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Blacksmith Furnace

 

In Medieval times the terms bloomery, forge, and furnace were interchangeable. They all were used to denote an apparatus and process for smelting which is the craft of separating metallic iron from it's ore.

To be more accurate the three terms developed over time each one being an improvement over the last. First there was the bloomery. Then came the forge and finally the furnace. Each better than the previous.

 

In this article we will take a look at forges and furnaces. We will categorize a forge as having an open top, think of a pile of hot coals kind of like a campfire. It will of course have an air supply to bring the heat up. And let's think of the furnace as being a closed container with the fire right inside. The closed container furnace does have some advantages in that the fire can get much hotter, much quicker, and while using less fuel.

 

The differences in fuel

When we use an open pit forge we use coal or lump charcoal. And when we use a furnace we use gas or propane.

If you are interested in making your own forge for some basic blacksmithing I have a youtube video tutorial that is very popular. It is something called a brake drum forge. It uses an old brake drum because that is a good hunk of steel that will withstand the heat of the forge. I also have a page with lots of home made forge pictures if you would like to see how other people have made their forges and furnaces.



In a forge like I show you in the video above you should use either coal or hardwood lump charcoal. This will get you plenty enough heat for forging. But, if you just want something casual to use for forging and you don't want to source coal you can go with a forge from a company called Whitlox. They make two different size forges specifically designed to be used with fire wood. The V shaped trench of the forge and the materials used focuses and intensifies the heat bringing the temperature up high enough for forging.

Mini Whitlox Wood-Fired Forge (Without Blower)

  • Trench-shaped firebed focuses hot charcoal at draft for maximum heat.
  • Dual insulation of kaowool and firebrick protects forge body and concentrates heat.
  • Compact size (13x12x9") is ideal for many projects.
  • Forge design optimized for readily available wood fuel for self-sufficiency.
  • Made in the U.S.A. by Whitlox Homestead

 

Let's look at some small forges

If you are looking to exclusively do knife making the Atlas Knife Company has a small gas forge specifically for it. I don't have the Atlas forge for sale here on the website but I do have pictures of knifemaking with one. This forge is Deweys and he is an accomplished knife maker.

 

 

 

Handy Forge -

Burner not included, please read this full description before making your purchase. With the Handy Forge, anyone can forge and shape metal and you don't need to spend a fortune to do it! Bend, twist, or hammer metal into shape for jewelry, artwork, utilitarian needs, and many other purposes. Metal is tuff but with the Handy Forge you can shape it to your will! Handy Forge is the smallest and most portable forge on the market today. Made in America and built like a tank from thick, heavy-duty steel. The kiln brick interior can withstand temperatures of 2600 degrees. There is no bulky burner attached to the Handy Forge. This means you have full control over your heat source and can choose whatever burner suites your needs. Most will find that a simple, off-the-shelf, high BTU plumber's torch (not included) is an inexpensive option that will work great. Those are available online and in most hardware stores nation wide. As an added benefit the torch can be easily removed in seconds so it can be used for other purposes! The Handy Forge is also designed to be easily customizable for those who wish to make their own burners. After a little practice, you could be making items to sell, gift, or simply use this as a unique handy-man/woman tool for adjusting or repairing metal items. When you're done, the Handy Forge easily stores away in a mid-sized lunchbox for those who have minimum storage space.

 

NC Whisper Momma Atmospherric Forge, Open End Model

This forge has a nice open end and side which gives you more flexibility in what you can forge.

 

Farrier Forgemaster

 

Ebay also has Forges and Furnaces:

 

Blacksmithing for Beginners -

The Complete Guide To Learning The Basics Of Blacksmithing - Learn How To Use Metal And Make A Forge!


If you are looking to become one of many people who have choose blacksmithing as their hobby, this book is the right reading for you! It will teach you the basics of this craft, from the very beginning, that it, the history of blacksmithing. The book will also teach you which tools are necessary and how to pick the right ones. You will also learn how to start blacksmithing on a budget. The book contains a guideline on how to make your own forge, instead of spending a couple of hundred dollars on buying a new one. Keep reading and you will learn the basic moves of forging, finishing, and much, much more!

 

 


 

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