Monday, January 26, 2015

A New Forge and Parking Lot Blacksmithing.

I've taken some time away from nose to the grindstone tool production lately to set up a small blacksmith shop that can wheel in and out of my workshop.  While a dedicated space for metal work would be ideal, this mobile arrangement beats the pants off of hitting the road every time I need to heat up and pound some steel.

My parking lot smithy.

The forge and anvil live in a corner of my workshop and I hand truck them down a small flight of stairs into the parking lot as needed.  At the end of the day, after everything cools down, they roll back up the steps and into the workshop until the next time their services are required.

Adze blade coming up to critical temperature.

I opted for a vertical tube forge design with a blown burner.  Blown burners use a fan to supply the air to mix with the gas.  The gas and air mixture come in on the bottom of the forge and the doors are at the top.  This arrangement gives a nice, even heat with no hot spots which makes heat treatment a breeze.

There are a storm of new tool ideas on the horizon that this forge makes possible.  Expect to see some of them soon and some of them much later.  It also means that the adze production, while slightly dependent on the weather, will flow a little faster now.

Nice, even heat.


  1. Nice forge, and gorgeous anvil.
    Did you insulate the inside with anything, like inswool or refractory?
    Down the stairs, that's a bummer. But I can relate--I have to drag my little charcoal forge outside to use it.
    Looking forward to seeing your new tools.

    1. Thanks. I was given the anvil by one of my high school english teachers who dabbles in antiques when he found out I was getting interested in blacksmithing during college. It is a Trenton with a welded on top. They are reputed to be good anvils.

      The forge is insulated with one inch of kaowool and coated with satanite. I'm planning to add a layer of ITC 100 which is supposed to make it more efficient, I just haven't ordered it yet.

      I tried navigating the stairs without a hand truck one time. As the anvil was midway in it's tumble to the asphalt I thought, "Seventy bucks for a hand truck makes a whole lotta sense." The only casualty was the anvil stand.

  2. Good looking setup! I roll mine out on a small cart. Hand trucking down stairs seems hard.

    1. The anvil is the tough part. I still haven't weight mine, but I think it is between 75 and 100 pounds, definitely more than 50.

  3. I'm really intrigued by the forge. Did you build the forge? Looking forward to seeing your new tools.

    1. I bought it basically as a kit from High Temp Tools. They supply the shell, insulation and refractory, and the blower minus the fan. You assemble. The even heat is the really great thing about this forge. For forging and heat treating small tools (narrower than 3") I think this setup is pretty tough to beat. There are more versatile forges on the market, but this suits my needs quite nicely.

  4. Diggin' this new forge setup, the fan definitely seems the way to go for heat treatment. Also, nice to see you have a new workout for Tim's Gym.

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