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Charcoal forge fire tools

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One of the things that has drawn me to backsmithing like it did to clay work was folks make their own tools. Blacksmithing seems particularly fond of tools to make tools idea. I know that I have quite a few tools I will need to make for myself and have decided that I might as well start with the forge fire tools before I attempt, punches, cuttoffs, tongs and so on.

My forge is a JABOD made from a steel tire (17 inches in diameter) fired with charcoal. The firepot is 4 inches wide, ~5 inches deep, and 8 inches long at the hearth surface. The four-inch ends slope down towards the 3/4 inch tuyere.

My make list is as follows:

  • poker
  • rake
  • shovel or scoop

If anyone has other suggestions or ideas about how I should design these fire tools, please let me know. I'll spend a few days looking at pics of exemplars for each of these before I sketch something up. I know I will have questions then.

I fired the forge for the first time today and I didn't want the charcoal to burn itself out so I grabbed an old piece of leafspring and raked the coals up and out onto the hearth to cool. I'm thinking I will need to be sure any tool design works for my set up. For example, a rake that will help me shut down the forge.

Austin has more than one steel supplier, and I will be making a trip to buy clean stock and some drops. Really looking forward to that.

Thanks for the help y'all. Gracias

T in J TX

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Coal/coke generally goes out when raked out; charcoal generally burns till nothing is left.  If you want to put out charcoal you need to smother or douse.   One tool I made that I like for my charcoal forge is a shaker shovel used to transfer hot coals from a wood fire to my charcoal forge.  It's made from rock shaker screen bent up to form the shovel with a handle attached.  To use you go to a fire burning down into coals and scoop up a bunch of hot coals and give them a shake so that any ash or too small coals drop out and then dump the good stuff into your forge.

I like to have separate forge and fuel fires so I get less smoke and heat on me while I am working at the forge---it also allows for marshmallow and hot dog roasters to make use of the fuel fire and not get in my way.

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One I find handy is a sprinkling can with handle to control the edges and put out the fire, like this one. easy to make with a tin can too. Thought I had a picture of mine but can't find it so I'll take one tomorrow.:)

Found a thread about them. Mine is in there and has holes punched in the bottom for sprinkling.



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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/27/2020 at 9:41 PM, Irondragon ForgeClay Works said:

One I find handy is a sprinkling can with handle to control the edges and put out the fire, like this one. easy to make with a tin can too.

Thanks irondragon. So far I have not needed to sprinkle my charcoal forge. The fire is very contained with the narrow Firefox, but I will need one for cooling steel for twists etc. I'll check out options.

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Wirerabbit, here is the forge shovel I use. I have a large one and a small one .


Since you're using charcoal you may want yours to be less pointy and perhaps wider, since you'll be scooping ash rather than clinker, but this works well for me. They hang from a hook welded to the frame of my forge next to my tongs.  Best way to make a tool for your particular setup is to make a few of them, and tweak your design along the way, it's okay to have a few of everything. Think about your space and how they fit into it. The easier it is for you to put your tools "where they belong", the more likely you are to find it when you need it.


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