How to Set Up a Small Forge
Learning how to forge and work with metals can be a rewarding pastime or even a career. If you’re interested in doing metalworking at your home or workshop, there are several main pieces of equipment you’ll need to get started, plus a few smaller ones and some accessories. Here is a brief overview of the necessary tools and equipment.
In order to start using such a forge, a blacksmith would place fuel inside it and after that ignite the fireplace. He could add bellows or even a fan to enhance the air circulation in the hearth. If he wants a large fire, there needs to be more air entering the hearth. By doing this, the temperature inside the forge increases, so that it is easier and faster to melt metals which may have high melting points. Basically, coal forge utilizes a firepot that is in the center of the flat hearth. Eventually, maintained inside a tight pack top take care of the shape from the fire’s heart. This will also maintain your coal from burning directly so that it will likely be cooked into coke first.
An anvil is perhaps the most necessary item for blacksmiths. Anvils come in different weights, shapes and sizes for different purposes. Another major player is the forge, where metal is heated in order to be worked. Your forge can either be gas and bought as a unit or coal and made from old spare parts such as steel sinks or brake drums. If you choose to make a forge, there are many internet tutorials to choose from. The last important piece is the blower, and you can use anything from an old hairdryer to a shop vacuum, as long as you connect it properly to your forge.
There are several kinds of tools you need to set up a working smithy. Hammers are the first item, and you’ll need two kinds, a blacksmith’s hammer and a ball-peen hammer. These come in different weights for different projects and it’s best to have a two or three of each. You’ll also need several sets of tongs, but the good news is that after the first set, you can make the rest!
Depending on the type of metal you find yourself comfortable working with, you’ll need items such as a quench tank, a pneumatic hammer, and a slag pot for impurities when casting molten metal. There are dozens of smaller items as well, but again, the more smiting you accomplish, the more you can make your own accessories!
If you think becoming a hobby blacksmith sounds like fun, let this guide help you begin to plan your forge. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover you have a brand-new talent for metalworking!