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Hello all, I am new to the community and anxious to dive right into some basic metalwork. However, I need a forge first. 

I've played around with plenty of firepits and hair dryers before, but i'm looking to really get going with a proper forge setup. 

I live in the country so space and fuel type are quite flexible. My only real constraint is that I want it to be capable of forge welding low carbon steels and maybe even pure iron for when my skills hopefully reach that point. To my knowledge that requires a temperature of around 2700° F. 

Do you fine folks think I should build one, or buy one? And with what type of fuel source and/or blower? Thank you in advance from this humble beginner.

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If I had no restrictions on size and the funds I would buy a water cooled side blast forge. If money is an issue I would recommend these links. I have forge welded in my charcoal fueled jabod. https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/44842-just-a-box-of-dirt-or-a-simple-side-blast-forge/

If you have to have a fabricated forge you can build one of these in a couple hours and start forging while you're designing a fabbed up forge. You might find you don't need anything more than a jabod though. I've used one for around a year and been completely happy with it's performance. 

Welcome aboard be safe and remember it's supposed to be fun.

Pnut

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You know I believe you have an excellent point. I should make something similar to this first to find out what I like and hone my skills. 

I was told that the blacksmithing community was second to none and I've not been disappointed. Thank you for such a detailed reply.

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Welcome aboard Firebug27. I always suggest this thread to help you get the best out of the forum.  READ THIS FIRST

Like pnut said a JOBOD forge will get to welding temperature with any fuel wood, lump charcoal (not BBQ briquets), coal, coke, peat, cow chips or what have you. Not knowing where in the world you are located it's hard to recommend a particular fuel, hence the suggestion to edit your profile to show location. A well constructed propane forge will also reach welding heat. We have both types of forges and use each depending upon what we are making, my wife likes propane and I like coal. As far as type of blower, I like a hand crank blower (have 3 Champion blowers) because they are more economical in fuel consumption, other folks prefer electric blowers but are tied to a power source.

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I couldn't find the location option but I did see that suggestion in a new user thread, I live in Appalachia so all forms of fuel are quite readily available and I in fact used to work at a coal mine so that part shouldn't be an issue. Would you recommend an electric blower on a JABOD forge?

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When I first built my jabod I used an AC matress inflator from Walmart. I then bought a hand pumped mattress inflator. They both worked but if you forget to turn off the electric pump it burns up fuel for no reason and it also burns steel easier. I got a buffalo hand cranked blower and I love it. I use charcoal so it only takes about six turns a minute to forge and eight or nine to weld and like IDF&C said it burns less fuel and makes it hard to burn up your work. 

Pnut

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Hopefully the location shows now I think I found it with your help. I never would have imagined a hand cranked machine would give that kind of output but I will go buy one asap.

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I missed the editing time window, but I should have said a hand cranked blower makes it hardER to burn up your work. This is the buffco blower before I cleaned it up, and there's a picture of the double action mattress pump in the MarkIII jabod thread. The buffalo blower will blow the charcoal right out of the firepot if I crank it too fast. 

 

PnutIMG_20191024_033751.thumb.jpg.0e582b478d50261d3a93976a42fa4c0e.jpg

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I had the makings for one of those but didn't get a chance to put it together before the fun police ruined my day. :angry:

Pnut

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Maybe. The fun police in my neighborhood has their HQ right next door to me. I don't know who they are where you live. Maybe the HOA? Maybe the people across the street? They could be anyone, anywhere, and show up at anytime. All it takes is someone enjoying themselves a little too much and they're liable to make an appearance. Hopefully your parade will be rain free. 

Pnut

I'm just fooling around. The neighbors complained about me forging so the landlord told me I have to quit for a while. It was actually a dispute between my landlord and the neighbor. I was collateral damage or just a convenient reason for the neighbors to complain to the county. You shouldn't have any problems if you don't violate any ordinances or HOA rules. 

I thought this was a thread titled starting a home forge. I had the two confused. :rolleyes:

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There's no HOA here in my part of kentucky, we shoot ak's on new years. We'd welcome you with open arms.

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I thought I was posting to a thread about forging in town. I was confused. I'm in Grant County. It's about 40 miles north of Louisville. Let me know if you get up this way. I got some family in Perry Letcher and Pike counties. I get down there every so often. 

Pnut

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Oh nice, I work in lexington but will be building this forge in campton, good to know there are close smiths.

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4 minutes ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

"I don't like it so you can't do it" 

I'm pretty sure that's the motto on their badges. It's in Latin in some jurisdictions though. Depends on where you're at.

Pnut

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When I was living in the old section of Columbus Ohio and trying to forge I had two neighbors comment on it.  One was retired and grew up in Pittsburgh PA and said the coal smoke reminded her of her childhood as they had a coal furnace to heat their house.  The other never talked to me about it and just called the fire department on me multiple times.  By shear luck all 4 times the fire department wedged their pumper down the narrow alley I was actually using my smoker to cook food---an allowed use of fire in the city ordinances and not my forge. (I was told on the side that they were informed that the next time they called in a false alarm they would be fined US$1200.)  A student of mine was shut down by the city---told that he had to buy a "burning permit" each and every time he fired his forge up and it had to be done 10 days ahead of time and cost $25 a time.   He ended up moving.

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I have it real good where I'm at. We don't complain about what the neighbors do and they don't complain about us. You can hear gunfire all over the place, including us. 

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We pay no attention to the gunfire and very little to the explosions, (EMRTC Energetic Materials Research and Training Center has several blast pads between us and the mountains.)

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My one neighbor inquired and then asked if i could show him what i knew. I started then he moved away. My other neighbor is just afraid her son is going to pester me to death, he is 8, i told her he did not bother me but you know how mothers are. She also gave me an old porch railing, seems like stainless and a good 50' of 1/2" square bar in 3' pieces.  I have found a gift or 2 to the neighbors help them not notice the coal smoke as much to. 

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Stainless railing would be a rare thing indeed!  Are you sure it's not a electrically plated item?    If he doesn't bother you I would set up a "Safe Place" for him to watch from and require that he not move from there while hot steel is in play.  (And get buy-in from a parental unit that he can observe from there.)

Back when I lived in the inner city; my forge was in a decrepit 1920's detached garage.  I  taught the head of the local kid's gang some smithing and with written parental permission some of the basics of knifemaking.   I don't know that he ever finished that first knife; but I had no more vandalism or theft issues the rest of our stay there!

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My nephew, who will turn 7 tomorrow, has a barstool chair that I put him in so he can watch at a safe distance. He loves tools and loves working with them. Maybe I can teach a little soon 

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