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I Forge Iron

Choosing the right brake drum for a fire pot. Photo heavy


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I realize some what I am calling brake drums are actually rotors or brake drum rotor combinations. For the sake of the discussion let us call them drums.

Here are 5 brake drums that can be used as a forge. Which would you suggest for a bottom blast forge and which would you suggest for a side blast forge. Inside diameter and depth dimensions are on each drum. 


Brake Drum #1 is 4-1/2 inches ID by 1-1/4 inches deep

brake 01a.jpg

brake drum 05.jpg


Brake Drum #2 is 5 inches ID by 1-1/2 inches deep

 brake 02a.jpg

brake drum 04.jpg


Brake drum #3 is 8-1/4 inches ID by 3-1/4 inches deep (sloped sides)

brake 03a.jpg

brake drum 03.jpg


Brake Drum #4 is 8 inches ID by 5 inches deep.

brake 04a.jpg

brake drum 02.jpg


Brake drum #5 is 9-1/2 inches ID by 4-1/2 inches deep (and a heavy beast)

brake 05a.jpg

brake drum 01.jpg


I am sure there are other choices of drums out there but this was available in the resource center (read scrap pile).


Which would you suggest for a bottom blast forge and why.  

Which would you suggest for a side blast forge and why?

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I am tempted to say neither, but for the sake of the discussion ... it depends what size forge and therefore for what sort of work you are building the forge.

To me, if that is all I can choose from, I would take rotor number 3. The others are either too shallow or too deep. Having say that, I am sure that all of them can be used more or less successfully with some modifications for a bottom blast forge.

Side blast forge? :blink: 

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I would suggest 5 for the bottom blast with some trimming on the bulk of the OD. As for the side blast none of the above. It would take more modification than it would require to build one from scratch. Just an ol boys 2c 


Forge on and make beautiful things 



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I have one similar if not exact to #3 for a little deeper pot to swap in if I'll be working larger stock. I really find my 8" dia. x 2" deep rotor to be very efficient for Most everything I do. I have used mine about 3 years and it has many to go.

I havnt attempted a side blast forge with a rotor.



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