Here's the first firing of my brakedrum forge, about $75 in parts, and that's cause I got restless and bought the stock for the legs. burning coal in this shot but charcoal is easier on the neighbors.

  • Jake Strait 8y

    Does charcoal get as hot as coal or do you just need to feed in charcoal more often than if you were using coal?
  • nicknaylo 8y

    Charcoal and coal are both carbon, the heat output in the same, but coal is denser and so lasts longer. So, yes, you do need to feed in more charcoal than coal but it gets just as hot as coal, no stinking thick clouds of sulferous smoke to deal with though. Coal also sticks together as the volatiles burn off, forming coke. You can use this sticking quality to make a little "cave" in your fire that reflects heat back down into the "cave" and heats the metal that much faster. With charcoal, I usually put a scrap of steel plate over the brake drum to get the same effect.
  • Wilber...! 5y

    you only have one picture of this forge??
  • Darren Moorhouse 4y

    nicely made. Clean and simple. Think I'll redesign my frankenforge... ;)
  • nicknaylo 4y


    It's in its fourth incarnation now. Same fire pot and piping underneath. But now its bolted into a steel utility cart that gives both a lip to keep the charcoal in place and room to lay out tools and work.
  • N.C.Esposito 2y

    you shouldn't use galvanized pipe fittings on a forge. They can give off nasty fumes that will get you sick.
  • Andy 6mo

    looks like it would work fine. if it gets hot enough that galvanize will melt off.
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Taken on December 21, 2004
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