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Well guys, people are always asking about building forges, so I figured we could give them a wide variety of choices on the kind of forge and ways to build it. I'll start by posting my forge. :)

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I'm 15 and I have no continuous flow of money. So I'm cheap.

 

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Notice the brazier on the right and the trash can behind it. Like I said I'm cheap, so I'll make wood fire in the brazier and shovel the coals into the trash can... or sometimes just straight into the forge.

 

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She used to be a workbench picked up at a tool sale. She was turned into a box for a forge.

 

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We ran a pipe with holes through it and filled her with Quickcrete.

 

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Now that we've got charcoal we need something to get it hot with. Yep... It's a hair dryer. It takes a lot of effort and charcoal to get her to weld, but aside from that she works just fine.

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003-1.jpg

trashcan

002-1.jpg

its a quick disconnect in case of emergency

004-1.jpg

and it gets plenty hot

kowool two one inch layers with a thin refactory coat and then plistix900F. i put a fire brick on the bottom to act as a shelf. and yes i did remove the zinc coating after the pics were taken. If your making a forge try to avoid zinc plated componants, if you dont know what zinc plating is or why its bad do a little more reasearch before making a forge. im not being a jerk its for your safty.

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Made from a compressor tank cut in half. Minrox 3000 cement with 1" insulwool and APG-36 refractory. 90 CFM dual blower and a 120 CFM biscut fan for a heat curtain. Electronic and gate valve air flow control.

 

I can prop the lid up for larger projects.

 

And galvanized pipe that still has the galvanizing. It doesn't get hot enough to burn off and if it does you didn't build your forge right. The burner tube is 1/4" wall 2205 stainless that is corrosion resistant to 1600 (f)

 

forge-2.jpg

Edited by B Finnigan

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Here was my first forge:

 

DSCF6148.jpg

 

Just some Home Depot fire bricks propped up with a black iron pipe for a tuyer lol. It worked though =D.

 

here's is the second generation of the above forge:

 

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I basically took the first forge, and placed it in a clapped out barbecue grill. I filled in the sides with home made clay refractory. The air supply was a 3gal Harbor Freight shop vac lol. It got plenty hot for general forge work as you can see here:

 

DSCF6570.jpg

 

My third forge was built strictly for heat treating, although it would have worked as a standard forge as well (even if it was a little overlong):

 

DSCF8343.jpg

 

Basically I just split a 55gal drum in half on three sides, bent it open, and framed up a 2x4 stand to cradle the still connected barrel halves lol. Refractory was clay, ash, and sand...but I wasn't very happy with it, as it would melt and create nasty clinkers that would block the tuyer holes. The forge helped to preheat the attached quench tank though (as did heating those chunks of scrap steel to yellow hot, then dropping them in the water lol). It helped me successfully heat treat my only long blade...though if I were to use it again I'd make some changes.

 

My forge I'm currently building is gas powered (and not finished). Here's a pic of where it sits as we speak:

 

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Just a 7gal air storage tank with the ends cut off (made doors out of them), then lined with 2" of Kaowool. Plans are for 1/4" of refractory mortar/cement (satanite), then eventually a coating of ITC100 or Plistix900F. I'm using two self made mini mongo burners (venturi), but have setup the forge so it can be run with an internal baffle to make use of just one burner for basic forging efficiency.

 

Anyhow, there's my forges lol.

 

Cris

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I am cheap, just like Isaiah.

 

forge, resized.jpg

 

Most of you will notice that this is a version of Tim Lively’s “wash tub forge.” I made this forge in a 5.5 gallon oblong galvanized steel wash tub. The tuyere is made of one inch black pipe with 1/4 inch holes drilled every 1 inch. The refractory that I used isn’t actually a true refractory cement, I took a 60 pound bag of quickrete and added several hand fulls of wood ash. All of the parts cost me about $35, it is probably one of the cheapest forges that you can make.

 

The forge has worked very well for me so far, It has develped a couple of cracks in it, as you can see in the photo, but I think that they are natural. This forge burns about 4 pounds of my homemade charcoal per hour, while maintaining forging heats. The washtub forge is able to to get sustain forge welding heats with ease, though flux will fill up the tuyere holes really fast. Most of the time this forge is too large for the things that I make, so I simply choke down the size of it with some clay. I can mold it into what ever size or shape that I want. I power it with an old hairdryer, though most of the time I find that the blast is too hard.

 

If I were to remake mine, I would have made it into more of an oblong bowl instead of a slot.

 

I would recommend this forge for the beginner.

 

Hogan Baker

 

Edit: wow, I didn't realize how much my forge was like Isaiah's, the are practically the same forge.

Edited by Hogan Baker

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Edit: wow, I didn't realize how much my forge was like Isaiah's, the are practically the same forge.

 

Yep...that setup is the basis for many, many forges. My heat treat forge was designed in a similar manner (you can't see the tuyer etc, but it's the same). It's incredibly easy, and incredibly effective. For the beginner...this is all they really need, along with a couple bags of 'Cowboy Lump' charcoal, just to see if they want to get in deeper.

 

I made my own charcoal too by the way...but I've got to say it got really old really fast lol, like after two 55gal drums full. Thus the switch to gas =D.

 

 

Cris

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I used to make mine out of a 55 gallon drum too.... that is until I got it really hot and made it collapse. :(

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Here's my iron age forge:

 

06150027.jpg

 

Forge is a little bit changed by adding a second wall, which I now find working better. Total cost: 0 euro (excl. charcoal).

 

And my forge at home:

 

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I made it mainly to heat treat, burn holes in the handles and doing some straightening and other minor work, but with the option to forge with it as well. I will also lengthen it for heat treating larger blades, with a variable length to shorten it back when I used it as a forge. Total cost: 1 euro for the steel pipe. It works really well, even on scrap charcoal fines that I have as leftovers from forging in my iron age forge. I'm now collecting anvils for it though, which is a lot more expensive (especially when going for pre-1800 ones).

 

And my bronze/silver casting furnace:

 

IMG_1565a.jpg

 

This one works like the blazes. It's a smaller scale one then another I use occasionally, this one being for castings up to 1kg (the other does 3kg). This was a lot more expensive. The furnace itself has a whopping 12 euros of stoneware clay in it to make it more durable. But the more expensive is the roof (40 euro), crucible (30 euro I think?), and casting sand (50 euro). Yes I really had to sell a kidney for this one:)

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And to think I use a factory-made firepot! I'm almost embarrassed. :lol:

 

I started as a general blacksmith, burning coal, and I still use the same setup.

 

coal forge with starter coke.jpg

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Isaah, you have seen this one before at Trackrock. This photo was taken just after the build was completed, Dec 2006. It is now looking kinda shabby. Just a little 2 bricker running a Bernz-O-Matic JTH-7 burner (now out of production). As you may recall, I now run direct off a 20# propane bottle and never run out of fuel! Hopefully by the next Trackrock I will have a 'big boy' forge also.

2 brick forge.JPG

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Isaah, you have seen this one before at Trackrock. This photo was taken just after the build was completed, Dec 2006. It is now looking kinda shabby. Just a little 2 bricker running a Bernz-O-Matic JTH-7 burner (now out of production). As you may recall, I now run direct off a 20# propane bottle and never run out of fuel! Hopefully by the next Trackrock I will have a 'big boy' forge also.

 

Hey Randy,

 

I happen to have that same torch. Mine runs off Mapp gas...but I think they will switch down to propane without any mods right? How's it do in the little 2 brick setup? I can certainly see how your fuel efficiency would be pretty high lol. My bigger gas forge is almost done...but I can really see the usefulness of a little forge like this for knives, and even swords if you open the other end. I mean...you can only forge 4-6" at a time anyway right?

 

Nice setup man =D.

 

Cris

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My gas forges: photo-1.jpg That silver tube with the wok on top is my quench oil. keeping it next to the fire pre heats it pretty well IMO.

its predicessor photo-7.jpg I have an old coal forge, but it isn't much of a looker ^_^

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This is my charcoal forge, made in a heavy steel box welded from 6" barstock and filled with bricks and homemade adobe. I use it for everything from knives and swords to candleholders, horseshoes and wall hooks. I have a coal forge as well, but rarely use it since charcoal is so cheap to make and easy to use. katana June 22nd 012 (Medium).jpg

 

I can adjust it, just use a firebrick to block any number of the 6 holes in the tuyere pipe.

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Hey Isaiah: great looking forge buddy! I know exactly how much it cost you to make it and that wasn't much. I do admire how neat you keep it. That brick floor must have been an pain in the back to lay. I have enjoyed watching you use it and see what you bring out of it. I am looking forward to more and more excellent projects from you.

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This is the coke forge of my blacksmithing teacher; it's a side-blast forge and very nice to work with. In the picture, I am forging a knife from 3/4in round O1.

IMG_20100710_095816 (1).jpg

 

Below is my gas forge. The atmosphere and temperature can be very finely controlled. The burner design is from Tim Zowada. I am heating up some wrought iron to forge welding temperatures.

 

IMG_20100710_112152 (1).jpg

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Hey Randy,

 

I happen to have that same torch. Mine runs off Mapp gas...but I think they will switch down to propane without any mods right? How's it do in the little 2 brick setup? I can certainly see how your fuel efficiency would be pretty high lol. My bigger gas forge is almost done...but I can really see the usefulness of a little forge like this for knives, and even swords if you open the other end. I mean...you can only forge 4-6" at a time anyway right?

 

Nice setup man =D.

 

Cris

 

Cris, the propane works very well. My 2 bricker has a thin lining of Satanite with a coat of ITC-100 over the Satanite. It can get very hot. I have been told that it is real close to welding heat but have not tried to weld in it... the soft firebrick doesn't like flux. Blades up to 5" - 6" are doable, just takes planning the work. It has been a great little forge for a newb to get started.

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Cris, the propane works very well. My 2 bricker has a thin lining of Satanite with a coat of ITC-100 over the Satanite. It can get very hot. I have been told that it is real close to welding heat but have not tried to weld in it... the soft firebrick doesn't like flux. Blades up to 5" - 6" are doable, just takes planning the work. It has been a great little forge for a newb to get started.

 

That's good to know =D. Between the commentary of another friend, and your post...I decided to go ahead and make a small forge myself, making use of that JTH-7 I have.

 

Seems to be working out ok so far, I may even be able to fire it tomorrow =D.

 

If it works out ok...I'll get some pictures of it up for this thread!

 

Cris

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Hey Isaiah: great looking forge buddy! I know exactly how much it cost you to make it and that wasn't much. I do admire how neat you keep it. That brick floor must have been an pain in the back to lay. I have enjoyed watching you use it and see what you bring out of it. I am looking forward to more and more excellent projects from you.

 

Well thanks for letting me use it. :)

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I have finished my 'Big Boy Forge' fabicated from a freon tank since this thread was initially started. I also fabricated the two burners mounted in the forge in the photo. Oh, by the way, in my ealier post of my two bricker, the rod in the two bricker is 1/2" mild steel rod. I would heat the rod and practice hammer control by either pointing the rod or squaring it and then taking it back to round.

 

So, here it.

 

 

 

 

 

The following photo is the new forge on its stand and my old two bricker.. you can see that it has become rather beat up.. but it served its purpose well.

Forge - nice photo.jpg

Forge - Workmate mounted.jpg

Edited by Randy Scott

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Here are my vertical and horizontal forges from a while ago with a Eric Thing sheet metal forge. They sit ontop of a heat treat forge.

DSC00040.jpg

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Andrew

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I have not fired it up in a long time, but I'm just getting back into it now...

 

my forge is made from a cheap stockpot with 2" kaowool and satanite....oh and since this pic was taken, I had gotten sick of the ducktape holding the blower fan on and replaced it witha proper blower....

 

front.jpg

 

you can see my old soft firebrick forge on top.

 

here it is fired up

 

fire.jpg

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I made a forge out of a small propane bottle that had the value out of it. I cut it half cut some hole out for the a pipe. Then drilled a lighting bolt pattern in the metal pipe for air flow. When I put the top on i get no scale on the blade at all and i use for cycleing my blades.

 

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Then this is my big forge made it of some metal pipe bed frame and plow disk and alot of welding rod.My neighbor helped weld and cut the circle out.

The fire brick was from my grandfather stash. Everything is found or i had. It burns charcoal and mesquite wood.

 

Picture2574.jpg

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