Author Topic: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?  (Read 6239 times)

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Offline Young Bowyer

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Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« on: June 25, 2011, 11:20:22 pm »
I was wondering if anybody has made their own forge, plans are appreciated, also any good places to buy hammers/anvils ect.?
"A man can be destroyed, but not defeated."
The old man from Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea

Offline triggerfinger

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2011, 12:45:55 am »
ive never built a forge but have built several foundries for melting metals.  You can google home made foundry and come up with a ton of plans.  The biggest deal is the refractory material, if you cant find a good home made version ill look up my recipe .  you should be able to heat it with charcoal and any air source, i used a blow dryer as my bellows.
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Offline Dane

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 07:01:58 am »
Google backyardmetalcasting. There is a wealth of metal working info, so much stuff you're eyes will pop out of your head.

There are a number of good books on building a forge. The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex W. Bealer is good. The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Weygers is good. So is Blacksmithing Basics for the Homestead, by DeLaRonde. The Blacksmith: Ironworker & Farrier is superby, by Aldren A. Watson. He gives complete info on building a forge, including building bellows. Beautiful illustrations. If I ever have the space and resources to build a forge, this book is the one I will use.

Dane
Greenfield, Western Massachusetts

Offline jonathan creason

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2011, 07:39:58 am »
You wanting a gas or coal forge?  Also, what size stuff are you wanting to hammer out?  Post anvils can be made pretty easily (and much cheaper than a real anvil).  At the very least they'll get you by until you learn the ropes.
Cleveland, NC

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Offline Young Bowyer

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2011, 02:20:05 pm »
jonathon creason: Charcoal I assume with some sort of air source to fuel it.  And I was planning on making chisels, spearheads, and knives.
Dane: Thanks, i've been looking around for books, i'll see if they have it on Amazon.
triggerfinger: Would barbeque charcoal work? Or you could burn ironwood in a barrel with no air in it like charcloth. I think ive seen that on a Ray Mears program in Sweden.

Thanks everyone
"A man can be destroyed, but not defeated."
The old man from Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea

Offline Stretch

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2011, 04:43:00 pm »
jonathon creason: Charcoal I assume with some sort of air source to fuel it.  And I was planning on making chisels, spearheads, and knives.
Dane: Thanks, i've been looking around for books, i'll see if they have it on Amazon.
triggerfinger: Would barbeque charcoal work? Or you could burn ironwood in a barrel with no air in it like charcloth. I think ive seen that on a Ray Mears program in Sweden.

Thanks everyone

I've been recently looking into the same thing.  It seems as if you can build a charcoal forge out of nothing but a hole in the ground, a pipe and a hair dryer, in a pinch.  Of course they can get way more elaborate than that.  There is a pretty common plan for building a forge out of an old brake drum.  From what I've read, you want to stay away from using pressed charcoal briquets but you can use the lump charcoal, but it takes a lot and will get expensive.  Making your own seems like the best bet.  I've found just from my experience with my fireplace that oak and maple tend to make more charcoal than other woods I've burned.  Your pretty much on the money of using a burn barrel.  Start your fire up and get it burning pretty well, then shut off the air to it.  If you check out YouTube there are a ton of videos of home made forges, and plans are everywhere on the interwebs.
Mark
Lindale, TX

Offline jonathan creason

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2011, 07:39:10 am »
Here are a couple of buildalongs for charcoal forges that should get you heading in the right direction.

http://knifedogs.com/showthread.php?17759-Lets-do-a-Charcoal-Forge

http://tradgang.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=110;t=001288

From everything I've read you do not want to use the commercial briquets to forge.  A lot of the additives are supposed to be bad for the steel, plus it would get extremely expensive very quick.  Be prepared to make a lot of charcoal.
Cleveland, NC

"The only thing cooler than bands that gets lots of chicks are bands that scare chicks." - Beavis

Offline Young Bowyer

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 02:20:24 pm »
Thats what I heard too, thanks for the information everyone.  :)
"A man can be destroyed, but not defeated."
The old man from Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea

Offline Marlin

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2011, 07:15:23 pm »
If you are going to use coal I might sudjest a fire pot that is side blown. This makes forge welding more efficient as this is how the Japanese sword smiths made there forges. I made a coal forge from a large plow disc that I bought at Tractor Supply. I thought that it would work well because of the concave shape and all the coal would collect in the middle at the air inlet. But it turns out that it only works on short pieces and I new little about forging at the time. You get all your heat at the heart of the fire and you need to be able to run a long bar all the way through the heart of it.
I saw some pretty neat anvil setups made from large solid round like 12" in diameter siting on a stump or a stack of 2X4's I have a 130 pound anvil but I still think it would be cool to have one like that because it's so portable. I hope this helps. Marlin

Offline Young Bowyer

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2011, 07:21:43 pm »
I was going to do a cylinder on it's side cut lengthwise with a tube with holes in the center to carry the air through it. Similar to jonathon creason's link from tradgang.
"A man can be destroyed, but not defeated."
The old man from Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea

Offline triggerfinger

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2011, 10:26:04 pm »
i melted about 10 lbs of aluminum with my homemade foundry with charcoal briquettes.  I melted about 2 pounds of cast iron the same way.  If youre gonna use briquettes buy the cheap stuff, youll burn a ton of it
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Offline sadiejane

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2011, 09:38:17 am »
my fav book on the subject-Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop
there are lots of great vids on youtube
from bbq grills, to simple fire brick, using a propane torch, digging a hole in the ground, using your firepit...
and on and on and on
just do a search on youtube
and spend the next week(s) watching
its amazing what folks come up with and how really simple it can be
wild women don't get the blues

Offline Young Bowyer

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2011, 05:31:42 pm »
Thanks for the info everybody.  :)
I was wondering if anybody has experience with Centaur Forge. Here's the link:  http://www.centaurforge.com/
Thinking of getting tongs, apron and smithing coal from there.
Thanks again!
"A man can be destroyed, but not defeated."
The old man from Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea

Offline Dag

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2011, 03:20:10 am »
I made a small portable forge out of a coffee can.  It lasted for about 4 or 5 smithing sessions. A lot longer than I expected.  I put clay/dirt on the bottom then set one of the LARGE chilli cans in the middle and filled the sides in with clay/dirt and packed it tight. Then drilled a hole on the side so the it would end up going into the chilli can near the bottom. And I angled the hole down to avoid ash blockage.  I used a small plug-in air mattress blower-up'er for air (way to much force, should used a two way hand pump or somethin' else). Finally, used lump charcoal for fuel.

A good first set-up and I managed to get about six bodkins out of it in  one afternoon with my meager smithing skills, lol.  Simple and zero cost what so ever.

Offline jermcramp1

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Re: Homemade Blacksmithing Forge?
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2011, 12:20:31 pm »
I made a coal forge out of an old plow disc, welded 3 legs and a blow tube up center, used a piece of steel with holes drilled in for towyer plate,

find a ferriers store near you, I got 50# bags of coal for $15, hammers from northern tool $7, lowes and the hd have them as well, used welding gloves, used a chunk of reailroad track for anvil, made several knives.

You can also use a drum from a car, bbqpit, hole in the ground, stacked bricks, a hiar dryer, shop vac, radiator fan, window unit...

Youtube is where I got all my ideas.

Look up greenpete from the uk, he makes some of the simplest... good luck and post pics!


biggest lesson I learned is that a lighter accurate hammer works way better than a heavy one. 


Even the dogs get the crumbs...