The forge. This is the heart of a blacksmith shop, where the steel is heated until it arrives at a semi-molten clay-like consistency. At this point, the blacksmith takes the now hot steel out of the fire and squeezes and bends it into the desired shape. As it turns out, not all forges are the same, there are gas forges that run on propane which are more like a hot furnace and then there are solid fuel forges that run on coal. Each one has its pros and cons and so it only makes sense to have at least one of each on hand for any job that may come along, or at least that’s what I’m going with!
When I traveled around the United Kingdom visiting blacksmith shops I had the opportunity to try out a couple different coal forges that I had never been exposed to before, and really fell in love with the way they performed, compared to my gas forge. I’ve had my propane forge as my primary go to forge for quite some time, and it most likely will stay that way, but ever since I got a taste of the coal forge, I dreamed of having one on hand for those jobs that lend themselves out to it, better than the gas forge.
Early this year, I stumbled upon the perfect forge I wanted. Loved the shape and the burner style, the only problem was that it was in the United Kingdom, and that’s a continent away. Nothing is impossible, especially when it comes to moving blacksmithing tools, but that’s a whole nother story. As it turned out it just wasn’t economical to bring it over. So faced with no better option, I decided to build it myself and make it similar, but slightly more suited to my needs, and taste.
Phase one has been making the frame and hood that will hold the fire and catch the smoke. Once the body was done, I wanted it to look like it has been around for a 100 years, but I didn’t have that kind of time, so we needed to make it rusty, all over, and fast! Luckily, with a bit of chemicals and some good old rain, within a weekend we had an old new forge! The next step will be building the burner and installing it in the shop, but that will have to wait, as its time to get back to real work!