Just a basic run through on a tried and true standard. The small scale hobbyist smith coal forge, with upgrades soon to come. I spent many happy hours in my youth turning out dozens of leaf blade throwers hammered out of hydraulic lifters with a forge just like this and a scrap of I beam as an anvil. I eventually expanded my horizons and started making more useful tools and articles in steel, began experimenting with forge welding and then broke my hand. Six weeks later, with a no longer wounded paw and an average teenager's attention span, I wandered on to other hobbies and interests. Now, many years later I find an urge to beat things with a hammer again, and wanted to make sure that I did it properly.
***** EDIT ***** Please use safe methods when using galvanized piping around heat sources. At high temperatures, the zinc oxide plating can vaporize and cause metal poisoning. If you must use galvanized, the coating can be removed by soaking in a mild acid such as vinegar for several days and then mechanically stripping the outer layer.
I wanted to make another start, but did not have the money to invest in anything large scale. This basic forge was built for under $40 with only two stops for materials and a build time of approx 10 minutes.
1. Brake Drum (size as you feel appropriate) from local wrecking yard or neighbors unattended vehicle
2. Floor flange (size to fit brake drum)
3. T Connection (size to fit floor flange)
4. Nipples (both close, and long)
5. Nuts and Bolts (sized to fit flange)
6. Shower Drain Strainer
I picked up the brake drum at my local wrecking yard. $10 for self service and there was no shortage of loose ones scattered about for the choosing. I probably spent more time eyeballing potential new projects than I did choosing a body for my forge. I then stopped by my favorite Home Depot for the rest of the supplies. I picked up a 1" floor flange for the underside of my forge with a standard shower drain for the inside grate. Went with a matching 1"close nipple, 1" Tee and another 6" nipple for my air supply. Snagged some #10 nuts and bolts for the connections and headed for the house.