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I Forge Iron

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I finally started building my forge. After much reading, some kind advice from this forum and a fair amount of tinkering and some testing in a brick pile. I built a burner i was happy with.

It is a  2800F fire brick in a plenum with a Frosty 3/4 T burner for the injector. The brick was drilled with 1/8 holes on a 1/2 inch pattern . 

I started with a 12" air tank 


I posted some pictures ion the burner in the NARB section when i built the test burner. But here are a couple of pictures of the burner.

I plan on having 2 burners and having a removable partition in the center of the forge so i can use one side for small things and open it up if I need to.


IMG_5122 (3).jpg

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In between building the test burner and now Life  as it has a tendency to do , has gotten in the way of what I wanted to be doing so i have been stuck doing ,WORK  to pay those pesky bills ,honey do things to keep the wife happy and a large project. Removing and rebuilding  the 6.0 diesel in our big black school bus (Excursion). I am a hands on type of person and am a fair mechanic so I did all the work myself other than the machine shop work. Parts of that task were harder than Chinese algebra and almost kicked my rear ! ! !    But I was victorious.

One of my test drives was to a friends blacksmith shop were he was kind enough to let a newbie that doesn't even have a forge use his forge  AND  ! ! !  play with his 200# Beaudry mechanical hammer.  He helped me start making a cross pein hammer from a piece of 4" diameter grade 8 bolt  that I had laying around.  YES I said 4". I demolished a large piece of equipment that was held together with 4 bolts 4" diameter by about 20 feet long. I saved several pieces about 10 foot  long. Why ? ?  Why not!

Any way with some things out of the way , that trip re-ignited my forge building plans and sadly also infected me with what I hope is curable   " HAMMER ENVY"

Can any  of the more seasoned smiths tell me if HAMMER ENVY is curable ? or Terminal? 

I know everyone likes pictures so here are some pictures of my build progress. This is the slot in the center for a removable divider between each half. I plan on using a kiln shelf coated with one of the reflective coatings (zicropax?)

The second picture shows the openings for the burners with one framed with 3/4 angle for a flat face to bolt the burner assembly.



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The next picture shows the frame for a shelf at one of the doors along with guides for sliding doors


This one shows the shelf which is some old AP Green hard bricks and the doors which are the air entrapped 2800F bricks.

It also shows the burner assembly siting in the hole


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On 7/20/2019 at 7:30 PM, Old Crew said:

Can any  of the more seasoned smiths tell me if HAMMER ENVY is curable ? or Terminal? 

Not sure I qualify as seasoned, but to the best of my knowledge hammer envy is neither curable nor terminal.  In other words you are far more likely to die still experiencing hammer envy than from hammer envy.

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the partition will slide up and can function as an exhaust by opening it slightly as needed . i plan on being able to use a pin to hold it at the exhaust height or fully open to use both half together for a large forge.

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  • 2 months later...

As is the way life happens , what you want to do and what you can or are are able to accomplish are seldom the same. But you still have to keep trying to move forward when you can!

I have finally been able to do some more work on building my forge. So I figured I would post some pictures for Recommendations , Criticism , Inspiration , Help because I'm a newbie or whatever!  This is a picture of 1 of the burners. This version has 163   1/8 inch holes drilled into a 2800 degree light weight insulating fire brick.


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The slot in the center is for a removable partition made from high alumina kiln shelf the floor is made from the same kiln shelf 

This is one of the doors insulating  fire brick in a tray to side in front of the opening 1779932405_IMG_5537(1).jpg.f0b419fef45bd2929f8773005c572e85.jpg 

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Doors closed with one of the removable burner plenums  installed and the other side of the burner plenum



Both burner boxes in and a picture of the divider. There with be a cap that seals the top of the divider when only one side of the forge is in use to keep the hot exhaust from coming up between the burners. If you want both sides remove the divider and replace the cap. there is a spacer of kiln shelf material that can elevate the divider 3/4 of an inch to provide an exhaust path if you are only using one side of the forge. 



I am a welder and working with steel is in my wheelhouse. I am now moving into uncharted waters with woking with the Kaowool and the castable refractory cement. I am not excited about this part of the build:(

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In response to your question in Dan Rs thread about his 336 FARB   No I haven't fired my burner in my forge yet!  Sadly I am still building my forge. But I am close now unfortunately I am still Skeert of the castable

I am an iron worker/welder  I want the mud to be hard and flat when I get to the job

Wet mud/concrete/castable    YUCK

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Wife was snoring exceptionally loud early this morning. So I had to go to the shop real early to escape the noise ;)

First layer of KaoWool in 


Rigidizing it , you can see the blue coloring in the foreground


Closed it off and let it heat for a while, it appears that the burner is working well, the K2800 brick on the floor was incandescent 

Unfortunately I got a little trigger happy with the spray bottle and used more than half of my colloidal silica on the first layer. Do you think it will matter if layer 2 only gets a light coat of ridgidizer since it will be covered with castable? Or will the Kaowool be to soft to easily work the castable?


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