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TM reader NickNaylo posted this great pic of his brake drum forge to TM’s photo pool, providing once and for all that you don’t need major cash to try your hand at blacksmithing.  He says he assembled this little rig for a whopping $75 in parts — including a scavenged squirrel cage fan, some pipe fittings, and, of course, a brake drum.

It even looks like he’s rigged up a dimmer to control the speed of the fan — handy for controlling fire temp to avoid simply burning your workpiece into nothingness.

Toolmonger’s Photo Pool [Flickr]

 

10 Responses to From The Flickr Pool: A Brake Drum Forge

  1. Sean O'Hara says:

    Hats off and beers up to the man with the Mad Max looking forge! I especially dig the clamp holding the the switch to the leg. You sir, rock.

  2. Joel Wires says:

    I think I just found inspiration for my new space heater! ;)

    Very sweet. And, the best part is, with everything constructed seemingly very sturdily, the switch is attached with a spring clamp. I love this thing.

    I am curious about the T-fitting. Is there a reason an 90º elbow couldn’t be used? I’m not too familiar with how these things work.

  3. Toolaremia says:

    He even worked duct-tape into it! I don’t know if he should earn or lose points for actually using it on ductwork, however…

    Joel, the T is for ash cleanout. When you shut it off, invariably ash is going to go down that pipe.

    Points for ingenious use of a brake drum, but aren’t they designed to dissipate heat? Fins and all, you know. Probably takes a bit more energy to heat things up, but also probably not enough to matter.

  4. TMIB_Seattle says:

    Brake Drum Forge plans: http://www.anvilfire.com/21centbs/forges/brkdrum1.htm

    Weld your own Firepot: (useful for adding to a wide flat forge) http://magichammer.freeservers.com/weld_your_own_fire_pot_by_lonnie.htm

  5. Teacher says:

    I give it an A+. Major league cool!

  6. Chris Salley says:

    Great pic! I made one similar to this, (same teuyer/ pipe assembly) but with a smalled brake drum and a hair dryer. It ended up costing arround $40 (mostly because of the galvanized pipe). If you want to save even more money, you can use natural hardwood charcoal (lump, not bricketts) for fuel instead of coal and/or coke.

  7. Ryan says:

    You may want to avoid using galvinized, aluminum, or any type of shiny metal for the piping. It gives off a toxic fume when dealing with heat this intense. I plan on making a forge just like this one to try my hand at begining blacksmithing. Thanks for the amazing picture!

  8. Shawn says:

    If that is a dimmer hooked up to the blower motor, it will eventually burn out the motor. The dimmer would simulate a brown out condition that lowers voltage. I would suggest using a duct damper to raise and lower the airflow, that would not damage the motor. I removed the back end of a 30 ton compressor that is roughly the same size and a similar shape to use for a forge. Nice setup.

    • Wayne says:

      I’m trying to build a similiar forge – but I’m having trouble finding a floor flange that is not galvanized. Anyone got any sources for these?

      • El Jefe says:

        Don’t sweat the galvanized, the one in the pic was once galvanized.
        It IS toxic. But once you fire it good and hot you’ll burn that junk off or you can toss the galvanized piece in some coals and get outta the area for a bit.

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