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My First JABOD - Seeking Advice (Ballast Lighting Fixture for box)


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Greetings all,

I've been reading for some time and feel the JABOD is the path to introduce a coal forge into my shop.

I am familiar with many designs, and have several materials available for use.

An atypical item I think could potentially make a great JABOD box is an old steel ballast lighting troffer (4'x2') I have from re-wiring my kitchen. My apprehension is that this material may be too thin and warp under heat, even with the dirt in the box.

What do you think? Would reinforce sides via a standard wood 'frame' (likely using pallet wood)

If you were going to create a JABOD for a home forge, would this work or should I seek to employ a traditional build from forum?

Fixture example below; plastic screen and all wiring removed.

Thanks in advance.

ballas.PNG

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Welcome aboard mattassmith, glad to have you. If you put your general location in the header you'll find out how many members live within visiting distance.

It wouldn't be my first choice but what do you have to lose giving it a try? A couple inches of dirt should disperse heat well enough to prevent warping. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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It should work until the day it rusts out.

When that might be depends on your local conditions, how you store it, and whether you add water to it. 

Better to get started now and find a replacement in a few years/decades once it is beyond use. ;)

Seriously, the only issue I've had with thin metal for a JABOD is warping it from the weight of dirt/bricks. As long as you brace it well (possibly underneath as well as the sides), I wouldn't anticipate any problems. 

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Ash is a good insulator.  A couple of inches of ash should work.  

It is too long and too wide to be used as is.  Restrict the area (size) as needed. Try it and see how it works, while you look for a better set up. 

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The dirt should insulate it well enough to prevent any warping. Truthfully the box can be anything. 

 You could even skip the box and just put a couple inches of dirt on a flat surface with a mound on either side with the tuyere in one. 

 Good luck, be safe, and remember it's supposed to be fun. 

Pnut

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58 minutes ago, pnut said:

You could even skip the box and just put a couple inches of dirt on a flat surface with a mound on either side with the tuyere in one. 

Even though I knew this, I've been looking straight through it. You just helped me visualize a solution to the problem I imagined for myself for my next JABOD (Rev. 1 just rotted out). 

To paraphrase Glenn, "If you don't make the JABOD, then you don't have to think outside of it." 

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On 7/7/2020 at 9:42 AM, Chris Williams said:

Even though I knew this, I've been looking straight through it. You just helped me visualize a solution to the problem I imagined for myself for my next JABOD (Rev. 1 just rotted out). 

To paraphrase Glenn, "If you don't make the JABOD, then you don't have to think outside of it." 

I don't think it would last very long without a cover but yeah it's almost so basic it's easy to overlook how complex or simple the jabod concept can be. 

 My first jabod lasted about a year before the press board night stand it was made from swelled and rotted away. 

 I've recently built a Mark III type jabod with dry litter and bricks and I like the way it's performing so far. I haven't had a chance to use it much. I was sick for a while and now the heat is just too much. I'm going to put it through it's paces fully before too long hopefully, as I haven't tried to weld in it yet. The trench style jabod would get hot enough so I don't see why the Mark III type wouldn't. I am worried about how the bricks will handle welding heat. They'll need replacing after methinks. 

Pnut

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As Glenn and others have said repeatably , a forge is a hole in the ground with an air source. We just put it in a box to raise it up. So now we have a box of dirt, or a hearth. I like 30x60” hearths, but 18” work as well. So if you think of your Flores’s this light housing as a box to contain your dirt to make your hearth your ok. 

One you have your hearth, dig the hole for the forge, dig the trench for the air, build the Mounds to bank fuel above the hearth (not as nesisary for coal) and your off to the races. To be honest a cheap mechanics tool cart with the tray lowered to anvil height would work great. 

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