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Homemade Blacksmiths Forge

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Blog entry by AlexHarris posted 05-18-2011 03:53 PM 4105 reads 3 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey not exactly woodwork but I do hope to use this in the future to make some really nice handles for some projects and other trim pieces. (hope this is OK)

Really just an update on something else I have been doing and the construction of a forge, although I have improved it a little since.

Hope you enjoy!

-- Alex - http://www.thiswoodwork.com



20 comments so far

View ClayandNancy's profile

ClayandNancy

511 posts in 2483 days


#1 posted 05-18-2011 04:10 PM

Nice job. You might want to check in to fire brick, used in pizza ovens. They will withstand the heat. Regular brick has a tendency to explode when too high a temperature is reached. Keep them videos coming.

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2244 days


#2 posted 05-18-2011 04:24 PM

Agree with Clay and Nancy, You REALLY need to watch the level of heat with both the forge and “anvil.” Brick that is made for outdoors is a different material and has NOT had the moisture removed. A forge with forced air, using charcoal or coal can reach temps up to 2000 degree (F) depending on elevation. With regular brick that has not been fired to remove all moisture, the water in the brick will expand to explosive levels without warning.

Please be careful.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View ptweedy's profile

ptweedy

75 posts in 2861 days


#3 posted 05-18-2011 05:48 PM

hey guys; When I was a young clayjock I used the blowers that are in vacume cleaners to fire ceramic kilns. Just remove everything that is not blower and motor and install in a wood box. Stick on a piece of 2 inch steel conduet. Viola you have a very versitial blower assy. The above comments about fire bricks are not to be ignorded, they will explode. Use light colored brick. The bricks that you are using appear to be cement patio bricks. They are handgrandes waiting to happen. Also you would be wise to always wear a face shield when operating your furnace….phil

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2244 days


#4 posted 05-18-2011 08:30 PM

I knew someone that put a regular brick into a ceramic kiln (which is at a lower temp than a forge) to rest a pot on. The brick exploded with enough force that would have killed anyone in the room had there been people there at the time. Even lower temperature environments like oil furnaces that use a blower use fire brick for this reason.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View AlexHarris's profile

AlexHarris

92 posts in 2104 days


#5 posted 05-18-2011 08:47 PM

Thanks guys for the info, I will look into the new bricks, these bricks seem to be pretty stable but I don’t doubt how these can suddenly go.
For now I am going to protect my face and just keep an eye on the bricks although, the bricks do seem to perform quite well and I even after a god run the bricks are still good to though on the outside.
Thanks agian everyone and I hope you enjoyed the video, this was hust an experiment and I do hope to meke a better one soon.
Alex

-- Alex - http://www.thiswoodwork.com

View AlexHarris's profile

AlexHarris

92 posts in 2104 days


#6 posted 05-18-2011 10:18 PM

Hey guys!
After getting a number of comments about bricks cracking or even exploding, just out of curiosity I was wondering why this can happen. I am aware that a differnce in moisture which is quickly changed through the high heat could be a cause but I was under the impression that bricks were fired at a similar temperature anyway so they can be used.
Alex

-- Alex - http://www.thiswoodwork.com

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2583 days


#7 posted 05-19-2011 02:08 AM

they are more open in the pores and there for obtain moist very easy
I have a brick house that sucks water like a spunch :-(

take care
Dennis

View alfred222's profile

alfred222

98 posts in 2434 days


#8 posted 05-19-2011 03:43 AM

Yep Dennis is right water then turns to steam which can get trapped in the pores and explode,because of the heat your geneating in the forge this is definately likely to happen. Your videos are great, keep up the good work.

Thanks for your time and effort…Alf

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3187 posts in 2244 days


#9 posted 05-19-2011 01:36 PM

Fire brick is not made of regular clay and limestone like bricks. This is why they are as light as feather. When exposed to moisture, fire brick crumbles. Normally, they have mostly silica.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1676 posts in 2356 days


#10 posted 05-19-2011 01:54 PM

I’ve seen quite successful forges made without any bricks at all, just sand. Trickier to keep the airway clear, but one was a commercially used one that was several decades old. The other was made out of an old charcoal barbecue shell filled with sand and with a blower hooked to it.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1676 posts in 2356 days


#11 posted 05-19-2011 01:56 PM

By the way, the way I see it, you can make wood working tools in a forge, so it should be right on topic here.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1676 posts in 2356 days


#12 posted 05-19-2011 02:18 PM

Couple more thoughts after a second watching (my first was interrupted several times).

Do NOT cement the fire bricks together if you use them, as cement has the same problem with heat as regular bricks.

If there is a company in your area that works with thick sheet steel, ask them for a piece from their scrap bin. A piece about an inch or so thick and a foot square will make a great small anvil. Shouldn’t cost you much, as scrap steel is only a few pense a pound, so a quid or two should get you a nice size chunk to work with.

Vice grip type pliers make great tongs for working at the forge and hold a lot better than normal pliers, an important feature when working with very hot iron.

A heavier hammer would be better, something around 4 or 5 pounds with a 14 inch or so handle.

Power hacksaw blades are a good source of steel for blades of many kinds at a reasonable price, or even free if you find a shop that uses them. After all, you’ll be taking the teeth off, so being dull is no problem for you.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View huntter2022's profile

huntter2022

275 posts in 2083 days


#13 posted 05-19-2011 02:53 PM

I have to agree with the other on the bricks . There is alot you can do with a forge . By making a box putting sand in it packing the sand tightly you can press a object in it and make a mold you can pour melted metal in . Used to do this in shop class at school. You could start shoeing horses lol

David

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View DanCo's profile

DanCo

66 posts in 2366 days


#14 posted 05-19-2011 04:10 PM

I love it! Shaping metal is just as addictive as woodworking. Your in the UK, that is the home of modern anvils. Look for a peter wright or a mouse hole forge (that is the type I have). Not that you are into making knives, but look at a site called Britishblades.com . There a many guys near you who can help you get a good setup as well as find the tools and probably steel for you to play with. Blacksmithing was a dying art and it is having somewhat of a revival nowadays. My experience has been if you find one they will do all they can to help and guide you. They love new blood in their field. Definitely get the firebricks though, I’ve seen what can happen when using the wrong brick, you’ll be much happier and it will allow the fire to get much hotter. Good luck and feel free to PM me if you want more information. I have quite a few sites I can relay to you, but here isn’t probably the best place to give them.
Dan

-- Daniel

View Mike's profile

Mike

406 posts in 2155 days


#15 posted 05-20-2011 02:37 PM

I have read several blogs out there that say that if you have an old cast iron sink with ceramic coating, that you can cut the front down, add a screen to the drain hole, and attach a blower with metal pipe fittings to make a air feed. Has anyone heard of this, and if so, is it safe to actually do?

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - http://www.lepelstatcrafts.etsy.com - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCppWfrYGXCr5lm9uW-Fpqqw

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