So here you have a basic forge. It's nothing beautiful but it does the job and that's all I was looking for here.
Most of it was scrap but I did purchase some of the parts. Not counting what I already had, I spent about 40 bucks.
Now you can craft your own knives, tools, and decorative bird feeder hangers for the wife.
(The idea and design for this forge were obtained from an Ag teacher's YTube video.)
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Step 1: Gather Supplies
- Brake Disk or Rotor (I used some warped Rotors off my car)
- Scrap Metal for the Stand
- Floor Flange, Tee, Cap, and 3 couplings (I purchased mine at HD)
- Rebar for blacksmithing
- 4 bolts, washers and nuts (bolts need to be minimum 1 inch long)
- Drill and bit
- Mortar (only about a cup)
- Scrap metal with holes in it (clinker breaker)
- Tin Can
- A blow dryer that doesn't work.
- On/Off switch ( I used a sewing foot pedal)
- Soldering Iron/Solder
- Alligator clips
- Battery (I used a dewalt 18v battery)
- Lump Charcoal (Best Option)
- Regular Charcoal (Burns fast so have a lot!)
Step 2: Forge- Attach the Floor Flange
Flip the rotor upside down and mark the holes for the floor flange.
Drill the holes.
Step 3: Forge- Connect the Pipe
I used Galvanized pipe that was 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
I purchased it all at HD for around 30 bucks.
Step 4: Forge- Fill in the Gaps
The first time I built this forge, it didn't get hot enough to make the metal glow. An experienced blacksmith told me that the air was escaping through the holes.
Pour some mortar mix into a Dixie cup about halfway. Add water until its like peanut butter and patch all the holes with a plastic knife or your finger. Besides the pipe coming out, it should be air tight.
Throw the scrap metal with holes in it over the hole to keep hot coals from falling out. This is called a "clinker breaker."
Step 5: Air Source- Find a Hair Dryer That Doesn't Work.
While this main seem crazy to find a Hair Dryer that doesn't work, let me explain.
Hair dryers have several diodes, and resistors that make up the connection to the motor. For safety, all of these things connect in series so that in the event that any one of these components burns out, the circuit is broken. It's a safety feature.
Since many of these components are cheap, it is likely that the motor is still good.
Step 6: Air Source- Open Up the Hair Dryer
Unplug the hair dryer first!!!
Cut the male outlet off. (If you cut it about halfway, you can use the plug for another project)
Open up the dryer by removing the three screws and find the motor. Motors are very simple containing only positive and negative posts. Cut off the wire attached to the posts. Solder the wires to the posts like the picture.
Connect the battery to the positive and negative. (If the Hair Dryer doesn't blow in the correct direction, reverse the connection.)
(Note: It is a lot of work to strip out all the wires and insides of the Hair Dryer. It took me about 30 minutes with a pair of pliers. I saved the diodes and made a bridge rectifier for an electrolysis setup but it's easier to pull the motor, solder the wires, and put it back in.)
Step 7: Air Source- Connect the Switch
Following the example in the picture, connect the hair dryer directly to the battery. If a switch isn't available just direct connect to the battery with alligator clips and remove it to turn it on or off.
Step 8: Forge/Air Source- Connect the Bellows (Hair Dryer)
Cut a metal can so you can connect the Bellows and Forge. A pam cooking spray can is the perfect size. The first one I used was a metal Goat Milk Can.
(Note: I tried using PVC and it was melted soft in about 2 minutes)
Step 9: Fuel- Lump Charcoal
Ok, so someone out there will argue that regular charcoal is just as good but they are wrong. I have used both and even tried wood but nothing is better than Lump Charcoal.
My friend knew a guy that could provide "straight from the earth" coal and it worked beautifully except for the hazardous fumes produced in the first 5 minutes.
Lump Charcoal can be found in grilling isle next to regular coal. It will look like rock and sound like broken glass when you shake the bag. Oh yeah, and it's labeled "Lump" Charcoal.
Step 10: Fire It Up!!!
Don't bother worrying about the mortar drying and fire it up. Trust me it won't take long for the mortar to be baked crispy.
My 18volt dewalt battery powered the bellows (hair dryer) perfectly and lasted long enough so that I didn't have to change it. At 2 minutes the metal was hot enough to hammer flat.
For starters you will need:
- An anvil or other hard surface
- Pliers or Vice Grips
- Eye Protection