How to Build a Forge at Home? General Information And Useful Tips For Beginners.

How to build a forge at home

For an avid craftsman, a blacksmithing forge is not just a place to work, but a creative workshop where he spends a lot of time and where real masterpieces are born. A homemade blacksmithy with your own hands is a tool for turning an artistic idea into a forged product.

Table of Contents

  1. Key points for creating a diy forge
  2. Forge equipment
  3. How to make a horn with your own hands and blacksmithing forge table
  4. Cell in the blacksmithing forge
  5. Lance in the smithy
  6. Umbrella in the smithy
  7. Fuel for the furnace
  8. Anvil in the smithy
  9. Chair lens
  10. Tools that should be in any forge
  11. Video How to build a forge at home

Key points for creating a diy forge

According to fire safety requirements, the smithy must be separate from the living space and have an area of ​​at least 16 m2, if it is about artistic forging, and not about large objects.

Ideally, it should be a separate building of brick or wood with plaster, where the door opens to the outside. The floor of non-combustible material is an important condition in creating a smithy. The coating should be brick, concrete, stone, or compacted clay with sand. It is also important that there are no flammable materials or electrical wires nearby. It is recommended to have good lighting, high ceilings, and effective ventilation.

When choosing a place for the smithy, make sure that the smoke and the knock of a hammer does not interfere with your family and neighbors, because not for nothing in the old days, a blacksmith worked on the outskirts of the village.

The device of a home forge with the hands is possible and in the open air, the main thing is existence of a canopy and a fire-resistant floor. In many ways, however, your work will depend on weather conditions.

There are no hard and fast rules in the organization of the workplace, there is only the experience of masters, and we will consider it.

Key points for creating a diy forge

Forge equipment

If the smithy is an organism, then the heart in it is a blacksmith’s horn. It is there that crude steel is transformed into a plastic material.

The principle of operation of the furnace is quite simple. Coal burns on the work surface, in which the steel billet is placed and heated to the desired temperature. There are countless mining designs, but the main difference is in the type of fuel.

Imagine that a smithy is a room measuring 6×6 m, with an entrance in the middle of one of the walls. What should be in it and how best to place it to make a forge?

  • the furnace is located near the far wall opposite the entrance;
  • tanks for water, oil, coal and slag are installed next to the furnace;
  • the rack for tools rises on the left, and on the right the manual and lining tool settles down;
  • if you face the furnace, there will be a metal rack along the right wall;
  • after a rack it is possible to put the cutting machine;
  • a welding post is placed in the corner to the right of the entrance;
  • along the left wall a locksmith’s workbench is placed, on which the vices are strengthened;
  • it is better to place the Electric sharpener behind the machine;
  • in the center in free access there should be an assembly table, a Chair vice and the anvil closest to all to a furnace;
  • you will need all sorts of lockers and boxes for storage of other devices, paints, brushes, etc.

How to make a horn with your own hands and blacksmithing forge table

The basis for a stationary furnace is a table on which a hearth is arranged to heat the workpieces. Its height is determined depending on the height of the blacksmith – it should be convenient to move the workpiece from table to anvil. This is usually 700-800 mm.

The optimal dimensions of the work surface are 1×1.5 m or 1.5×2 m, however, they are determined based on the dimensions of the parts to be forged. If the blanks are bulky, such as a lattice, gate, horn should be placed at some distance from the wall of the smithy.

The surface of the table is laid out of sawn stone, brick or reinforced concrete. The body is built in the form of a box and is built of brick, logs, stone, and inside is filled with gravel, clay or sand. As an alternative to stone, you can also make a tabletop from a 4 mm steel sheet.

Cell in the blacksmithing forge

There is a fireplace in the center of the table, and for some types of work there are two. The forge for artistic forging usually has a central location of the hearth, which consists of a grate and a lance – these elements provide air supply for burning coal. The size of the nest depends on the purpose of the furnace and the size of the workpieces that will be heated in it. The plan is a deepening of a round or square shape, with sides, say, from 200×200 to 400×400 mm and 100-150 mm in depth.

The grate of cast iron can be made independently, from an old thick-walled frying pan with a diameter of about 300 mm, having drilled in its apertures on 1 cm, or to use an automobile steel disk. Preliminarily, a hole of the required diameter is made in the surface of the table so that the fit is as dense as possible, and a blank is inserted into it. If the starting plane is made of brick, it is carefully sawn, moistened with water (wet brick is better processed).

The shape of the holes in the lattice affects the creation of different types of flames. For example, uniform round holes create a cylindrical torch burning, and an elongated slit makes the flame narrow and long.

Cell in the blacksmithing forge

Lance in the smithy

The main mechanism in the furnace is a fan, which is responsible for supplying air for combustion. In ancient times, mechanical leather furs were used for this purpose. They were especially effective when working with charcoal as a fuel, the combustion of which was intensified by blowing – its temperature rose from just a few movements of fur.

Today, snail-type fans are used, which supply high-pressure air. In principle, you can use everything as a blower – from car blowers to old vacuum cleaners and even set different modes of air supply – from active combustion to smoldering.

The air from the fan is supplied through a pipe to the lance housing and it penetrates through the cast iron grate into the combustion area. The amount of air supplied is regulated by a damper, and a cover is provided in the lower part to clean the lance from ash.

Umbrella in the smithy

To remove smoke over the smithy install an exhaust umbrella, shaped like a pyramidal hood. It is made of sheets of iron 0.5-1.5 mm thick and in some cases is equipped with lowering wings.

In the lower section, the umbrella usually corresponds to the dimensions of the table and is strengthened at a height of 500-600 mm above the working plane. This distance can not be considered the reference, as in the removal of carbon monoxide depends on the characteristics of the furnace, the force of the blow, and therefore is determined experimentally.

The disadvantage of metal umbrellas – their rapid burning. Much more durable are those made of refractory bricks, but they are heavier than metal and require a support or metal frame.

Fuel for the furnace

Fuel for heating the metal in the cell is solid, liquid and gaseous and can be natural or artificial.

Solid natural fuels include firewood, peat and coal, which are most commonly used today. Requirements for its quality are high, according to Gosstandart 25543/88, it must be shiny, black, the pieces must be the size of a walnut, which is why blacksmiths call such coal “nuts”.

Charcoal, pulverized fuel, and coke are used as solid artificial fuels. Charcoal is considered the best, but due to its high cost and scarcity, pulverized fuel obtained from coal by burning in a sprayed form, as well as coke, has become widespread. It is more expensive than coal, but has a higher temperature, burning time and lower sulfur content.

Liquid natural fuel includes oil, and artificial fuel includes gasoline, tar, fuel oil, and kerosene. Since fuel oil is not inferior to oil in terms of calories, and is much cheaper than other types, it is often used in blacksmithing.

Natural gas – natural gaseous fuel, and generator – artificial, it is obtained by gasification of various fuels. Unnatural also include blast furnace, coking, lighting and other gases.

Fuel for the furnace forge

Anvil in the smithy

This guest of honor in the smithy (photo) can not go unnoticed. As the blacksmith’s main assistant, she should be located near the furnace.

The tool is of three types: hornless, two-horned unicorn, and weighs from 100 to 250 kg.

Anvils are made by casting from tool carbon steel. Its most practical form is a two-horned one. The horizontal platform from above is called the person, and the basic part of all works is carried out on it.

This surface must be carefully sanded and be in perfect condition: no potholes, notches and dents. Do not knock on the surface with a bare hammer or use a chisel on it.

On the right side of the anvil is a conical horn, which is designed for bending bars and stripes, welding and rolling rings. On the face next to the conical horn there is a hole with a diameter of about 15 mm, which is used to give the rods a circular shape.

To the left of the anvil is a tail that has a pyramidal shape and is designed to bend rectangular closed parts. For installation of underlying tools, in its tail there is a square opening approximately 30х30 mm.

At the bottom of the anvil has four legs, for which it is attached to its base with staples.

The tool is installed on a birch or oak chair with a diameter of 500-600 mm. The base of the churbak is buried to a depth of at least 50 cm, the ground around is compacted. This is done to avoid vibration of the anvil during impacts.

For small work used Shperak – a special anvil made of tool steel by forging with subsequent hardening.

Nowadays, finding a decent blacksmith’s tool is either rare or very expensive: the domestic industry has stopped producing it. Try to look for it in factories, in railway workshops, in villages and hamlets.

Anvil in the smithy

Chair lens

The tool belongs to the main equipment of the forge and it is impossible to do without it. In the vise clamps blanks, various devices, bending and sedimentation.

Chair vices have different sizes and are installed on an array of logs, which is buried in the floor next to the anvil.

The height of the sponge vise and the face of the anvil should be at the same level. If you have difficulties with the acquisition of Stulov, then at first suitable and ordinary vices – metalwork, machine, but remember: none of them can withstand strong blows, as they are cast from cast iron.

Tools that should be in any forge

The result of work also depends on the availability and quality of the tool in a smithy. Consider what you need to stock up:

First of all, it is shock equipment: hammer towels, sledgehammers and battle hammers.

Each tool must be reliable, special attention should be paid to the connection of the handle to the head.

The hammer towel is the main tool with which small products are forged. As a rule, it weighs 0.5-2 kg, but there are specimens of 5 kg. Its handle is 350-600 mm long, made of hardwood (maple, ash, hornbeam, birch, etc.), and should be smooth and comfortable in the hand.

A battle hammer is a hammer weighing up to 12 kg, which works with two hands. The back of its head can be unilateral-wedge-shaped or flattened (transverse or longitudinal). If the head fight is designed for the main blows, then the rear – to accelerate the metal along the axis.

Sledgehammer – a heavy hammer, weighing up to 16 kg, has flat strikes and is used in work where high impact force is required.

Blacksmith’s pincers are an exciting tool and are designed to remove workpieces from the furnace and hold them while working with a hammer.

The blacksmith will need steel rulers for 300, 500 and 1000 mm, or a tape measure and a folding meter, as well as squares, templates, calibers and more.

For the care and cleaning of the furnace can not do without poker, scoop, peaks and panicles.

The forging process begins with filling the grate of the coal forge. Often blacksmiths place the blanks directly on the coal, and pour an additional layer on top. This allows a high temperature to form under the vault, resulting in melting of the metal.

Video How to build a forge at home