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I Forge Iron
Louie DeBono

First time attempting a forge build : bellows issue

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So I made a forge out of an old Dewalt air compressor tank. One benefit is that it has a perfectly placed hole where the air hose ran, that I can attack my bellows to. What I planned on using for my bellows was an old air mattress pump /inflator. My problem is the air mattress pumps hose is of course light weight flexible plastic, which would pretty much melt instantly from the heat of the forge. Can anyone provide a solution? A buddy of mine suggested attach copper tuning to the end of the hose, in between the forge and the air mattress pump,  as it will sufficiently reduce the heat, to the point of not melting he hose. Remember in very new to this. So be nice. Lol 

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Assuming you are building a solid fuel forge ( coal, coke or charcoal) the air compressor tank is not appropriate. 

You can also build a bottom blast but that’s a bit more involved and requires more scrounging and fabrication time or money.

now the compressor can is appropriate to a gas forge

My suggestion is build a quick and dirty solid fuel forge with the old bed pump, a length of 3/4” schedule 40 black pipe. A “T” and a valve. The pump will purse more air than most small forges need.

then build a nice gas forge from your compressor can, you will find that they both have their uses

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26 minutes ago, JHCC said:

What fuel will you be burning?

Well I thought about jus going old school and using wood, after all I do live in the woods more or less, but s buddy recently gave me a couple good sized burners from an old propane camping stove. So maybe propane. which you recommend? 

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The burners from a camping stove aren't going to be nearly hot enough for forging. 

@Charles R. Stevens's suggestion for a JABOD (Just A Box Of Dirt) forge is probably your quickest bet, and I second it. Take a look at my JABOD build thread as well: https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/49956-new-jabod-box-of-dirt-forge-picture-heavy/.

Wood isn't an ideal material, but there are some good threads about making your own charcoal that you can check out.

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The pro pain burners are probably more work to convert to work as burners, wile with a few pipe fittings, a mig tip and an hours work you can build a nice Frosty “T” burner. 

As to recommendations, I use both. I ama farrier is gas is on the truck. Tho I intend to rebuild that forge and move it inside and replace it with coal on the truck.

a wood forge needs to be deep as you are converting wood to charcoal embers, the embers heat the steel. Alternately a wood fire and a forge, so one can take embers from the fire and place them in the forge. The prefers alternative is to make charcoal. This will make you popular with the barbecue croud

 

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Let me jus say thanks to all yall. I joined this site to gain a little knowledge... Meet a few folks. But never expected such a great group of fellas with such knowledge and a willingness to share it. Thx yall... Sniffle.. Cry. OK, enough of the Hallmark moment. I'm gonna go wipe my tears, put on a pot of coffee and get to building a forge. HEHE thx brothers 

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Louie, from the picture you have the shell of what might work for a propane forge and the blower of what can be used for a solid fuel forge. 

Since you have plenty of wood to burn I suggest starting with a simple JABOD forge that Charles linked. That will get you started hammering and just set that tank aside in case you want to build a propane forge in the future. 

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1 minute ago, Daswulf said:

just set that tank aside in case you want to build a propane forge in the future. 

You can also turn it on end and use it for a quench tank.

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Just paying it forward. Besides we get a kick out of seeing you succeed. 

A hint, I used wood in the JABOD forge to show guys that they didn’t need to work steel to build a forge. Sheet steel works just as well, and judging from the grinder work you got that covered. 55 gallon drums are just asking to be made into forges. Glenn’s 55 forge series shows you that. Cut yourself a 8” pan from the bottom, leaving about a 1/3 of the drum intact, cut up and slope forward to the top ring. Now a hooded forge. If you dehead the drum and split the front of the hood and form a cone you have a fancier set up.

Don’t forget to safe the sharp edges. 1” strips of the left over sheet metal can be bent in half and riveted over the cut edges. 

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When I use wood I burn it in a raised firepit near the forge and transfer the hot coals to the forge. This way I get to forge without the smoke and heat from the flames.  I built a shaker shovel from gravel screen so I can scoop up the hot coals, give them a shake and get ashes and too small bits to fall into the firepit and only get usable fuel in the forge.  

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I glean charcoal from my fireplace in the winter, that way I get the benefit of the heat. I smother it in a 3 lb coffee can and by the time I've built up the coals again the batch in the coffee can is cool. Be aware of CO, though I've had no issue with it.

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