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So, I just started blacksmithing about a month ago...mostly teching myself with some help from youtube videos, trial and error, and a video course by Alec Steele. I've posted some pics of my current forge that I've been using and I was hoping for some advice for improvements on either its construction or my technique. Sorry for not having an pics of the forge in use since I normally don't take time to take pictures while crafting.

 

The piping pictured is an idea I had for increasing airflow. My idea was to drill holes along the length of the pipes so that air was sent along the entire brick where my charcoal is normally put. Another idea was the online have one side of that instead of both sides. Currently i use a standard hair dryer with a black iron pipe (2inch diameter i think) going in the gap between those two upright bricks. The charcoal (about to shift to either coke or coal) sits on the single horizontal brick between the two angled vertical bricks. All those bricks are fire bricks. The bricks not on the table are standard bricks meant to hold up longer pieces of steel stock while working.

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Welcome aboard Squirrelly glad to have you. As built that's not going to work very well, not bad but not good. Take a look at the JABOD forge threads by Charles Stevens. They are designed to burn charcoal but can be adapted for coal as well and are very effective. The basic fire trench design has been in use for thousands of years.

Google, "JABOD, Iforge". The forum search engine leaves a LOT to be desired, frankly it's a waste of typing time on a good day. 

There is also some good reading in the "solid fuel forge" section of Iforge Skim the threads, then skim the posts, THEN read them or you'll be stuck reading posts for days or weeks. It's a HUGE site.

When you get a handle on the jargon and terms it'll be easier to ask good questions and understand the answers without so many explanations. Make sense?

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Have you looked at the Tim Lively Washtub forge?  Designed for charcoal and a proven design from a lot of use.

What kind of charcoal are you using; real charcoal or briquettes?

A hair drier puts out way too much air for a charcoal forge, make sure you have a way to waste almost all the output.

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