This forge is made on the budget to get myself into blacksmithing. By taking my time to find all the parts needed I spent only 25€ on this project and it works flawlessly!
Step 1: Where to Start
In this video I make the forge from start to finish, I suggest you to watch it first: most steps are self explanatory.
Step 2: Find Some Suitable Steel
This is by far the most time consuming part of the build. Here are some advice:
Places to visit:
1) Vehicle recycling yard
Here we are looking for only one item: a large drum brake. The one I got came from a Van, any vehicle this big or bigger can have a large enough drum brake. Don't even look at car ones because they are way too small for our application!
2) Metal scrapyard
Bring a good pair of gloves and dig into the pile! You'll need many stuff here :)
How to approach:
- The key to stay on the cheap side is to pick up what they have and especially those pieces that don't have much intrinsic value like rusty mild steel.
- Find a spot where you are not into the way of none and make it your own product design spot.
- Improvise with what you find: this forge can be done in hundred of different ways just walk around look for sturdy mild steel pieces then when you find something suitable lay it on your spot.
- Take your time!
What to take home:
- Thick base plate
- Legs: three or four (three way leg is easier to level)
- Thin top plate
- Square tubing to build edges to contain the coal
- A tubing of some sort from where air will be blown inside the fire. A "T" joint is prefered
I won't give you any measurements so that you won't look after some precise pieces, again, the key is to get what you find! :)
Step 3: Assembly
Once you have all the pieces this part should pass smooth and fast. The steps I personally went through are the following, but those might vary depending on the pieces you found earlier! Please note that I don't claim my design to be the best out there, if you like go ahead and get some inspiration, otherwise change it as you want and make it the best with what you can find.
(These steps are ordered as the images of this "Assembly Step")
- Cut the opening for the brake drum on the top plate
- Weld the sides pieces Weld from both sides the brake drum
- Weld from both sides the brake drum
- Now on the base plate attach the legs
- Join the two parts togheter with a good amount of welds everywhere you can
- I also added 2 side handles to hang tools and to move the forge easier
- Connect the brake drum flange to the air inlet tubing
- Screw it under with the bolts that came originally with the brake
- Take off rust and dirt from the steel and give a good coat of high temperature paint
The welder I use is a really cheap stick welder, it can weld trough some rust with no problem and without compromising the overall strenght.
Welding galvanized steel produces harmfull fumes. Avoid welding it when possible, if you really have to (like I had for the air tubing) you must do it outside in a well ventilated area and you must use a good respirator. No jokes here, those fumes are really bad!
Rust removing tip:
A wire wheel on the angle grinder removes rust incredibly fast. Remember eye protection since little wire will fall of from the wheel all the time at high speed.
Step 4: Air Blower
The motor came from a vacuum cleaner I found on the side of the road in my town.
I've teared down the whole thing leaving intact the pcb with the speed potentiometer and the switch.
The filter of the vacuum cleaner has been reattached to the suction side of the blower to prevent object and dust to be pulled inside the motor.
All the pieces then have been inserted inside some plastic water drain pipe.
To connect the blower to the forge I found it was easy to hang everything for the tool holder bar I made previously while the end of the blower get blocked with four bolt at the beginning of the forge air pipe.
The speed contoller is very convinient since the amount of air you blow inside che coal dictate how hot it gets.
While the forge is running the air passing through the tubes act also as a cooler so that the various parts don't get hot and there is no problem of melting the plastic pieces of the blower.
Step 5: Extra Parts
At this point the forge is usable, I added only three more parts to make it more convinient to use:
- Inside the drum brake I added a 5mm thick steel plate with many 5mm holes to prevent chunk of coal to fall inside the tubing while allowing all the air to pass.
- At the bottom of the forge I added a spring loaded mechanism to block the tubing with yet another plate so that the fine dust don't just fall on the ground but instead can be collected in a bucket once in a while (see the image).
- Under the base plate I welded two casters and one feet the same height of the casters so that I can move easier the forge. At this point it weight so much that I don't feel much comfortable to lift it up all the time to move it!
Step 6: You Are Done!
Overall I would say this project is not really hard if you take your time.
I already used this forge for my first blacksmithing project and works well for me :)
On the video you see me burning some common charcoal, the one you would use in barbecue, but that isn't the best choice at all! Coke works much better, it burns hotter and it last much longer. I highly suggest to invest in some coke if you can, also because is not much more expensive than normal charcoal if you can find it near you :)
I'll leave also some photos of the coke I use now for you to see!
Thank you for reading this instructables! Ask me anything you want and feel free to leave your suggestion if you want to :) I'm new to this awesome platform so excuse me if I missed something important.
Have fun hammering on some glowing steel.