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I Forge Iron

Forge help - what goes here?!


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Hi guys, I'm trying to get this cast iron Alldays forge going.

The plates in the bottom of the forge look original - about 1/2" thick and seem to be made of the same stuff as the forge, but the fit is horrendous!

There seems to be a triangular section of plate missing, but the plates that are present hardly fit together at all. (For scale, the tape measure is set at 12").

The way I see it, all the coal will fall out the bottom. This can't be right? The really odd thing is that there is vertical separation between the two main plates - one is higher than the other (at one end only!) - seems odd?

Would it normally have some kind of lining, or should I expect to be able to pour in the coal and build a fire right there on the iron / steel plates?

What should I do about the small plate in the left rear corner? Shall I just weld in some more plate to close that triangular gap (weld it to the other plate, not the forge base/frame!)?

Should I just fabricate a whole new bottom? If so, whats the minimum thickness steel I could get away with?

If you think this is bad, wait until you see the cracked roof cowling... :o

Many thanks for any help!

Cheers, Al.

P.S. - sorry, I also meant to ask if the plates would normally be sealed with some kind of fire cement or something around their edges? Thanks.





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ok from looking at the pictures it looks like the bottom is cast iron and has cracked and seperated and your missing a piece.... i would fix it any way you can ether weld in a new piece or fabricate a new one ...1/4 plate of modern steel will most likely suffice .and you could line it with fireclay there have been other threads on doing this...looks like a industrial type forge ... good luck!

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Hmm, I don't think its cracked (unless you mean just the corner), its a dead straight line up the middle. I think the bottom was in two plates so it can be put in.

I will fix up the triangular hole as you suggest.

I'm still confused about the vertical separation between the plates. Gonna need more than clay to fill that!

So fire clay to seal any gaps is what people use?

Regarding what goes in - do I literally build my fire on the base plate - I don't need any fire bricks or lining or anything, right? Sorry, all the forges I have used have been set up by someone else previously, so I've never seen how to do it.

Cheers, Al.

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I'm at a loss Al,
For 1, It doesn't look like you will be able to get to tue iron down low enough into the pan. For me, the center of the air blast pipe should be about 4 inches below the top of the dirt giving you 2 inches for coke and 4 inches from the bottom of the pan. (roughly). The dirt comes up to the bottom of the side gates - or thereabouts

How deep is your pan?

It looks like you have a step to contend with at the back of the forge - is this correct? (Looking at your photographs)

I think Richard Bent of Plymouth has a double version of this forge. Find his web site and get in touch with him - he may be able to help.

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Looks like a clay liner would be the fix. Mason's clay (fire clay) and ash mixed together. A strip of sheetmetal tacked over the crack to bridge the canyon and a couple of nice layers of fire clay built up over the entire bottom, and you'll be ready to go. Let the layers dry slowly and throughly before adding another layer. You'll have plenty of time to work on the tue between coats.

Is your Tue water cooled, or dry?

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Hi guys, thanks very much for all your thoughts on this.

Mark - regarding the height of the tue iron, please see the pics. Yes, there is an odd step up at the back of the forge. I think the centre of the air pipe will be about 3" below the top surface of the sides of the forge. Does that look / sound about right?

Where the forge sides / front / legs bolt together there are some gaps, would it be normal to seal these up with fire cement, or does it make no difference?

Nett - yes its water cooled, I'm just making a 'bosh' (tank) for it now.

Beaverdam - thanks, those links are great, there is a forge exactly like mine!

Thanks guys. I also need to fix up the cracked extraction hood/cowl/roof thing. I'll start a separate thread on how to do that!

Cheers, Al.





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This is the government drawing of a backplate for a side-blast forge (shown as my Avatar on the top left). It is bare iron with no clay or lining. As you can see from the drawing, about 3" sounds about right. The bottom of the 10.5 by 9 inch rectangle is the opening for the cast iron fireback to sit in. This drawing shows the airpipe actually about six inches above the bottom of the forge (a bit of the side-view drawing is sort of visible at the far right of the drawing). The size of the fire is controlled by use of a sprinkler can of water, not by the size of the forge, so one bucket of coal each day should plenty of coal. The coal-box only holds 250 lbs of coal. The drawing is part of U.S. Government specifications drawn by Capt. A. Mordecai circa 1850s.


Edited by UnicornForge
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