long as its about 8" deep, one of the big oil pans, oil drum, discarded bath tub, wooden box...

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With an 8" deap box, measure up 3" from the bottom. The bottom of the tuyeer oppening is at this point, the tuyeer ends up about 4" down from the top. 

Now either use 4 fire bricks or mix up some adobe and put 2" in the bottom under the tuyeer, 

And build a back wall atleast 2" thick around the tuyeer. If its sticking out in the fire its just going to burn up faster. So now you have a brick or adobe "belows stone" or sheld depending on your design

If using a 24" drum, can or box, your tuyeer sticks in about 9" and you form a bowl infront of it.

If using aomthing like a 14x24" box you would have a 2" wall of brick or adobe and the bowl in front of that. 

With the side blast the slag runns down into the 1" under the tuyeer, and the brick or mud keep it from geting under and stuck tot he tuyeer. 

If you fill the rest with dirt, sand and/or ash you can dig out the bowl to suit the work.

Sucks typing one sentance at a time!

By fabricating a manifold (pipe fitings?) and placing 2 or three tuyeer in a row one can have a 12-18x 2" trench

Or angle then and an 8-12" bowl. 

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The nature of charcoal is that it works best with a 3/4-1" tuyeer, making a 6" fire bowl, so big fires need multible tuyeer

To convert a sideblast charcoal forge to coal just turn up the air

They are real old school

To make a bottom blast burn charcoal you have to make it deaper and turn down the air. 

Now the "tim lively" forge TP was talking about uses a small oblong wash tub, runs a peice of pipe with holes drilled in the top threw it and builds a trench out of adobe. Its kind if a fuel hog compared to a side blast, but you can "coke" wood scraps right on the forge. And it is about a 6x12" trench for heat treating knives. 

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55_side_blast.thumb.JPG.ebe9123b1ee84698

Y&D

Here is a pic of a 55 side blast.

The tweer pipe is duct taped into the blower and stuck thru a ragged hole  in the side of the drum cut with a chisel.  The drum was lined with red clay that we spent about a hour hammering into the bottom of it.  It took about 3 hours to build the whole thing, and this was in a country were I didn't speak the language!  It was not pretty but it was up and running on day one.

 

Russell

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@Charles R. Stevens took me awhile to really understand all that lol. Thanks for clearing all that up though! I'll talk to the guys who drop off the oil at work and see if I can get my hands on a 55 gal drum. If I can get one fairly soon i'll most definitely give that side blast a try. Thanks again for all your help.

@GottMitUns Good looking forge you have there. Duct tape is man's true best friend. My personal truck is held together by gum, duct tape, and pure xxxxxxx magic lol.

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I'm everybit as windy as Frosty, but my spelling and typing is worse. The moderators acualy come around once in a wile and clean up the worst of it (thank you ever so much, Glenn, steve and any of you I havent found out about) it's realy disjointed when you are triing to doge the disapering post bug

Don't get tunnel visian, a friking small block oil pan will work with a bit of tweeking, so will a 22.5" rim, old bathtub, sink, wooden crate, toolcart, fole cabinent, wheelbarow...

Heck 1 bet I can make a fender work. Now, we are by fare not the only ones that can do it, but Jerry, Tommas, Steve, Glenn or I could probbably slap to gether a forge each with ods and ends behind your shop, or the dumpster at an appartment complex. You have to see the potential in the parts. 

A side blast is just a hole in the ground and a way to blow on the coals

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Didn't have any issues with any of that. Just more of a visual learner myself. I don't mind long winded folk. It gives me a chance to listen and learn :)

Ahh yes the ninja posts :ph34r:

Im becoming more familiar with the bugs around the forum as well.

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Most of us like to raise it up to standing hight. So what kind of container can you scroung that is about 8" deap and atleast a foot across, cookie tin? Plastic bucket, 16" rim, trailer fender, a pallet knocked down and nailed back to gether, big flower pot, toilet or just a hole in the ground. 

I am blesed to learn by all major methods, but wich is best beries from subject to subject and day to day. 

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Long winded. . . Me? Charles you didn't even call a spoiler alert!  :o

A side blast is easy greasy to make, think trench with an air supply at one end. Viola! A row of bricks with a few inches between them works a treat so a hole isn't necessary. Heck all you need is a fire and air blast. I'm straightening out a log tong I bent clearing land for the house so a birch round worked for the anvil. The blower is a 12v mattress inflater a short piece of pipe and a wood fire is all it took. Spend a little time with a shovel or bend a piece of unplates sheet steel so the fire is contained better and you use less fuel and generate a higher temperature. It makes the same number of BTUs but containing them makes for a higher absolute temperature. Don't ever think this stuff, KISS rules.

Frosty The Lucky.

Field_expedient_smithin.thumb.jpg.e329f6

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