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I Forge Iron

Coal Forge Design


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First off: I know even less than Jon Snow. 
I got on a tangent one day. Dove down a rabbit hole that led to another and then another and now all of a sudden I find myself considering the possibility of building a forge, mostly just for personal use/entertainment. They say hobbies are good for you.
One of the things that led me to this point originally was the possibility of making glass. Glass furnaces led to kilns which led to forges and metal and fire are both really cool. (The background may make sense later.)
My main question is: why aren't coal forges enclosed rather than just being an open bed of coal? (I know their design, shape, etc. are much more complicated than that, but they are overall not very complicated it doesn't seem.)
There may not be a huge advantage to enclosing one just from a forging standpoint, but (here's where the background makes a little more sense) it seemed to me that it may be possible to build something that works as a forge, kiln, and glass furnace all in one (even without drastically over-complicating the design). 
I also realize that such a thing would probably not be great at any of these things, but I drive with one set of tires on my truck which aren't especially good for snow, or mud, or highway, or racetrack cornering, but overall they are fairly handy in a lot of scenarios. 
I figured I wouldn't go very far into my design thoughts since this will probably all be shut down pretty quickly by someone with real knowledge, but if that's not the case I could discuss further. But anyway I'm here to learn, so someone school me, just be gentle with the ruler.
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building something as a forge, kiln and glass furnace all in one would probably cost more than buying all 3 new and would work less well.

a lot of things are location dependent so in which of the at a guess 150 countries that participate here is home?

some things are ability dependant

are you rich in time but poor in money or vice versa?

what do you want to be able to make?

if you call round in the morning I will show you a forge for coke, coal, charcoal

I am in from about 9.30 till 5pm


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Adding coal, working the fire, removing clinker and flyash, putting different sized and shaped work into a forge all things that are easier to do with *room*.  As coal *was* cheap and easily available it was easier to use a bit more than to worry about open fires.  If I had a closed in coal forge I would need a number of them to handle different tasks.  As it is I have one that can handle 1/4" sq stock or 4" sq stock just by varying the amount of fuel and air!

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I have found that a tool (which forges are) designed to do different things, do none of them well leading to frustration and colorful language.:) We have 3 kilns (2 electric 1 propane) and 3 forges (2 coal and 1 propane) all used for different applications and are planning on building another forge for charcoal.

BTW: welcome to the forum. If you go to your profile and put in your location, you may be surprised how many members are near you and a lot of answers are location dependent.

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