Picture of Make a small, practical forge
forge mk 2 woodpile .jpg
forge mk 2 avec lead.jpg

i'mma making another instructable, showing what you can upgrade this to without much work. coming soon!

This instructable will show you how to make a small (no more than 2 feet by two feet) forge for melting lead and/or heating thin-ish steel to shape it.

Unfortunately, i only have pics of the forge in action, as i didnt think of making an instructable until i came in.

Be careful with this, as it can produce high temperatures and will almost certainly injure you if you touch the bricks after use. Give it about a 2 day cooldown period just to be safe.

Step 1: Bricks!

Picture of Bricks!
You need them. anything from 5-11 will work fine. If you only have 5, you can only make one layer though :(

Also, something to put underneath it. I used roofing slate, and although it cracked because of the heat, it kept it burning REAL hot.
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curvy773 years ago
i have based my forge design of of this and has worked great. (kinda). after using both charcoal and wood i have found that while charcoal burns longer, wood burns hotter. perfect example is that my forge when first used had charcoal and burned well in a closed area for more heat.

howver when i switched to wood with an open furnace the briicks started exploding from intense heat.
NinjaDude4 years ago
I start with wood, then add some coal. It burns longer and plenty hot. Works well for me, I like the low tech approach of this.
hobbitboy4 years ago
i cot my wood in potroleam jelly and hand sanitizer it makes the flame hoter but dont get any on your hands or it will but them
josh13246 years ago
Great Instructable! I was looking at how to make a forge and all the other ones were too hard and expensive. :)
khaeotixs (author)  josh13246 years ago
ayeaye, but i wouldn't recommend building this for anything other than melting lead/heating thin steel When i build my new one, there'll be step-by-step instructions on how to build it and it should be grand. the one i'm working with at the minute is amazing, it follows the same basic design as this, but is square and uses a lot more bricks. if you want more info on my new forge, send me a message or a comment and i'll be glad to help
plz make an insatructable fir it
bakabr5 years ago
c'mon guy, just melting lead is a noob thing. u know what? u can do this simply using a tin/aluminum container and ur stove, c'mon, i know u r more intelligent than this guy, c'mon...
Crail6 years ago
So, what's the deal with a burn permit on this. Yes, no, depends on...?
Crail Crail6 years ago
nevermind, just figured out it wasn't an open flame
no offense, and i realize that i am not an expert in this area, but lets just say there are better ibles.
There are. i've improved this massively since then. it now runs on coal and is highly efficient... melted thin steel plate a while ago :( it was my crucible for melting lead... i looked back and had lost the bottom of the crucible.
joey25426677 years ago
Is it possible to melt alunimum foil?
Unless you super size this, no. The melting point of aluminum is 1220 degrees F, and he said it can melt lead, so the forge probably goes up to about 621 degrees F (melting point of lead). Just google the material and 'melting point' and you can usually find the temperature pretty easily
your plain old average campfire can get steel and iron red hot as well as melting lead
could it melt steel?
It would take alot of heat but it may be possible. just make sure that for the crucible you use something that has a much higher melting temperature than steel.
khaeotixs (author)  Aar000n3y7 years ago
you could do it if you added a better air system... mostly what i used was my own lungs and the natural draw, which usually lead to me being out of breath
lol, OK well I have an air compressor.
Blow dryer works good too. btw. And a cheap low-power one will be less expensive to run then your compressor. You won't get as much air pressure, but that really shouldn't be an issue. It should be plenty for aluminum. Aluminum foil melted can be used like paint. Very neat effect.
OK thanks
If you decide to use the paint idea, be careful. If you use it on glass make sure the glass is fairly warm first. Think ice is hot water, only more dangerous. You probably already realize that, but I figured it was worth saying.
Ice IN hot water. Weird typo, only missed by half the keyboard. lol
lol ok, thanks
With this forge.
With this forge or in general?
ardo69696 years ago
could it harden and temper steel
ardo69696 years ago
could it melt steel or not
Sora_1_26 years ago
Is the roofing slate or whatever I decide to use just to keep the ground from burning or what?
octavian2347 years ago
what are the melting points of some metals like nickel, iron, copper, aluminum, tin, lead, and steel
well copper is about 2000 degrees tins is about 600 degrees steel is like 5000 degrees aluminum is 1200 degrees iron is about 1800 degrees and nickel is 2700 dgre
With the exception of steel, all of your listed metals are elements. A good periodic table should tell you what you want know. Wikipedia and a Material Safety Data Sheet are also good sources for information on metals.
zerrodach7 years ago
cool instructable but can it melt anything besides lead? because lead is soft and poisenous, and i dont like handling it
thegamer2117 years ago
Great Instructable, easy to make/understand! But will this melt (with just a wood fire) anything other than lead? And also, can anyone think of any household item besides fishing weights that are made of lead?
khaeotixs (author)  thegamer2117 years ago
hmm... you'll be surprised. However, id recommend coal or amthesyte. It'll melt things like aluminium, but you might want to make a crucible for that. Also, if you're going to melt aluminium you may just want to stockpile at least 3 pallets worth of chopped up wood (I.E. chopping up 3 pallets ;))
Did you mean anthracite?
antracite is hard 2 get and expensive... USE CHARCOAL! Its just as good as coal, they are actually the same. They both have roughly the same BTU's per pound, its just that coal is just so much more dense, it looks like it has more energy, but coal and charcoal are equivelant.
zach911 thoraxe7 years ago
not to be rude but they arent the same. charcoal is made from wood briquets and coal is mined.
thoraxe zach9117 years ago
pound per pound they contain the same BTU's. they are not physically the same, as coal is denser because it is compacted from it's creation process. charcoal is much purer than coal. you are correct, they are not the same thing but there main composition and BTU's per pound are equal. They are both primarily carbon. Graphite and jet are also types of coal, they are extremely hard to ignite and form after anthracite.
Derin thoraxe7 years ago
diamonds are also carbon:)now i will go crush some coal with my 100 ton press :) then sell those
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