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Workbench Creations

Workbench Creations is the place for conversation and discussion about do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. This DIY blog will feature projects completed by its owner as well as projects completed by other do-it-yourselfers. Workbench Creations is the place where DIYers can discuss ideas, learn about what others have done, and share their expertise.

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14 comments

DIY Blacksmith Forge

Posted August 04, 2008 11:50 AM by U V

For the forge body, a well-used steel semi tire-rim was used with three gas pipe (thick-walled tubing) and braces. Here, I'm welding the foot pads on. I'm a gorilla welder: strong and ugly welds.

Some make this out of just the brake drum, but this is a deluxe model.

I cut a piece of 3/16-inch steel plate to seal the bottom.

A 3-inch pipe T was welded to the bottom plate.

A piece of 3-inch pipe and a plug were used to make an ash trap.

Then I took a piece of 1/4-inch plate and bent it around a piece of 6-inch well casing with a chain come-along winch to make a cage. Next, holes were cut for the shaker grates' rods and slots cut to lay it on.

Here's the grate.

Here's the cage with the grate in place.

A hole was cut in the side of the rim for the handle of the grate, and the cage was welded to the bottom plate.

Here's the grate with jaws opened. They are made to crush the clinkers.

Next, fire brick was cut to bridge from the rim to the cage. Use a dust mask or better because the silica dust can be hard on your lungs, and some people's skin is irritated by it.

I used a diamond blade on a 4.5-inch hand grinder. The fire brick cut very fast.

The blade didn't cut completely through, so a careful strike with a hammer was needed to finish.

The last stone (#15) was completely custom. My fudge factor was off. The refractory cement I used for mortar doubled the needed fudge factor. The cement also required the use of PPE (personal protective equipment). Good to 3200o F.

Here's my larger of two anvils on a steel base, with my favorite 4-lb. cross peen hammer.

After mortaring the fire bricks in place and coating the fire bowl with refractory cement, my Grandfather's blower was connected with a piece of 3-inch aluminum flex duct.

I serviced the blower last fall - good for another 100 years. The forge fired right up and works well.

The rack on the right holds my tongs (made by my Grandfather), small hammers (4-lbs. and under), hardies, and fullers.

Now, where to put it? Once the shed is built, I have a piece of 5/8th steel plate to set the forge and blower on to connect them together. Then comes learning to forge weld steel.

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Guru
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#1

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

08/04/2008 12:21 PM

Excellent!
Many years ago a friend and I had bought a portable blacksmiths forge (paid half each)...the body rusted away, can't remember what happened to the blower...

It was mandaulically operated, one of us would turn the handle whist t'other played with the business end.

Del

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#2

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

08/05/2008 3:00 AM

http://www.damaszenerschmiede.de/galerie.html

Hi,

your work may be the first step towards beautiful artwork.

look what has been achieved, invented 2500 years ago, forgotten at the arrival of modern steel-making, revivaled by some able blacksmiths.

There will be a blacksmiths art-festival near my homeplace where this blacksmith lives (Trippstadt, halfway between Mannheim and Saarbruecken, south of Kaiserslautern on Sept.6th and 7th.)

RHABE

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#3

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

08/05/2008 8:28 AM

Beautiful! My maternal Grandfather was a smithy/farrier/farmer. The sole personal disappointment was that your favorite anvil wasn't a re-formed section from a railroad track (old-style, not the modern ribbon rail). My Dad had two of those...along with a store-bought one, of course.

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#4

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

08/05/2008 10:07 AM

Thanks RHABE, Pattern welded steel in Europe was lost the first time during the Dark Ages, then again during the industrial revolution.

That is some of the best modern work I've seen. Some of the best work was done before the Dark Ages. The long swords were extremely hard to make and the few remaining examples are made with methods still not understood.

Brad

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#5

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

08/05/2008 10:25 AM

Hello Enviroman,

I have a piece of railroad rail cut into an anvil that will be made into a Bick to fit in the hardy hole of the big anvil like this http://www.blacksmithsjournal.com/archives/issue_114.php for small work.

The anvil in the picture is 95lbs, I have a 35lb and the piece of rail anvil about 12lbs.

I also have a big combine weight that I plan to hardface and use for a large flat work anvil.

I don't have a favorite anvil yet. I'll most likely make a 200-400 lb anvil in time.

Brad

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#6

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

08/05/2008 3:23 PM

Hello, very nice forge and nice job at describing your process of building it. I used to build quite a few of those small forges but not very many lately. My forge is allot like yours except I bought a clinker breaker from Buffalo Forge and used castable refractory instead of fire brick to line it. I also eventually bought an electric blower with a speed control too. My forge sits pretty much unused nowadays because the doc said I couldn't have any more cortisone in my pitiful worn out hammer arm elbow. Every now and then I get a wild hair and fire it up just to regret it for several days afterwards. getting old really sux in my opinion. One suggestion you might consider is to paint the firebrick with ITC 100 ceramic coating. It will add a super hard coating to your brick that when cured at 2000 degrees F. will protect the soft IFB. It will also reflect up to 95% of the heat back away from the brick surface. It really makes the difference in the time it takes to heat up your piece and will cut down on fuel consumption. I build small glass furnaces and pottery kilns and I coat everything with ITC. I found out about it when I saw a iron foundry using it on thier crucibles and ladles. ITC 100 Is for refractory and ITC 213 is for metals.

pipewelder

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

08/05/2008 4:00 PM

Thanks pipewelder,

I used Harbison-Walker #36 Refractory Cement for mortar and to face the firebrick. I didn't mix any grog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grog_%28clay%29) with it so I may have to patch a spot or two with some grog mixed in.

I have some grog now to make some crucibles with. Plan to do a little casting also.

I plan to add an electric motor to my blower with a rheostat and a foot on off switch.

I also picked up a small 23500F digital kiln/furnace for heat treating. A diamond wire saw, a medium sand blast enclosure for working with inert gas and an Argon setup to feed the furnace and enclosure.( some space age metals are fickle).

The furnace is to heat treat, but I prefer to temper with the forge or a block of hot steel.

The ITC 213 is new to me I'll check it out. I still have much to make and learn.

Brad

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#8

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

10/27/2008 10:37 AM

Where would someone get a shaker grate such as this?

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

10/27/2008 10:54 AM

Hello fiddlertx4,

Out of an old coal stove (heater). That is a No. 4 (Size) shaker grate. The only thing I remember is the last of the name was -trola. like Victrola.

Brad

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

10/27/2008 1:19 PM

These guys might be able to help or point you in the right direction.

mailto:info@stovehospital.com

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#11

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

11/10/2008 5:31 AM

Nice Forge!! You almost over engineered it, but if it works for you thats good. I have built several over the years, started my first one almost like yours. good luck with the blacksmithing, ans since you re interested in blades, check out the group I am a registered master with, the American Bladesmiths Society. Loads of great information, just go from there. Let me know if I can help you in any way.

Gary

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

11/10/2008 11:22 AM

Thank you mastrsmth,

I'll do that. My next posting will be a glovebox for working with space age metals.

I may need a part time mentor for some of the more complex concepts that generations figured out. In my late 40's I don't have decades to figure everything out.

Currently I'm taking TIG welding.

Brad

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#13

Re: DIY Blacksmith Forge

12/14/2008 12:13 PM

Hello U V:,

very impressed with the wheel idea used as a Forge! When you stand back it is almost as if the wheel was designed for it!

The pictures need no explanation, they are so clear. It is quite hard finding a forge the right size, and this would do most people.

If you do really big work you can cut and weld two or three wheels?

Brilliant!

Take care, and good luck..............Happy holiday..............

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Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (1); babybear (1); Del the cat (1); EnviroMan (1); fiddlertx4 (1); mastrsmth (1); pipewelder (1); RHABE (1); U V (6)

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