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I Forge Iron

Frugal Forge


unkle spike

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I am currently building a demo forge, and being cheap I thought I would document what I did if any of you are as cheap as me.

DISCLAIMER: This forge is for my own use, and I feel safe with what I have done, however, use your own discretion. One thing is parts of it are galvanized which requires removing the coating with a grinder and welding in a WELL ventilated area.
Well here goes.

For the fire pot.

I am using a 2002 Chrysler Sebring REAR brake disc, reason being I had one here, and the size and heft are adequate. The rear has drum type brakes for the emergency brake, so that area is hefty. I bolted a 2 inch pipe flange to one of the existing holes, and drilled and bolted the other 3 in place. I will upgrade to 3/8 carriage bolts a little later. Flange cost $10 at Lowes, HD didn't have one. Inserted a piece of 2 inch electrical conduit ($17 for a 10 footer at HD) from the bottom until flush inside, and welded from the outside of the flange. (see galvanized warning above). I am using a brake drum in my shop forge, and they were made to take heat, and should hold up for a long time, don't pour water on a hot one though.

For the blower tube.
I slit a piece with a cutter wheel on a grinder, of the 2 inch conduit so the flanges on the blower will fit snug into the pipe, I will make the blower moutn later.
The conduit is random length right now, I will trim it to fit later. I have 10 feet afterall.

For the "pan".

I bought 4 each 18 x 12 pieces of 22 guage sheet metal at HD (around $8 each). I will back this in a frame, so all it has to do is keep coal in place. To cut the round hole, I stacked all four, clamped them securely, and cut with a cutter wheel in my 4 inch grinder, and then ground them with a regular wheel to clean up the rough edges.

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Nice looking bit of frugality there Jeff.

I also like the heavy bench top you have there. I know where a few out of spec ones are myself. Think I'll have to pick up a couple next time I'm in Anchorage.

Frosty

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Just FYI, you can buy muffler pipe in non plated carbon steel that will not only suffice but excel in strength with no plating issues to deal with. Friendly muffler guy can also swage to fit joints if not already bell ended( short piece pile). Nice looking setup you have there. Standard HVAC 3" vent pipe makes good connection from blower to tuyere also ( attached is a pic showing trailer forge).

I weld galvanized at work from time to time and also home shop and I hate it. Sometimes we do what we have to do but not by choice on my part if I can help it.

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Edited by Ten Hammers
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I work at a place that makes exhaust for big trucks, and I will get an elbow there to merge into the pipe. Actually not real cheap, but considering what I saved on the firepot, I am still ahead of the game. The benchtop Frosty is referring to is a sewer grate, which is great, you can clamp through it, and it cools pieces quickly.

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Nice forge. But you can make one without a welder or buying stuff new at a big box store or using galvanized materials!

I once put together a beginners kit for under US$25 including the forge, blower, anvil and basic tools. It used no welding and the most complicated tool needed was a 1/4" drill.

Firepot was a brakedrum found on side of the road. Support was a barstool frame found in a dumpster. tuyere was floorflange, nipple and T (and plug for ashdump and a piece of pipe for the air side of the T) bought used at fleamarket. Blower was old "handi vac---had Al body but no bag, brushes were in good shape and cost was $3 Misc bolts to put it together. Fleamarket multi ceiling fan controller and a ribbed radiator hose completed the air handling equipment---the ribbed hose would "bugle" at certain air speeds, most amusing/annoying!

Anvil was a broken knuckle off a RR car coupler found in a ditch near old RR tracks. Tools were some old large pliers and a couple of hammers from the flea market.

After building it to demonstrate that it could be done I used to use it for billet welding. I tool a piece of sheetmetal and bent it around to sit in the brakedrum with about a 2" gap where the ends met and cut a "mousehole opposite the opening to stick long billets through. This fence allowed me to make very deep fires for welding.

Weygers, a hero of mine, once built a forge from a section of irrigation pipe and a paint can using the chimney effect to draw air in so it was the blower too!

Edited by ThomasPowers
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