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Hello! I'm looking to build a forge and was thinking a Jabod forge looks perfect for what I need (cheap, easily constructed). Problem is, I'd been planning on using a wood forge, all the post I've looked at are for coal or charcoal Jabod's. I was wondering if anyone has tried to make a Jabod wood forge before? Would I just need to make extra space behind the fire pit for the wood fire and then pull the charcoal forward into the fire pit as it's made? Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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You could have it as a single unit and have a sort of heat shield made of sheet metal but leave the lower part open to rake the hot coals over as you mention. You may want to make the "box" part out of metal so it doesnt burn from having the larger fire. Technically a forge is just a fire raised to a convenient height, and air added to obtain the heat needed.  

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I drew up a few ideas so you guys could get a better idea of what I was thinking. I incorporated Daswulf's idea of having a heat shield, although I think bricks might be a better option since they'd be more easily adjustable. Let me know what you all think, all the measurements are approximate and can be adjusted. 

 

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Yes, I was thinking a side blast, that's what I've read is most effective for charcoal. 

I haven't figured out what my air source will be yet, preferably something that I can moderate the airflow on. Any recommendations would be great. As for the pipe size, I was thinking 3/4" or something around there. 

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Extended (taller) walls on the forge could pre-burn wood, to charcoal to fuel the forge. 

This is done separately from the forge now in a retort. 

 

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Side blast and around 3/4" pipe sounds good for a side blast charcoal forge. (Which is what you are making essentially.) 

The main parts will be the separation of the box for wood burning to make the coals/charcoal an the forge itself and how the coals get from the wood burning to the forge. I have some ideas about how a forge like this might work but it is really something I would prefer to do separately. 

In my idea for it you would have to stack the shielding brick bait high. In your plans is it just a single stack or it it a certain height? 

 

As far as a blower a simple bellows, rotary blower or a hair drier could work fine. 

 

You'd want more space for the actual wood fire so you get more burn and more coals. I wont lie and say it seems easier to have a retort and make charcoal or to transfer from a fire. Anyway it can be done as you are hoping. Just the efficiency depends on the design. 

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Simple solution. Build a typical jabod with a fire pit next to it and transfer the coals. 

You will have to build a woodburning jabod substantially deeper so the wood will have time to turn to coals. Basically a normal jabod with a couple bricks stacked on either side of the trench should work. I would suggest breaking the wood up fairly small too but like Das said a retort would probably be better. That way you're using two proven designs for what I'm assuming is your first forge. This way you won't have as many variables. Later when you get a good idea of what a forge Fire requires to burn and heat steel efficiently then the fun of experimenting will be much more productive. 

Pnut

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I prefer to not burn steel in my forge(s)!  While having the wood fire right by you may seem like a good idea in January, in August the extra heat and smoke will not be your friend.  I have a raised firepit I can burn wood in and move around so that it is down wind of the forge and anvil.  I built a shovel to transfer coals "from the pit to the pot". It's made from rock shaker screen and so I scoop up a heap; shake it good so any ash and small bits stay in the firepit and dump it in my firepot.

Bellows are actually easy and cheap to build---you don't need to use leather!  A "double Lung" bellows was pretty much the blacksmith standard for the last couple of centuries.

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Thanks for the input everyone!

I wasn't planning on building right away (hard to dig in January) so I'll put some more thought into what I want. I'm also gonna have to check some city ordinances to see what's actually possible for me in city limits. 

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