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Homemade coal forge

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:03 pm
by Darryl Ponder
Here are a few photos of a coal forge I finished just before the last Fall conference in 2012. I needed it so I could take the forge welding class we had just before the Fall conference started.

The firepot is welded up quarter inch plate started at one of Martin Pansch's "Po' Boy" coal forge classes and it works well, even though it is thin for a firepot from what you would read on the internet. After a season of use you can't tell there is any issue with the firepot, so I expect it to last for at least five more years. If it ever has an issue I'll just weld in some more quarter inch plate.

In these photos I didn't have my blower overhauled yet, so I was using a shop vac as an air source. Now I have proper blowers, both manual and electric and an air gate. Fire control is easy.

The best part of this design is the chimney. You are seeing version 1.0 here. I need to write up an article on the chimney made out of air duct, no smoke shelf, a slightly larger opening than you see here and a small removable plate over the fire that acts like a small hood. Version 1.1 of this chimney works very, very well. It really keeps the smoke out of your face.

Let me know if you have questions.


Re: Homemade coal forge

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:55 am
by kevinToboja
Nice looking forge Daryl!

Re: Homemade coal forge

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:18 pm
by Paul Hetchler

The forge looks really good! Did you make the firepot, or was it a purchased piece? Is the firepot a bit too deep? It looks like it might consume quite a bit of coal. Maybe I'm totally off base in this observation, and look forward to your comments.


Paul Hetchler

Re: Homemade coal forge

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:50 am
by Darryl Ponder

I made the fire pot. It is welded up out of quarter inch plate, thinner than what you see on some sites on the web, but I haven't had any issues with it. When forge welding all day, like at a forge welding class, it does get hot enough to glow dull red if the lights are low enough to see the glow.

The internal dimensions are 11" x 8" x 4" and are based off of commercially available fire pots and those that you see on old equipment.

My experience is that my fire pot burns the same amount of coal that commercial fire pots do.

The only thing I would change, and do have plans to change, is rather than drilling holes in the bottom of the fire pot for the air inlet, I suggest cutting a hole the size of your tuyere, in this case 3", and welding two or three pieces of 3/8 inch round stock across the opening to simulate the airflow you would find over a commercial pot's clinker breaker. I do not miss the clinker breaker at all, but the airflow of the multiple holes is broader than the airflow one would get with the clinker breaker, so the "drilled holes" design makes fire management more time consuming over a long forging day. I think the airflow out of a "round stock" design would be more focused straight up and require less fire tending to focus the fire in the center of the fire pot.