Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Build Your Own Blacksmith Forge

Blacksmithing is a lot fun and a good skill for a homesteader to learn. There have been a few articles in magazines on this subject, of building a forge. Several articles I've seen had some pretty goofy looking forges made of all sorts of things including wheel rims! The last forge I built was made from a used hotwater heater tank. I cut it the long way, so it looks like a feed trough when its done, with a metal cutting blade on a circular saw. There is usually a treaded hole on the side of these tanks. Cut it so the hole is centered on the bottom. Use some angle iron to make some legs, remember to brace them well. I like mine about hip high. Find a piece of fairly think plate steel thats big enough to cover the hole. Drill lots of holes in it for air flow and then weld it over the hole. Thread a straight piece of pipe in the hole and put a tee on the bottom of the pipe so there is a one hole on the bottom and one hole on the side. I just take an old soup can and squash the top on it on the bottom hole. It will catch the ashes for easy removal. The side hole is for your bellows. Don't have one? Use a hair drier with multiple settings. Works great for forced air. Now all you need is some blacksmith coal and a anvil. You can use a pair of visegrips or pliers for tongs until you can make some. Keep your eyes open for big coil springs from trucks. Thats what I used to make knives. There are some good books out there on blacksmithing, read up on it and you will have a ball making all sorts of things for the homestead. The last time I moved, I left all my smithin' tools and forge behind. Sure wish I hadn't, but I did. Sometime soon I'll be making a new setup and will post some pictures of the final product.


At 8/16/2005 11:26 AM, Blogger Randall Gerard said...


I'd be real interested in those pictures. I can always count on you for useful information. Thanks.

At 8/17/2005 8:19 AM, Blogger The BadgerMum said...

This is totally off-topic, but did you happen to see this? Last spring I worked really hard at not ranting about how much I hate Daylight Saving Time. Now I feel that long-delayed rant coming on...

At 8/17/2005 3:13 PM, Anonymous Scott said...


I'm not sure when I'll get to it. I'll let you know as soon as I do.


I don't care much for it either. What an energy bill, more like a joke! Oh, did you know that they have DST in Alaska. Stupid....its all light or all dark, not much in between, but they change the clock anyway.

At 8/31/2005 2:56 PM, Anonymous Jon Caudle said...


I printed this blog entry for one of my sons, and he has already started on his forge. He got an anvil (old piece of RR track, about 16" long), and found an old water heater while tramping about in the woods. We have hauled the tank home, and are planning the next step. Which brings me to my point ... Could you post detailed pictures to accompany your story? It would go a long way in helping this city-boy figure out what everything you said meant.




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