When I decided I wanted to try my hand at blacksmithing, I knew I was venturing into entirely new territory, having neither tools nor skills. I picked up a couple of very helpful basic blacksmithing references, including “A Blacksmith Primer” by Randy McDaniel and “The Backyard Blacksmith” by Lorelei Sims. In the back of Mr. McDaniel’s book was a plan for a coal forge.
I might not yet know how to smith, but I can follow a plan and fabricate! It was easy enough to build the frame and fashion the top out of sheet metal, but the firebox and grate were more of a challenge. The plan called for the slots in the grate to be at a particular angle so the “klinker breaker” could swing round and break free klinker from the coal that would gather at the bottom of the firebox and choke off the air from the fan. Not having any way to cut thick metal that precisely, I built the grate in pieces with the requisite angles pre-cut.
I torched the pieces for the burn pot from heavier sheet metal and welded them into the required shape, then attached the grate.
The final product turned out pretty close to the plan. Time to fire it up!