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. 

Step 1:

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. 

Materials needed...

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.
<p>You can buy those fancy-dan propane forges for a few hundred bucks, but building your own from a brake drum, I think, gives a guy a sense of accomplishment that you can't get from just typing in your credit card number on eBay. I'm on my way to building one of these, but the bugaboo for me is WHERE DO YOU FIND COAL? There are places that sell it online, but jeezaloo, they want a buck a pound plus shipping. There has to be a better source. Suggestions, anyone?</p>
<p>Use hardwood charcoal, they should sell it at most hardware stores. I use the brand Royal oak, and it works great</p>
Thanks for the tip. I've seen that brand at Walmart and other places. I'll try it! <br>
<p>I haven't done this myself but you could also make your own charcoal. To use the old methods leaves you with quite a bit of waste but if you can make a charcoal retort you will have more charcoal to use. again I haven't done this myself but I would like to </p>
Thanks for the tip. I've seen that very brand at Walmart and other places. I'll try that!
<p>hey nice project! A really simple way to slow a DC fan down is to get two crocodile / alligator clips and a length of stainless mig welding wire. break the live wire feed to the fan, clip the feed to one end of the wire and attach the other clip to the wire a few inches along move the other, then move the clip along and watch to see the fan speed or slow depending in the direction you move it. you can also measure the resistance of the welding wire. It's 'poor boy' resistance wire.</p>
<p>Nice instructable... I am going to use it to give new folks who ask me a good idea of how to make a forge...</p><p>Drag</p>
<p>Can you provide pictures of the nipples? I can't picture what you are talking about. Thanks. Good simple Instructable. I like it and will probably build one. I've thought about making a forge for some time and trying it out. </p>
<p>A close nipple is one that has threads on both ends, but little or no unthreaded pipe in between... If you look in the picture above it is directly below the tee fitting... Long nipples are ones where there is more unthreaded pipe in the middle, in the picture the one to the left of the tee is a long nipple...</p><p>Drag</p>
indeed. im hoping to build a small forge kind of like this one, and wiuld love to see some forging tools actually forged. ..might even have a small market on that. id buy lol
love it ...i'm going to go the same way as your instructable , keep it coming if you are making tools as i am completely new to forging . thanks for this .
listen and listen close , not to be blunt , but you need to edit the main post right now and warn people to not use any galvanized materials ANYWHERE on a forge. People die from this. ventilation or no ventilation its an extreme danger. even if you have pro level ventilation you are going to have heavy metal dust everywhere and its extremely toxic.
Unless yo have a source for an inexpensive heavy duty rheostat I'd grab some blower motor speed control resistors and switches while at the salvage yard.. They are made to run all day without problems.
My electronics skills are sub par. At the moment that project might be beyond what I could pull off. (Practicing my solder skills when I can, so maybe soon.) I need to put eyes and hands on the blower itself so I can see if I could maybe fab some kind of hand crank. I could just buy one, but that's no fun.
You're not using galvanized piping right? Very toxic.
Edit...The floor flange and the air pipe were galvanized. We were out of the black pipe in those two items at my Home Depot(I work there), but I did use black for the nipple and tee.
The flange and the tee are both galvanized. I do not have any kind of shelter for my workspace at the moment, so plenty of ventilation. Also,ZnO decomposes into zinc vapor and oxygen at around 1975 &deg;C. Heating with carbon converts the oxide into zinc vapor at a much lower temperature (around 950&deg;C). I don't think I will be getting the base or the tuyere anywhere close to those temps, so I should be safe from metal flu. Thank you very much for the concern though, and a safety tip I should have included.
i would suggest for your air supply to use an old hair dryer!
nice instructable also recycling tips! <br>
Nice Work! I built one like that myself a few years back. The only thing I did different was I used my shop vac for air into the forge. It worked out really well.
I like the shop vac idea. Definitely better than the pancake compressor I was using to build coke with. Will use that until I get around to building my blower.
That, or even a 12V pancake fan held off the end of the pipe by another cast base plate like you put on the drum end, but also held away by a wide pipe to prevent it from getting hot/melted. {[==]} -style. Could also create a slide shutter to increase/lower the air flow on same wider pipe. A friend who has gotten into the hobby of making knives, might be able to use same idea for a forge. <br>

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