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Forge Design


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I wasn't sure if "Design and Critique" was just for knives, or if it included forges, etc. So if it needs to be moved, I don't mind at all :)


Anyway, here we go: I've been trying to figure out a forge design that's both cheap and effective. I have some fire brick that I plan on using for the actual chamber, and then I plan on using a pipe with holes drilled in it and a hairdryer at the end. Here's the layout:




I'll cover the top with more firebrick, and the bed and pipe will be covered with charcoal. I'm hoping that this design works, but critique is welcome. :)



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I did one like this, but it is not so good with charcoal, when air comes from the bottom up..


for the use of charcoal you should give the air in by the side, more horizontal, or a bit down into the bed,

now you blow the heat up into your face, since you have no means of controling the amount of air


move the position of the pipe up three, four inches on the side with the holes pointing horizontal or a bit down

the bed of charcoal will then be more "calm"

and you will have a more even heat in the coal




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Never thought of that. Thanks for the input!


Another thing I was wondering: will the airflow get weaker and weaker as it goes along, or will it remain pretty consistent throughout the length of the pipe? We were thinking of connecting a bigger pipe to the main one so that the pressure would build when entering into the smaller pipe, thus having a stronger airflow.

Edited by Nolan
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My forge is basically similar to your design, except the bricks are contained in a steel box. The tuyere has a short conical section where the 'blower' ( two speed hairdryer ) fits.


There is no loss of airflow over the length of the tuyere and I think I could probably use some more holes in it as a certain amount of air is blown back through the hairdryer.

It gets hot enough to weld ( or melt if you aren't paying attention ;) ) small to medium pieces.


One useful feature is I can restack the bricks in several different ways to make the grate bigger or smaller depending on what I'm doing.

I block any unused tuyere holes with whatever is handy, blobs of fireclay etc


I'm interested in Jokke's idea about sideways airflow and I'm going to try it out by making a baffle that mounts above the tuyere.

Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims

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A steel box, huh? Does it keep the heat in better than it would with just bricks?


I don't know if it does or not. I was originally going to line it with a home made refractory mix, hence the steel box, but we needed to get firebricks anyway for a wood burning stove we bought so I just bought some extra to save the hassle.


One point is that there are firebricks and firebricks. The heavy dark coloured kind like I have in my forge seem to absorb heat rather than reflecting it.

The light coloured bricks do reflect heat really well ( I have a tiny forge made from those which I use a small propane torch with and it gets amazingly hot considering the size of the torch ) and I'd guess they are way more efficient. The downside is that they are very fragile and welding flux just eats them alive.

Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims

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Hi Nolan,

sorry for my english, I hope you understand because I've a forge identical to the one you've described and works very well.

In my opinion bricks works much better, if well made ​​it retains the heat for very very long time.

Look here WIP

I am attaching a picture of my current forge.

As you can see is the entire masonry. I can decide how big I want modulating few bricks ... small for forging or long-long for ht long blades.

As you can see the air hose is not fixed, but flowing, so I can replace if you want a little or more air or only in some points ... simply by replacing it with another tube.

The air pressure is very important. If you want a long setup must be progressively reduced the holes to a uniform heat.

I hope I've clarified some ideas, for any questions I'm at your disposal.





Marco Di Francesco

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