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I Forge Iron

First Forge Build - JABOD

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Hey everyone just wanted to show off my first attempt at building a JABOD forge. So I just sort of read up a bit on how to make these and they seemed fairly straight forward so I just kinda made it up as I went according to what I read. I'll gladly take suggestion on how to improve things, as long as it doesn't cost any money. This build is complete from scrap material, except the hair dry that I bought at kmart for $12.


So I had this old wooden chair in the basement and the cushions have been lost forever and I kinda just wanted to get rid of it so I figure it would make a solid base for my table.



First I striped it down and braced it back up a bit.



Then I realize I got carried away and had to put a small piece of plywood to fill this hole I cut out.



Adding side walls to hold the dirt.



Mounting tuyere pipe and using a tin can for hair dryer connection.




Moved outside, probably temporary location for now. That table was already out there so it just sort of worked out for now.



First load of dirt. I did plan to go all clay but our dirt has a lot of clay in it and since I'm just learning I figured I try just straight dirt for now and see how it goes.



So I thought I might not of made it deep enough so I decided to add some paver to make it a bit taller, I may of gotten carried away a bit.



And heres the finished forge.




I fired it up a bit but I dont have much wood or any charcoal right now so I didnt do much with it yet. I also forgot to take pictures while I was using it, I was just having too much fun. I did start on my first project a bit, which will just be a pair of rebar tongs. Ill post some updates once I figure out how to work this thing a bit more.


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I recommend you cut that fire bowl in half (4x8” tuyere coming in from the side) or it will eat you out of house and home, second build a mound on the tuyere side to bank coals against ( charcoal can’t be banked like coal, it needs something to bank against) and disconnect the hairdryer, you need an air gap and just generaly point it at the tuyere, as it will push way to much air, blowing the fire fleas and coals everywhere wile acualy cooling the fire. 

I also like my tuyere level or slightly down slope, having hot coals and ash slide down to the blowers when you shut it off might be interesting

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Guess I didn't research well enough, but this is why I'm here, thanks for all the suggestions. I'm going to make the bowl much smaller, I realized it was too big as soon as I looked at the other couple of posts again. The hair dryer isn't attached at all so that's an easy fix, I'll just pull it back some and see how that works. For some reason I thought having the tuyere angle up very slightly would be best. But I got room to mess with it, so Ill probably try to bring it in at a slightly downward angle like Charles suggested, would rather not have ash and hot coals coming out the pipe. Once I get all this fixed up and I figure out what I'm doing  a bit, I should have some updates soon. Thanks again for all the help!

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I use a hair dryer too and can definitely confirm that it will burn up your fuel like you have it set up. With the dryer loose you can angle it to get more or less air, adjusting the temperature. If I have been fiddling with some fitments or something and my fire gets cold I can turn it up to speed 2 and get it back to temp in a few seconds. 

My tuyere is pretty horizontal and I have had fire shoot out the end of it at least once. To be fair though I'm usually working on something while it's running, so I could have just not seen other instances.

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your welcome, as Thommas is won’t to say, learn from our mistakes so you can go forth and make new and inventive ones. 

The original JABOD forge is the product of research and experimintation, it is still an evolving project. I have changed the fire bowl shape, and have a brick I use as a mound/bellows stone, (I would love a piece of soap stone as I have melted and cracked the hard fire brick, but I haven’t found one). The wonderful thing is it’s just dirt, if it’s not right you can reshape the bowl, dig up and move or replace the tuyere, use brick or mud to form a wall, or two as needed. 

Myself, I have used hairdryers ( still do on the wood fired forge) and electrical air bed/raft inflators (I use a “T” and a valve to adjust the air) but I dread the noise and only do so now with hard coal. I most often use a double acting bed/raft inflator ($10 from Academy sports, you can order it from Wall mart, as they Cary the same brand but usually model) 


Quit, and as you stop pumping to forge, you burn less fuel. I do have a blower from a microwave (surprised it was a squirt cage fan) I will use on a future forge, and the blower from a drier as well. Both should be quiet. 

Here are a couple of charcoal forges in action




And lastly a couple of illustrations of what I am talking about. 1” to the square




Single wall, like the Norse/Viking era forges, and below the African/Asian double mound/trench

The simple bowl just isn’t particularly efferent to work with when dealing with charcoal. Coal, with its lesser precliviry for flame can be banked up around the fire, doing so with charcoal results in the whole mass ignighting

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Awesome great stuff Charles, thanks for the tips and pics. I'll probably dive into this stuff tomorrow since its going rain/snow tonight and it will to be too cold to work for me tomorrow. I also got a piece of railroad rail for an anvil, will have to build a stand for that as well.

I did notice you can get 40 lb bags of coal at Tractor Supply for about $6, and I am considering trying that soon too. But I don't think I know enough to bother spending money on fuels yet. I'll have to read up on them more and decide later on that. Also I still would like to learn how to make charcoal properly just because it would be nice to know how, I just need to track down a 55 gallon steel barrel.

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