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I Forge Iron

first post, building a forge in the morning


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Hi all,

This looks like a hopping form. I've banged around on some metal about ten years ago (coal, hibachi and a hair dryer), and started welding: welding up a trailer, sawmill, jeep bumper, winch plate, and a few other things since then. I got a book on blacksmithing from santa, and am wanting to do more hammering hot metal, mostly to make wood working and logging implements.

I picked up a forge blower and was going to weld up a forge tomorrow morning with some stock left over from my tandem axle trailer project. Have a couple of questions:

Is a 'T' pipe connection pretty standard under the tuyere? It looks like a handy way to get ashes out. As an alternative, I was thinking of a -v- shaped forge with an inch wide trough on the bottom. I could drill 1" holes thru two plates for the bottom, and make it so that one of the pieces slides to let ashes drop out of the holes. Or would I be better off just leaving it undrilled, and put a 'T' connection on there?

And going across the bottom of the trough, should I put some pieces of rebar like a grill grate, to keep the fire off the very bottom - or will this burn up and be a waste of time?

Gimme a shout, and let me know what you think. I tend to learn from messing things up, then doing it again - but I'm not opposed to listening to somebody that has already tried the same thing.

James B

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Use a connector with a thin sheet steel flap valve over the bottem ened, this valve has a handle and is counterweighted to seal off the end of the t connector, to dump the ash all you have to do is pull the handle and it opens the flapper and dumps the ash, i saw one on some blacksmithing show and immediately added one to my own forge.

OH and be sure to use NON galvanized pipe fittigs especially around hot areas.

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Welcome aboard James, glad to have you.

Check out the Blueprint section, there are lots of forge designs. for my large coal forge I welded the tuyere up out of exhaust pipe, 3" for the vertical to the air grate and 2" "Ts" into it for the horizontal air supply. I use a flapper rain cap for the ash dump. I extended the counter weight arm and added weight to keep it closed and bring it close enough to the front of the forge to be easy to lift with a fire tool and dump the ash.

What shape you make the fire pot or duck's nest and how you supply the blast has a lot to do with what you intend to make. Even for making long blades a trench fire has limited use, mostly for heat treat, truing, etc. For all practical intents and purposes you can't work much more than a few times the width of your hammer face in a heat so it's not economical to heat much more.

Send pics of your set up, we love pics and will reward you by making more suggestions! ;)


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  • 4 weeks later...

Good to hear from you again James.

I'll be interested in hearing how well you can control the fire in your forge, I think it's going to be a bit of a PITA but I'm not a solid fuel forge guy by preference.

The usual model for a fire pot is a square, rectangular or round "pot" about 3-4" deep and 12-14" across. This is typically set into a table far enough from the back to give room for a side draft hood. Overhead hoods being ineffective, fewer and fewer people are making them.

On the other hand, just because I've never seen a coal forge like yours doesn't mean it isn't going to be the next super forge design so keep us posted on how it works.


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