You can make your own forge at home with some common building materials from your local hardware store. Having your own forge is convenient when experimenting with metalworking. Using bricks to form a forge is a safe and easy way to form an effective protective barrier for the serious amounts of heat your forge will produce. You can build an effective forge that only requires a few bricks in just an afternoon; when finished, allow it to cool and disassemble it to save space.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Old vacuum cleaner with reverse blow function
- Lighter fluid
Lay out a layer of bricks to form the base of your forge. The bricks should be laid side by side and end to end, forming a base about 2 by 3 feet, depending on your needs.
Build up the chimney of your forge. Do this by laying your bricks end to end forming a circle on top of your base. The inside diameter of this circle will determine the size of metals you can place inside of it.
Leave a small opening between two of the bricks in the circle, this is where you will insert the metal tube from the vacuum cleaner, which will blow air into the forge. Hold it in place with some bricks.
Build the chimney tower higher, adding concentric circles of bricks until you have about five layers. Ensure that you have clear flow through the chimney to allow excess heat and gas to escape as well as for air flow from the vacuum.
Add some charcoal to the forge by dropping briquettes into the forge through the chimney. Pour some lighter fluid onto the coals, light them by dropping in a match and allow them to start burning.
Turn on the vacuum once the coals have caught fire. This will dramatically increase temperatures inside the forge. At this point you should place the metals you wish to heat into the forge through the chimney. Remove them with tongs and shape them when they have developed a red- to yellow-hot hue.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear appropriate eye, face, hand, body and foot protection while forging and working with steel.
- Allow the bricks to cool to room temperature before disassembling your forge.
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