Wood powered forge

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  • Wood powered forge

    For a few years now I've wanted to build something that can melt metal that can be poured into moulds. From the looks of things over the last year, I'm not the only one with this fantasy, of which for some it's now a reality. I have access to tonnes of hardwood, so the purist in me wanted to build something out of scrap that runs off waste. Researching this over the past couple of years has hit many obstacles. For example I primarily want it to melt copper and brass, which means I need to reach temperatures of around 1200 degrees. Hmm....

    I'd almost given up on the idea until I was talking to a fishing friend who was now making his own knives, on his home built forge.

    Although it looks pretty basic, this thing is extreme, running off either charcoal or wood chunks and a leaf blower. Original runs had it not only melting aluminium and brass, but it even melted the cast iron crucible. In fact I was told that 'a couple of times now' steel has been melted, putting the temps up above 2000 degrees. Scary! Here's a few pics, let me know your thoughts.

  • #2
    Yeah mate wood forges are mad, i will myself be getting one before the year is out but am starting out with a simple 1 burner propane forge for my blacksmithing atm, just to wet my feet. Ive been reading researching and watching blacksmithing videos since about 2013, so am fight into this sort of thing. Something that can generate enough heat to melt solid steel or cast iron is quite a feat. I built a foundry recently but have not been able to get it up and running and melt my copper due to being "between houses" moving in this coming monday finally after so long not having a work area like a garage or shed.

    There is a company in the States that produces their own version of a wood forge, available on amazon as well if i recall correctly. Great thing about wood forges is that as you saay you can use both coal and wood, and here in Melbourne Ive noticed that a lot of folks will bundle up wood for collection on the common strip outside their houses. so with a wood forge, fuel is easy to come by. It could be easily considered to be the ideal forge for when the SHTF. Your mate is very lucky to have one! Love the pics!

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    • #3
      It's definitely the way to go if your wanting to turn scrap metals into bars, most important is the size of the crucible so building a forge lets you design it to fit the biggest cast iron crucible you can find..

      Temperature control would be handy though, today there's even mobile phones that you can point to a heat source and it reads the temp', it would be good to be able to adjust the fuel/air source to hold a temp'

      Yeah the possibilities are unlimited when you can use free energy, all your metals can be reduced down to manageable ingots for stacking and even selling as bullion bars or machinable bars for hobbyists.
      no real cost to you and maybe you could also fuel the fire with scrap abs plastic as an additive to wood?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by WEEE Ben View Post

        Temperature control would be handy though, today there's even mobile phones that you can point to a heat source and it reads the temp', it would be good to be able to adjust the fuel/air source to hold a temp'
        I think that is the hardest thing with wood fired furnaces and forges Ben, trying to maintain temperature. Anyone who has ever cooked on an open fire will agree, that you're either too hot or not hot enough. I would love to get one of the electric ones like you have, but I just don't see me having the funds anytime soon. Mind you I don't see me having the time to build a wood fired one any time soon either. One can only dream though.

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