Introduction: 2-day $20-$50 Blacksmithing Forge
A How-To on how to make a small forge
Step 1: The Stuff
Clay- From a potters-shop
Fan- From one of those tacky inflatible palm trees
Metal Chair- I got one from a junkyard. Stacked bricks will also work
Safety Wire- $5-$10 at hardware shops
Big Speaker- Found an old steel one at my church as well
Quickcrete- $3 on sale
Light Fixture- Got an old one from my chicken coop ($5 new)
Steel Pipe- Easily found at a junkyard/scrapyard. Be cautious: I unwisely used galvanized steel. Though the dangers are exaggerated, if used in an enclosed space, can be pretty rough.
Tire Rim- can be found at a junkyard too.
A Hack Saw- Every man should have one of these
I think that covers it- on to Step 2
Step 2: The Quickcrete
Get a burlap sack and put about 2-3 lbs of DRIED clay and pound with a sledge-hammer until the clay is a coarse powder. Edit: An old blender (salvation army, goodwill, ect) also works really well for this.
Mix the Quickcrete according to the "instructions"
I mixed about 3/8 bag of quickcrete to 3/4 gallon of water.
Put the water, Quickcerete, and clay in a 5-gallon bucket.
Mix the mix until it is just under a tacky consistency.
Step 3: The Stand
With the sledge break of the seat and backing of the chair.
Strip the speaker of the paper, the magnet, and copper coil until there is nothing but metal left.
Attach the speaker to the chair with the safety wire make sure it is very sturdy (you may weld if you like).
Edit: Speaker (obviously) isn't necessary. I used this to raise the forge-pot higher, to preference. In more recent builds, I've used brick--greater stability, more available, but less mobile.
Step 4: The Guts of the Heat
Get the lid from a Boy Scout popcorn tin and punch a hole the size of the steel pipe. This is only to fill the hole at the base of the tire rim. It works really well, but any thin sheet metal works (again, based on availability).
If holes are in the tire rim put tin foil over them (several layers thick).
Put the lid of the tin over the axle hole on the tire.
Step 5: The Heat
The Quickcrete should be ready. In globs, put the Quickcrete/clay on the tire rim.
Be very careful to allow no air pockets under the 'crete, as they will explode, and hurt.
After the layer of Quickcrete is 3in-4in thick, smooth the surface.
Step 6: The Fan
Cut the light fixture at the top. cram inside the "blowhole" of the fan.
Using the hack-saw, make a 1in long "V" cut in the pipe appx. 10-12in from the top.
Put the long end in the fan, and put the other end in the forge(I did this before I adhered the Quickcrete).
Step 7: The Pride
Stand back and gawk at your new creation. Smile because it is time to test it.
Warning: Heat slowly because the fire will expand any air/water and destroy parts of your beautiful forge. I'd recommend an initial burnout--start a small wood fire in the pot, and slowly increase the intensity for about 5 hours.
You are now done.
Tell me how yours worked, but if you die, it is not my fault.
If you have any questions, ask, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Edit: Another concern. If you blacksmith out of a shelter, place something over the forge when you're done. Precipitation will do a number on the surface of the material--as you re-heat it. Also, I live in Ohio, and the weather isn't exactly consistent--freezing and thawing (with moisture in the forgepot) will lead to it breaking down after about 2 years.