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I Forge Iron

First time forge build


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Hi, new to the forum and new to blacksmithing. I’ve been handed down my great grandfathers anvil and want to start working at learning how to make knives and other things like he used to. I also have three sons so my goal is to make each of them their first hunting knife (they are young so got some time for the learning curve).  My buddy has given me a piece of pipe 14” x 24” and have cut a potential 2” door already and have two 14” plates for both the end of the forge and the door. I also have 3 sections of 1 3/4” pipe to use to insert burners into. My question is do you think this pipe is to large and should be cut down for 3 burners? I was thinking of trying do a homemade refractory cement using a 8” form and then use k-wool and fire brick for the bottom. I want to make sure I can get to welding temps and don’t want to screw it up. I have a welding cart I got with a oxygen tank I was gong to use as the stand for it. 

So guess to summarize 

1) should I cut down pipe to allow for correct welding temps with 3 burners?

2) Should I even bother will the door or just leave the front open and use the second 14” plate welded to the front with the opening cut out?

Excuse the long post I am still researching a lot as this is new to me and want to make sure I do it right the first time. Any advice you have on what I should or should not do is greatly appreciated. 






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Thanks yes I have been reading a bunch on here and found both of those threads after posting this. I will probably use this to maybe post my progress as I slowly go through the process of making this forge. Glad I found this forum has tons of useful information 

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Well I've been using a forge 14" long for several decades now and have to ask you: what is it that you plan to forge a lot of to be willing to pay all that money on wasted fuel when you are doing other things?  Shoot viking era swords were forged in forges with only around a 6" hot spot!

Fuel expense will quickly exceed the expense of building another forge when you need a bigger one!

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Thomas Powers you are probably right. I have a tendency to go overboard on building stuff. I just was thinking if I had a larger forge with 3 burners I could run 1, 2, or all three if ever needed. But you are right I plan to do mostly small items at first which would not require a 20” chamber. Granted I do plan to heavily line the large pipe to make the actual volume less and hopefully be more efficient. I did start welding the plates on tonight but can always cut the pipe smaller before I begin lining it. I will definitely take your advice in consideration and maybe cut down to 14” and then I can drop from 3 burners. 


This thread explains the use of the @tag.Using the @ name on the forum

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I usually use the analogy that building a LARGE forge because you might need it in the future is like buying a dumptruck as your daily driver because sometime in the future you might want to get a load of gravel.  Forges are cheap; you may push more $$ in gas through one in a year than it cost to build it.  (If you are a scrounger that might hold true for a long weekend!)

I also compare forges to a car you get to learn to drive on: get a beater till you get good and know what you want/need from experience!

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