Make your own forge
by Mad Dave
Previously published 05/04/2007

Well !! I got bored as I sometimes do… It was raining and Jules said “why don’t you go make something in the shed?” What a good idea !! So over two evenings (3 hrs thursday and 2 hrs friday) I made myself a forge… And I took piccies

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Rooting through all the junk in my shed I found just the stuff I needed. An old 12KG gas bottle, some steel tube off a broken garden hammock, the hose off an old vacuum cleaner and Jules’ old hairdryer…

 

About a week before you want to begin, take your old gas bottle into a nice open space and remove the valve 3by loosening it a little with a spanner then unscrewing the rest CAREFULLY by hand. The valve and it’s seat are brass so it’s quite safe.
HOWEVER ***DO NOT HAVE ANY SOURCE OF IGNITION WITHIN 100M OF YOURSELF***** as when you take the valve off there will still be a fair bit of LPG in the bottle that will rush out. Once all activity has stopped, fill the bottle right to the top with water, leave for a day then empty it out. The gas bottle is now safe to start chopping up.

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Mark a line around the base of the gas bottle about 16 cm deep (I used the side of a small jerrican as a guide.

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Now strap the bottle firmly to your workbench and get Medieval with the grinder !!

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You should end up with something like this….

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Now you need to get a bit of steel tubing around 20 cm long and about 4cm in diameter, put it on the base of the “forgepan” and mark around it. Make an inner circle about 3mm inside this mark and cut out the shaded section (I use a drill and jigsaw for this)

You can then weld the pipe on. As you can see my welding it a bit like pigeon poo, but as long as it’s airtight it doesn’t have to be pretty. Remember safety when welding too

“LUKE…..LUKE…. I AM YOUR FATHER !!!”

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When you have welded the base pipe on, you will need to weld an old nut on the bottom 12of it and a T piece about 30cms long after cutting a hole in the side of the downpipe. See pics below. However I’m sure this could be done with large plumbing fittings if need be…

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The whole base should look like the pic on the left now. Now all we have to do is fit the legs, ash flap, hose and hair dryer. but before that you’ll need a steel disk 14about 15/20cms diameter drilled with lots of holes to act as a diffuser for the air. I used an old steel lid off some pot I found in the shed and this just sits over the hole in the base of the forge.
This is the old lid…

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And this is where it sits

 

 

 

 

 

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OK remember the old nut we welded to the base of the downpipe?… We use that to install a close fitting ash flap that can allow the ash to drop through the forge and also regulate the air pressure by opening and closing.

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The legs are simply 3 bits of the old garden hammock tube with a slot cut in each so they sit flush with the firepan. These are simply bolted onto the side.

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And now all we have to do is fit the hose and the hairdryer. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the “Five Hour Forge Mk I…..Ok but does it work?? Let’s see…. Charcoal in and lit… on with the hairdryer and after a few pensive minutes…….. YEEEEEEEESSSSS

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It get’s the old metal nice and hot too !!

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And the good thing about using Charcoal in your forge is that it has another great use when you’re done….

 

Well!! It’s hungry work all this metal malarkey !!

Hope this is of use to you.
This forge is an adaptation of the Viking Metalworks brake drum forge that can be found at the site below.
http://www.vikingmetalworks.com/firepot.html

****REMEMBER SAFETY ALWAYS WHEN USING A FORGE ! FIRE IS DANGEROUS***

Copyright ©2003-2010 Bushcraft UK

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