Forge using wood?

I'm building a brake drum forge, and coal obviously is the fuel of choice. I understand some guys use lump charcoal which they say works well, because anthracite or bituminous coal is hard to come by in some places-- like where I live. Has anyone used just plain, good old fashioned wood? Or has anyone tried wood pellets? In my area, pellets are 10% of the price of either coal or lump charcoal. I have hundreds of trees on my ranch and I use wood for heating my log cabin. With a good air supply, will Douglas fir, other conifers, or even pellets get hot enough for forging? I'm sure wood was used in bygone times in places where there was no coal, but is it a good forging fuel? Does anyone have experience (good or bad) forging with wood? THANKS!!

Question by HenryFrapp   |  last reply


Ventilation In A Small Forge?

Hi all, Im trying to build a small forge in my small tin shed (9'x11') , due to noise and residential location everything must be inside and the sound proofing makes it pretty airtight, therefore I'm relying 110% on good ventilation design to avoid CO poisoning. The coke forge is in and flued using the side sucker design and 12" insulated duct, so far this works well with the addition of incoming air from the rear of the shop and I have been able to use reasonable quality test equipment to measure CO at acceptable levels (only under ideal conditions, further testing to follow). I have also thought of adding a propane forge (only one forge be used at any one time) but worry about the increased levels of CO produced, I have toyed with the idea of a hood which encompasses the mouth of the forge which would be ducted at 45 degrees into the main stack for the other forge (I would like to minimise roof penetrations if possible) I have made a rough sketch (in paint sorry) to demonstrate what I mean, do you think a fanned draught inducer is necessary/useful, we don't use them much in the UK so im not sure how much draught they induce :),  is the flue angle/ bends going to reduce efficiency greatly and would adding a fan to the intake to change to positive pressure internally make that much difference?  Any other ventilation advise would be greatly appreciated, including anything to help understand the maths required to calculate correct air volumes etc, I'm fairly serious about doing this correctly, understand in some detail the dangers of CO exposure and would not concider continuing without thorough testing for safety. Thanks in advance, drawing not even slightly to scale :)

Question by Squibo   |  last reply


Forge Ventilation help?

Hi all, Due to location & noise, in order to continue using my coke forge and anvil I must move indoors, into the shed to be precise. I know it sounds a bit crazy attempting to run a coke forge in quite a confined (10-14 m3), fairly air tight space, but I have researched thoroughly the dangers and safe working levels etc and have the use of a fully calibrated gas analyser designed to measure CO in real time, so safe operation will be measured to the nearest ppm :)  The fans gumf claims 1060 m3/hr which I guess is best case, flat out @ 50hz and obviously does not allow for any other mechanical losses, but even a conservative estimate must give around 45 air changes an hour, which to me sounds like more than adequate clean air coming in to displace combustion gasses. But I guess the first question is will the chimney work as a passive exhaust,  to maintain positive pressure behind the chimney (which will be 12") I will have only a forced air inlet and no other vents other than the chimney itself, trouble is I can see it both working and not working: 1. Inside air will be forced up the chimney as that is the only way out = more ventilation 2.Inside air will cool the air in the chimney reducing the natural draw =  less ventilation And even if the CO issue is overcome will heat just ruin my plans anyway?

Question by Squibo   |  last reply


Is this a good design for a forge? Answered

I'm wanting to make a forge, and i have 20 extra bricks, so i was thiknking of making a forge out of brick, following this idea i had in this image. If i made it it would be about 35in by 35in and i havn'e decided on the height. It would use a poured concrete base, I chose brick over making the whole thing out of concrete because i thought it would be stronger. But idk

Question by snowluck2345   |  last reply


What kind of forge would you need to forge Damascus?

My current access to a forge, is gas. At I've been told that it isn't hot enough to forge weld metals together. I'm curious what kind of fuel i should be using or alternate methods.  I understand the process to create the damascus alloy, I just don't know the required forging method. I assume coal/coke would be my best bet. Cheers,  Benduy

Question by benduy   |  last reply


What thing is that red dust? Answered

I am seeing this video about forge welding, and it lacks of captions. Then, I can't understand a word of the speech. At minute 2:20 the smith takes a can containing a dark red dust. ¿what is it? THANKS, anglophones!

Question by rimar2000   |  last reply


How would I go about making a forge from a pressure cooker?

I am interested in making a forge, and I think the pressure cooker would be a good idea. Am I wrong? Any information would be helpful. It is 18 inches across. Thanks EDIT: I am looking for a metalworking forge

Question by randone   |  last reply


What type of steel do i need to get to forge a damascus steel knife ? Answered

I know i need high carbon steel and a nickel alloy steel but what kind is the best to get??

Question by Don,t try this at home   |  last reply


Help with fire concrete/ forge making Answered

Firstly "Hello all", I am a long time lurker, first time poster. With that out of the way, I am gathering materials to make a small gas forge to cast some bespoke jewelry for my lady wife. I know there are lots of instructables regarding the process, but all seem to contradict each other in some way. I am going to use Fire Concrete as the lining as I got 2 tubs super cheap, and the pot says to increase temperature slowly over 4 hours and fix cracks that appear which is simple enough. Guides that use fire concrete just say "when its ready" then fire up the forge, but I dont know how to get it to the ready stage, do I need to fire it slowly over 4 hours or just cure it over night? And those that use quikrete say to bake the forge for several hours, but as I am using fire concrete do I need to do that or not? From what I have been reading around I cant do too much to mess it up, but I do need help with understanding how to cure the fire concrete Thanks

Question by Pondis   |  last reply


How can i focus a magnetron beam from a microwave , to make a small metal forge?

hello I have been looking for a number of ways to cast my zinc with, along with just melting other metals namely aluminium. I have come across the microwave method, however i feel that just using a microwave is a wasteful and hazardous means of meting metals like zinc , since the metal vapors are very flammable, even explosive, even as a dust I thought, since the microwave is basically just a box which the magnetron beams microwaves into, why not build a forge, which consist of a crucible laying in the center-point of a magnetron beam. all this would sit outside, done at a distance to avoid exposure to rouge microwaves. I dont wish to introduce anything new into the equation, just use prexisting things form the microwave, and probably some aluminium sheet. Anyone know if it will work better than just using a microwave? and how i should focus the beam? i want to keep the whole thing as compact as possible, probably which the crucible being no further than 10-20cm from the magnetron. Thanks

Question by oldmanbeefjerky   |  last reply


How does this furnace work?

I just bought a "custom crucible furnace" from a local university's surplus department and I have absolutely no idea how to get it working. It is roughly 4 feet in diameter and 4 1/2 feet tall, it has 6 'coils' of metal attached in series with thick ribbon-y cable at the top. The side has a 'band' that sticks out but as far as I can tell it is hollow.From what I can tell it might be an arc furnace that something blew up in and damaged a bunch of the components. I really want to get it working as I've been saving aluminum cans for a long time and scrap metal so my plan now is to just hook up the cables to my arc welder and see what happens :) but if anyone knows anything about it or where I can go to get more info that would be much appreciated!

Question by bravoechonovember1   |  last reply


Where can you acquire NON-Galvanized steel pipe?

Mt friends have found plans to build a forge, and we have all the parts to build it EXCEPT for non-galvanized steel pipe. Because the pipe will be heated up, we cannot use galvanized steel pipe as the zinc used in the galvanization process produces deadly fumes when heated up. We have checked stores such as Home Depot, and Lowes, but neither one has what we need. Does anyone know where (and if), we can get non-galvanized steel pipe? Any help is appreciated, thanks.

Question by Philisawesome   |  last reply


How to straighten 6"x48" - 3/8 low carbon steel plate warped?

How can I straighten a warped [in y-z axis, 48" axis o.k.] 6"x48" - 3/8" plate low carbon steel?  I've tried heat straightening and hammering but have made one section flat and another worse?

Question by GreatCthulhu   |  last reply


i'm making a boiler can i use a one way valve? Answered

So i'm trying to make a boiler system so that i can get a little bit of energy back from my forge the idea for the forge is to basically cut open a 55 gallon drum on the bottom flat side and put a forced air pipe in the small orifice normally used as an air hole when dumping the barrel. then i'd cut out the space needed to fit 4 inch stove piping where the larger 2 inch orifice is and carry the exhaust outside and out of mind. then i'd cut a hole in the bottom of the barrel so i can get my work in, put in a steel plate that was cannibalized and drill a few air holes in it, put refractory cement everywhere and bob's your uncle. what i want to do however is to put some water pipe in the fire box and have it turn a turbine or something, i'll cross that particular bridge when i get to it. but the main question is how can i safely store a reservoir of water so that the pipes don't run out of water halfway through a burn cycle? the thought was that i'd invert another 55 gallon barrel and connect it to one end of the pipes with a one way valve. the only question is would the valve guard the second barrel from the pressure generated while still allowing the water to flow in when necessary? or would the barrel just load up with pressure and when i hit 20 psi it just explodes in a hot watery mess? any knowledge about this would be great, stuff like where to get cheap but good pipe in upstate new york, where to get regulators, how to find the valve itself, or even where i can find safety fittings like pressure release valves and temperature control.

Question by waldosan   |  last reply


How could I make an igniter for a waste oil furnace/foundry?

I am making a waste oil furnace/foundry and don't want to have to use charcoal to ignite it everytime, so I am thinking of buying a 15000 volt neon sign transformer and using nails or tungsten TIG electrodes to ignite it. Would this work? I can't find any places near me which sell tungsten TIG electrodes? I was worried about using nails because I think they might melt from the tempature of the flame. Is that true?

Question by snowluck2345   |  last reply


Can anyone do an instructable on how to make an axe from scratch? Thanks

I have been looking around and am unable to find any instructions on how to make axes from scratch (i.e. making the metal part, probably with sand casting or forging and working) I dont mind what sort of axe whether it be full sized two handed, or a small hatchet type. Can anyone do an instructable or give me a link to one that I may have missed? Thanks

Question by br0wneee   |  last reply


Induction Heat used to melt glass and other metals

This is the start of an intended discussion about using induction heat to melt glass and other various metal.

Topic by JuxtaposedIToldYouSo   |  last reply


Problem with heated aluminium.

I make balls of aluminium rings from chainmail technics and in a test phase i filled those balls with kevlar, which is being used by the jugglers round here. So, aim was to make burning juggling balls from chainmail. I used aluminium cos it conducts heat very well, so that ppl hardly would get burned from juggling with these balls. Problem is, that the aluminium became rough and prim and the rings started to split shortly after the ball was being set on fire. I dunno bout forging, but is there a way that i can keep the aluminium rings away from this effect (tempering?)? Is there a way to light up such balls without damaging the rings?

Question by Luziviech   |  last reply


What to do with old window counter weights?

My house was built in 1915 and we are replacing the windows to get better efficiency. Now I have all these weights. I can have them thrown into a landfill but that seems like a bad idea. I've seen people doing things with homemade forges but I don't have one. Would these be useful? Could they be melted down? Or could they be toxic?

Question by Bitter73   |  last reply


melting hdpe plastic health concerns?

I want to do some vacuum forging (from another instructables) and i was thinking about melting milk jugs for it. if i heated them with a blowtorch would it emit bad fumes into the air, as long as i didint burn it?  I would do it outside and im 13 so i dont want to mess myself up.  if it does make fumes, would a respirator with a fine filter stop them?

Question by awesomeepiceli   |  last reply


Is there a cheap way to reduce noise from workshop ? Answered

Hi all, I was wondering what the cheapest way is to reduce the noise coming from my workshop, which is basically a tin shed. Im using it as a small forge and appreciate that the sound of hammer on anvil is not blockable (think thats a word) but i also use a belt sander, power tools etc, so would like to try and minimise the noise heard outside. Any ideas ?

Question by Squibo   |  last reply


Making a reuseable mold for an at home foundry and casting aluminum?

I've been really interested in at home aluminum casting and wanted to make a forge and try my hand at it. Before I started I've done a lot of research and video watching. It seems it is most popular to use the lost foam method. I was just wondering if it would be possible, and what materials to use to make a simple reusable mold. If I was to cast 10-12 of the same object it just seems easier to make a mold then forming and shaping 12 pieces of foam. Since I'm just getting started i wouldn't be casting anything too complicated or big. Thanks in advance!

Question by Who_jacked_my_name   |  last reply


Could a conventional oven be reused as wood burner?(Cross posted from Burning Questions)?

Has anyone ever burned wood inside an electric or gas oven? I was thinking of modding and oven with refractory cement, and a water mist sprayer,for bread baking, when it occurred to me that broken gas/electric ovens are cheap, mostly air tight and temperature resistant,to say the least. Obviously burning wood in them is not an UL approved usage, but clearly these devices are tested a lot more than your average barrel stove design.. So, any experience with this idea?

Question by Ronyon   |  last reply


Hanging onto the essence of my favorite old boots.

Okay, I've spark-tested the toes from my old boots;strong white spray, fair amount of secondary sparking...so I'm guessing a mid-range carbon steel. I'm looking to weld up blade stock with them but without a specific composition, I'm at a loss for what would be the best steel to shim into it. Tried looking up the  call-codes stamped into the toes...got nothing so guessing they're just stock-control numbers.  Does anyone have any more information on alloys used in steel toes?

Question by Dark Solar   |  last reply


amount of wind (input) = number of LEDs Lit?

Good afternoon, Im making an exhibition piece that will have children working a set of bellows that are connected to a (pretend) blacksmiths forge. What I need to represent is the more the bellows are pumped the more the "embers" will glow. Im thinking a turbine tachometer that leads to an LED driver set to display as Bar so the faster the turbine spins the more LEDS are lit, or they trigger a series of LEDs to light (this thing has to get pretty bright not sure one LED per step will do it. Trouble is im good with the theory and pretty good with the practical its just the technical that is letting me down. If anyone could see there way to giving this some thought and maybe doodling a circuit diagram / shopping list that would be awesome. You can checkout some of the other things if made here imakemodels.co.uk

Topic by pieceorutt   |  last reply


Heating options for hot bueing steel?

After moving house I am still living in a big mess of boxes that need to be unpacked, kitchen stuff be sorted and and so on... But with a big garage and proper workspace at hand it is also time to consider my options on how to create my tinker space. I would like set up a small forge later on if the landlord gives permission and that means bot blueing steel again. Which brings me to the problem of heating the nitrates :( My last setup was not only on a different continent but also totally oversized and powered by three big gas burners. This time I would like to go a bit smaller so I can use it inside the workshop. Was thinking of a max of around 8kg of nitrates that need to be heated in a safe way to melting point. Problem with that stuff is that it is not only highly corrosive but also requires quite some time and energy to melt. Using gas on such a small scale seems far to dangerous uless I include baffle plates and add several safe guards, so I would like to avoid the open flame approach here. Only reasonabe alternative that comes to my mind is electric heating. Did some small test last night outside :( Used a 2000W electric hotplate and an old stainless steel pot with about 1kg of nitrate in it. After 40 minutes there was still no real melting happening despited the entire thing padded and covered in glass wool. 20 minutes later I turned it all off and once cooled I found that only about 1cm of solid nitrate was at the bottom. If I would use a suitable container of let's say 20x10x10 cm as a small melting vessel: Could it be sufficient to use a 2000W nichrome heating element (with temp controller of course) in an insulated, forge like setup to melt the nitrate ina reasonable amount of time and be able to keep it that way once the steel is dropped in? Problem is the entire garage is already setup with power outlets and they all go to a single 10 amp breaker. I could max it out with 2400W but for obvious reasons would prefer to have some juice left for lights and other uses. If anyone here already made such a thing it would be great to hear how you solved the heating problem without waiting half a day for the stuff to melt.

Question by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Sharpening a concave blades like Kukri or similar

Every now and then you have someone approaching with the odd job.This time it was in the form of an old Kukri / Gurkha knife.Wasn't expecting this when I was asked a few days ago if I could sharpen some old knife so it can be used for camping.The knife had a few marks from hitting hard stuff or maybe the occasional nail.But the worst was that for as long as guy had that knife it was only "sharpened" using a belt sander.You know, these tiny machines advertised to give your (kitchen-) knife the perfect edge.We could now argue about the pros and cons of having a knife edge that is literally rounded.But once it was done so many times that the edge really looks rounded it becomes obvious why this method only works for thinner blades.Adding to the problem was the fact that the belt used was just over 1.5cm wide.Appereantly so it is easier to do the concave part of the blade.Lets just say lengthwise it looked like someone created a wave pattern LOLThere was nothing "straight" on this nice blade anymore.Now, if you look up how to properly sharpen thise Kukri knifes then you can find all sorts of really useful tips.One I really likes was to use some eraser and toglue sandpaper on it.Small and flexible enough to cause minimal damages to the curve towards the handle.Another nice one is to use half round diamond file, preferable of a finer grit in the 600 region.Should work fine - if you plan to invest an awful lot of money on such a file.I however like things quite often done the old fashioned way.The oldest trick in the book....Whether you are using chisels and work on wood, just love to keep your knifes sharp or go on long camping or hiking trips - sharp knifes and tools just become your thing.The main thing everyone tells you is a super flat surface for whatever is supposed to sharpen your blade.For the normal stuff that is fine and good and you only need to flatten out your stones every now and then.But what about these odd jobs?Imagine you would need to sharpen a long paper cutting blade on some machine.Might be over a meter long and it has to stay with a perfectly straight edge.Back in the day this task was not done with some very expensive stone of large size....Instead sandpaper of various grit was used on a flat steel surface.I actually prefer a small pane of glass and tape my sandpaper on it.Hard to find anything finer than 1000 or 2000 grit but you might be surprised how well this stuff polishes onces clogged up a bit.Its all about the right level of wetness...Anyways, for our Kukri in question I decided it is time to do the same but in a way that does not harm the blade, constantly cut into the eraser and still is solid and "flat".If you still work with a sickle then you already know where I am going here ;)I used a small diameter spray can as my surface to hold the sandpaper.Of course a piece of PVC pipe, round wood or similar would warok the same way....Sticky tape does not work well with sandpaper unless you use double sided stuff.But it is enough to wrap one round on the top and one on the bottom of the sandpaper on the can to hold in place.So much for the basics....If you know how to sharpen a knife then you also know that there is a prefered way of doing it.Depending on the blade and stone in question you literally try to cut a thin slice out of the stone with every stroke.Either stright or with a cutting motion.This works fine with sandpaper on a flat surface, not so much however on a round surface.Try it and you see how you cut off the sand from the paper and constantly ruin your edge.The only way to do it is to move with the edge.You start from the heel and stroke to the tip.The can is used likea sharpening rod and shall always stay at a 90° to the curve of the blade.Takes a bit of practice to find the right grip to hold the blade while moving and twisting the can but well worth it.The rounded surface only allows for a very thin area of the sandpaper to work on the edge.I started with 120 grit!!!It left a trail of destruction on the edge, at least in the rounded up section....Once I only had a very thin bit left on the edge from the old sharpening I switched to 240 grit until a flat edge formed.As the Kukri was a disaster this process still tok over 4 hours to complete.That blade was properly hardened too...The start of the finnishing was done by jump right to 600 grit paper.The first can was just slightly smaller in diameter than the concave bend in the blade - perfect to smooth out those nasty bumps.But with a burr forming now on the edge and minor mishap with angle of the can towards the curve of the blade would mean cutting into the can while sharpening the concave bit.Meant I used my emergency insect repellant can as I did not like the idea of hoping my pepper shaker would start leaking while sharpening ;)If you blade is not too damaged you can of course start right away with a smaller diameter.The process is the same as before.Move along the blade and keep the can at the 90° angle towards the curve.Once you feel a burr forming on the side turn over until you have a bur on the previous side again.Repeat until all the marks from the coarser grit are gone and the edge has a uniform shine.Switch to a finer grit and go as high as you can here.I had to stop at 1000 grit as my supply of 2000 and 4000 grit is out.Hints and tricks along the way....It really helps to do this sandpaper sharpening under running water.The paper won't clog up, you won't risk a losse grain making really deep marks...But on a bad blade this can take several hours and would do it with a small aquarium pump or so and some gloves.A fine but stiff brush and soapy water however do wonders to clean up used sandpaper!I prefer to use these re-used pieces before switching to a finer grit.In most cases they are already finer than the next grit and create a nice polish that makes the visual confirmation of your right angle and angle of attack easy.A kukri is a working blade!It is mot meant to make fish filet or shave you legs.It is somewhere between axe, big bowie knife and hatchet.That mean if you would dare to give a 8° angle either side of the edge you would have a pretty damn wide edge...Stick to the original in width but keep it nice and flat.It is good compromise between cutting sharpness and durability when for example chopping wood for your camp fire.DO NOT USE A BELT SANDER!!I said it before but have to repeat it again as there is people using a big belt sander with enough free space to add a set of wheel that creat the curve I got from my spray can.The guys in India that make these knife do this blind folded....It takes years of practise to get the steady hand required not to cut through the belt.The beginners start in reverse, meaning the belt runs towards the edge.These guys only to the basic forming of the edge with really coarse grit.Basically to remove the marks from the forging.After that the pro takes over the blades and he has the belt running towards the edge!If you are silly enough to try it at home be prepared to have the belt flying in your face very violently!!The reverse sanding can't be used to finnish a blade as you never get a proper sharpness and flatness right on the edge.So just stick to manual and take an hour or so longer but then be able to enjoy a cold drink when done.You need surprisingly little sandpaper in terms of clogging up and getting useless until you get to the finer grits.If you use a wooden dowel or similar then make it a bit longer and add strips about 6cm wide of sandpaper.This way you have all the grits you need in one place and can take them with you to keep your blade sharp ;)If you glue it onto the stick it is also quite easy to give it quick brush clean when done.The really tricky part starts from about 800 grit onwards.Every mishap on the concave part can mean damage to your paper or to your edge.When using stone most beginner think that using a lot of pressure is a good way to remove the material quickly.In reality however it is just a sure way to wobble the blade over the stone, especially if the blade is not fully straight.Sandpaper can be more aggressive than your stones as in our case you only work with a little area and every time you turn the can only a little bit you have a fresh piece of paper working instead of a slurry building up.This mean you really do't need much pressure at all.It is the repetition, not the pressure that gives you the edge if you don't mind the pun here. ;)For a real working knife stopping at 1000 grit once you do single strokes either side of the blade is sufficient.The tiny burr left will disappear quickly during use and the Chakmak can be used for a quick refurbishing after every longer use.Should mean you only need to get the sandpaper out once you edge actually started to get blunt again.The final stroke....There are those people that don't have a kukri to go camping...Some people like to collect them.Restoring an old kukri can be done like with any other knife.That is until you want a razo sharp edge that is also highly polished.This is quite possible with the original edge width on the kukri.But of course you can only go so far with sandpaper....Modern technolgy provides us with the solution in several options.Firstly we have the ceramic sharpening rods.Unless you can do with kitchen variety thickness you need to pay a lot of money.A short 8cm diameter rod can set you back over 100 bucks with ease.Especially if you want something that provides a mirror like finnish.And alternative that is often available relatively cheap is a ruby rod.They can often be found with slight damages that make them useless for laser applications.Even burnt out rods are still fine as long as they are not cracked.It is quite hard (literally) to give them a satin finnish but I found that good quality sandpaper is sometimes capable of doing it.I like one side smooth and the other half of the rod with a satin finnish to prepare the edge.On the budget there is quality wet and dry sandpaper as commonly used in paintshops.If used dry the finer grits tend to clog up on such a wide edge.Once you have a piece of 1000 or finer grit that is fully clogged up you can use to give the edge a final polish.With this you won't even need a leather strop anymore but as said it takes a lot of practise so you won't cut the paper in the concave area.The steel rod....If you happen to have a hardened steel rod, like from a motion rail, small drive shaft or a big drill then give it a try.When using a drill:Of course use the end of the drill, not the working part ;)Also make sure it really is motth as any burr from the chuck or such will cause deep scratches on your blade.If it starts to feel sticky after a few good stroke you know the drill method is working.If it continues to feel very smooth and you don't see any polishing effect at all if tried on a small area only then you blade is of really good quality.But then again you would have confirmed that already by the ongoing swearing during the endless hours trying to remove some material from the edge...A word of advise for the first time user of a kukri:Although a good kukri is hard to damage without hitting a stone or metal, you can make blunt very quickly.It is top heavy blade and requires a steady hand when working on other things than meat.Chopping into some wood and letting the blade slip can deform your edge.A little mishap can be fixed with chakmak but not if hit hardwood badly a couple of times.And tempting as might be to use it as a small hatchet or axe to split your kindling:Never hold a piece of wood and then hack into it from the top with your kukri!Not only can you miss the wood and hit your hand, the wood can also split far easier or in unexpected directions!If the kurki is sharp you then have a good chance to loose a finger or two!

Topic by Downunder35m