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Multi-purpose Forge

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I've been looking looking into building a charcoal/coal burning forge. Looking up some plans to help me plan mine, I went back and looked at the plans for an "outdoor kitchen" I was contemplating on building. It looks like they can built to be used as either, just a more elaborate cooking area for the air ducts to be installed under the fire pot or through the side. By building a longer forge for use as a grill area, you would also have the longer area for bigger projects, machetes and such, plus having the air ducts, keep a hotter fire going longer if needed.

This would take room but will also serve the purpose of hiding a prep in plain sight, thus remaining "gray". It may also be a way to get a reluctant spouse to "sign off" on the project.

 

I had thought about having up to 4 fire pots for the smithing, built in a long trench for charcoal cooking. By using black steel gas pipe, I can place valves and tee junctions with pipes running to the individual fire pots to control the air flow from the bellows and not have it wasted into unused fire pots, but have them available if needed for bigger projects or multiple smiths working together. Burning charcoal or even hardwood for cooking would give me cooking ability even with a power outage.

I know this may not fit everyone's needs or resources, but I look at it as another multi-tool.

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For air flow I was thinking hand bellows, just for power outages. I was dealing with an issue this week and figured the blower motors from vehicles would fit the bill nicely (with a hand bellows available for back up. The vehicle blower motors run off 12 volt DC, so there would be an abundance of them from useless, out of fuel vehicles, plus a battery. There are several solar and wind turbine options to recharge the battery, or fixing a wind mill out of the vehicles fan and using a belt to operate the alternator out of the vehicle as well. EMPs will probably create an issue with this, but we have options and no guarantee an EMP will be an issue. On high, the blower should create enough draft to be effective, or we can double up the blowers if need be. Now we have salvaged parts needed from the vehicle that will also provide our steel/metal for the projects we need to create.

I'm putting thoughts out for comment, as I'm working the plans now and plan on building in the spring. I will try and get a blueprint drawn and scanned, but Josh, may need to send to you once done for uploading (I'm not a computer guru and haven't tried attaching anything on the forum yet). Between all of us, we should have a very workable design and idea.

The idea I had also would include a hood and duct for smoke escape (possibly with a blower motor to help pull the smoke out). I figure we'll have the best grills on the block, Weber and CharBroil be doomed...lol. A 12-18 inch ledge on sides and rear of fire trench, then a 24 inch ledge in front will offer work space and locations for the valves for dampering the air flow to the pits (rear ledge for valves front work space) and solid block construction with a heavy wood beam would allow the anvil(s) to be kept close to the fire (wood should absorb vibration without cracking blocks; I hope).

Also, by using the 12 volt system, car lights can be utilized for a light source if needed, so another item salvaged. Jeff Foxworthy didn't realize those relatives were just prepping by having all them cars up on blocks...lol.

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I have a blueprint drafted up and a friend is going to use autocad to do the actual prints and get them into a digital copy for uploading for me. I designed one that is 8 feet long with 3 fire pots, can be used as a smokehouse, grill or forge. It incorporates automotive blower motors with wind turbines and 12 volt batteries for power and hand bellows for manual back up. I'm hoping to get the rough draft to my friend this week and then have them posted as soon as he gets done.

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Sean: Took me awhile to notice the NEW POSTS button at the top left of the page, but I've begun logging on and then going straight to that button. It list al the messages that have been posted since your last login. It's a lot easier to "filter" that way, rather than going thru all the threads. I know this is what you asked for, but if you hadn't noticed the button, it's worth a shot

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what do you think would be the best option for a newbie? all i want to do for now is forge a blade. i like the cianperez for cost, and the popularmechanics setup for a more permanent setup. i live in a townhouse so this would need to be in the backyard, which is all AZ dirt (almost concrete lol) maybe cinderblock stand with the 2basin steel sink?

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Sonoran6.

my small forge is like the cianperez/but i used a 30galon metal drum and cut out top and a square hole for the side.My air imput is a hair dryer ducktaped to the intake.Its moveable in and out of my tool shed.Hope this helps, i will post soon.

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lol, portability is exactly what i was going for, living in a townhouse.. moving to a big house soon, but since this one seems to do just what i want it to do, i doubt i will make any significant changes in the near future. grilling a rack of ribs while forging a new blade with your setup sounds like major fun!

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