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I Forge Iron

So I need to build a forge-

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First, I want to welcome you to “I Forge Iron”
And, I also welcome the questions you have, just as well as I know the other members will.
I can only imagine the dilemma a new blacksmith has to deal with while trying to grasp all of the information that is now available.
Although I realize that for a person who is just getting started in the craft that it must seem kind of overwhelming.
But right now is a good time for you (to take the time) to invest in reading everything you can about the craft. It will pay off in the long run.
I feel qualified to suggest that to you because I have been at it for over 50 years, and I still ask questions so I can improve on my skills. I have come to believe that this is the best place for me to ask questions.

Over time, I have found that sometimes to get a useful answer to a question; it often pays to take the time and effort to carefully structure your question to meet your needs.
So here is only an example of what I mean about asking questions to your self or others.
I would suggest that you consider a few factors (questions) you may need answers too, that may help you determine what type of forge you may decide to buy or build.
1. How much money and time are you willing to spend?
2. What is your welding & mechanical building skill level?
3. What resources (tools and equipment) do you have to build a forge with?
4. Do you live in an area (consider local ordinances) that will allow you to burn a gas, coal,
coke, or charcoal?
5. If yes, do you have a physical area set aside that is safe to use a forge?
6. If so what type?
To answer this question, you will need to continue to evaluate other factors such as, but not limited to the following considerations.
7. In your area, what type of fuel is readily available to you that you can afford to buy and legally use to burn?
a. Natural gas, b. Propane gas, c. Coal, d. Coke, e. Charcoal or f. Other?
8. Would it be more economical to buy a forge?

These are only a few very important considerations to ponder while you determine what type of forge to build.

I would suggest that you take the time and energy to read as much as you can about the types of forges and the different designs that are available. Then consider the pros and cons that are right for your particular situation.

I would also contact the North Carolina Chapter of ABANA and get involved with them.
Check out some of their forges first hand, then let that experience help you make your decision about the type of forge that would work best for you, and other tools you may need.
I wish you the best at what ever you do!
Ted Throckmorton

Edited by Ted T
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Hi Kale,

You might want to make a regular habit of checking eBay and Craigslist. Sometimes you can get lucky. Folks on eBay regularly sell blowers and forges, as well as other blacksmithing stuff. Indeed, there is a whole category dedicated for it.

Most DIY forges, but not all, will require welding. If you, or a buddy, can handle that, you should have no prob. Just start collecting steel. I made my forges from 1/4" plate for the table, angle iron edges and pipe for the legs. I welded up fire pots from 1/2" plate. I'm hoping to finish a fire pot out of 1/4" soon for a lighter more portable one for fairs and festival demos.

All the best, Phil

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All you need to get started is something to hold the fire with (that won't burn) and something to blow air in with (and a valve if using an electric blower) the link is where I got the idea for one of my forges, changed it around a little by using a refractory that was 3 parts sand to one part portland cement plus enough water to make it mix well and made a bowl out of that instead of firebrick, as well i use an air opening that has 3 long slits in it instead of little holes. might wanna make the air opening separate than the bottom piece of sheet steel cause I burn through them pretty fast but its worked out pretty well.
The Celtic Knot - Building A Bellows Fed Portable Forge. I use charcoal but it works on the same principle.
I'll get pictures of an air valve thats really easy to make up today or tomorrow

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