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rebelgtp
rebelgtp Dork
3/19/10 3:25 p.m.

Hey guys I am trying to setup the layout for the new shop and rest of my property and the like and I decided I wanted to build something I have always wanted and that is a forge for doing metal work.

For as long as I can remember I have loved knives, and the like and wanted to learn how to make them. I figure since I new have a place of my own and plenty of space I could build an outdoor forge. I already have a couple of anvils that I have inherited.

I would like to keep away from gas forges at this point and stick with coal/coke and the like. Anyone here ever build something like this? I was thinking about using an old shop vac motor for the blower to supply air to the fire. I would like to have it be large enough to use with things larger than just knives because who knows what I'll make in the future.

So how about it? Have I reached the limit of knowledge of the guys on this board?

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
3/19/10 3:44 p.m.

From my research, it doesn't take very much air at all for these type of things. A shop vac motor would likely be 10x too much air, unless you are building a REALLY BIG forge.

Look for those books on DIY furnaces and forges.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo SuperDork
3/19/10 3:49 p.m.

Chuck has been talking about making a Brake Drum Forge for a while, but he has yet to finish it. I don't think a motorized air supply will be the best choice.

Cone_Junky
Cone_Junky New Reader
3/19/10 3:49 p.m.

I thought life was good when I had my own welder. Put a forge in my workshop and you won't see me again.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
3/19/10 4:46 p.m.
EastCoastMojo wrote: Chuck has been talking about making a Brake Drum Forge for a while, but he has yet to finish it. I don't think a motorized air supply will be the best choice.

With a big drum a hair dryer works great. Low and high speed.

cwh
cwh SuperDork
3/19/10 6:10 p.m.

You can a lot of info on the web. They are generally pretty simple. I've spent a bit of time with a crude one, had fun, did some cool stuff. They are great for heating metal up to hammer into all kinds of shapes. You will discover your artistic side and people will think you are a warlock with magic powers.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
3/19/10 7:25 p.m.
cwh wrote: You will discover your artistic side and people will think you are a warlock with magic powers.

awesomes.......

porksboy
porksboy Dork
3/19/10 8:07 p.m.

Get these and learn. http://www.anvilfire.com/bookrev/index.php?bodyName=forge_anvil/book_review.htm&titleName=Forge%20and%20Anvil%20by%20Alan%20Rogers

With a little luck you can find the series online? I watched them when they were broadcast on PBS in Georgia. Now I too have room and want to build a forge but realy dont have the time for another hobby.

rebelgtp
rebelgtp Dork
3/19/10 8:25 p.m.
EastCoastMojo wrote: Chuck has been talking about making a Brake Drum Forge for a while, but he has yet to finish it. I don't think a motorized air supply will be the best choice.

Hehe I know what my weekend project will be. Hopefully I can make it out to the junk yard tomorrow morning before I have to go to the mountains.

Now I need to find a chunk of wood or something to mount my anvil to. Sweet looks like next week I might be doing my first messing around with blacksmithing.

porksboy
porksboy Dork
3/19/10 9:12 p.m.

I have a brake drum from some sort of realy serious earth moving equipment, must be 20" in diameter and a foot deep. What kind of forge can I make with that?

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo SuperDork
3/19/10 9:21 p.m.
rebelgtp wrote: Hehe I know what my weekend project will be. Hopefully I can make it out to the junk yard tomorrow morning before I have to go to the mountains. Now I need to find a chunk of wood or something to mount my anvil to. Sweet looks like next week I might be doing my first messing around with blacksmithing.

Glad I can help keep your project list up to speed. Just when you thought you had exhaused the guy's expertise on da board.

griffin729
griffin729 Reader
3/19/10 9:26 p.m.

I have a friend that is a reenactor. I don't know what he has for his forge at home, but I have seen his travel forge. It's basically a cast iron grill and a smallish hand cranked blower. The shop-vac motor would work, but you would essentially be turning it on for a second or two then turning it off for a few minutes. Other wise you're going to be working with too hot of a flame.

rebelgtp
rebelgtp Dork
3/19/10 9:27 p.m.
porksboy wrote: I have a brake drum from some sort of realy serious earth moving equipment, must be 20" in diameter and a foot deep. What kind of forge can I make with that?

Holy smokes that thing would be nice.

Mojo yep this place never ceases to amaze me. I'll be sure to do an update when I get this thing together. Kinda makes me wish my scrap pile in the shop was bigger, most of the stuff out there will be of no use for this.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo SuperDork
3/19/10 10:01 p.m.
rebelgtp wrote: Mojo yep this place never ceases to amaze me. I'll be sure to do an update when I get this thing together.

Abso berkeleying loutely! I have actually been hoping to see what it will be capable of once built up. I would love to see some pics.

rebelgtp wrote: Kinda makes me wish my scrap pile in the shop was bigger, most of the stuff out there will be of no use for this.

The scrap pile always has a use, we just haven't found the right project for it yet. The scrap pile are the pieces that call to you, they will have a purpose in time.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo SuperDork
3/19/10 10:14 p.m.
porksboy wrote: I have a brake drum from some sort of realy serious earth moving equipment, must be 20" in diameter and a foot deep. What kind of forge can I make with that?

From what I understand you want the well to be fairly small with a tub built to accomodate the size of projects you are likely to undertake. I think 20 x 12 will require WAY more fuel than necessary to keep the temp you want for working most projects, as you can only work so much metal at a time.

mistanfo
mistanfo Dork
3/20/10 2:40 a.m.
EastCoastMojo wrote: Glad I can help keep your project list up to speed. Just when you thought you had exhaused the guy's expertise on da board.

That's when the ladies on the board step up the knowledge base.

NYG95GA
NYG95GA SuperDork
3/20/10 8:04 a.m.
griffin729 wrote: I have a friend that is a reenactor. I don't know what he has for his forge at home, but I have seen his travel forge. It's basically a cast iron grill and a smallish hand cranked blower. The shop-vac motor would work, but you would essentially be turning it on for a second or two then turning it off for a few minutes. Other wise you're going to be working with too hot of a flame.

I did a bunch of that reenactment back in the 80s. Some buckskinners, but mostly SCA medieval. Our local Shire maintained a crude but functional armory, including a small forge made from the upper portion of a stainless steel beer keg. We'd found an old cast iron hand-operated air pump to feed the blast. That pump was a bear to get cranked up, but once the momentum was going, it made a nice steady airstream, and would continue to run about a minute after letting go. We learned a good bit about the art/science of blacksmithing, although we never tackled a project as large as a real sword, we made lots of knives and axe heads, etc. Coolest mobile blast funace I ever saw was fed by a leather/wood foot bellows, scavenged from an antiqe pump organ.

When it comes to the finished product, the trick is to use a good anvil and large selection of hammers; different shapes, weights, patterns, etc. Very labor intensive, but very educational, too. Wish I had pix to share, but that was a long time ago!

bluej
bluej HalfDork
3/20/10 8:53 a.m.
EastCoastMojo wrote: The scrap pile always has a use, we just haven't found the right project for it yet. The scrap pile are the pieces that call to you, they will have a purpose in time.

Can I get you to call and explain that to my girlfriend? She's awesome and very supportive of my hobbies but that's the only thing she has a little trouble with.. I figure coming from another woman might help

Travis_K
Travis_K Dork
3/20/10 11:55 a.m.

I have used a forge with an electric blower before, it worked fine. I agree on not using a gas forge, for most stuff they dont work near as well. I did melt copper in a gas forge, that was kinda fun.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo SuperDork
3/20/10 12:40 p.m.
bluej wrote:
EastCoastMojo wrote: The scrap pile always has a use, we just haven't found the right project for it yet. The scrap pile are the pieces that call to you, they will have a purpose in time.
Can I get you to call and explain that to my girlfriend? She's awesome and very supportive of my hobbies but that's the only thing she has a little trouble with.. I figure coming from another woman might help

Does she have a clothing "collection"? I would draw the parallel that if she is hanging onto something in the hopes that it will either come back into style or she will be able to fit into it again, it's the same thing as saving a bit of angle iron for a future project that might need a bracket or some bracing.

Keep in mind that most gals don't "get" me, so I may not be that much help.

Kramer
Kramer HalfDork
3/20/10 3:58 p.m.

Growing up, we had a very old forge, complete with the crank blower. We were just kids, so we didn't do anything except bang a lot of hot metal, and probably burn ourselves, but with the blower cranked, we could really heat up some charcoal and metal. It was fun.

I'm sure that forge is still in a barn, somewhere on the farm.

stroker
stroker Reader
3/21/10 9:49 a.m.

blacksmithing is a berkleying riot. My doc wanted to know what all those little shiny spots on my forearms were. I told it was two semesters of blacksmithing in college. A few years ago I bought an large anvil intending to start again but I never did...

IMHO a shop vac will provide WAY too much air. The hair dryer sounds much more appropriate. Don't forget that more air will vastly increase your fuel (coal, etc) usage. I think that unless I was doing "production" work the hand-crank is the best choice. If I needed a very hot fire for continual use THEN a blower would be appropriate.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
3/21/10 10:00 a.m.

http://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/

http://forums.dfoggknives.com/

http://www.anvilfire.com/

And heres a website for a guy I know from another forum, this is his real homebrewed forge and projects hes smithed.

http://metalmaster1766.webs.com/blacksmithbladesmith.htm

cwh
cwh SuperDork
3/21/10 10:01 a.m.

I would suggest a floor mounted switch to control the hair dryer. Hands free. Rebel gtp needs a mount for an anvil. I used a length of 6" I beam, welded to a large truck wheel. Solid and heavy, but you could still roll it around to move it.

griffin729
griffin729 Reader
3/21/10 10:03 a.m.

In reply to NYG95GA:

Yeah the friend I was talking about is a Duke in the SCA, and most of the blacksmithing he does is buckskin era.

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