Bhutton

55 gallon barrel traveling forge...WIP

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This is my work in progress traveling barrel forge...need to finish the tuyere & mount the  brake drum / leg straps etc.                                                                                                                     I can't decide what to vent the top of the barrel with pipe wise...Black 8"pipe? This will be sitting outside and burning charcoal & coal. 

So what do you think? Will this work? Should I keep the pipe to the back of the barrel so it's offset from the fire pot or should I vent it directly over the firepot?                                           Once I get this up & going it will be my first time forging...so excited! 

Thanks...Bruce

 

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Greetings Bhutton, 

Just a few suggestions .. I would consider placing the fire pot closer to the center . I think you will find that you will end up with a lot of your fuel on the ground. You also have way to much hood and the design needs some help.. There are lots of references on IFI for side draft stacks.,  A picture of a friend at one of my forges that was a portable unit it found a home in the studio. Have fun with your build. Also your gas blower on the floor might be a bit much.. LOL

Forge on and make beautiful things

Jim

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For a forge that will be used outside, a hood is not a bad thing.

i would consider  cutting more of it off, not the bottom (top) of the drum but the rim, 6-8" instead of 18", 

8" pipe is a bit small, 10" is considers minimum and 12" ideal. If you bring it all the way down to the forge table and cut a hole in the side you have a side draft with a hood. A smaller hole up top, into the flue and under the hood will catch smoke that has scaled the hood. 

In general hoods are a pain in the posterior, except as shade so you can judge how hot the steel is. 

I build portables out of drums the other way around, use the bottom of the drum as the table (I like side blast but bottom works fine, see Glenn's 55 forge series) with 3 legs. As I have clamp top rings in my bone like they become a stiffener ring for the legs. Three legs don't wabble on uneven surfaces, and the package is 2' across and 5 1/2' high. 

 

 

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Well thanks a lot Jim...I thought my blower was a good setup...Lol

Charles...I may take on your idea of taking the pipe to the floor and making a side-blast...Good idea!!!!

I was thinking of welding in a diverter plate in the top of the drum to increase the draw? Didn't know if this would work? Side blasting may be much better...(Charles's thoughts)

Thanks guys!

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A funnel is a device that takes a large opening and reduces it down, usually so you can pour liquids into a small mouth or opening in a container.

You choose the funnel to match the task at hand, that is to say a small funnel in the kitchen for moving spices from a large (quart) container into the little bitty containers that fit in the cabinets. The large end of the funnel if maybe 2 inches in diameter and the small ind about the size of a wooden pencil or less. If you pour too fast you over fill the funnel and get a mess all over the counter.

If you are putting oil in the motor of the car, you have a funnel with a 4 to 5 inch opening on the large end and about the size of a quarter on the small end. Again if you pour too fast you will overfill the funnel and oil will run out over the top and make a mess.

There are even larger funnels for farm use such as moving grain from a container to a transport belt and into a larger bin, again sized for the job at hand.

Think of a hood as an inverted funnel, channeling the smoke toward the chimney. First off you need the small end to be of the appropriate size to handle the smoke produced by the fire. 10 inch diameter is suggested with 12 inch being better. Anything less will not handle the volume of smoke to move it up and out of the work area. The large end of the hood should be as close to the smoke source as is practical. If the hood is placed up next to the ceiling, it has little chance of collecting the smoke, which will fill the room in a short time. If the hood is placed as close to the fire and smoke source as practical the smoke is encouraged to go into the hood and with a proper size chimney, to go up and out.

The hood should be such that the working access to the fire is as small as possible and still have good access to the fire. This keeps excess room air entering the hood to a minimum, again think of the hood on the ceiling example. All this will create draft which will suck smoke up and out and will draw in room air through the small(ish) working access opening reducing any opportunity for smoke to escape.

Bends in the chimney reduce the draft so use two 45* bends rather than a 90* bend. The taller the chimney the more draft. The exact configuration and he exact dimensions for YOUR hood in YOUR shop is something you will need to play with and adjust as needed. Guidelines are just that, a place to start.

 

The original 55 forge with hood was a fire in the center of the bottom of the drum with a window cut as an working access port. The window was 2 inches above the bottom of the drum, 4 inches below the 2nd ring, and 16 inches wide with an arched top to the window. All fire and metal being heated was done INSIDE the drum. This worked well for most projects. A small hole can be cut in the back of the drum for pass through projects.  The chimney was another 55 gallon drum placed on top of the first one making a 24 inch diameter hood and a 24 inch diameter chimney. Yes it was a big chimney and was therefore called the 55 Forge with a Supercharger. It would suck the fleas off the dogs back when he went past. (well almost anyway).

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3 hours ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

Side draft, side blast is when your tuyere comes in from the side 

Would you recommend a side-draft with a side blast?

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LOL Charles, Bhutton, looks very portable and simple. like the others are saying a side draft is better than an overhead hood, because the hood doesn't create as much of a draft typically, and if there is a breeze than the hood is almost useless. But if your forging outside than its not as neccisary to have a hood/side draft but it does/can help.

                                                                                                                                      Littleblacksmith

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Well guys I took some of your advice but not all of it. I do appreciate all of your input. Glenn I was not trying to high jack your forge name or anything like that...No way! I went ahead and added a 12" flue pipe and a bath ex. fan & dimmer switch, still need to build onto the front of the table. I'm burning charcoal and installed 4 small pieces of brick in the fire pot.

I fired this for the first time this afternoon and was impressed, it was partially windy at times and it appeared to draft well (the sparks from the charcoal were in a vortex / spinning motion going up and out of the drum)..I think I'm going to add 1 more section of flue pipe...once I get my hands on coal I figure the smoke will be much worse than the charcoal. 

Thanks guys happy forging.

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Coal is actually pretty clean burning, from my experience it produced less smoke than charcoal and much less smoke than wood.

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If your charcoal smokes, then it hasn't been fully coked. Food grade leaves volitiles in (smoke flavor) wile metalogical charcoal is cooked at a lower temp for a bit longer, driving off mor volitiles 

This is why we see two types of retorts, the indirect oven types and all others. The former make high grade product such as needed for black powder. Traditional Japanese charcoal making is rather refined and makes several different "grades". Like all things Japanese they each have their own name.   

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So I have another question....I have about 120 lbs of hardwood charcoal that I got for free.

I think this will burn up rather quickly? I'm thinking of purchasing some coal. Should I mix the fuels? Charcoal and coal? Or should I just burn 1 fuel at a time? 

The small firepot that i show in the above photos is deep and small and works well with the charcoal...Will i need to change the pot arrangement for coal? A larger pot...remove the brick?

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Since the two different fuels need different amounts of air it would not help you to mix them. how deep is the fire pot, and what diameter?

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2 3/8" deep X 3 1/2" square with the bricks in place - Burns charcoal pretty well.  The actual firepot is 9" diameter without the bricks.

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Nice forge, I think you'll enjoy it.

If I may make one suggestion...the pipe from your blower to the vertical pipe is at an upward angle.  As ash forms, you will find that a significant amount will find it's way "down slope" into your fan.  Not necessarily when the blower is going, but when you shut it off and when cleaning out your tuyere and firepot.  Best to have the pipe from the fan at a right angle to the vertical one.  Plenty of air flow will get to the firepot at right angles, no need to direct it with an upward pipe.

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Greetings Bhutton, 

Any solid fuel or combination will work but you will find it hard to be consistent with your heat cycles which is important to a new smith . Find a single fuel that works for you and stick with it. Just this ol boys 2c. 

Forge on and make beautiful things

Jim

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You may want to get some "Greenfield" or metallic flexible conduit and fittings to put that Romex into. It will protect it from an accidentally dropped piece of glowing steel and the proper fittings will protect the wire from abrasion where it enters the knockout. Also since the whole setup is metal you want to be sure it is grounded.

 

PS The exhaust fan motor may not last too long on a dimmer switch and will likely get pretty hot. If you care about the motor at all a better solution  is to build an air gate to restrict air into the fan. Do not restrict air flow out of the fan as this can overload the motor.

 

Not a forge expert just an electrician.

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