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I Forge Iron
Drunken Dwarf

Clay firepot question for side blast

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Hi all

I'm making a side blast forge, sort of a JABOD forge based on a variation of the designs in the JABOD threads and the Viking layout in Charles R. Stevens wonderful post about traditional forge designs (8" semi circle fire pot, 5" deep with a "bellows stone" ).

I have a noob question about materials, Im not trying to make anything that will last a lifetime, but a couple of years use out of it would be nice. I don't have large quantities of clay land which a lot on the JABOD threads seem to, so I'm thinking of using eBay fire clay (remove commercial link), cut with sand with Victas fire bricks (remove commercial link) directly under the fire pot and as the bellows stone (attached mock-up of layout).

1. Could anyone advise whether these materials are suitable and if so, what sort of clay/sand/water mix should I be using?
2. Also, the fire bricks state that they are rated to 1300 degrees (C), which should be below forging temps this states 1260 as max mild steel forging temps. I've been reading in the JABOD threads about heat getting through and igniting the wooden frame behind, so not only am I using a steel pan, I've got >100mm of fire clay behind the bricks before the edge of the pan.

fire bricks.jpg


Edited by Mod30
remove commercial links

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Your materials, fire clay & bricks will work very well. In my bottom blast coal forge, I used fire clay to configure the fire pot 20 years ago and it's still going strong. The only thing I would change is the shape of the fire pot into a rectangle as opposed to a semi circle, make it easier to clean out.

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Actually, I used the fire clay straight without any sand. Fire clay has a good amount of grog in it and we had a bunch of it from the pottery studio days. I just let it dry for about a week then built a fire to cure it. If using plain bentonite clay, sand is mixed in to basically make it fire clay at two to one clay to sand.

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