Basic forge design?

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Basic forge design?

Postby RJWEcology » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:17 pm

Hi all,

I'm looking at making a small forge with some others at my local bodgers group and was hoping to get some tips. We were thinking about using some firebricks and clay (to line it and fill any gaps) as well as drill a small oval in the centre near the back to allow for the air flow (bellows powered). Is there any air to volume ratios we need to be aware of? Is using home made charcoal feasible with a small basic forge?

This is just a basic idea of the design (doesn't have to be this shape).

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Re: Basic forge design?

Postby Heinrich H » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:27 pm

http://www.iforgeiron.com/

Lots of nice people to ask about forges.
/Harry
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Re: Basic forge design?

Postby RJWEcology » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:03 pm

Thank you!
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Re: Basic forge design?

Postby nic » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:59 pm

Charcoal is fine in a forge; have a look at the brake drum forges that people have made- be aware that they are American though- brake drums are bigger in the states it seems. A car wheel is a good substitute. Following the car theme I would advise getting hold of an old car blower motor from a scrap yard. get the switch as well. give you variable speed of sorts. Will run from a car battery all day.
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Re: Basic forge design?

Postby bulldawg_65 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:41 pm

It isn't so much that the brake drums in the US are so much larger, it is the fact that we still use them on our trucks and vans and we have lots of those! :lol:
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Re: Basic forge design?

Postby RJWEcology » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:00 am

At the community gardens (where I do my bodging) we have a stove area which could incorporate the forge. We had the fire bricks available so I thought about using them. One good example I saw was to use a kitchen sink (lined with clay and fire bricks). My only thoughts was the size (volume of the forge) and the air supply location / volume of air needed to get the temp high enough.

I think with the size being small and deep, an adequate amount of air should be ok (this is an experiment after all!). I need to be slightly specific as some people on the site need to know details for their compliance (H&S).
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Re: Basic forge design?

Postby gavin » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:04 pm

RJWEcology wrote:At the community gardens (where I do my bodging) we have a stove area which could incorporate the forge. We had the fire bricks available so I thought about using them. One good example I saw was to use a kitchen sink (lined with clay and fire bricks). My only thoughts was the size (volume of the forge) and the air supply location / volume of air needed to get the temp high enough.

I think with the size being small and deep, an adequate amount of air should be ok (this is an experiment after all!). I need to be slightly specific as some people on the site need to know details for their compliance (H&S).


If you line the sink with sand, all will be well. You don't need fire bricks. You do need a tuyere iron - google this. I bought a forge (£100? ) from The Iron Dwarf several years ago - I strongly recommend his forge for your purpose. His e mail address was then realhhg@ntlworld.com or contact him via http://www.livinghistory.co.uk BB.

Actually small and deep is a bummer, you want shallow and wide. But the sink will get you going. And you MUST have a tuyere iron, or you'll burn the forge out.
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Re: Basic forge design?

Postby nic » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:57 pm

Size wise- it depends on what you want to make, although I doubt a fire box less then 8" x 8 " or 8" diameter will work well. Filling a sink with sand will work, eventually you can use whatever ash you use to line it. My workshop forge with a side blast uses this arrangement. My travelling forge uses a vertical rather than horizonal air blast. I use a grate made from 8mm plate with some 1/2" holes drilled in it. There are drawbacks to this arrangement- The grates burn out fairly regulary but are quick to make. It is also diffcult to clean when it is going. But in general it burns cleaner , needing cleaning out much less than a horizontal blast. I find it easier for welding with as well. If you do go for a vertical grate then I would line with firebricks as it is diffcult to loacate the grate in a loose floor.
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