royalpaste

simple coal forge help

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hello everyone. ive been getting into the addiction known as blacksmithing as of late, ive gotten everything sorted but the forge. ive tried modified hole versions of the JABOD forge with charcoal and wood but i could never really get them to work. now though ive manged find some blacksmithing coal and was wondering if theres' a good type of hole for coal? id also like to make a forge but i dont have to much to build it (200$ Canadian monopoly dollars) and no welder

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The JABOD will work for coal.  You may want to search and review the 55 Forge. It is large enough to modify easily to fit what ever type fire you need.  Look for the side blast version of the 55 Forge as it is easier to build. 

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thanks, also sorry i forgot a 110 volt air mattress blower should be enough for the air supply?

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Yes.  Just leave an air gap between the blower and the air pipe going to the forge. Aim the air blast more directly to the pipe for more air, not so directly for less air.  Only use the amount of sir needed to produce the neat you want.  You will be surprised just how much or how little air is needed to run a forge. 

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thanks again, yeah i figured that out once i was able to accidentally melt steel in my first wood forge, way to much air, low setting on my hair dryer (may it rip) got it to a much nicer lower temp.

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IToo much air can actually lower the temp of a fire. I can get stock in my trench type jabod to high orange with a hand pump. 

For charcoal a 4x8 trench about five inches deep with a brick on either side to heap up the charcoal a few inches works fine. 

For coal a trench will also work it just likes a little deeper fire. 

I have an electric mattress pump I use sometime. You have to bleed off some of the air. The simplest way is exactly what Glenn said. I use a ball valve and a t fitting. I couple the air hose to the tuyere with a piece of rubber hose I cut off about three inches long. It fits between the hose from the pump and the tuyere. It's more complicated but It works better for me. I switch between electric and a hand pump depending on how I feel. Sometimes I like the quiet hand pump sometimes I don't want to work as hard and use the electric pump.

The original jabod thread I believe was fired with coal so you should find plenty of info there. Good luck 

Pnut

 

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I should probably be a little clearer about heating stock to high/bright orange. That's not the limit, that is what I go for usually as a working temp. With smaller stock like 3/8  I can burn it up with some quick pumping no problem. I haven't tried to see how hot larger stock can get in my jabod with a hand pump. With the electric mattress pump I can heat one inch stock to forging temps no problem. Not sure about welding temps with stock that large though.

Pnut

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not sure if this needs a new thread but i ended up making this monstrosity. sorry about the messIMG_20190606_172628.thumb.jpg.35e0d4a1f12fd1e9b72e59361403991f.jpg

IMG_20190606_172716.jpg 

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You need a T instead of a 90* bend.  The bend will fill up with ash and restrict the air flow. The T will let the ash fall on past and allow it to be cleaned out.

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i know, junkyards i hit up didnt have any t pipes. will check the others/the exhaust shops tomorrow.

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Nice forge start. Wood though? Is there a thrifty store near you where you could buy an old metal desk , or maybe a metal retail display with a shelf, cut a hole in the center, and use that instead of the wood? It looks like a fire waiting to happen. Plus, you could then put your hot items down safely.

Actually, your entire area looks unsafe to forge in. Smiths occasionally drop hot steel, and if it fell under that shed, it would make quite a mess.

p.s. You can buy the bottom part of the forge, tuyere etc, in solid cast iron and well within your budget.

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yeah im gonna put a metal plate on it and remove the wood middle bits. just taking time as i got no welder and angle grinder. those pre made firepot things are 400 minimum for me here ive searched high and low already. im kinda messy sorry, i clean up the area before i work usually just gravel under me (sometimes dirt). 

forgot to add just had to move there for the day, most of the time i have the forge in the middle of my yard and move the anvil into the shade throughout the day.

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The tuyere is 22$. T pipe suggestion is a good idea then , as 400$ is a lot! . p.s.  If you put a hot piece of metal on sheet steel, it may still burn any wood supports underneath it. Heat transfer. Same physics apply to your pipe. As it is, the hot coal will slide down the pipe, catch the wood support on fire, and then travel up to the rest of it, all while you are in the front yard, distracted. (Murphy's Law)

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oh xxxx wonder if i just have to scrap it then. i legally cant leave afire unattended here. so if i want to leave the yard or cant get someone to watch it i have to put it out. also i keep a hose on with a spray nozzle on just in case

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Not sure if you are joking. The table has other uses for the shop. Replace 3 top boards and it is back to a normal table. I am simply suggesting to make the forge all metal (well, non-combustible. It could be brick, stone...) , for fire safety reasons. If you go online, you will not find any modern propane or coal forge that is constructed with wood.

 

 

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You can make an ash dump and blower connection out of black iron pipe and a t-fitting or exhaust pipe from a muffler shop. If you use exhaust pipe you can also use a flap like on semi truck exhausts as a cap for the ash dump. It's an easy fix. 

Pnut

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i know but im working with extremely limited tools so through my searching i found things like this

58zbwLB.thumb.jpg.ed88ac59223fcd7bfb164443ef4893d1.jpg

travis-forge-1.jpg.a85a1883a052cc56a2f11abbcb700a42.jpg 

and rather than go buy random metal tables that may or may or may not be galvanized and spend 6 hours cutting i thought id just use what i had around. would a brick layer on top work better with with a hole for the t pipe?

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sorry for the double comment but I do have an idea now kinda, my friend has a metal grate table that i can put the rim on and cut a hole for the pipe with tin snips

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Sure, that may work. Or any metal cart may be a good start. Side notes: There are many other ways to attach metal, besides welding. In most cities, recycled metal is cheap, no need to buy new.

Those pictures are humorous to me. A carpenters mind at work. I wonder if the plywood floor comes as a bonus gift with the second blacksmith forge. What they should have done instead is just made simple metal legs, like a rivet forge. 

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That looks like a tire rim as the forge. After several modifications the 55 forge still works better for me. Use the side blast version.  Jabod is another option for a quick and easy forge.

Here you can get an angle grinder for $10-15 from Harbor Freight, maybe a bit more from your sources there. A exhaust shop should be able to make a T fitting from scrap pipe at little or no charge. Make the forge to T rather short (6 inches) and the T to the bottom of the ash dump longer (12 to 16 inches) to hold a reserve of ash. Use 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 or larger exhaust pipe as the smaller sizes tend to clog up.  The side branch of the T can be as long as needed to be convenient and easy to access with an air pipe.  The air pipe from the blower to the T can be 3 inch expandable dryer vent (4 inch is you can not find 3 inch). Easy to crush the ends to wrap around the end of the T.

Use 1 inch thick or standard brick for the table top. Stuff gets heavy so build accordingly. Concrete board used around fireplaces is 1/4 inch or so thick and will work. 11 ga or 1/8 inch plate will work if you can find it. You just do not want thin metal in direct contact with wood if you plan on having much HOT material resting outside the forge. Anything to space the metal from the wood will work. Walk grating is 1 inch thick and when covered with a metal should do fine. Expanded metal will work if you have some flat bar or something under it for air space.  If you cut down the side of a 55 gallon drum and flatten it out, you get a 3 foot wide x 6 foot long sheet of metal. Lots of possibilities. 

Having a foot switch for the electric blower is a good way to save fuel as well as to turn off the air when you step away from the forge. 

Build a second work table. Place anything hot on the forge table. To transfer that piece of metal to the work table, dip it in water and transfer it to you bare hand, and only then put it on the work table. There are no surprises that way and no one can grab a piece of hot metal. This goes for tongs, hammers, and anything on the forge table, into the water, and into the bare hand before it goes to the work table.

A 5 gallon plastic full of water is a great safety feature for the forge. People see the water and do not ask questions. It is good for quenching metal or cooling metal as needed. Put it on a couple of cinder blocks to raise it to a convenient working height. 

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Don't overthink the thing Pasty guy, just put a couple inches of soil between your fire pot and the wood table, put it out when you're done forging and you're golden.

You don't "need" a fire pot either, a "Duck's Nest" works a treat, I've been using one for a long LONG time when I burn coal, charcoal, wood, etc. All you need is an air grate connected to the tuyere. I made one from discarded exhaust pipe. about 12" of 3" dia. for the vertical section. and IIRC 1bout 6" of 2" dia. for the horizontal air supply from the blower. I used a 2" hole saw to make the connection in the vertical about 3" below the air grate.

I welded them but if you use a hack saw you can cut tabs in the end of the 2" supply, bend them out and drill pop rivet them together. It does NOT need to be air tight.

I used a 3" hole saw to make the flange I welded to the top of the 3" vertical. (tabs and pop rivets again. Yes?) This flange pip rivets or self tapping screws connects to the air grate which just lays on the forge table. The air grate is cut from a piece of 1/4" plate IIRC. it's not critical it's a wear item make it easy to replace. My first one had a BUNCH of 3/8" holes I ended up plugging all but maybe 6-7. My next one gets slots instead, they're easier to clean and adjust available size.

The air grate plate with the tuyere fits in a hole I cut in the forge table and the fire brick. (freebies a fellow dropped off from relining a power plant furnace) I covered the entire forge table in fire brick leaving about a 4" x 4" gap over the air grate.

The gap is the "Duck's Nest." even though it's deeper than usual for a duck's nest, it functions just like one. A Duck's nest is a small dip in a rammed earth fire table and you arrange bricks around it to determine size and shape of the fire. One allows YOU to determine the size, shape and depth of fire you need at the time, you can change it while the fire is burning.

The coal forge I use most often is a cast iron Buffalo rivet forge that says "Clay Before using" cast proud in the pan. I tamp hard, about 1-2" of damp earth into the pan leaving a depression down to the air grate and form my fire with fire bricks.

A lid off an old washing machine is plenty of steel for a forge table and even has a little rim to pack damp earth to level.

You really don't even need a hand drill, you can punch holes to pop rivet or screw through with a nail. Lining two sections up attach is a little tricky but not so bad.

This isn't rocket science and doesn't need to be some permanent installation, all you're doing is holding a fire at a convenient height. Yes?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks the for the suggestions and tips frosty and Glenn. I ended up taking the rim and mounting it on a small metal side table, moulded the 'clay' to give it more of a rivet forge look. Instead of a muffler shop I went to Lowe's and got black iron pipe fittings and a flange. Will update with the pictures in a bit, gotta get the galvanization off the flange first.

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here's the pictures

872804430_BURST20190608191819665_COVER(1).thumb.jpg.770f2530fa86475f3d4afb5d52945efd.jpg

BURST20190608191830176_COVER.thumb.jpg.0e8147c38df2aa6d555a1d36f11edd34.jpg 

i know its a little off still working on bending the metal out. 

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5 hours ago, royalpaste said:

gotta get the galvanization off the flange first

Soak it a couple of hours in vinegar. Rinse well with water when your finished.

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Lose the screw on cap as an ash dump they just don't work well and a hot coal can lock them up till you need pipe wrenches to open it. An exhaust flap cap as seen on Semi exhaust stacks is under $10 and clamps on. Buy one that fits the pipe and clamp it on upside down with the counter weight facing where you stand so you can reach under with whatever is in hand and open it.

A flap cap also makes a good relief valve. If unburnt gasses build up in the tuyere they can ignite when you restart the blower and "pop." Occasionally enough can build up to blow burning embers right out of the forge. However, a flap cap just opens and the force goes straight down into the steel bucket you keep under it to catch dumped ash. 

Yes?

Frosty The Lucky.

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