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I have had E-mails asking about working with a forge, so here is my old shop, and how I used it. Click the pictures to get a full screen photo.


Forge.jpg
 

A- Quench tank
B- Scale bucket
C- Anvil
D- Leveling Anvil
E- Coal bin
F- Hand-crank Blower
G- Tool quench
H- Rolling Mill
I- Slag/Ash bin
J- Hood for coal forge
K- 30" Gas Forge

 

Above is a photo from my back yard in Fort Wayne, Indiana, showing the old work area for hot forming metal, a process known as forging.
Fire-pot2.jpg

After choosing the steel, I light the coal in the fire pot (J) and by turning the crank of the blower (F), move air through the pipe to the bottom vent of the fire pot. The faster I turn the crank, the more air moves through the coal.   Coal is kept in the bin (E) until needed for the fire. After the coal tar and other volatiles burn off and go up the flue (J) as smoke, clean Coke remains, and this burns much hotter than the coal did, and so increases the temperature of the steel, which can get to over 2100F degrees.  I usually work the billet at much lower temperatures.   fire-pot.jpg Located at the bottom of the fire pot, is a 2 inch pluming " T".   Air goes into the side opening, and out the top that is connected to the bottom of the fire pot.   The third opening is at the lowest position, and has a hinged flap.   When this flap is open, any slag and ash drop out. thereby clearing the air path.   That is why I have a metal bucket (I) below to catch the hot slag.   The hinged flap is weighted to force the flap closed, unless I manually open it. Otherwise air would not be forced through the bed of the fire pot.
 
Using tongs to grab the steel, I take it to the Anvil (C) to begin hammering to shape.   Note the various hammers next to (D)  I use different shapes and weights for various operations.   As the tongs get hot from prolonged contact with the hot metal. I cool them by immersing in the water bucket (G). To keep things straight I lay the item on the leveling anvil (D) which I made from a 34" section of rail road track.   If you enlarge the top photo, you will see where I marked the edge in one inch increments, So I have a non flammable ruler within easy access.

hot.jpg

View from other end of work area showing the McDonald Rolling Mill (H) along with the coal bin and anvils.   Some times I have material that is much larger than I need. This had previously taken a long time to hammer to size.   Now that I have built this mill, it is much faster getting stock to the proper thickness.



Forge.jpg
  My new brick forge inside the building my wife allowed me to build so I am out of the weather.
 

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