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I Forge Iron

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Hey everyone! I built my first forge ever yesterday out of some bricks in an old grill. I’m using a black iron pipe and a hair dryer with a shop vac attachment as my air source. Charcoal is the fuel.

Mid anyone has any suggestions or recommendations please let me know what I need to do to forge properly and safely.

Thanks Dallas



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There are foot switches out there that just plug into the outlet then you plug in whatever you want controlled. There is either an on/off or a "deadman" switch where it is only on if you are holding on the switch. 


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Gentlemen.... I HAVE BENT METALL!!!!!


I had a few extra hours to play around and I was trying to be very mindful of both fire management and hammer accuracy.

I employed your advice about the air and I worked really well. I didn’t realize how fast I was burning through charcoal that I didn’t need to be. It was definitely a learning experience and also very rewarding.

Thanks again everyone!

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Cheap! Lol. Any Lump charcoal should be fine. The old kingsford or whatever briquettes are no good or desirable.

It's not really hard to make your own depending on location and whatnot. Or building a raised side fire and transferring the coals to the forge. 

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1 hour ago, Enewguy said:

Charcoal briquettes? Correct me if I'm wrong guys but won't that create more fireflies and be incredibly less efficient than lump charcoal? Especially if you blow "hard" air at it??

They're not the best but you can most certainly work with briquettes. Break them into acorn size pieces and clean your fire regularly. The white ash is IIRC limestone powder added to keep them from burning too hot in a grill. Powdered limestone won't interfere much with forge processes including welding if you don't have it piled in the joint. Lime is added to smelts and melts to act as a flux, it combines with contaminants and floats them for removal. It's not a serious barrier, a little borax takes care of it nicely.

Fewer fire flies, it's actually a byproduct in the production of wood alcohol, various keytone solvents, etc. I believe it was Henry Ford who invented backyard BBQing and briquettes as something to do with mountains of charcoal powder left over from making solvents. Only so much can be used in filters. 

You're better off with lump but if all you have handy briquettes will do the job.

Frosty The Lucky.

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So a little update. I broke the charcoal into smaller pieces and it really seemed to help more.

Also yesterday I was really working on trying to learn tapering and it took me 4 hours but I finally got it. And I made probably the ugliest ring anyone’s ever seen.


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