Hank Rearden
I came across a very compelling article that I think others starting to blacksmithing should read. It's important to have a good first experience in anything you try if you expect to create a passion of doing it.
That would also mean having positive results.


A case against a brake drum forge. 
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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Kimandjae Mobley
I agree with all you have stated of the impractical and really useless drum forge. However i must disagree that 90%of knife making involves a grinder or sander. Most of my knives are 95% finished when they come off the forge i hate grinding and sanding. So there is my 2 cents worth. Just dont agree with that, i guess if you cant forge a knife you need to do a lot of grinding. There however is more involved if you are mirror polishing all of your work. Ie sanding and polishing. THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO PAARTICIPATE IN YOUR DISCUSSION.
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Hank Rearden
Thanks for joining. Before I bought my forge and was unsuccessful at auctions at acquiring one. A number of friends suggested I make a brake drum forge. That was an article I found online that after reading it convinced me that my long held belief of using the right tool for the job was a tried and true idea. That being said I've done the opposite for quite a few projects. Which most of the time proved the statement true. Plus it's safer in general. The brake forge has it's place and I think for some it's a good fit.

As fore knife making. I haven't been successful at making one. It is my challenge to overcome. If you can post your next project I would love to see how and what you do.

Welcome again.
   
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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jmccustomknives
I tried to read it, then I got bored.  The writer of the article seems to be more of a rant than an objective look.  See, my first forge was a break drum forge.  The design was crappy and it didn't work.  The second attempt was a little better, the drum was set in a wheel barrow.  It was still crap.  My current drum set up was set in a metal table.  It works as well as any other coal forge using a "real" fire pot.  That being said, I haven't used it in a year as coal is hard to get and the gas forge is doing everything I need.

As far as what kimanjae says, when I first dabbled in knifemaking I spent hours grinding.  I'd always have a deep hammer mark or two that required removal and my hammer work on the bevels was so bad it would take twice as long to clean one of those up as doing a stock removal.  It takes time to develop the kind of hammer control to minimize the clean up.  As such I am not there. 

What that article overlooks is the fact that most guys getting into this hobby don't want to, or cant spend thousands of dollars on the high end equipment.  They tend to grow into it, as their skill and passion grows so too does the quality of their equipment.   Lot of good, quality things can be made on a brake drum forge. 




Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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NorrinRadd
I had read that article early on when we got started too, also got bored and skimmed most of it. Even if what they are trying to say had any merit the tone screams "blacksmith/internet elitist that isn't getting enough attention". How you say something is as important as what you are saying. I had already seen people make nice things out of a brake drum forge anyway.

I never used a brake drum forge, because I couldn't find any good ones around the farm, that's why I went with the plow disc, which seems to be working well. I can only imagine what the article author would think of that.

As far as the knife making comment, seems like only the "stock removal" method was mentioned. In forged knives it seems in my limited knowledge its at least 50/50 forging and grinding. That's just my novice opinion.

jmccustomknives pretty much nailed it:

"What that article overlooks is the fact that most guys getting into this hobby don't want to, or cant spend thousands of dollars on the high end equipment.  They tend to grow into it, as their skill and passion grows so too does the quality of their equipment.   Lot of good, quality things can be made on a brake drum forge. "



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mtforge
I've run across this site before and am glad I found out how to build a brake drum forge as good as my store bought pot before he told me I couldn't do it. I've been using my brake drum forge for my portable forge at shows for 18 years. Works great.
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anvil
A rotor solves all the problems he talks of. Also on a drum, cut a slot on each side to get your iron in at a better depth.
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mtforge
I put castable refractory from the rim down to a drain grate in the bottom. Cone shape seems to be more efficient. When the drain grate burns out I can replace it as its not cast in.  
blacksmith 003.jpg
  blacksmith 030.jpg IMG_1472.JPG
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jmccustomknives
That's a pretty nice set up.  I think that guy who wrote that article was just jacking his jaw.  He's never met someone with a degree in redneck engineering. [tongue]
What's that anvil I spy.  Looks like an old one?

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Anthony San Miguel
My first forge was a little two brick with two small propane torches inserted into the sides. I used it for about 2 1/2 months and forged alot of RR spike kso's and file knives.

My next was a brake drum forge that I made and it worked quite well. I had to learn how to not burn the steel.

Then one day when I went to buy 6 or 7 50lb bags of coal from a guy who was moving and didn't want to have to take alot of stuff with him I decided to buy his forge also. It's the one I use now. The guy did a good job making it out of an 18 Wheeler drum. Most 18 Wheeler drums are too deep to make a good fire pot, but the way this guy did it works really well for me. Click image for larger version - Name: IMG_20150507_215508.jpg, Views: 344, Size: 892.92 KB Click image for larger version - Name: IMG_20150419_220846.jpg, Views: 368, Size: 1.74 MB Click image for larger version - Name: IMG_20150518_201803.jpg, Views: 404, Size: 1.24 MB Click image for larger version - Name: IMG_20150615_222247.jpg, Views: 421, Size: 1.51 MB Click image for larger version - Name: IMG_20150723_231849.jpg, Views: 361, Size: 1.08 MB Click image for larger version - Name: PART_1439693088630_IMG_20150815_200404.jpg, Views: 352, Size: 99.97 KB
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mtforge
My anvil is a 107# Mousehole. No pritchel hole so I figure its got a little age to it.
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jmccustomknives
Yeah, that was throwing me a little.  Typically no pritchel hole and no table.  But that one has a table.  I had a chart at one time that you could use to date a Mousehole.  Don't know what I did with it.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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mtforge
If I remember right cutting tables came in about 1780 and pritchel holes about 1830.
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Anthony San Miguel
It's been drizzling throughout the day so I'm using the small brake drum forge under my canopy to normalize and harden these 3 knives now. Click image for larger version - Name: IMG_20151226_161740.jpg, Views: 320, Size: 2.52 MB Click image for larger version - Name: IMG_20151226_161817.jpg, Views: 289, Size: 2.86 MB
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Hank Rearden
I have a few ammo boxes. I never thought to use them as quench tank. Brilliant idea. It also gives me  brings up another discussion to post in alchemy about controlling heat.

Also to mtforge, in your picture of you and your traveling forge. The moveable wing shields on the flue are a great idea. And bellows? I hope you're charging admission to the patrons for your show. Were you the only blacksmith? 
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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mtforge
The wind shields are there because you never know which way the wind is going to be coming from. Or how windy. A side draft hood doesn't work well with a strong cross breeze so I can shut it up and almost have an enclosed fire if needed. No I'm not the only one at that show. Usually three areas of actual demonstrating blacksmiths. Me at one section another in the middle and a group/club at the other section with up to 10 at a time. As far as the bellows go some shows I go to don't allow a hand cranked blower, too modern. Has to be a bellows.
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Just found this topic, and found that article enlightening, but at the same time, rather rant-like. 
I did a video in which I modified a little cast iron coal forge I had been using to accommodate a brake drum; before, it had no pot to speak of. I had filled the sides with clay much like mtforge had described with his own, and filled the sides of the original forge with clay to create an area the coal could stay on to be scraped down into the pot. It works very well now, but I rather wish it was a little deeper. 
It's probably not going to be my last forge anyways.
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jmccustomknives
I can honestly say, comparing the last brake drum forge I made to the Centar I am currently using the brake drum has the advantage.  I wouldn't think of forge welding a 3" wad of cable with my current setup.  That drum forge could do it, and that was with sub par coal. 

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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NorrinRadd
Really? Out of curiosity, what gives it the advantage?
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jmccustomknives
Airflow.  The drum forge was open air, I could really pour the air to it.  My wife would complain about me burning down the neighborhood.  I had the drum set in a metal table, that allowed coal to be piled up around it.  I could do a beehive or in the case of those large billets plow a valley.  Since the current forge is indoors it can't handle that much airflow (it really would burn the shop down) and I have to watch how I pile the coal as it can interfere with the exhaust and fill the shop with fumes and smoke.

So I said all that just to say the drum was outdoors so I didn't have to worry about burning down the shop or suffocating on coal fumes.  The current set up would work just as well, if not better given the same environment.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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NorrinRadd
OK I got ya now. That post kinda caught me off guard because that looked like a b.a. Forge you got recently.
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SW Reynolds
From what I read of it, it was sorta fun. Sorta funny. Sorta concerned me. Never used a brake drum must lots of folks can build a real nice fire pot from one and a table around it. You don't NEED a clinker breaker for a successful forge/fire pot. I was thinking that the rivet forges are not much different from a simple brake drum.

The reason many experienced smiths don't use them is just that. They are experienced. They have spend time in a temporary set-up and graduated over time to a better built unit or a factor piece. Nothing wrong with informing folks interested in starting the hobby that the brake drum option is viable when you have a $1,000+ forge set-up inside a heated 20x40 building. 
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Duce
Thanks JM, MT, and others. Thought I'd wasted time, and my favorite mower! Click image for larger version - Name: IMG_20170327_125809.jpg, Views: 123, Size: 281.97 KB
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Metalmelt
http://www.centaurforge.com/Centaur-Mini-Coal-Forge-with-Dumping-Ashgate-Eligible-for-Free-Shipping-See-Terms-and-Conditions-for-full-details/productinfo/MMD/

This looks like a brake drum to me. Almost $600, just needs the refractory inside like MTF has said. Use a piece of low carbon steel in the bottom with holes drilled in it. Probably the worst thing some people do is not allow a lot of holes for good air flow. I think on something like duce's rig, I would try to mount the drum under the table to make a deeper bowl.
I found the rant boring also, obviously someone who sells foundry supplies to unsuspecting newbies with fat wallets. Forge $600, Anvil $700, Blower $300 to $500, Hammers $100 plus each??  I used to think SCUBA was an expensive hobby.
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Duce
After seeing MT's set up realized putting play drum below the deck is the way to go. Gives you a large deck to bank coal on and scrape Ash and clinkers on to. I need some plate steel plate, weld up a tee and ash gate. Lord if I didn't need to work for a living I'd get this done in a jiffy. Maybe I could get the wife a second job!
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Marc
I remember reading that article years ago, and was wondering where are this evil sleek website that are inducing unsuspecting beginners into building this terrible drum forges that will condemn the followers to certain mediocrity? I could never find them.
Sure, google "forge" and presto, many well intentioned suggestions of brake forge made in a day will emerge. I don't think they are so bad.

I am in the process of rebuilding my workshop after a break of some 30 years. Have a decent metalwork shop but not much in the way of forging, so after going troppo and buying 5 anvils (I kid you not) I started to look for a forge. Bought one on ebay but when I went to pick it up it was a side blast forge so heavy and large that the farmer that sold it to me couldn't lift it on my trailer with his Kubota front loader. I pulled it apart and took the blower and two wheels that belonged to some ancient farming equipment to use for decoration. The blower is industrial size and the fan alone is 400mm. Finally found an ancient rivet forge that only needs a couple of buckets of clay. The blower is hand cranked and the fan needs a new bush but all in all it's OK. Not much room for tools nor for big loads of coal, but will do for now. I will probably build a larger table and a solid tuyere for my super blower.   

What seems odd to me in that article is the mention of a fire that must be 7" or 8" deep. Sure I have seen industrial forges with that size fire that burn bucket loads of coal, but forges are not one size fits all. I worked mainly with 4" deep fires on flat large tables to make architectural stuff. Nor would I make a case to say everyone should have it that way.
It's one of those things.  A brake rotor fitted inside a square metal table with shallow edges all around, a couple of inches of clay and you made a nice forge with a truck or car brake ... I am sure if I do that I will be forgiven ... ? [smile]
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
Adrian Pierce Rogers
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Scrambler82
If any of you could pick one reason for not using a Brake Drum Forge vs a Purchased Unit mentioned above, what would the main reason be ?

Brake Drum vs http://www.centaurforge.com/Centaur-Mini-Coal-Forge-with-Dumping-Ashgate-Eligible-for-Free-Shipping-See-Terms-and-Conditions-for-full-details/productinfo/MMD/

I'm a Newb, no way around it, have played with metal but not forging it, in years, as a Newbie I can't see much of any difference between the two mentioned.  They are both Cast Iron Pots lined with clay, some sort of blower with plumbing and wham bam there's the solid fuel forge.   All brake drums have a large center hole and holes on the bottom to bolt flanges and grates to, used brake drums maybe a little brittle but there are always less used units, purchased Forges are preset for what is being sold by that manufacturer, a preset design, preset size !  I guess just because I do not know enough I can't see the problem.

If it is depth you want/need then a truck brake drum might be a better source of a cast iron pot, the larger the truck - the larger the brake drum, but I'm getting a head of myself.
I don't see much of a difference, at least not enough to spend the extra money.



Do It Right The First Time !
GrevB
Location: SoCal, USA
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theengel
I don't understand you Scrambler.  Please understand that this is not a criticism... I just don't understand.

Are you trying to make sure you do all the research before jumping in?  Or is it that you don't have the funds, and are just fishing for information so that you can make a well informed purchase when the time comes?  Because honestly, you usually have to get your hands dirty before you can really be informed.

I blew my tax return on a propane forge last year.  Other than watching a few youtube videos, I really didn't do a whole lot of research.  In my mind, (even though I couldn't afford it and had to fight with my wife over a period of 6 months) the purchase itself WAS the research.  Now that I've heated metal and pounded on it, I know what I need.  Meanwhile, I can sharpen my skills with a hammer and get better at whatever I'm able to practice.  When the time comes to take a step forward, I'll have the information.  But I wouldn't have any information (except other people's opinions) if I didn't just jump in and try it.

I have a brother in law who spent six months researching hunting knives.  Every weekend he showed me different pictures and asked how they would work when skinning a deer.  The most expensive one he was considering was less than $50.  None of this made sense to me, because the first time I field dressed a deer, I stole a cheap kitchen knife out of my mom's knife drawer (she's still irate about that).  Then when I did actually buy a knife, I simply walked up to a vendor at a flea market, felt it in my hands to see if it felt good, and made sure it was smaller than the kitchen knife I'd tried to use.  And the next time I bought one, I spent a little more money on something that would stay sharp.  You see, I spent more money each time, as my skill and knowledge advanced... instead of trying to obtain knowledge without the benefit of skill.

All of this is simply my way of saying: Jump in man, the water is fine.

Judging from the pics of your shop, you have enough skill to at least make something that will heat the metal enough to start hammering.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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theengel
You know what Scrambler... scratch that.  I just now read your post at:
http://www.theironforgefire.com/post/names-we-call-things-9287268?pid=1300038816

Sometimes I speak before thinking or reading.  I came with directions when I was born: Open mouth and insert foot.

But I'm gonna leave the post there because you might have gotten an email saying what I posted, which would no doubt annoy you, but no one would understand why you'd be annoyed with me.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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Marc


Scrambler82 wrote:
If any of you could pick one reason for not using a Brake Drum Forge vs a Purchased Unit mentioned above, what would the main reason be ?

Brake Drum vs http://www.centaurforge.com/Centaur-Mini-Coal-Forge-with-Dumping-Ashgate-Eligible-for-Free-Shipping-See-Terms-and-Conditions-for-full-details/productinfo/MMD/

I'm a Newb, no way around it, have played with metal but not forging it, in years, as a Newbie I can't see much of any difference between the two mentioned.  They are both Cast Iron Pots lined with clay, some sort of blower with plumbing and wham bam there's the solid fuel forge.   All brake drums have a large center hole and holes on the bottom to bolt flanges and grates to, used brake drums maybe a little brittle but there are always less used units, purchased Forges are preset for what is being sold by that manufacturer, a preset design, preset size !  I guess just because I do not know enough I can't see the problem.

If it is depth you want/need then a truck brake drum might be a better source of a cast iron pot, the larger the truck - the larger the brake drum, but I'm getting a head of myself.
I don't see much of a difference, at least not enough to spend the extra money.


[MMS%2004] 

[25782_364048178879_619893879_3718920_2297010_n] 

The main objection against a brake drum forge is the lack of a table around it and the depth of the drum. 
When you work on a coal forge, you need to tender the fire, you need large amounts of coal around the fire, the chance of heating long or larger objects, not only poking the end of a rod at a down angle inside a pot. 

I don't like either of the above forge but between the two, the Centaur is better because it allows to heat a longer bar across the fire. The table is of course way too small and it is way overpriced for what it offers. The second one is cheap as chips but has no table. 

I think that you can not say "Drum brake forge" is bad. There is nothing wrong with using a brake rotor or drum instead of making a square tuyere with welded plate. In fact a cast steel brake will outlast a home made tuyere for sure. It is the table and the access to the fire that makes a good or a bad forge. And I must qualify "bad" since what is bad for me to make decorative larger objects may be perfect for someone who wants to make a knife or a hook, a horse shoe, or bend the occasional piece of steel as the case of a farmer that uses the forge to repair his equipment.

Yesterday I spent a good part of the day resuscitating a 100 years old rivet forge I had laying around since I need to do some work away from the workshop. This forge was used by traveling farriers in the bush and it's what folks 100 years ago considered portable. It weights about 60 kilos, and that is without the clay that I have yet to add to it. The tide was up yesterday so I am waiting for today's low tide to pick up a couple of buckets of mud from the river. 

A rivet forge is a bit like a drum forge on steroids. Still no table but the diameter of the ring, some 500 or 600mm gives you a chance to have something around the fire to spread coal on and to sit your work on. The clay in this case will be your table. 

I spent most of the time pulling apart the blower that sounded like shaking marbles inside a bottle. I actually thought the mechanism was shot so did not have much hope. However I was proven wrong. The gears are fine, and the rattling came mainly from the fan shaft having no lubrication and the fan itself being out of shape and balance. 
A good internal clean and greasing of the gears, and the thing started to sound real nice. The fan frame is brass and the fins copper sheeting riveted to the frame. A bit of reshaping of the bent and the crooked made all the difference. The blower now blows enormous amounts of air very quietly. I can see from here that the tide has just started to turn ... in 6 hours time I will be able to take a few buckets of mud. 

All in all, a coal forge is fun but is dirty, slow and takes a lot of time away from the main occupation that should be forging. A gas forge of the right size is many times better any day. If you do small stuff there are many gas forge choices. If you make larger stuff ... well you are mostly stuffed or must make your own giant gas forge and that is a challenge. 

Let's just hope that the anti-coal brigade disappears like those who were trying to sell us the car that runs on water or a lot of land on the moon, so that we can once more buy cheap and plentiful coal for forging and even pick up coal from the road that dropped off the coal trucks. 

[post-1866-0-07041800-1378938647] 

The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
Adrian Pierce Rogers
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Scrambler82
theengel wrote:
I don't understand you Scrambler.  Please understand that this is not a criticism... I just don't understand.

Are you trying to make sure you do all the research before jumping in?  Or is it that you don't have the funds, and are just fishing for information so that you can make a well informed purchase when the time comes?  Because honestly, you usually have to get your hands dirty before you can really be informed.

I blew my tax return on a propane forge last year.  Other than watching a few youtube videos, I really didn't do a whole lot of research.  In my mind, (even though I couldn't afford it and had to fight with my wife over a period of 6 months) the purchase itself WAS the research.  Now that I've heated metal and pounded on it, I know what I need.  Meanwhile, I can sharpen my skills with a hammer and get better at whatever I'm able to practice.  When the time comes to take a step forward, I'll have the information.  But I wouldn't have any information (except other people's opinions) if I didn't just jump in and try it.

I have a brother in law who spent six months researching hunting knives.  Every weekend he showed me different pictures and asked how they would work when skinning a deer.  The most expensive one he was considering was less than $50.  None of this made sense to me, because the first time I field dressed a deer, I stole a cheap kitchen knife out of my mom's knife drawer (she's still irate about that).  Then when I did actually buy a knife, I simply walked up to a vendor at a flea market, felt it in my hands to see if it felt good, and made sure it was smaller than the kitchen knife I'd tried to use.  And the next time I bought one, I spent a little more money on something that would stay sharp.  You see, I spent more money each time, as my skill and knowledge advanced... instead of trying to obtain knowledge without the benefit of skill.

All of this is simply my way of saying: Jump in man, the water is fine.

Judging from the pics of your shop, you have enough skill to at least make something that will heat the metal enough to start hammering.


theengel,
First off, no disrespect meant, "What I do and how I do it is my decision, not anyone else", AND I suffer and I do mean SUFFER with advanced OCD and ADD, which means nothing just gets done, I plan and plan more, then start, then I stop and rethink... a major problem but it is what it is, me !
My Amateur Radio Station took me over a year to just sit and talk, I need it done, I mean completed and working, with all meters, amplifiers, and radios setup and working.
As you can see from my post it is my curse no one else's and if this is a problem for the site, I can either say I am sorry or please just grin and bear it !

I am retired, 30 years as a Quality Assurance Engineer, I have a certain amount of money set aside for my shop and I work within that budget. If blowing your TAX Return on something is your quest, then so be it but it is not mine; in fact a good bottle of wine from the tax return would be good.

AND theengel... nothing annoys me, I thrive on people saying what they really mean, you are correct about me but as stated above sometimes it is not my fault, I too was born this way!  Please, when it comes to me, say exactly what you mean, I know no other way !

Marc,
Great post, I posted my question more to get people talking not to make a decision, from my Avatar you can see my Gas Forge, a Diamondback, 2 burner Blacksmith version.   I will at times ask questions that some may think are simplistic, but again, lets talk about it !
It turns out that my 30 years of Quality Assurance Engineering created a monster, in more than one way.

The Table size thing, do you think anyone building a forge from the ground up can put together a table large enough to work as you described, maybe even as stated in a lot of other posts, a BBQ Cart is a good thing.  Although as theengel has stated, "if you dot try you won't know" !

To the site, 
Please bear with me in my endeavor, if this is a problem and the members do not appreciate my posts, my questions, or just the way I do things, please just say so and I will be gone or at least won't post as much, I won't leave, I do enjoy reading what others do in there shop.
If I post my opinion on a piece someone else has made it is because I fall back to my QA experience and make opinion on that alone, not my hammer time.

Thanks for reading, thanks for any leeway allowed !




Do It Right The First Time !
GrevB
Location: SoCal, USA
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theengel
As I had said, I did put my foot in my mouth.

I do appreciate your posts.

I was just pointing out that a lot of questions are answered when you dive in.  But then, that's only for me.  I guess different people learn different ways.  It's what makes the world go round.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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Marc
[a22529cb6929a44f454a4cd5b909cd94]  [c5511d3ae90470541474b3a6ee3004e1]  [f8ae25aaab6ef6e6a1a509052d9430da]  [809391db85df19a2ea3d130fbcd9c225]  [52c43f18788ed476a086065039164eaa] 
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
Adrian Pierce Rogers
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Scrambler82
All good examples of Forge Tables that a Brake Drum could be adapted to, one did use a Brake Drum !

Except that last one, a great fireplace !?!
Do It Right The First Time !
GrevB
Location: SoCal, USA
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Hank Rearden
Love the dragon and I'll buy that Champion forge table from you right now!
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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Marc
Ha ha, I bet it would be worth a mint. None are mine, just photos off Pinterest to illustrate what good forges look like. 
The last one next to the dragon used a brake rotor for the fire pot. A bit flat but it will work. A brake drum would be better with such a flat table.

Below a 100 years old travelling farrier's forge I have resuscitated. Mud is still wet. 

[image] 
[image] 
[image]
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
Adrian Pierce Rogers
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mtforge
blacksmith 030.jpg 
I've been using this brake drum forge for over 20 years at reenactments, rendezvous and other shows. Including this weekend. It cost me 5 dollars, the price of the post vise at a yard sale. It has the depth and table size that works well for demonstrations and serious work as needed. I would not pay $600 for one. To say that brake drum forges don't work because the tables are too small doesn't hold water. Make them any size you want. If you try it and want it bigger or smaller make another one and drop the brake drum in it. Mine comes apart to make it easy to move.
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Marc
I agree, but then it wouldn't be a brake drum forge. 
However if you read my first post on the subject you will see I disagree with the "case against the brake D. F.: ... in fact I disagree with most academic statement of this is good and that is bad sort of thing simply because there are customers for almost all things including brake drum forges with no table. 

Take hammers for example. There are those who say the only good hammer is a rounding hammer, the rest are no good. Then you have the one that say the Hofi hammer is the best, no it's the french, the German the Swedish or the Japanese hammer that is "the best" 

So many things that are tooted to be "the best" end up in the scrap heap of life that it is not worth debating over yet another opinion of what is best. Surely a brake drum forge with no table has it's purpose and uses.
Should we say solar and wind power are the best? Coal is bad? The sky is falling! ... oops ... no that one is from Asterix. [smile]

I
 like your forge with vice incorporated ... what do you have for blower?

PS

I think the best hammer is this one [smile]

[Pi-Hammer--38760] 
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
Adrian Pierce Rogers
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mtforge
I guess I'm kinda simple. It uses a brake drum so it is a brake drum forge.
I use a bellows on it.
IMG_0542.JPG 
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Marc
Nice.
Is that you at a demo? 
Do you get the clever one that tells you you are "choking the hammer" ha ha [smile]
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
Adrian Pierce Rogers
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Scrambler82
mtforge,

Nice setup, I need to locate something like this around my place.

Do you use a Bellow's Man at your Reenactments or are you pulling on the rope ?
Do It Right The First Time !
GrevB
Location: SoCal, USA
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theengel
I'm smiling because you so much look the part...


Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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mtforge
Yes, that is me. I haven't been told I'm choking the hammer yet.  That would be funny.
The pole to operate my bellows extends over the forge so I pump my own bellows.
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