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I Forge Iron

Dirt tamper as starter anvil


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That' what I've got I've just been using a hair dryer so far but was actually looking at the air mattress pumps just yesterday. 

What is a good refractory mix? I've just been using fire brick so I'm losing a lot of heat. I saw quite a few different compounds but I want one that's proven and effective. 

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Honestly keep the fire small, a good Adobe soil is as good as anything else and cheep! Charcoal likes little fires and small tuyere (3/4-1" ID) so 3/4 schedual 40 pipe works well and the end of the pump hose fits right in. Soft coal works just fine in a small sideblast as well, hard coal will not like the manual bed pump, I use an electric one but I add a "T" and a valve. I tryed the valve in line but it just made the pump louder, but by using to control the waste ait out of the "T" it's a bit quieter, 

 

This might help you make some improvements. As charcoal suffers from fire spread, we can't use it to bank the fire like we use coal, so we sculpted banks to contain it. A small forge like this will happily heat 1" stock, and with patience heat it to welding temps. 

For a coal forge, fill the pan with dirt (about 6" and form a bowl about 6-8" across) you then have an inch or two of coal on the hearth and mounded up above and around the hot spot (1" above the hearth) for charcoal fill the pan with 8" of dirt and sculpt a back wall, I suggest using the trench shaped bowl in the illustrations. This uses less fuel with the sender of the fire at hearth hight. It will asso burn coal just fine, nut unless you add a 1" rim keeping extra fuel on the table will be a chalange note, extra charcoal on the table will ignite, waisting fuel

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So a 3"x12" inch face is plenty! And a couple undeer pounds is stout by about a factor of 2!

over at Anvilfire.com there is a section on building anvils that show som modifications to be made to hunks of plate. Joc dosnt alow direct links, as he belives you are steeling bandwidth as aposed increasing his traffic. 

Esentualy buy cutting a notch out if one side you form a bit of a heal into wich you can drill a pritchel hole and you grind a radius on one end of the face to act as a horn/fuller. 

I think this is overrated, especially in a peice so large. You just can't move it to make cutting useful shapes in all 4 sides practical. A peice of 1" plate with a 1" square hole cut in it welded to a peice of heavy wall square tubing makes an exilent hardy hole, and one can make bolsters and other tooling to do the jobs of the odd shapes and bits on London patern anvils. Weld a round and square bick onto your portable hole and walla, a stout post anvil to accompany your masive anvil. 

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Build a seperate peice. One can pretty readily frill 4-3/16" holes in the corners, a  3/16-1/4" hole in the middle ,what ever size you need for a pilot) and then drill out the bulk with a 1" drill. A corse file 3/4" wide with the side teath ground off  and a sharp cold chisel will make an hours work or so of squaring up the hole. 

Weld this to a peice of heavy wall square tubing as a stem to get it off the ground. Now you have a hardy hole, and one can make bolsters to punch holes over that will fit it. A cone welded to one side and a long perimid to the other make horns.

walla, portable hole. And if you add the horns you have a workstation for all the fiddly bits and an anvil for the serious work. As you are working solo, make a fist and hangs your arm down at your side. Fist to ground is want you want for anvil and forge hight. Some signets first knuckle, but that's if you plan on regularly using a striker with a sledge and top tools, others suggest rist high, and for small work this is good. Fist is a good compromise, one can use a hand sledge and too tools, hand forge and use a sledge. If you need to get closer to the work, just bend your knees more

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Honestly that big chunk is great the way it is, radius the corners (I would suggest a 1/4" at one end tapering to 1" at the other) as sharp edges make places for cracks to form. This also gives you a fuller built right into the side of your anvil. 

As to welding on a horn, we don't know what that plate is, so welding to it could be iffy, but we know what that peice of heavy wall tubing we are going to weld out portable hole to is. That's were ai would weld on a horn. Get a budy to turn you a cone, then cut it off at an angle and weld it to the side of the portable hole. The angle lets you get that horizontal top that, tho unnesisary looks beter. Then as I sign ester you can weld a longinsh perimid On the other side. Bang. If you want to get even fancier drill a set of graduating holes in the top of that perimid (it becomes a square horn)

As to the thanks, I apretiate it but I was where you are now once. I am just laying it forward. 

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