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I Forge Iron

Forge status update

Dustin L

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Well it's done. At least for the most part. Other than some fine tuning that I want to do. I still haven't tried yet either.

I built 55 gal. bottom blast. I already had the 55 gal drum, the brake rotor from my 97 gmc sierra and all the tools that I needed for the build. The only thing it cost me was about $40 for the 2" pluming parts. Oh yeah and I did pay another $20 for a blower. I wish I had some pictures to show but I don't own a camera (YET) and my old flip phone takes crumby pics and can't transfer them to the computer anyway. Plan on getting a camera soon that I will be able to post pics with.

I even managed to make a clinker breaker. I already had a steel dowel rod left over from an older project. I drilled all the way through both sides of the 2" pipe just below the firepot. Then I ran the dowel rod through so it stuck out just an inch or so on the other side. Next I welded a piece of plate to the dowel, inside the pipe, that I had cut and grinded to fit the I.D. Then drilled a few holes in the plate for air flow. Finally I cut the handle end of the dowel off to length and put a bend in it for a crank.

There's only two things left that I want to do before I put the coal in it.

1. Unfortunately, when I was welding the clinker breaker I got it ever so slightly out of alignment. I can't quite turn it a full 360 degrees. It gets to almost 180 degrees and then one side catches on the pipe. I want to use my dremmel tool to take just a bit off of that one side of the clinker breaker.

2. When I was building the forge I decided to not cut the bottom of the drum out. Instead, I want to cut a small opening in the side of the barrel near the bottom so I can shovel my ash out for easier clean up. So I still need to cut me out a clean out hole as well.

Other than those two minor tweaks I'm about ready to fire this thing up and see how it goes. Also, I found out that my local Tractor Supply does carry coal ( I know it has mixed reviews). However I also found out that I can get coal through the Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association which I have already tried and it burns very nicely. They have an open forge day near me once a month. I attended my first one there last week and look forward to going back for more.

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Great finding the IVBA it really helps to have warm bodies to ask questions about everything related to hammering hot steel.

A little hint on transferring photo's from your flip phone to the computer. I still use an old Motorola flip phone and it has a micro chip behind the battery where the phone stores the photos. I picked up a universal chip adapter that I can remove the chip from the phone, put in the adapter and plug the adapter into the USB port on the computer then drag & drop the photos into a folder on the computer. Faster to do than type.:)

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