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I Forge Iron

JAPOB - Just A Pile Of Bricks


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Riffing on the JABOD idea, I decided to use what was handy, namely a pile of scrap 2x and plywood, some old bricks leftover from a neighbor's tumbledown chimney, the wifes long-forgotten hairdryer, and a bit of old fencepost pipe (relax, I am aware of hot zinc issues, and wore a respirator for the welding and first fire, thanks for thinking of me!).  The bricks are piled up two-deep on the floor, and arranged so that the gaps between bricks dont line up.  Nothing is mortared, so as the bricks burn up, which it will, I can just re-stack it all.

The hardware store in town sells smithing coal, and so after a bit of faffing about getting the coal to coke and the bricks warmed up, it works quite nicely!  I lost 6" of the rebar shortly after I took these photos, got distracted in the garage and left it in too long, and it melted right off!

I just left the dryer on low, and the tuyere pipe swings in front of the dryer to adjust the blast; the pipe stays surprisingly cool in use, and when I was done, I just took it out so it wouldnt burn up in the after-fire heat.  I set the dryer off at an angle, so if the blast control line gets knocked off, the fire will die down instead of run away on full blast.  It's not perfect, but its not too bad for the investment.

This was just a first fire and a test; I'm working on getting my anvil on a stand and so hopefully in the near future I'll actually get to do some work and get to know the forge.  Hopefully I can make this little pile of bricks work for awhile.










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The swinging pipe and control rope are genius. Nicely done!

One thing to consider would be sticking the galvy pipe in a container of vinegar to dissolve off any remaining zinc. Neutralize with baking soda when you're done.

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Exelent! Tho a few more bricks may be in order. Another layer to make the pot dealer and another few to make the wall higher. Not necessary mind you, the set up you have is riminisent of the fire pan used on traveling forges, as well as the Viking bellows stone. 

Nice thing is you can customize it at will, 2or 3 walls and a roof if you need a fernace, 2 walls for a trench, etc. 

beets $50 in 2" pipe fittings for a brake drum.

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Did a little re-arranging of the forge guts to give some ash below the tuyere and more of a well for coal and coke, and packed some moist dirt around the tuyere to keep the air and fire where it belonged, definitely an improvement.  The forge poker is from a little chunk of rebar, and was a good exercise in squaring off and tapering, and hammer control.  Not bad for a pile of bricks.  Last photo is the firge as it sets now; I need to move the fire closer to the anvil, its about two and a half steps from fire to anvil, too far.  

Also bought a butcher block brush.  All I can say is wow, what a difference in surface finish.  These brushes are unsung saviors for newbie blacksmiths.




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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to agree, that is a NICE forge. I"m thinking you could wrap the brick back wall around the sides a little and stand a stack on it. I bet it'd draw nicely without getting fancy. 

Nice job, I'd like to give it a try. It needs a cover to keep rain off it, wet bricks need a low slow fire to drive off moisture before you put it to work or  B-A-D things can happen.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 6 months later...

Thanks for the comments and compliments all, this forge has been officially retired.  It worked after a fashion, but the dry pipe tuyere burned back too fast for my liking, and the table was ultimately too small to work comforatbly on without having the fire and green coal drifting off the edges.  See below link for the new toy.

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Exactly Charles, it's easier to hook them with easy to swallow bait. Demos is a good place to use a brick pile forge, it's easy for spectators to imagine giving the craft a try if getting into it only runs a couple hundred bucks. It's why I like having an expedient anvil at demos.

Frosty The Lucky.

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