Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Wheel rim forge & Rail Anvil project


Recommended Posts

Everybody starts somewhere, and after viewing countless videos showing different types of forges I finally decided to bite the bullet and build something simple.

What I have so far: A wheel, a 30 pound chunk of rail, and countless different tools, scrap steel, etc. I can weld and grind but not well, I expect to gain some skill during the project, but for the start it'll be as simple as possible.


I plan on burning charcoal, I'm working on a retort but for now I might either buy charcoal, or use wood, wood will require a good hood that burns the smoke off as well as the dodgy rocket stove I built a few weeks ago. Critique and suggestions welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You already know this, but take the tire off the rim before you build a fire in the rim.

Look up the threads on Just A Box of Dirt, JABOD. It does not have to be fancy, it just has to work. 

I can not tell but if the bucket / container is galvanized, DO NOT put fire in it or get it hot. If it must be used soak it in vinegar to remove the zinc coating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, as it takes about $50 in 2" pipe fittings I do not suggest going that rought building a tuyer. Glenn's simple 55 forge uses exaust  pipe, and that is plenty durable, if you go that rought, with a bottom blast, pick up an exaust flapper wile your at it for an ash dump. 

You could cut one side wall off and pack the tire full of dirt... 

as is, the wheel will be to deap, so plan on packing it full of dirt any way, this will allow you to sculpt a fire bowl 3-4" deep. 

It looks like some one welded an axle stub to your rail. It that's the case cutoff that extra flange and mount it vertically, if that axle stub stayed on an old farm trailer it should take a pounding as a horn. Smooth the head of the rail, that gives you a 1 1/2x3" anvil face (just chose a hammer with a smaller face) and your off the the races. Save that cut off flange, its 90 point manganese steel, 7/8 thick at the thickest tapering to 1/2", the start of many good top tools. If you cut a square hole in a thick plate, and mount it to the top of the post the anvil is mounted to, you now have a hardy tool holder.  

Of corse you can go side blast, just cut a hole to fit a piece of black pipe 3-4" down the side of the rim.

some smiths will notch the sides of the rim to allow them to mount the tuyere lower, wile passing long stock threw the fire, just mold your dirt to form a bit of a trench. This helps keep the fuel were you want it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions, I don't intend to use that can for anything being heated, the last thing I want is metal fume fever.

Ive read that post about the box of dirt, which is what made me decide that a wheel packed with clay would be good enough. I plan on using the easiest joinery methods to get something working, then later when I obtain better materials I'll weld something up more durable.

That axe stub isn't welded on, but I do plan on using it for a horn :) I can either use the cutoff bottom plate for the top surface of the hardy hole and to reinforce the horn, or alternatively I could flip the rail upside down and get a large consistent harden-able plate, though it would require a ton of reinforcing, it's probably not worth the extra effort unless I find I can easily preheat the whole thing to prevent that thinner top plate from warping as the reinforcement welds cool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it's not welded on I wouldn't bother, welding rail requires extensive pre and post heat, just cut off they extra flange and mount your "anvil vertical. The flange is taperd and not flat, so I would look for something else for a tool plate to cut a hardy hole in. A peice of heavy wall square tubing with an 1" inside, rapped in a peice of 1/2" square welded on makes a good hardy hole. i find the little double bick I carved on my rail anvil works just fine for most things. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...