Homemade forge

Thread starter #1
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.:rolleyes: 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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#3
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.
 
Thread starter #5
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?
 

bbs383ci

Senior Member
#6
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.
 
Thread starter #7
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,
 
#9
That worked pretty good. I'm always impressed when folks improvise, adapt, and overcome. Thanks for sharing.
 
#10
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......:fine:
 
Thread starter #11
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......:fine:
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...
 
#13
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.
 
Thread starter #14
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.
 
#16
Looks like your a master scavenger , nice work set up. Scott
 

IFLY4U

Senior Member
#19
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.
 
#20
Yes sir , i know i would like to spend more with both of mine.
 
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