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I Forge Iron

homemade forges?


Sabre

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Well my first forge was made from on old tire rim that i lined with regular red clay, and used a large T shaped tuyere, i burned charcoal in it and regularly got it up to forging temperatures, I also cut two notches one on either side of it so i could pass logner stock through the forge, but it was still very limiting and could have been designed to hold heat better, but for a first forge with items you probably have at your house already its a great deal. oh yeah and for a blower i used a regular shop vac hooked up to a dimmer switch so i could adjust the speed.

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concerning brake drum forges, you might wanne read what this guys has to say... i tend to agree with him on most parts..
Brake Drum Forges

I'm building a new forge at the moment, but its a bigger thing wit masonary work and a large industrial mold fram, and a heavy cast iron drain sink as a fire hart. pictures will be posted soon

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Johannes, that link indeed does make a lot of sense.

My suggestion: big box made of wood (3 feet on a side). Stick a pipe through the back side to act as the tuyere and fill most of the inside with sand, ash, dirt, perlite or whatever you have or can get cheap, then you can shape the firepot (a hollow) to whatever size and shape you want. This is the basis behind most of the world's forges (North America is quite unusual in using bottom-blast).

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There's so much good advice and pictures already, I hate to clutter this thread with my comment.

Here's a link to a famous charcoal forge.

Charcoal Forge

The pictures show the air feed in good detail. If you're making this, be sure to use at least as large a container. Mr. Lively has said that this is a small forge not intended for welding.

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A forge is a place to hold your fuel and a source of air being put into it. I've used a hole dug in the ground in Africa and a store bought one here. I've seen the web sight that says you can't use a brake drum. I've used a brake drum on my portable forge for 11 years at different shows and find it's comparable to my store bought high priced firepot in my shop. It depends on what items you are going to make. If I want to make swords I would make it shaped to do that. If I want to make more small items I would make it smaller diameter to save on fuel.

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its tru that the smaler the hart of your fire, the less fuel you consume, but this isn't equally true for the entire forge, cause if your forge is to small you can't stack up anny coal, and thus have no heat containing layer (or insulating pile if you wish) so if your forge gets to smal, in relation to your fire hart (pot) your fuel consumption may actually rise..
thats just my idea

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New shop forge built a few years ago. Nothing really complicated. Simple airgate pic installed pic. Coal and charcoal used in this unit. Also shown are hood pics ( idea stolen from Bill Printy in Bentensport Iowa ). As for the question about heat in degrees, the greatest heat will produce the fastest heat which will in turn make for the most of your time. This forge will make the most of my time. I have a hip roof and need forge located in center of shop. Flu location makes need for location of forge ( consequently I do not have space for side draft hood). I have an old oil stove inducer in the flu. Flu is an old piece of 8" auger pipe. This forge replaced a borrowed Champion factory forge and a couple of other Canedy Otto forges over the years. Finding a good table can be an issue when you really need it so just stick built to solve the problem. Rogers firepots are the best in my opinion. I no longer have his phone number though. Perhaps someone does.

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Edited by Ten Hammers
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I use 2 forges I built from scrap sheet metal with fire pots made to size of the store bought ones. I started with a brake drum, just put a table around it if you need more space used properly a brakedrum works great.
Travis

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The real thing is, achieving the heat needed to do the process. Charcoal works fine in a solid fuel forge but a wet coal mound will insulate and make a very hot fire for bar and round. If you have needs to hotcut and forge 1" square you will need a little bigger fire compared to working smaller stock. Building tripods at a rondy will take up some more fuel compared to just putzin around makin a few hooks from 3/8 rod. A forge should have the ability to heat whatever you need. We learn as we go. The actual degrees in heat can be found with temp sticks but not really that necessary to me to know. Charcoal is my choice at rondys because I can make coffee and burn brats in the same fire I forge in. I also bank with firewood.

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Use the materials available to make SOMETHING that works as a forge and get started.

Different fuels require different forge designs. Different size stock (3/8 inch vs 3 inch) requires different size forges. The blacksmith will use (or build) a forge to suit the job at hand. No one ever said you could have just ONE FORGE. The forge is just a tool to do a job.

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The real thing is, achieving the heat needed to do the process. Charcoal works fine in a solid fuel forge but a wet coal mound will insulate and make a very hot fire for bar and round. If you have needs to hotcut and forge 1" square you will need a little bigger fire compared to working smaller stock. Building tripods at a rondy will take up some more fuel compared to just putzin around makin a few hooks from 3/8 rod. A forge should have the ability to heat whatever you need. We learn as we go. The actual degrees in heat can be found with temp sticks but not really that necessary to me to know. Charcoal is my choice at rondys because I can make coffee and burn brats in the same fire I forge in. I also bank with firewood.


mnn, ten hammers your smithy must smell greath :D:D
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Your pile of bricks, or even a hole in the ground will work, mine did. It's up to you what standard of work you can produce with them, but it will only improve with practice.

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Edited by Ian
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