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I Forge Iron

New to blacksmithing, just built a forge!


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Hello everyone!


Greetings from Stockholm, Sweden. I'm new to both blacksmithing and this forum - but I just managed to build a small brake drum forge this weekend. And I want to share my results!

Best regards


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Good start! I like your enthusiasm!

Couple of little details:

First, get yourself a proper anvil. What you have there is what we can an ASO (Anvil-Shaped Object). Cute, but largely useless. NOTE: you do not have to get yourself a big, commercial anvil right off the bat. A length of railroad track or a forklift tine will do just fine (stood on end, mind you); there are all sorts of threads here on IFI that can give you some ideas.

Second, get rid of the shower grate, for two reasons. The first is that it's probably going to burn up anyway. The second (and more important) is that the chrome plating can make you very sick as it burns off. Same goes for the chrome-plated bolts. Anything galvanized or chrome plated stays out of the fire. The rule is: no rust, no trust.

Third, replace the grate with a couple of short bars of 10 mil (or thereabouts) round stock welded across the opening to your air pipe. That will give you enough air coming in, but will keep too much fuel from falling down.

Fourth, you may find the screw plug at the bottom of your air pipe to be too difficult to remove and replace every time you need to clean the ash dump. A lot of people here have made flap doors that stay closed under their own weight but can be opened easily with a tap of the foot. Again, take a look around the forum for ideas.

So again, welcome, and happy forging!

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Welcome aboard Oliver, glad to have you. We have a number of members from your corner of the world, I'm sure a few will speak up soon as they notice you.

Well done, good job on the forge. The air grate isn't going to last, a bar grate works very well and is a lot easier to clean. Clinker forms even in wood or charcoal fires as dust and scale from the steel collects and melts into annoying globs that stick to the air grate. Holes catch clinker and it needs to be poked through but a bar grate can be scraped clean with the poker point. There are a number of good pics and directions in the solid fuel forge section of Iforge.

I suggest you put a short nipple on the bottom of the tuyere to collect ash and clinker but keep it out of the air stream. A simple flap cap as seen on truck exhaust stacks is my preference for an ash dump. The counter weight might need a little more weight to stay closed but that's easy for a man with a mig welder. ;) I like a flap cap for a couple reasons: First, they clamp to the stack or plumbing pipe, easy installation is a plus in my book. Secondly, it's easy to reach under the forge with a poker, tongs, piece of stock or whatever's at hand and open the ash dump. Easy as use is another plus in my book. Screw on caps or plugs are a major PITA. Third, if you get a serious POP from collected gasses, small ones happen all the time with coal and wood smoke is combustible too. Anyway on rare occasion the gas can explode with enough force to blow burning coals out of the forge. However if the ash dump opens easily the explosion will be directed downwards into the bucket you keep below the ash dump. The one with a few inches of water in it to extinguish and cool anything coming out of the ash dump. 

Safety is much higher on the list of desirable things in my book.

That's about all my suggestions regarding your forge BBQ grill. Oh, multi taskers are a plus in my books too. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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