MBForge

Need to verify safety (or risk) of parts scrapped for first-time forge

9 posts in this topic

Hi all,

New to this forum and this is my first post. Over the process of several weeks, I've been slowly acquiring parts from various thrift stores to make a coal forge with and am just about there:

  • Used, but fully assembled Broan Bath Fan Model 721-C for $3.00
  • Farberware Open Hearth Broiler & Rotisserie for $3.00
  • What appears to be [marked as] Grinnell 2 1/2" Class 150 Malleable Iron Black Pipe Union, along with:
    • 4 hex bushings, same size, that fit into this union piece, similar material (malleable iron?)
    • Square plug that fits into any of these hex bushings
    • Total: $15.00
  • Some railroad spikes ($0.50 ea., some marked HC)
  • 20# broken railroad track with perhaps a 3-4" square left to hammer on ($10...not too excited with the tiny surface, but will try to make it work for now)
  • Cross pein sledge (long, $5)
  • Block of wood to mount a small anvil on ($3)
  • A set of Raybestos 738PG Professional Grade Drum Brake Shoe Set ($4)

I just need to get some conduit for air flow and assemble an ash dump and stand for the forge, but I'm quite happy to have spent frugally on these items. I'm basically looking to make something like either of these:

  • Link removed due to advertising
  • Link removed due to advertising

The questions I have (and reason for this post) stem from some additional information I learned about other metals also releasing potentially harmful fumes, including chromium used in stainless steel and thus concern the materials I'm using to make my first coal forge:

  1. I plan to use the Farberware Broiler as my fire pot which is stainless steel, but am also told stainless steel will warp here. Admittedly, the metal is somewhat thin as I am able to wrap it just a little bit with my hands so I'm not sure if this will hold up well. I'm also concerned about possible release of harmful oxides (chromium?) if any. Should I just scrap this and reach for a brake drum instead? Still learning about metals here.
  2. Per the example videos listed above on building a forge with those pipe fittings. The guy uses galvanized but I managed to find these malleable iron fittings instead which I was quite pleased to find. Any concerns here on harmful metal fumes as well? Following his examples, the square plug and hex bushings and/or union will be closest to, if not, altogether in, the fire.

Finally, I'm looking to try my hand at forging a couple knives: one out of a HC railroad spike and another out of these brake friction assembly parts (removing the pads first, of course). Also curious if anyone knows if these are safe to put in the fire; I assumed them to be steel of some sort.

I can attach some photos if necessary, but I believe these material identifications to be accurate.

Thanks in advance for your input!

 

Links removed due to advertising

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Have you looked at the solid fuel forge section of the site?  Look for the just a box of dirt thread, the 55 Forge articles to start. You will need a T just below the forge so you can get air to the fire and have some place for the ash to collect. The ash tube should be 12 inches or more long below the T with an easy to remove closure at the bottom.

Look up the safety section on the site, specifically on Zinc and galvanize? You can remove the zinc easily and safely.

HC on the railroad spikes means they are higher carbon than the normal spikes but NOT a high carbon steel. The site has many discussions on the rr spikes and their use.

If you add your location to your profile you will get better answers based on where you live, not half a world away. Find and join a blacksmithing group or organization near you and go to the meetings. You will learn more in a day than you could ever imagine. These meetings are also where you can find blacksmithing tools.

Welcome to the forum.

 

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Thanks and sorry, wasn't trying to advertise, but he basically demonstrates how I envision putting mine together as he uses most all the same parts I managed to come up with, including how to assemble the ash dump using a T-connector and showing the connection to the blower, etc.

I think I'm mainly looking to ascertain known risks surrounding putting malleable iron and stainless steel in a forge fire. I don't believe either are chromium plated or cadmium and I plan on doing this outdoors. I may have to strip the coating on the brake friction assembly, though.

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Ditch the idea of a knife from the brake parts, that is not good steel for a knife. Neither is the RR spike, but they are a novelty item.

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Sorry, I'm not sure I got the answer to my question:

Do I need to be concerned with harmful metal oxides released from a forge made of stainless steel (specifically built from Farberware Open Hearth Broiler & Rotisserie) or do I need to find something else to make a coal forge with? Right now, the only information I gather is that it's more likely to melt because it's thin.

And also, does malleable iron release harmful metal oxides?

Thanks.

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All metals release fumes when melted that are harmful. Some like zinc melt at very low temperatures, so they are a bigger problem. If you got your SS forge hot enough to worry about fumes, you have other things to worry about. 

Simple answer, no. BUT, what you have is not really a good choice to start with, so I would say yes, look for something else to make a forge from.

Have you looked into just making a JABOD Forge? JABOD stands for  just a box of dirt. 

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I may definitely have some better options, but I guess it couldn't hurt doing a JABOD forge to start out.

I'll post some pics [to whatever thread you may wish to direct me to] of my setup if I have time this week just to share. Have a 5 gal. bucket filled with "coke" I've been collecting from our fire pit; remains from firewood that's been burned down. Hopefully it'll last for a little while as I try forging a couple RR spikes.

And yes, I do plan on starting out practicing on the ever-shunned RR spike :)

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