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I Forge Iron

My First Charcoal Forge


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Hello everyone!


I just finished doing the test fire of my charcoal forge. So far it seems to work. Wooden box isnt burning, the bottom of the box isnt heating up at all it seems and it can get a piece of steel to a decent color. 

As for the forge itself it's a 2 foot by 2 foot box about 8 inches deep. Theres a 3/4th inch pipe with 3 1/8th holes drilled to provide air. I plan on getting some firebrick to help make the fire a bit deeper and not as wide. Currently using a shop vac to blow in air with a piece of duct tape over the pipe to try and prevent to much air from getting in. The dirt is about 40ish pounds of clay, 100 pounds of sand, and around 50 pounds of pottery clay. I'm actually surprised the box didnt collapse.

Only problems I'm having is trying to get to welding heat at the moment. I suspect it's not deep enough right now so I'm thinking of narrowing the pit to try and make it so stacking hire requires less charcoal. I also plan on breaking up the charcoal even more, I think the large chunks are disrupting the fuel from insulating heat inside. 

And yes I know I'm not supposed to stick a piece of metal into the fire like that.

Pictures of my test fire. I'll add pictures of what the pot looks like after the fuel burns itself out.


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My forge likes charcoal that's about an inch or inch and a half. It burns up a little quicker but it gets hotter and the sweet spot is a little bigger with the charcoal at this size.  Also try disconnecting the shop vac from the pipe and just aim it at it. Aim it more directly at the pipe for more blast, less directly at the pipe for less blast.


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Alright, after letting it run for a decent amount of time I'm gonna do the following upgrades. I'm gonna put a firebrick at the bottom of the v shaped trench in order to raise the height of the fire, also I'm worried that only 1" of clay isnt enough to stop the wood underneath from becoming charcoal. Then I'll use 2 more to place walls along the edge and make it narrower as well. Basically going to take the trench and turn it into a say... 6x6 pot that's 5 inches deep.

I think what that will do is let me build a nice pile that actually comes above the surface of my box where I can stick metal. Also gonna cut into the pipe and create a metal air restrictor. I may also use some refractory to coat my trench and try to protect it, along with fixing some of the issues from my mix.

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