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Home Forums DIY What is a 'Forge?'

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    i edited this post so many times bscase i was adding a pic of the parts of a forge
    it ahowed the pin in the visual tab and then removed the damned thing when i submitted it



    A forge is really nothing more than a modified hearth, a place to build and control a fire.
    the modifications are such that it is easier to use the fire for other things than heat or cooking. usually a forge fire is open and vented from up above, some forges are enclosed to shield the smith from the intense heat and splatters of molten metals. in all forges there is only one common denominator.. the fire.
    ive worked iron using the coals in a woodstove, ive also kept a fire in an open pit, the main thing is the bed of coals and a way to feed a higher volume of air to it as needed. a good fire doesnt really need a fulltime blower, using one is usually just wasting your fuel, as long as your coals are red and glowing , they are hot enuff to do most forgework.
    so lets cover the parts of a forge and all get on the same track.

    the firebed…where the fire sits, this must be something that wont melt or burn at the extreme temps a forge fire can reach. i have seen iron forges and i have burned holes through them, they do work but not for all forge work.

    the tuyere…your air supply. this can be from below or above the fire. when placed above it too needs to be fireproof and unmeltable. the old smiths made their tuyeres water cooled and still replaced them yearly because of fire damage. most newer forge are fed air from below, this works much better, giving a more even flame and glow and the tuyere is not as prone to meltdown. just remember, if your tuyere is below it will need an ashpit and cleanout.

    the bellows…your air delivery system, without this your fire will die away in short order. you can get away with out one if youre burning in a stove or outside, but your fire wont work as well.

    the flue…where your smoke goes away, an essential part of any indoor forge, with out this youll die from the smoke and fumes, usually the flue is connected to a hood of some sort to funnel the smoke towards it.

    and that is really all there is to a forge, there are other parts that some people use but they arent the truly needed portions, like a shut off for the air, or the ashpit and clean out, or even legs…lol

    so which of the many hundres of forge designs is the best to use? that is the one question only you can answer. later i will go over several designs and then you can decide for yourself :)

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