If you have come this far to read this blog entry, there must be some interest in forging or at least the interest in the setup on how a beginner like me started out. Let Me start by saying, I am not the first one to write about this topic, I Know there’s a lot written and videos posted about Forge setup , especially how to’s for beginners, and I am definitely a consumer of this type of information , that is why I would like to contribute, and put my five cents out there so that someone else that’s interested in starting to forge has yet another idea and an inspiration to go from.
I Started out with a more simpler setup, an I-Beam and a 1″ Steel Plate welded on top (Picture Above). This worked until I got too excited about owning an Anvil , because I could not get the I-Beam to quite down, it went “Cling Cling Cling” instead of a softer Ding sound. The thought of my friendly neighbors yelling, “can someone shut this guy up” convinced me to get the anvil, and who doesn’t want to own an anvil; just makes you look like you know what your doing when you have one in your shop. Try it, invite your friends or in laws over Haha. Jokes aside, the reason I decided to start forging, was that when I started my Dutch Tool Chest build, I was in search of hardware, Hinges, Nails, Chest Handles, Casters etc. When I came across a bunch of nail making videos and articles, that’s when I suddenly got the urge to try and make some hardware myself; not just for the tool chest but for future woodworking projects and to gain some more skills. Since I Work at a Welding shop the scrap supplies where free, and the I-Beam became my first option. Took me only an hour or so to gather all supplies ( I-Beam, Hammer, Blow Torch and a couple of bricks that I already had at home). I started with square cut Nails ( Picture Below are some of my first Nails out of 1/4 round stock Hot Rolled mild steel)
and the nails turned out great for a first timer. So then, like I mentioned before I had to get a proper sized anvil, because I was not going to just make nails, this was to much fun. I want to make hardware etc. and I will not stop here, and my neighbors won’t either ( probably had pitchforks and torches in their hands ready to come over).
But an I Beam Works fine for someone who is just willing to make a few items and can’t afford an Anvil, and can think of a better design or way to beef up and quite down the I- Beam. I settled for an Anvil, but do not let this change your mind, use what you have.
Below is a Picture of My First , and More Simpler approach for a Forge , just a bunch of Fire Bricks and a Blow Torch. This actually works quite well for a beginner and some one that uses 1/4″ Stock or smaller, and for someone who just needs a quick quench for a heat treat. I just ran out of small propane bottles and decided to give a Tiger Torch a Try , and until my actual Forge gets built the Tiger Torch is the go to heat source.(Pictured Below). By the way, This should be done in a well ventilated area.