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First Vertical Forge Build

I purchased a small forge several years ago and have been limited by it's capabilities for too long.  I finally decided to actually build a forge rather than thinking/talking about it and thought I'd share my first experience.   Forge/burner design, guidance, and info from Ed and Karl Andersen.  After letting the ITC 100 cure for a week, I fired it up today.  Now the ice has been broken, I'll definitely build more forges in the future and make improvements to each one.  Anymore, I'd rather build, learn, and make mistakes (happens often) so I'll be better next time around.  A few things I learned and to point out about this lil project:

  • I definitely overthought this project for far too long.  It wasn't the forge itself, it was the burner assembly that had me intimidated.  Now I feel like an idiot because Ed and Karl have both explained how simple it is.  They were right.
  • Started with scrap 13" pipe for forge body.  Split it in half vertically and added "webbing to make it oval.  I copied this design as mentioned.
  • The top isn't secured down and the bottom is removable
  • The forge pyrometer is an awesome feature!
  • Use thermocouple wire that is suited to your type of thermocouple (I texted a friend on this one lol).  After using Type K thermocouple wire, I powered up the digital readout.  I was disheartened when the display read "EEEE".  After rechecking to  ensure it was wired properly, I resorted to the manual.  There is a nice flow diagram to walk you through the basic programming required.
  • First firing I left the windows unobstructed.  I'll use brick to close them down in front and back going forward.  
  • I used approx. 2 pounds of fuel pressure and got it up to about 2050 F
  • Building a forge is MUCH cheaper than purchasing a new one.
  • Tomorrow, I'll brick up the "rear" window and add one to the front.  Start messing around with air and fuel to see what temps I'm able to get it up to.
  • Now the test drive is over, I'll wire everything up "permanent" and pretty with switches and outlets on the table.

All in all this was a fun project that I wish I'd have done a few years ago.  I'll post more pics once I get everything set up how I want it.


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Bruce McLeish has reacted to this post.
Bruce McLeish

Looks great Matt!  Every time I build or re-build a forge, I try "new" things.  Sometimes the changes work...and other times they are a flop. :)  

Right now, after a partial reline on my welding forge, I am attempting to retrain myself to weld with any flux.  So far the results are mixed.  It's far more difficult on the complicated mosaic welds...but so far I've not had any catastrophic weld failures (as I cross my fingers for the next time). :)  

Matt Kirby has reacted to this post.
Matt Kirby
Ed Caffrey, ABS Mastersmith "The Montana Bladesmith" "Nobody Cares What you Know, Until they Know You Care!"

Thanks Ed!  I ran it up to 2400 F yesterday (I must've reached the thermocouple max as my DRO stopped reading temperature at 2390 until it dropped down after shutting the forge off).

It took a lot more air flow than I expected at 5 psi of fuel to get it up to/above the forge welding temp above.  But, It'll do the job I believe!

I've been watching a few videos on welding without flux.  Can't wait to pick your brain about it.


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