Hey guys, today I bring you my step-by-step guide to building your own forge.
A while ago, I decided that I wanted to start doing some more serious metal-working and start in the art of manliness: blacksmithing. My only trouble was that I couldnt find many easy ways of building one, so I began planning and building for myself! Hope this helps anyone with the same predicament. 

Step 1: Your materials

The size of your forge is completely up to you, however for my forge, the materials you will need are: 
58 cement or fire bricks, preferably with the dimensions along the lines of 12"x5"x5"
Steel grating that will be as wide and long as your forge
Air supply/bellows (I used a shop-vac in this case) 
<p>I've two questions, if anyone has time to answer. (I'm starting my own blacksmithing/bladesmithing voyage soon!): </p><p>1) Is there any way to safely hold the bricks together? I ask since you said using mortar wouldn't work. </p><p>2) Won't the steel grating melt as well? Or it doesn't melt since it's &quot;beneath&quot; the fire? </p><p>Thank ye kindly! </p>
<p>You can used a base plate or frame to hold your bricks, a V channel for long metal jobs works great, a pipe with hole drilled in it down along the bottom of the V for air. A brake drum or BBQ kettle base for a bowl shape and line with clay and ash where the heat sits. Standard cement mortar doesnt work.</p><p>Use a heavier grate if you are concerned but they will all sag with heat, use 'fired' house brick with holes cast in them already instead of a grate and support those with a steel frame or tray.</p>
<p>In terms of the bricks, I am not sure if there is a great way to hold everything together, but this has been around for a while and the bricks have all stayed in place and kept working well thus far!<br><br>As for the steel grate, it will warp a little bit due to heat, but it hasn't had any issues so far. Because it is below the heat, and because you are not getting the metal hot enough to melt it as is, the grate shouldn't melt as long as you are using steel grating :)</p>
Alsey brand fire clay is my favorite,I gallon will lay 100 firebrick.You want to butter thin 1/8 inch.Use small fireplace trowel
<p>Wow, thank you for the swift response, Joshua! </p><p>As for the grating, guess I'll just do a test run, and if it holds together fine, I'll keep an eye on it after every use. If it warps too much I'll just replace it. </p><p>And the refractory mortar makes a lot of sense. Not sure how it is where you live, but it's largely used at my location for those big, orange brick barbecue furnaces. </p><p>Many thanks, Master Joshua! </p>
<p>Another commenter has suggested using refractory mortar to hold the bricks together tho. I haven't done this, so I can't personally speak to it's effectiveness. But I don't see why it wouldn't work :)</p>
<p>With regards to using bricks for the structure. Firebricks are fine but expensive, 'fired' house bricks have been kiln fired and will withstand 1500C without temp issues but they will start to break down after a lot of use, fired soft clay bricks will breakdown after less use, unfired home made bricks from clay or mud will be fine they are porous and air will bleed out but they will have less mechanical strength. Concrete brick/pavers is not designed for heat stability and will break down over time.</p><p> Fire brick clay or mortar is ideal for joining but you can get away with just stacking the bricks, unless you need a permanent structure, after all it is mainly just for containment of heat and fuel source.</p><p>A simple way to make a portable forge is to just stack bricks and dismantle later.</p><p>Ancient cultures just use ash, dirt or sand as the insulating material between your heat source and structure.</p><p>DO NOT use river stones, they explode because the water has penetrated thru them and they take years to dry out properly - the internal water turns to steam and they explode because they are not usually porous.</p>
Would pavers be able to withstand the heat instead of fire bricks?
Will not hold up long before cracking
I'm not sure what you mean by &quot;pavers&quot;.
Nevermind I found sandstone and concrete blocks and I think I'll use those instead. Thanks for the quick response though!
I'm a 30 plus year mason.Use a small fireplace trowel,Butter each firebrick with a product called fire clay,only need a thin 1/8 inch bed.We have built thousands of fireplaces with this product and method.A forge is basically a fireplace
<p>Could I use homemade bricks to make this? Plus how do you channel the air up to the fire?</p>
I would suggest against using homemade bricks due to the possibility of them cracking and possibly exploding if they contain air bubbles. As for the air flow, I created a small opening in the lower middle of the forge by separating 2 bricks, inserted the air hose and angled it upwards. Seems to work well enough like that, but I do prefer having it blast more at the back wall so that it doesn't blow burning charcoal around.
Thanks for the quick response, but sadly I didn't read it until after I made a homemade brick forge, it hasn't exploded since 2 days ago when I made it but it has been steaming through the cracks. I will want to make either another forge with factory made stones/bricks or make a tabletop forge. As for the air, what should I do if I buy a hand-cranked bellow thingy that doesn't have a hose to channel the air.
<p>If it has some sort of nozzle on it, find something to raise the bellow up so it is level with the hole, and just put the nozzle into the hole (if it is metal, or plastic, depending on the kind). Should solve your issue :)</p>
<p>what about adding a tin roof on top so if it rains it won't put out your fire?</p>
<p>great design but not very efficient i made mine seven sixteen inch long eight inch wide and four inch thick concrete blocks </p>
<p>thats grate</p>
<p>I see what you did there</p>
<p>You might want to look into a smaller overall setup to make more effecient use of the heat that your charcoal is putting out. other than that, a more directional flow of air will help it burn hotter as well.great build though!</p>
Yo, I work with two thin-as-rails/ strong as oxen women who kick-ass at doing metal work, forging, welding, etc. Let's not turn this art form -metallurgy -- into another &quot;boys club.&quot; Let's be inclusive and recognize that while &quot;manliness&quot; may be meant in jest, it's easily seen as one more barrier being used to incorrectly characterize this art form as only for the XYs among us at best; misogynistic &amp; sexist @ worst. This Community includes men AND women!<br><br>Otherwise, Awesome build! Keep on keepin' on!
<p>Hey I was wondering what kind of Charcoal do you use for your forge. I also am trying the art of manliness and I have a forge similar to this but don't have fuel to make it actually &quot;Forge&quot;.</p>
<p>When I fire it up, I just grab a bag of charcoal from walmart, usually the barbecue stuff. Works surprisingly well. Just try to avoid the briquettes and get the lump (the stuff that just looks like chunks of wood) </p>
I was actually planning on taking a pic of my whole work station when I got a chance. and surprisingly, no, the nozzle didn't melt after well over an hour of working with it.
Can you take some picture of the vacuum set-up? Wouldn't the nozzle start to melt if it's too close to the heat?
Have you ever thought about joining the bricks with refractory mortar and thus making a permanent forge?

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