Coal Forge
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Thread: Coal Forge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    25

    Coal Forge

    Got bored the other night and been wanting to make some damascus steel out of motorcycle chain, I have the chain but no forge so I got an old brake drum and welded up a forge. Don't tell the wife where her hair dryer is.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    75

    Re: Coal Forge

    I WANT ONE !!!
    ~but that doesn't look like motorcycle chain
    Talent is a flame.
    Genius is a fire.
    - Bern Williams

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    25

    Re: Coal Forge

    I was just testing it to make sure everything worked alright, it heated up the rebar in a matter of seconds, worked better than I thought, I will be playing with the chain this weekend.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Royse City, Texas (Dallas area)
    Posts
    817

    Re: Coal Forge

    It is addicting. I started 14 years ago and still play with it. Not so much now because I am old. Making damascus will wear you out.

    Hair driers can't handle the back pressure for long before burning up. It may be tough to get to welding temps using charcoal but you can build a pile of charcoal and hollow out the inside to put your steel.

    Now sink that drum into a piece of 1/4" and store your charcoal on the 1/4" and rake it in as you need it. Welding takes a lot of heat and therefore fuel.

    Regular coke burns a LOT hotter than charcoal, you may want to look for a source.

    I converted everything to propane about five years ago for convenience.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    25

    Re: Coal Forge

    Thanks for the tips Bob, I just ordered some cole and coke off ebay yesterday, I'll get on the 1/4" table, suppose I need to invest in a blower.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Royse City, Texas (Dallas area)
    Posts
    817

    Re: Coal Forge

    Just get a low output squirrel cage fan for the blower. Nothing too fast. Rig up a cover for the input so you can control the airflow. Conserve coal by only running the fan when the steel is in the forge.

    You may want to look for a local blacksmith association. Join them for a few bucks a year. Many of them buy coal in bulk and you can get it cheap through them.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    25

    Re: Coal Forge

    Thanks again Bob, found a squirrel cage blower online for about 20 bucks, I might wire it to a light dimmer switch to be able to control the fan speed. What do you think about that, yay or nay?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Beamsville (near Niagara Falls) Ontario Canada
    Posts
    17

    Re: Coal Forge

    I've got an old champion 400 with a hand crank that I put a squirrel cage on. If you go to Home Depot and get an industrial ceiling fan control, I paid $12 for mine, you should be ok. Still have a portable riveters forge that is hand crank, and side blast with original ac/dc, 65-125v, 30-70 hz electric that MUST use rheostat. Yes blacksmithing is VERY addicting. I challenge any welder to try it and not catch the bug.
    Last edited by ecclectic iron; 02-08-2008 at 03:10 PM. Reason: left out part of sentance

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    25

    Re: Coal Forge

    I was looking at hand cranked blowers on ebay, they want entirley to much $$$ for the ones I was looking at, selling them for antique price, so the squirrel blower will be the way I go. Thanks for the heads up on the control Ecclectic

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    new orleans, la
    Posts
    232

    Re: Coal Forge

    don't know where you are in Louisiana, but there is a lama(local abana(artist blacksmiths association north america) chapter) meeting this weekend, i think its in Thibodaux. should be directions somewhere on their website, www.lametalsmiths.org .

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    25

    Re: Coal Forge

    Thanks for the heads up Rusty, I'm in shreveport. Don't think I can make it down there this weekend.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    midwestern ontario
    Posts
    4

    Re: Coal Forge

    we made a forge last summer and what we did was use a manure speader tire rim, cut the centre out then cut the centre out of a car tire rim, flipped it over and welded it on. making the fire pot, took some large dia pipe vertical then a another piece the same dia horizantal(sp?) where we connected some homemade bellows. then mounted it all on a pair of old steel wagon wheels, and used a piece of rr track for the anvil, i want to set up a more permament shop to use and scrap the bellows they make it to back heavy on the wheels causing it to want to tip over. but yes it is addicting

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Royse City, Texas (Dallas area)
    Posts
    817

    Re: Coal Forge

    Just wait until you make something that someone offers you about 20 times what you think it is worth. That is a great feeling. That happened to me on my first damascus knife.

    Then you will build a propane forge, a hydraulic press, a treadle hammer, salt tanks, electro-etcher, stencil exposure box, belt grinder, and on and on and on. I did it all and still keep building things for knifemaking and blacksmithing.



  14. #14

    Re: Coal Forge

    The perfect blower is one from a hand dryer you find in a public restroom. The provide a large CFM and have some good pressure behind them. Add a 650W light dimmer and you can vary the speed.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    25

    Re: Coal Forge

    I haven't thought about a hand dryer, I actually work at a place that sales them, I think we have some left overs in the warehouse, I'll have to check that out today.

    Bob, I know what you mean, I'm actually in the process of designing a press right now, and am researching the propane forges.

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