Author Topic: My New Coal Forge  (Read 1522 times)

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Offline Quenchcrack

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My New Coal Forge
« on: April 07, 2017, 05:48:42 PM »
OK, I said I would make a small nail forge and this is it.  It is about 14" square and the base is 1/16" steel.  The area over the tuyer holes has a second layer of steel about 1/8" thick.  The side walls are 1/16" by 3" and the bent shape and is press fit into the channels on the side.  The tuyer plumbing is 1-1/2" standard pipe.  The anvil is a chunk of RR track mounted onto a stump and I built a crude 18" tall stool to sit on when forging nails.  I still need to forge out a cutoff to mount in the stump and build a wooden frame for the forge to sit in.  More photos later.



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Online crashdive123

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 07:18:20 PM »
This is awesome.  I fear there may be a new hobby in my future at some point.

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 09:01:17 PM »
Thanks, Crash.  The secret is scrounging the right stuff.  I forgot to mention that flat black paint is good to 2000F.  You can find a cheap Indian blower for about $70 on ebay, too.  So now you have no excuse but if you are going to forge knives, you need a bigger table than mine and a proper ducks nest.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
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Offline hayshaker

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2017, 07:10:46 PM »
quench what's a ducks nest?

Online wolfy

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2017, 07:21:40 PM »
quench what's a ducks nest?
This'll save Quench some keyboard time....

https://www.anvilfire.com/FAQs/claying_forges.htm
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2017, 06:23:16 AM »
Thanks Wolfy. I was refering to the fire pot.  That is a shallow cast iron pot that sits in the bottom of a forge and usually has a movable rotating block that is used to break up clinkers (burned up coal) so it will fall  out of the hole the air is pumped through (tuyere).  The pot gives the fire some depth so that the smith can put the steel in a neutral flame position to minimize  scaling.  I used my 100yo Champion stamped steel forge with no clay and it never burned through.  The nails I will make do not need a neutral flame as they are small and do not spend much time in the fire.  Here is a link to a picture: http://www.blacksmithsdepot.com/firepot-set.html
« Last Edit: April 09, 2017, 06:40:03 AM by Quenchcrack »
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Online wolfy

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2017, 11:02:30 AM »
Well, there ya' go......wrong again.  :-X :-[      I was under the mistaken impression that the "duck's nest" just referred to the depression or bowl area and it made no difference what it was made from.  :P     

I guess if you don't learn something new every day and correct misunderstandings you end up passing bogus information on to others.....my specialty! :lol:
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2017, 01:52:14 PM »
Cast iron is very tolerant of high heat.  I guess you could use thick steel but getting it into the right shape might be difficult.  I replaced the CI tuyer grate with a piece of 1/2" steel plate with holes drilled in it and it worked fine.   CI has been used for fire pots, braziers, hearth irons, stoves, cook potss, etc, for centuries.  Lots of folk use a brake drum for a fire pot on a poorboy forge.  If it didn't work, folks wouldn't use them.
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Online wolfy

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2017, 02:05:11 PM »
I have heard of people using cast iron floor drain plates as tuyere grates, too. :coffee:
No idea if that works or not. :shrug:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2017, 02:47:28 PM »
Yes it does but they are thin and subject to thermal shock if you water your fire.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
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Offline 1066vik

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2017, 08:14:33 PM »
they also burn through if you're not careful.
I got interrupted one day and forgot to properly bank my fire - melted chunks out of the drain grate I was using.

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2017, 02:44:31 PM »
Mounted in the frame









I will place it on the sawhorses and drape a drop cloth under the forge and around the horses.  On to the anvil stand.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 03:06:23 PM by Quenchcrack »
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Offline Dano

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2017, 03:31:22 PM »
Very cool QC, can't wait to hear how you like it and see some action pictures.  Looks like you're making a lot of headway!!

Offline upthecreek

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2017, 03:35:24 PM »
Looks great. Where did you get the blower?

Creek
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Offline randyt

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2017, 04:27:10 PM »
awesome forge...

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2017, 04:40:32 PM »
Creek, the blower was mounted on my 100 year old Champion Rivet forge.  I bought it about 8 years ago for $80.00.  I sold the forge pan to a fellow smith for $100 and kept the blower.  Together they would sell for $250-$350 now if you can find them.  Farmers and ranchers bought them for repairs to farm equipment.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline hayshaker

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2017, 06:45:16 PM »
i just reciently traded one just like that the blower to my neighbor
for fixing my tractor,

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2017, 11:13:56 PM »
Neat thread. I love seeing home brew tools like this!

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2017, 04:42:16 PM »
I finished the nail anvil stand today but Photobucket seems to have sprung a leak.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
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Online wolfy

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2017, 05:32:49 PM »
Yeah, it's an imperfect system, at best. :-\    I seem to have more luck with it at odd hours.   Probably when fewer people are trying to use it.....but whadoiknow? :shrug:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline xj35s

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2017, 01:12:38 AM »
Quenchcrack, Our farrier had one of these (sort of) in the back of her truck. She made her own tools for hoof trimming. Even made repairs to existing tools that got damaged on site. She was a young girl too, 26 maybe?

pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2017, 05:02:53 AM »
Ok, got PB to stay on line long enough to process a couple of pics of the new anvil stand:





The anvil is a section of crane rail.  It is offset so I can mount a hardy cutoff on the left side.  The forge will be to the left of the anvil stand since I hold the iron in my left hand.  I will try it out next week after I get it stained with some walnut to put an old patina on the wood.  This whole set up (forge + anvil) weighs less than my 100Lb anvil although it is a bit more clumsy to handle.  I am still looking for a better way to attach the blower that will let me remove it from the forge and attach it quickly when I set up.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2017, 08:21:01 AM »
xj35s,  blacksmithing (and other derivatives like farriers, gunsmiths, etc) is about the only craft that can make their own tools.  Some say the smith can't make his own anvil but today, you can weld up a pretty good approximation.  I have made a lot of tools like tongs, chisels, fullers, dies, etc and they all work.  Not as pretty as the factory made stuff but a whole lot cheaper.  Your farrier obviously knows the value of a dollar.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline wsdstan

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2017, 08:25:11 AM »
Nice job on that QC.

My anvil is a section of railroad rail (I think) about 18" long.  Your stand would work well for the small things I do around the shop.
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2017, 09:39:09 AM »
Thanks, Stan.  I have a section of this same rail about twice as long that has been cut and ground to look like an anvil.  It won't really do anything this one won't do, especially for forging nails.  I have seen YT videos of people making nails on a 3" cube of steel.  Jefferson set up little slave boys to make nails and I will guarantee you he did not buy them all an anvil. ;-0
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2017, 02:46:15 PM »
This is the first heat on the new forge.  It performed perfectly.  I made sure I kept the air passage from the blower to the tuyer uniform and had all the air I needed to get a hot fire.

My friend and mentor Dave, tried it out first.  This forge plan was his idea and his forge looks a lot like mine.



Blowin' and goin'



Forging the head



First Nails

I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2017, 08:28:31 AM »
I have a couple pieces of rail too.

One is tiny. I've always thought it was from some type of scaled down locomotive but now I see it could be from some other type of machinery. Maybe

What kind of nails  are those?

Offline wsdstan

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2017, 08:55:31 AM »
I like those nails.  In the second to last photo where you are forging the heads is that disc a "form" that spreads out the top of the cut nail?


Here is a square nail from a water trestle built in 1882 in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 
I assume this is a machine made nail but what do you think?

Nail is about 3 1/4" long. Tapered square shaft with round head.



« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 09:20:47 AM by wsdstan »
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2017, 11:19:00 AM »
Unk, they are beginners nails.  The process requires you to work fast without deliberation.  Being thin, the nails cool quickly and you should not reheat it more than 1-2 times.
1. First heat: forge the point on the tip, draw out the nail to the desired length. Then use a hardy cut off to almost cut the stock off including enough to make the head. Knock  the nail to a 60 degree angle with the stock and put it back into the fire with the tip up (so it doesn't overheat or melt).
2. Re-heat. Stick the nail in the header and break off the nail. Put the header over the pritchel hole and forge the head.
3.  Repeat 999 more  times before you go home.

This guy has the drill down pat:

Stan,
That disc is the nail header.  It is domed to allow the hammer to forge the edges.  It has a square hole in the center to hold the nail up for heading.  It has a 8" handle that you can't see in the photo. I agree, by the 1880s machine made nails we common and abundant.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 01:08:25 PM by Quenchcrack »
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2017, 09:36:37 PM »
Thanks QC.  That video is really clear on what is going one there.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2017, 09:50:06 PM »
A cut nail will only taper along two opposite edges. There was a transitional stage where shanks were sheared but heads had to be forged. Though deformed and rusted , the edge of nail showing looks basically parallel


Offline wsdstan

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2017, 10:44:36 PM »
That is correct.  Two sides taper, two sides are straight.   
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2017, 06:02:17 AM »
Cut nail making in the US ca 1980:
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2017, 09:56:37 AM »
Lot of machines in that place.  Good video of how it is and was done.   
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #34 on: April 26, 2017, 10:19:02 AM »
Note no hard hats, safety glasses or hearing protection.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
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Online wolfy

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #35 on: April 26, 2017, 10:32:18 AM »
Yeah, that's back when MEN were MEN.........deaf & one-eyed men perhaps, but still MEN! :coffee:
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2017, 01:31:12 PM »
What? Who said that?

I cannot find the video but I saw a great one that showed how cut nails were made prior to those machines that automatically flipped the strip back and forth.  That was originally done by hand.  The working man had a long pole with a strip as wide as the nail would be long attached to the end.  He stuck it into a shear that cut at a slight angle to produce a tapered nail.  He would stand there and feed sheet metal into the machine and flip it back and forth all day.  From there the cut nails were sorted and the head upset on the end.  Talk about monotonous.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 02:12:09 PM by Quenchcrack »
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: My New Coal Forge
« Reply #37 on: April 27, 2017, 12:16:14 PM »
Finally got around to making a Hot Cut.  I pondered all kinds of ways to thicken the shaft and mount it in the top of the anvil stand using a piece of 1" square tubing.  Then I got lazy and just bent it and drilled some screw holes in it.  The tag on this  material said 4140 and I hope it is.  If it collapses under use, I will make another one using a heavy file.

I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver