How to Build A Home Made Forge

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Fancy yourself a blacksmith? Want to make your own knives, swords, and tools? This article will cover one way to make a home made forge, one that I have tested and used with great results.

Things You'll Need

  • Small charcoal grill (many 'Big Box' retailers sell this)
  • Furnace cement (Lowes or Home Depot)
  • A hack saw or other metal cutting saw
  • Vice grips
  • A flat piece of wood or plastic
  • Purchase a small charcoal grill from Walmart or another 'Big Box' retailer. I would suggest getting one with enough height to be near waist high.

  • Purchase furnace cement at Lowes or the Home Depot. This usually comes in small round containers and is the consistency of paste. It is rated for extremely high temperatures.

  • Remove the actual grill part from the grill, leaving only the top and bottom halves. Use your hack saw to cut a U shape in to the front and back of the bottom half. This will allow you to put your metal into the forge, and come out the back if it is a large piece. Apply a thin coat of the furnace cement to the bottom of the grill.

  • The cement will take a day or so to dry. After it dries, put another coat on. DO NOT JUST DUMP IT IN AND SPREAD IT AROUND. This will leave some of it in a semi-liquid form. You will be maintaining an extremely hot fire right on top of this, so superheating semi-liquid material in an enclose space is a really, really bad idea. Continue to do this until you have a thick layer to protect the metal of the grill from over heating. You will also want to repeat this process for the top half of the grill.

  • Once it is fully dried, set it up on your stand (it came with the grill, remember?)and drop some charcoal on top. Heat up some metal and start hammering!

Tips & Warnings

  • You will need an air source. Either buy a hand bellows, or you can rig something using pipe and an old hair dryer motor.
  • Only use wood charcoal. Charcoal briquettes will not produce enough BTU's of sustained heat to be of any use. Either buy it or burn hard woods yourself into charcoal.
  • Be extremely careful. This stuff gets hot. Get safety glasses and gloves.
  • Do not do this in an unventilated area. The carbon fumes will build up and will displace the oxygen. You do not want to pass out right next to an operating forge.
  • Never, never, never forge anything with, nor build any part of this forge, with any galvanized metal (that's the really shiny stuff). Galvanized metal, when heated, releases a poisonous gas. Many nails and pipes are galvanized, so make sure you are using something made from black steel or black iron.
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