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New coal forge on the rise


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I know there are other similar threads of this but im just checking with
the pros if i missed something..

It will be a semi-portable side draft coal forge. The table surface
is 2 feet by 4 feet. The frame is 1by3,1/4 inch u shape angle iron, the
table surface is 1/4 inch cast iron, legs are around 1 inch solid steel.
I want the heart of the fire to be even with the table surface so
il make the fire pot small ,6-8 inch round by 3-4 inches deep, 1/4 inch thick.
Fire pot will be welded to the table. All my parts are cut and ready to
be welded, exept the fire pot.

I like frostys idea of making a birds nest? with loose bricks so he can
make the fire big or smaller with each job.

For the draft i was gonna use black 12 inch stove pipe. It would go strait
up from the forge table through the roof. I was thinking of just cuting
a hole in the stove pipe and hope it draws good? I can weld a box roughly
1 1/2 times the size of the chimney for less pressure and more draw. The fire
bricks i have are rated to 2000 degrees, are those going to stand up
to the test? They would line the inside of the chimney and maybe the
table surface.

The hand crank blower is ( smallish) but all i got for now. Its a rivet type portable forge. On the the case reads > Can blower&forge co,Kitchener ont<
Also are the numbers, c225 and c 113. Inside pipe diameter is 1 1/2 inch.
Only concern i have with this blower is that it might not get hot enough
to make damascus, or even weld at all! Note im just using the blower,original
stand and stamped firepot are simply not adequate.

What do you guys think?:)

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Same principle exept his has bigger table and looks much lighter. I
will not move mine around . His firepot is in the middle for outdoor use
so mine will be offset to one side . I was going to put a lip on
the edge, 1 inch maybe to keep the coal form dropping but i am not now as
its not recomended.

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There's no good reason to use heavy plate for a forge table unless you're planning on heating really heavy stock. Find an old washing machine, drier, fridge, etc. and pull a side. Build it a frame with a couple reinforcing stretchers under the table and cut a hole to receive a brake drum to the lip. Then pack the table with clay to the brake drum's lip, plumb the air blast and go to work.

Oh yeah, put some legs on it, 4" x 4" and a little cross bracing will do nicely, just drill through the table and screw them on, drill and screw through the cross bracing at the top too.

Now, what in the world to do with the rest of the appliance body? Hmmm. Build a side draft hood? Maybe a nice coal bunker? Shelves? . . . ?

Traditionally (IF you're into that, I'm not particularly) a good blacksmith did NOT build things heavier than necessary, ESPECIALLY out of iron or steel, it was just too expensive.


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After some cutting and welding im almost done. I made everything bolt
on except the legs for ease of repair or what not. Im going to test fire
it later today:o

Keep us posted on how it works for you. I am interested to see how it goes for you. I will have to get some pictures of my forge on here sometime soon. I built everything for it except the blower really. Even the chimney for it.
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I will post some pics asap ( need to borrow my brothers camerra lol )

Il let u guys know how it goes, i never heard of a prototype that didnt
need some kind of tunning. Ok well maybe its not a prototype because
i must of stopped work in the shop to check IFI like 50 times to get
some answers and ideas .

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Got it running:D I brought a 1 inch piece to welding heat. I just made
a cutout in the chimney but it only drew half the smoke, it was windy and it
was only 5 feet tall. Its funny because the flame only rose 2-3 inches and
went to the flue sidways finally twisting up the chimney.

The brake drum i used is not lined with anything and got red hot, is this

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the whole pot was red and 2 inch bellow the table. Il need to
pack wet coal around the pot and controll the fire better because
the fire was bigger that the pot, il see what happens .
I think i was loosing air on the side of the drum were the break pads
are sanwiched together with cross ribs and there is a bunch of holes
around the lip of the pot, i hope u understand lol

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I am a bit confused, did you use a brake rotor instead of a drum? The one I built is larger than most factory cast pots. The first one I made was 4 1/2 inches deep and the one I have in the forge now is only 2 1/2 inches deep. Neither of them I had trouble with getting red hot and I have had some very large fires in them. Both of them are large, 13" square but with sloped sides down to the air inlet. I have never had to wet my coal either. With your pot having straight sides may be where the problem is coming from.

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Dang it lol , I may have used a brake rotor. Its 6 inch wide and 2.5
inch deep. I too think the strait sides dont help any. I saw
an old post were glenn describes the pot i used and he sayd those
horizontal holes between the brake pads might act as oxygen carriers
to delliver oxygen around the sides of the pot which i think the pot got
so hot.

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Hmmm, I am not sure if that would cause the problem for sure, those actually should not let any more air into the fire. They should dead end at the center where your fire is. If anything I think that those should have a cooling effect on the, what now is the flat face of it around where the fire actually is. I am fairly sure though that the thickness in the area where your fire would be is not really that thick, like 1/4" perhaps. I was going to use one too when I was first planning of making my forge, but then decided against it and made a more conventional looking pot. I am not sure what tools you have available there, like cutting torch, welder, perhaps a plasma cutter. But if you do have some of those things or can get access to them I would build one. I think you might be glad you did. I guess it depends on how much you are going to use your forge too. I don't really think it would make very much difference if you swapped it out for a drum instead, because the both have basically the same characteristics which is mainly the vertical sides. To gain any amount in thickness you would be getting into a pretty large drum, and then you would have the problem of having the neutral flame to low for longer stock possibly that has to stick straight across the fire pot. Furthermore the straight sides will make it a pain in the *** to clean your fire. Also if you are on a tight budget for this, what you have there the price was right. I hope I didn't confuse the issue on you.

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I saw an old post were glenn describes the pot i used and he sayd those horizontal holes between the brake pads might act as oxygen carriers to delliver oxygen around the sides of the pot which i think the pot got so hot.
Let me correct a couple of things, I do not recall ever suggesting that the holes would enhance the oxygen delivery to the fire.

I have used brake rotors both single disk and double disk that have the holes between the two disks. The first time I used the double disk I found you MUST somehow plug the holes between the two disks as the fire would exit through these holes rather than on up and through the fuel. This gets the disk, table, and support structure REAL HOT and when smoke comes out the holes, makes a nasty work environment.

Plugging the holes can be as simple as getting a single disk rotor, or on a double disk, packing the holes with clay mud, bending a piece of 1/4 inch rod to weld into place around the inside of the rotor, or bending a piece of 1/4 x 3/4 or 1 inch flat bar and welding the ring to the inside of the rotor to extend the depth of the fire pot a bit.

Why over complicate simple? Build the forge table, cut a hole the appropriate size for the single disk rotor and drop it into place. It is easy, simple and works. It also has the advantage of using the disk to protect the table top from the heat of the fire.

Brake rotors may be shallow for your purposes so you may want to consider the same procedure with a brake drum that has a lip on the edge.

As there is no one perfect set up, or perfect size fire, adjust as needed to make things the way you like them to work. For a deeper fire, use brick to build up the fire pot. Either 1 inch or 2 inch bricks or 2 inch bricks turned on the 4 inch edge will give you all sorts of choices. You do not have to make a circle of bricks, but can shape them so ( ) in order to pass long stock through the fire.

Attached is a photo taken during one of the modifications I made to my forge in order to get a particular shape fire for a project. The single disk rotor is on top of the forge table, and shows the start of the modification. When the project was finished, I removed the modification and returned to the original set up as it was better suited for my general work.

Do not get hung up on the one forge does it all syndrome. People have accepted the solid fuel / gas fuel two forge blacksmith shop, so why not a blacksmith shop with 2 (or even more) solid fuel forges of different designs, different size fires, or different shaped fires? You will find 3 solid fuel forges close to my anvil, the forge that is used depends on the kind of heat needed for the project at hand. And each forge can be, and is modified as needed for a particular project.

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Ok that makes sence, Im going to plug those holes. Im looking
for a general purpose forge to learn on. All my cuting
is done with an angle grinder and i weld with a 110 volt mig that
has .35 flux core wire. Also it didnt draft well because i made the flue
hole big.

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Awsome cant wait to see em, Mine is on hold as i got the "flue":( last couple days.

Dont worry glenn , i didnt rule out the 55 forge, Its just i put a lot of time
in this one and i want to see it work. Also i thought the 55 couldnt
be outfited with a side draft, am i wrong? I built my shop just for my forge
but its 12 by 12 so 3 forges would be alot, maybe i could have two eventually.

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Thanks for the pics:D:D .These are going to help me alot. I like your
fire pot and i will build one similar at some point, maybe in a few weeks
if if brake rotor thats on now does not work to good.

That side draft hood is exactly what i had i mind, There is an old oil drum
out back so im gonna cut it up and weld it. What is the size of the flue?

Nice anvil btw

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