MaxwellB

My coal forge attempt

Recommended Posts

Been grabbing odds and ends for it for a little while, now that things have slowed down at work. Finally got around to piecing it together over the weekend, and gave it it's first firing tonight.

qETm5Cn.jpg

Little fire as I didn't want to put too much fuel in there and be out in the driveway all night. I'll definitely have to redo the hair dryer/blower setup, and hopefully I'll be able to produce a big enough fireball where I'll be able to lay stock across the top of the rotor. It was just a handful of TSC anthracite on top of a couple charcoal briquette starters. Tossed a spare rivet in there to see if I could get it really toasty.

All in all, I think it's a success. A larger blower on there, and the other drum I've got cut down to be a "cap" around the top, and I think we'll be in business. I'm down for any feedback too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember there needs to be a MOUND of coal with the piece stuck horizontally in through the hot spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TP - That's the idea. I just did that little bit last night to make sure that everything would be good to go for building the big fire. 

I might build the big one tonight. If not tonight, then definitely tomorrow. I just need to think of a better way of mounting the hair dryer until I get a proper blower on there. And I've gotta cut an access panel in the side of that drum so I can slide the ash bucket in and out much easier. 

Hopefully I'll have something bigger to contribute to the forums in the next few days. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, MaxwellB said:

I just need to think of a better way of mounting the hair dryer until I get a proper blower on there.

Have you seen the junction box that Jasent used? It's a junction box for electrical conduit with the dryer mounted to it and the access panel used as a dump gate to control the air flow. It looks like the best improvised solution I've seen so far. I can't post a link without my browser shutting down but you can find a picture of it in the Members Projects forum on the first page of the thread titled Jasents smithing progression. 

Pnut

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did. And I did steal that. It's just tricky trying to get the hair dryer to stay put. I'm thinking chewing gum, shoe strings, bungee cords, and a few liberally applied rolls of duct tape would work well!

I just need to work out a different way to fasten the hair dryer to everything. I'll probably end up getting a reducer bushing for one side just to make sure it's all tight going towards the forge, and for the hair dryer side probably straps of some sort. I've got some spare spools of wire that I might use. I haven't thought that far yet, but since I'm off work for the next few days I'll be tinkering much more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a piece of rubber hose that slides over the end of the ball valve and push the hose from my pump into that. Maybe you could adapt that to your forge with a hose clamp or two for strength.

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Short section of inner tube from an appropriately sized tire with a hose clamp on either end?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do believe that will do it. I use a piece of hose from a residential washing machine drain but what  I'm coupling together is much smaller than a hair dryer. 

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So a bit of an update on this... I built a bigger fire in the pot today, enough to see if I could successfully heat a piece of steel laying across the rim of the rotor. I cut a chunk off a coil spring I have and heated it a little lower than the rim to straighten it out, then laid it across the rim to test.

And I have to say, it was a success. So I think I just need to make the attachments of the hair dryer to the pipe more permanent than they are, add the "cap" that'll be cut from another drum, and I'll be in business. Probably should cut an access in the side as well to get to the ash dump now that I'm thinking about it... Hrm.

My rotor firepot, "clayed" with leftover Greenpatch:

20191129_150805.thumb.jpg.fb0765e472c23e8a8f0dc5f0c9078958.jpg

A shot of the "bigger" fire, heating up the mild steel that'd become my quickie coal rake:

20191129_161335.thumb.jpg.4f5d617cdca68df4bfa67d2f34840e1c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So why not build a fence around the rotor?  Take a piece of fairly thin sheet metal---perhaps 18 gauge and 6" wide and bend it around the rotor. cut it so it overlaps an inch or so, lay out flat  and then cut out a good sized opening where the top of the rotor will be  and several inches higher.  On the opposite side cut out a mousehole  with the base just above the rotor---I'd use a chisel to do the cuts and file smooth. 

Then bend it back around and fasten so it fits snugly around the rotor. (rivet, pop rivet, weld, screw, bolt,  etc)

Now you can pile up the fire higher without a lot spilling out and you can remove it when you need to stick large items over the firepot. I used to use one when I did billet welding in my brake drum forge, except that mine just slid inside and fit with spring tension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2019 at 2:29 PM, MaxwellB said:

And I've gotta cut an access panel in the side of that drum so I can slide the ash bucket in and out much easier. 

Does your ash dump have a cap of some sort or is it open with a bucket under it?  Without a cap it will act like a waste gate for the air supply which shouldn't be a problem using anthracite and a hair dryer but might not be as good for bituminous. 

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a cap on it. I've been looking at the different types of dump gates and things like that for making it fancy, but for now the cap works fine.

Thomas - I was going to use the cannibalized piece of the other drum as a coal fence/chimney/heat shield combo. Something where I can satisfy keeping coal on top, something to keep heat from going out every which way (which I would assume make things more efficient?), and put a chimney of some sort on there to vent what little smoke I get from adding fresh coal to things since it's wet down to keep dust low.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a drum cut off for me today. It was sitting in a yard by the trash for about a week so I asked about it and he gave it to me. He even offered to cut it off. The guy nearly gave me a nervous breakdown the way he was using the angle grinder. I couldn't stop him after he got going though, I tried to tell him I could take care of it when I got home and I didn't want to inconvenience him, but he wasn't having it. He made a mess of the cut but at least he didn't hurt himself even though he seemed dead set on it.

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait... You mean we're NOT supposed to cut drums by standing on top of them and making like we're in a log-rolling competition? Well I'll be... Learn something new every day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cutting into any closed container can be dangerous.  Sparks and the leftover contents may not play well with each other. 

Ask about a 55 gallon drum (clearly marked with 10-30 oil and new paint) behind a mechanics shop and got permission to put it in the truck.  Noticed the head of the drum was hooved a bit, and opened the bung.  The release of pressure and the smell of fuel was overwhelming.   Left the bung off and ask him what was in the drum.  He said they used it to take racing fuel to the race track last weekend.  Left the drum where it was and moved on. 

NEVER guess that the label represents the actual contents.  Now I look for drums that contained antifreeze, wind shield fluid, etc and always test a small sample poured from the drum.  Dust, rust, gas explosions are not to be messed with.  If you are lucky, your neighbor, friend. or police, will tell you that was an impressive and window shattering explosion when ( if ) you wake up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to get mine where the previous contents was tomato paste---smooth sides and CLEAN.  Never use a cutting torch to cut a sealed drum as the cutting torch will fill it with explosive vapors while being used!!!  No Joke numerous fatalities from this!

I bought my first house from the widow of a man who accidentally killed himself working on it. I would greatly prefer NOT to be in that situation ever again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My drums all have removable tops, and contained foodstuffs. Two of them are burn barrels, and the paint burning off the outside while I've got a load of branches and stuff on the inside made pretty sparkles. The insides are all clean as a whistle, so I'm thinking they were either pre-washed before sold, or held stuff in bags or dry goods. There's no staining, no stickiness, no nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Glenn said:

Cutting into any closed container can be dangerous.  Sparks and the leftover contents may not play well with each other

This was an old rusty burn barrel that half  was already burned off and both ends were open. No chance of fire. It's a metal hoop now that got cut about eight inches down on the end that was still intact and not rusted or burned through. I have a couple plastic ones but don't want to bump a piece of hot steel against it so when I noticed the old steel one being thrown out I spied the new container for my next jabod. Now just have to fill it up and cut the legs down on the steel prep table I also rescued from the garbage. 

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.