Jump to content
I Forge Iron

JABOD My First step toward blacksmithing.


Recommended Posts

So I built a JABOD today with northern virginia red clay, moisture within tolerances according to the squish test by frosty or someone big. Nobody ever tells you how heavy these things are. I am poor and unemployed so THE BROOMSTICK IS JUST A PLACEHOLDER FOR NOW for a piece of steel pipe and blower. I intend to use a firebrick to hold up the final pipe. I was going to light a little fire in it to dry but it started to rain. 

So in the box were a couple of stones and of which I cannot tell you they are made. No idea if they are gonna blow up in my face literally so I was considering a blast shield or facemask, but that was just a thought...love a response.

Question: As the clay dries in my garage, when I replace my blower pipe, do I have to prep any dry clay again in the blower tube or anywhere else. I want to add a stabilizing brick to hold the pipe and

another question: do I need firebricks to bring this to a proper temperature and/or do I need to worry about igniting the wood, ( i'm sure it's autoignition temperature is high)


Anyways, thanks for the help, and I know you guys love pictures but it's the best I can do and NEED yall's  pro's and con's. I can't afford anything so I am gonna do pitfires and harvest the coals...I really am that broke.

Frosty thanks for your tips

box of dirt on rolley table.jpg

box of dirt with placeholder.jpg

overhead box of dirt.jpg

box of dirt 2.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Strike: Mattress inflater! Even if you burn coal in a JABOD you'll need to reduce the blast from a typical mattress inflater. A really good method is to just aim it partly away from the tuyere pipe. 

Dax: I don't know what leaf blowers are like in the UK but this side of the pond they make insanely too much blast for a forge, cupola melter sure IF it's large enough. I sometimes use a leaf blower to boost burning a slash pile, limbs, roots, brush, etc. Other than that I blow leaves back into the forest or snow off the car with it.

I do NOT want to discourage folks from wanting to help but you might want to consider how many years experience you have in the craft and that some things are very different this side of the pond. Or in: India, S. Africa, New Zealand, Bolivia, Peru, Belarus, Sweden, etc. This forum has members in more than 150 countries around the world. I believe you use coke more than coal or charcoal and rebar in Europe is made to different specs than most of the world. The amount of blast a leaf blower makes is enough to develop welding heat in a dumpster size coal fire, say 2m x 2m x 4m. and blow burning coals in a charcoal fire right out of one.  

Please don't think I'm picking a fight Brother, this is just part of the learning curve, this is a BIG planet and we get to talk to almost everybody. Yes? ;)

Frosty The Lucky.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night the sight wasn’t playing nice with my IPad/phone. But my JABOD forges get more air than needed for coal or charcoal with a bed inflator. Leaf blowers are for forging 1000# anvils with 6” tuwere. 


I would get a valve, a 3/4” “T” and a length or 3/4” schedual 20 pipe. Place the pump on one branch of the “T” and the valve on the other. I find this to be quieter than just choking the blast with a valve. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. Frosty I'm always open to advice and never take anyone contradicting me as personal unless they intend it to be that way. I am as you know very new to Smithing but I know a lot about air movement. 

I have been in the compressor, blower and vacuum Market for 31 years now.  Mattress inflates are typically very weak radial fans only designed to put about 50 mbar of pressure in to the air bed (as it happens I just designed a pneumatic rig for inflating and testing medical air beds for one of my customers). I am very surprised that at such a low pressure there would be enough flow down not only such a thin pipe but also with the pipe actually being a tunnel through clay there will be even more friction loss to the air flow. 

Maybe like the leaf blower the air bed inflates in the USA are stronger than the rubbish we get in the UK. 

Like you said, not an attack at you Frosty, just pointing out my reasoning. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dax: I'm glad I was reasonably clear in my meaning. My main point was to point out there are real differences around the world, what works here may or probably won't work so well elsewhere in the world. I make a habit of looking at a person's location before offering specific advice. After a while you might get handle on what folks generally have available. Even the personal preferences and tastes of some of the gang here. It can be fun to twit them about them.

It's a big family thing.

Frosty The Lucky.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input everybody. I rigged up the leafblower to a severed 40 oz Steel Reserve bottle , some duck tape, and used a disassembled bicycle innertube as a flexible attachment to eventually connect to my blower pipe. Love the jabod! I haven't swung a hammer a thousand times yet, nor made anything functional, but i'm happy at how I come closer and closer everyday for free.

I still need to add the pipe , which I priced at $6 US today 3' x 1" OD. Don't know what schedule it was but it was some serious feeling stuff (but i'm a newbie).

I switched to big chunky charcoal , which took forever to break down / heat up and wasn't able to reach a desirable temperature without additional forced air.

Got a nice stump for an anvil for free today and tried to work an 8 iron golf club. MAN THIS IS NO JOKE! This is HARD work by hand with a framing hammer. Got it cherry red but couldn't move the metal very much. Also learning to add 1/8" shaped tool holders to the side of my jabod for hanging tools .

Charles R. Stevens, thanks for the tip. Love the innovative idea and it will be done.

Frosty, my leafblower can be turned down pretty low, it kinda sucks at blowing leaves but can be adjusted to insanity on the high end. I'm sure the neighbors loved it when I fired it up around 3AM this morning! 

Daswulf, the little rocks are marble sized and not very numerous at all and haven't killed me so far, but I did some chemistry reading about the whole shebang on the layers of soil and constituents in my region, so I appreciate your concern and response. There wasn't a lot, but even one could be too many if it's got bad mojo. Once I get proper airflow and heat I guess i'll find out but everything is okay so far.


And this is my blower rig...hahha so crazy. Maybe i'm the fool but I can live with that. I'm going to continue to try things until I can get past cherry red, or use some steel that I am aware of chemical composition, I researched golf clubs and unfortunately couldn't find what they are, but I guess if I get it hot enough I may be able to move it. 


Thanks all, I'm trying like heck here to make this happen.

blower innertube 2.jpg

blower with innertube.jpg

blower innertube.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that too much air can actually cool your steel by convection. If you're not getting above cherry red, that may be part of your problem.

I used to use a leaf blower when I first started out, and ended up angling it so that only about 1/10 of the air was actually going into the forge. The rest was blowing at me, which helped me stay cool!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...