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Old 06-26-2013, 03:40 PM
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Default Homemade forge

Seeing all the talented folks here, I wanted a hobby of my own. Stumbled across some youtube videos of homemade brake drum forges and decided to give it a whirl. I didn't have a lot to spend, so I started scavenging. The stand I found at a landfill, the rusty wheelbarrow from my paw-in-law's old barn, and the brake rotor is an old one from my truck. I bought the 2" pipe and fittings from a local supplier. I want a hand crank blower, but for now the hair dryer will have to do. The anvil is my FIL's and I found an assortment of hammers at the flea market for a couple of buck a piece. The vice is from HD but was on the clearance rack, half off.

I found plenty of opinions out there on what type of fuel to use, and started with commercial charcoal even though it is not recommended. I found a guy that is selling 50lbs of coal for 20 bucks, just haven't made it his way yet.

Anyhow, here is my set up and first attempts at forging.....


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  #2  
Old 06-26-2013, 03:58 PM
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Not bad at all!
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:02 PM
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Kool, knew a knife maker in Germany that had about the same setup and made knives for years with it. You go dude, good stuff there.

John I.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:12 PM
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Pretty cool or hot or .......looking good anyway
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:14 PM
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Thanks guys. The campfire fork/ meat turner is made from a long bolt used to hold cable spools together. I have an endless supply of those. Are they just basic steel? Any reason they would not be good to use around food? I know the cadmium plated and galvanized stuff is toxic. Anything else?
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:45 PM
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good deal man. hey you can make your on charcoal, you just need a metal bucket with a lid take 10d nail and punch a hole in the lid of the bucket, then put what ever kind of wood you want to make charcoal out of in the bucket close it up and set it in a fire let it cook for i about a couple of hours and take it our of the fire and let it cool do not open it while it is hot it will burst into flames as soon as air hits it. once its cool take it out and you should have lump charcoal for the cost of an metal bucket and fire wood.

to see it done look it up on youtube.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbs383ci View Post
good deal man. hey you can make your on charcoal, you just need a metal bucket with a lid take 10d nail and punch a hole in the lid of the bucket, then put what ever kind of wood you want to make charcoal out of in the bucket close it up and set it in a fire let it cook for i about a couple of hours and take it our of the fire and let it cool do not open it while it is hot it will burst into flames as soon as air hits it. once its cool take it out and you should have lump charcoal for the cost of an metal bucket and fire wood.

to see it done look it up on youtube.
Yeah, need to try that. Thanks,
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:40 PM
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Very nice work. keep us posted
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:43 PM
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That worked pretty good. I'm always impressed when folks improvise, adapt, and overcome. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbs383ci View Post
good deal man. hey you can make your on charcoal, you just need a metal bucket with a lid take 10d nail and punch a hole in the lid of the bucket, then put what ever kind of wood you want to make charcoal out of in the bucket close it up and set it in a fire let it cook for i about a couple of hours and take it our of the fire and let it cool do not open it while it is hot it will burst into flames as soon as air hits it. once its cool take it out and you should have lump charcoal for the cost of an metal bucket and fire wood.

to see it done look it up on youtube.
I saw a Hillbilly show a couple weeks ago and they made
charcoal in a 55 gal drum.....
Punch holes in top and bottom and put "chimney stack"
in the center of the drum as you stack in HW around the
"stack"......after you get drum full, pull out the "stack"
so air can come thru the middle of your wood.....Their
"Stack" was a 2X4 just to create air space in the center of
their drum...

Their drum was setting on cinder blocks so air could come
in the bottom....After you get the wood burning
good, seal the top to choke off air and walk away....Next
day you "should" have a 55 gal drum of charcoal !!!!

Nice forge by the way.....Keep posting pics.....cant wait
to see some knives.........Got some old RR spikes if you
need em......
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Mag Hunter View Post
I saw a Hillbilly show a couple weeks ago and they made
charcoal in a 55 gal drum.....
Punch holes in top and bottom and put "chimney stack"
in the center of the drum as you stack in HW around the
"stack"......after you get drum full, pull out the "stack"
so air can come thru the middle of your wood.....Their
"Stack" was a 2X4 just to create air space in the center of
their drum...

Their drum was setting on cinder blocks so air could come
in the bottom....After you get the wood burning
good, seal the top to choke off air and walk away....Next
day you "should" have a 55 gal drum of charcoal !!!!

Nice forge by the way.....Keep posting pics.....cant wait
to see some knives.........Got some old RR spikes if you
need em......
Thanks for the advice! No knives from me anytime soon. I have some spikes, but I have beat on those enough to know it is ALOT of work to get a blade from one! Plus, I don't know if that little generic anvil will stand up to the beating. Maybe one day...
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:29 PM
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Very cool. I made a forge out of a brake drum and use it to heat treat blades.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:49 AM
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Where there's a will there's a way. Welcome to the addiction.
Nice work for starting out. Cadium and zinc (galv) metals will manifest a yellow to white surface dust as they start to burn off. If you see this happening get everybody up wind and pull the stuff out of the forge dump it in the slack bucket to cool and toss it in the recycle bin. It shows up pretty fast, just pay attention.

Where are you located in GA? You are welcome to attend any of my hammer-ins, if you want to learn a little more about the cutlery end of things.
On your anvil - since it is a bit undersize for general blacksmithing work, you can boost it's efficiency by setting it on top of a heavy chunk of mild steel several inches thick (use a thin layer of silicone to mate the two up solid)...it will help some. There is a ratio of hammer size/mass to anvil mass - if you go above the ratio in hammer size you are wasting energy and sweat. Try using a slightly smaller hammer with a smaller surface face and you will be surprised how much more efficient your strokes will be.
Lot of tricks to learn, so you might try hooking up with the Alex Bealer blacksmithing group (statewide) good folks with lots to share.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anvil Head View Post
Where there's a will there's a way. Welcome to the addiction.
Nice work for starting out. Cadium and zinc (galv) metals will manifest a yellow to white surface dust as they start to burn off. If you see this happening get everybody up wind and pull the stuff out of the forge dump it in the slack bucket to cool and toss it in the recycle bin. It shows up pretty fast, just pay attention.

Where are you located in GA? You are welcome to attend any of my hammer-ins, if you want to learn a little more about the cutlery end of things.
On your anvil - since it is a bit undersize for general blacksmithing work, you can boost it's efficiency by setting it on top of a heavy chunk of mild steel several inches thick (use a thin layer of silicone to mate the two up solid)...it will help some. There is a ratio of hammer size/mass to anvil mass - if you go above the ratio in hammer size you are wasting energy and sweat. Try using a slightly smaller hammer with a smaller surface face and you will be surprised how much more efficient your strokes will be.
Lot of tricks to learn, so you might try hooking up with the Alex Bealer blacksmithing group (statewide) good folks with lots to share.

Good info, thanks. I am south of Atlanta and just 12 miles north of Griffin, in Hampton. I would love to hook up with some pros to learn more! The closest I have found any demonstrations is Dawsett Trails in Jackson. Been meaning to go down there just haven't made the time.

If I get a chance later I will post a pic of my main cross peen hammer and it's size.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:28 AM
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Nice work now you will be "Hooked"
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:38 AM
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Looks like your a master scavenger , nice work set up. Scott
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:48 AM
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Very good work!
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor Blade View Post
Looks like your a master scavenger , nice work set up. Scott
I come by it naturally. I used to go to the dump with my granddaddy and we usually came back with more than we took! Wish I could get another day with him.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:19 AM
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Great job and a good setup. I saw some videos of African tribesmen making knives and tools using a sledge hammer head as an anvil and what looked like a Dakota fire pit for a forge so it does not need to be complicated. Looks like you have very good hammer control for just starting out.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:20 AM
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Yes sir , i know i would like to spend more with both of mine.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drippin' rock View Post
GThe closest I have found any demonstrations is Dawsett Trails in Jackson. Been meaning to go down there just haven't made the time.
Nice work!

From the pics...see a Hello Kitty napkin on the floor...so I'm guessing you got at least a little girl So...all that to say...when you do make your way to Dawsett Trails, take the whole fam. They've got a really neat zoo/nature preserve that is free. My kids love it.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:03 PM
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Nice work!

From the pics...see a Hello Kitty napkin on the floor...so I'm guessing you got at least a little girl So...all that to say...when you do make your way to Dawsett Trails, take the whole fam. They've got a really neat zoo/nature preserve that is free. My kids love it.
Yep. Two girls, 9 and 11. That's how I know about the place. They have been two or three times, me- none.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:28 PM
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Nice work!
I have been thinking about a forge for a while, the charcoal making idea i will have to try.

I fit pipe at work, brake drums i have from racing and farm equipment, a welder and i have an old blower i bought at a farm equipment auction a few years ago as well as a cheap 100lb anvil.

Farming on the weekends you always are repairing old equipment. Bent metal needs to be straightened so heat and a hammer are needed.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:40 AM
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You fellas ought to make a trip up to Trackrock this fall and check out some of the Lp forge setups. Cleaner, faster start-up/shut-down, better heat control, no fire maintenance and smaller footprint.
Did fire-poking for a while and still enjoy messin with it from time to time, but if you find you are short on time/space or both, Lp forges are the ticket. Both of you being scroungers can really reduce the expense of making one. Don't have over $50 in any of the ones I've built.
I have a three burner NC Daddy Whisper Jet forge (Lp) that I don't need or use. Very well built forge, but not much use to me, much better suited for general smithing work. Do a google on it and PM me if interested.

Oh yeah: www.alexbealer.com
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:20 AM
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Nice work. Good luck with future projects.
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