You may have seen a lot of videos and instructions on the internet which explain building a coal forge. A lot of these projects requires a decent amount of money and time to make. But what if you want a cheap, effective, and easy to make forge for your blacksmithing work? If you are wondering, you are in the right place as we will explain the easiest and cheapest way to build a homemade coal forge.
Here is what you will need:
- 20-30 fire bricks or red house bricks
- 50lb of play sand
- Used Hairdryer
- Duct Tape
- Steel Pipe
- Some kind of metal grating
- Fitting pipe elbow
- Pipe end cap
- Shovel or Trowel
- Some kind of metal saw
I assume that most of the material and tools you probably already have at home so this setup will cost you significantly less. If you have everything except bricks and pipes, the price would be below 20$ which is basically nothing compared to the cost of new ones.
Before starting building this forge you should already have picked location. Make sure that it is located at enough distance from flammable materials. For that reason, we would recommend building this forge outside. Consider the distance from the garage or house because you will use electricity (hairdryer) as you might connect an extension cord. Once all of that set and done, we can start building.
STEP 1) LAY THE BRICKS
As we mentioned either red house or fire bricks will do the job. Fire bricks are a superior choice as they are more durable and heat-resistant. If you don’t have them at home, but instead you have red bricks, use red bricks instead. There are different building pattern but we will stick to the simple squared shape. When you are laying bricks, make sure to overlap them, otherwise, your forge will easily collapse. Here is the important part, be sure to leave an appropriate gap for a pipe to sit in at your first layer. You can make as many layers you want but for this example, we will use the 4 layers. For now, leave the last layer for later as the metal grate has to be placed yet.
STEP 2) SET UP AN AIR SYSTEM
After finishing the construction of bricks, it is time to setup pipes for air flow. If there are any possible complications, they would occur right here. For this part of the build, you will need a steel pipe, pipe elbow, end cap, drill, and bits.
First, cut a piece of your pipe which is the same height as your forge. Now, place the elbow on your longer piece of the pipe and run the pipe through the gap of the first bricklayer. Then, drill 6-9 holes on the end cap and attach it to the end of the short pipe. After that, it is time to connect both pipes. Make sure that your shorter pipe is in the center of the forge.
STEP 3) FILL THE FORGE WITH SAND
Before packing the sand, make sure that your shorter pipe is standing upright in the center. As you fill the sand, make sure to fill empty space between bricks for solid construction.
STEP 4) PUT METAL GRATE
Place your metal grate on the top of the forge. For this purpose, you can even use the grill grate. After that, lay the last bricklayer to hold the grate.
STEP 5) HOOK UP HAIRDRYER
Congratulations, you made it to the final step in building this forge. All that is left is hooking up the hairdryer with the end of the lower pipe. This is why duct tape is on the list. We chose duct tape because it is the simplest and most of you will already have it at home.
And there you have it, cheap and simple forge for your blacksmithing projects. Of course, there are a lot bigger and more expensive options, but this forge is just enough to get started in blacksmithing. If you are wondering which is the best fuel for blacksmithing, check these two articles Charcoal for Blacksmithing-Good Fuel Choice? and What Is the Best Coal for Blacksmithing?