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M. Cochran

Charcoal forge build

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I'm rebuilding my old charcoal forge and run into a little bump. I'm going to use a Hofi style side draft hood and some old reclaimed firebrick. At the moment im unsure just how big to go since I'm not used to using firebrick, and I've never built a side blast forge. I mostly fool around at trying to forge knives and other small tools so I know I don't have to go too big but I messed up and built the hood before i finalized my forge design. Here is what I was thinking, but I'm not sure how this this'll work.

 

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The hole for the hood is roughly 9 3/4" x 8". The brick are 4 1/2" wide and 9" long, they were recovered from a fireplace and yes I know they probably won't hold up long but I have about 40 of them so I'm not too worried. I just hope someone can help enlighten me as to how big a place to build my fire. If it makes a difference, I plan on using a box bellows I'm currently working on as well as have the option for an electric blower for those days when I have too much going on to constantly pump the bellows. Feel free to ask any questions that I might have neglected to answer.

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by M. Cochran

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In case you didn't consider this, in looking at size, consider how you would heat longer pieces of steel. If you're making tongues, you need a place for the handle to hang out. It's a real pain pain if you can't get your steel down into the fire on the level.

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I was planning on puttin a brick flat on the front to support the back of the work piece. I just stopped there cause it was getting cold and dark and I decided it was a good time to go in for the day.

 

I think I'm just going to go back to a bottom blast since I know how to make that work in small size and can adjust it bigger if need be.

Edited by M. Cochran

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Is you tuyere coming in from the left ? One thing I would consider first before you go any further is to put some type of firewall around your forging area such as concrete backer board.

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Yes the blank part of the table is where my box bellows will set when I finish them. As far as the wall goes, I was wondering how long it would be before someone commented on the bare wood :) Im going to get some concrete board (like what you put down before you tile the floor) to put up there before I light a fire, I'm in the process of insulating and covering the walls and this wall is waiting until I know for sure what I'm doing with my forge.

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Good to here about the fireproofing. It looks like your forge should be long enough for most things, but wider than needed. I would lay your left wall bricks flat, the first row above the floor will be at a good height to set your tuyere on, then at least three more rows to finish up the wall. This would give you a firebed about 6'' wide, which would be about the maximum for most purposes . Make the the left wall static then you just modify the other walls according to your needs.

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I can't believe I overlooked laying them flat to close up the fire some, I feel like an idiot now. For this style forge a piece of black iron pipe is plenty good for a tuyere right? I have a piece of 1 inch pipe long enough I could cut it in half and put two goin in or do you think I might need bigger? Should they have a slight angle or straight in? I've looked several places here and elsewhere on the net and I'm not seeing much about this style forge.

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Just to clarify you were talking something like this right?

 

image.jpg

 

I have 3 pieces of brick on the left spaced in a that will allow two tuyere, one about 4" off the back then another one 4" front of the first one. I have some high heat mortar mix I'll use sparingly to hold the bottom and the left and back walls.

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Sure beats my design at least when it rains you can still work lol

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Sure beats my design at least when it rains you can still work lol

I was there not too long ago, Justin. I got lucky at work and got enough salvageable building materials to make my 96 sq ft shop a rough 240 sq ft. That's why I'm having to rebuild my forge which is why I'm trying a different style too. If you lived closer I'd share some of my extra lumber cause wife is nagging about how the back yard looks like a lumber yard with all the 2x4s 2x6s and plywood etc that I have piled up. Lol

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That looks pretty good. 1'' pipe should be more than adequate, place the pipe at a slightly downward angle to shoot the air deeper into the firebed. Are you going to put a valve on the back tuyere to close it off when working smaller projects?

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As I mentioned earlier, I plan to use a box bellows most of the time. Where I have the blower, yes, I will put a ball valve to help control air. I do not know how often I will use it but way I see it it's better to have it and not need it instead of need it and not have it.

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