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I Forge Iron

Building a brick charcoal forge,

Sean Wilson

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Ok, so I have a nice 15*15 horse barn to convert to a small shop, and I'm wondering if these bricks would work for a charcoal forge, and also what kind of medium should I go with,. Mortar,clay?

Also want some small chimney of sorts

All help appreciated for a beginner blacksmith.




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Those are cement retaining wall blocks, note the little ridge on the nerrow end? That goes down to hook on the next lower brick, stepping the retaining wall back a bit and resisting being pushed forward my the weight of soil behind them. To use them, I would plan an oval starting some 3’x6’ packing it with dirt and building up to about 2’ high, at this point laying in a tuyere and continue up to 30” or so (depending on your anvil hight.

let me refer you to some reference material on charcoal forges

Now center the fire at one end of the oval, the other end serves as a stock support, fuel pile and tool rest. You do not bank the fire with charcoal as you do with coal, the whole fuel pile will ignite. Because of this you either use clay or fire bricks to bank fuel against or mounds of dirt ( clay soil or adobe). A lot of other things can be used as well such as old bathtubs, washtubs etc to raise a simple hole in the ground to a confortable hight. In that case a raised planting bed to creat a living front wall might be in order from the retaining wall bricks. 

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I use those blocks often at work. Making a round is not easy and to get over 2' you will have to cut a lot!  Square is your best bet.  Knock the lip off and stack them straight up using retaining wall adhesive. Allowing a step back or bat will make it a pain to work at and kill your back

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Wow thanks guys.

That's good information.

I've seen you help a lot of people Mr. Stevens and I'm just stoked you commented on my post,

Also Jasent thank you for your input too.

I will definitely take your guys consideration in building this forge.

I will post pics to update


Have a great day guys 

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As someone who has gone to the effort of building a brick forge, I can tell you that they have no real advantages over something you could weld up in a couple of hours. That being said, they are just cooler than any other type of forge, in my opinion. If this is your first forge build, I strongly recommend that you start with something simple like the JABOD, and tweak it to suit your needs, *before* you make one out of brick. You may even decide that the dirt box works fine, and you don't need a brick forge.

As for the bricks, different types (even stone) have been used, and I believe you could make them work with a little creativity. As Jasent said, you should probably knock the lip off. As for the chimney, you will want to make it a side-draft, if you will be using bricks for the whole thing. I used standard rectangular bricks for my forge, but I can PM you some progress pics of mine if you are interested.

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If you end up building a rectangular/square brick structure out of these, note that they key into each other rather well if you rotate every other one 180 degrees. (Front side out,  then back side out, then front again. Repeat.) 

Of course, that'll depend on whether you're concerned with keeping only the front faces out or not. 

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Alright that's perfect, since it rains alot here I want to keep it a little back from the weather so I can work when it's hurricaning here lol but yes def want it as little light as possible.

I will take that into consideration. 

Man I'm excited!!

Also found this at the flea market I know it's not practical for what I need but thought it was cool anyhow


Any ideas?


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