Shop Built Coal Forge

A bit on home built coal forges. I have built quite a few forges over the years, both coal and propane. This bit is about Coal forges. As a scrounger and welder, I like to build my fire pots from steel as it is very easy to weld and to weld well. I like readily available parts and so I usually use a small trailer wheel or the rear wheel from a riding mower. These are all steel and have the almost prefect shape and size. I pick ones that a regular available cast iron forge grate intended for rivet forges just drops in. These grate are available for about $15. They are a perfect drop in like they were made for these steel wheels. A rear riding mower wheel usually has a hub the axle slides into and you can easily cut a round hole to weld a pipe nipple to. Being cheap I weld a side entry to the drop pipe to allow the blower connection. I also weld up a gravity dump. I also usually cut off part of the rim so it is not in the way but it is not really required. I also usually roll a hoop of 1/8" by 1" flat and weld to the rim to make the fire pot that much deeper. These work very well, and the first one I ever built is still in use as a student forge at my shop. Built is 2002. I also usually weld the fire pot into a hole in a scrap of flat plate and using 1/8" x 1" make a rim on that to hold the coal on the table. I just recently used an old stamped Dish antenna as the table and that looks like it will work as well. The biggest lesson here is to scrounge for things that have the shape you really want and adapt that into what you need. I find these wheels on scrap days when people toss out old riding mowers that are not running. You can easily use the front tires and wheels to make you forge mobile as well.