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making a portable brakedrum forge

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by beast, May 17, 2011.


  1. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    start with a brake drum

    Any good iron brake drum will work, depends on how big you need. Those big honkers from a semi are great but HEAVY, so the choice is up to you. We will be doing 2 versions, one the drum can be unbolted and replaced, the other, if it breaks, you start over.

    All welded forge:
    The first thing you do is weld all the bolt holes shut, then with the drum laying open face down, weld one end of the top bar of a pipe "T" into the center hub opening, if you can look through the "T" into your hub you got it right.

    Next, cut 4 equal lengths of 1in black pipe and weld them on as legs, make it a height you can work comfortably.
    Add an 8 inch nipple to the remaining openings of the "T".
    Weld a small bolt to the vertical pipe, threads exposed and sticking out 2-3 inches.
    Cut a small piece of plate that covers the pipe opening and has space to go over the bolt.
    Drill a hole for the bolt, set the plate in place, set a spring over the bolt, twist a nut down over the bolt so the spring is slightly compressed.
    Turn your forge over and weld in a couple cross braces between the legs.
    Cut a piece of plate for your grate and drill some holes in it.
    Connect your bellows and you are ready to fire up.

    Replaceable drum:
    Cut a metal plate that you can bolt the drum onto using the lug holes. This will make all the welding much easier to do and give a good shoulder for your grate to sit on. Mark and drill your bolt holes, Mark your center and cut out the hole for your air supply and weld one end of the top bar of a pipe "T" into the center hub opening. If you can look through the "T" into your hub you got it right.

    Next cut 4 equal lengths of 1in black pipe and weld them on as legs, make it a height you can work comfortably. Add an 8 inch nipple to the remaining openings of the "T". Weld a small bolt to the vertical pipe, threads exposed and sticking out 2-3 inches. Cut a small piece of plate that covers the pipe opening and has space to go over the bolt. Dril a hole for the bolt, set the plate in place, set a spring over the bolt, twist a nut down over the bolt so the spring is slightly compressed.

    Turn your forge over, bolt your brake drum to the base, bolt heads should be on the inside weld in a couple cross braces between the legs cut a piece of plate for your grate and drill some holes in it connect your bellows and you are ready to fire up.

    congratulations, you just made a very handy usable forge
     
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