A Simple Shop-Built
Side Draft Forge

by Dan Cruzan

The advantage of a side draft forge is that the fire is completely out in the open. That way it is easy to see what is happening and easy to position the work in the fire.

My forge is merely a "table" made from 1/4 inch plate for a top and has angle iron legs, with an angle iron rim. The table top is sufficiently reinforced underneath with flat iron welded on edge to keep the table flat. A hole is cut to accept the fire pot so that the fire pot is as close as possible to the smoke chamber.

The fire pot just sits in the hole being held up by its flanges. I used a fire pot from Laurel Machine and Foundry Company, Laurel, Mississippi. 601-428-0541. It's a good heavy fire pot with clinker breaker for about $80.00. A good value in my opinion.

At the front of the forge I included a tool rack made from 1/4 x 2 flat from which tongs, poker, or whatever can be hung. Not pictured, but also included is a "third hand" to help with long pieces. This was made by welding two ears on the bottom of the forge rim on the work side. A piece of 5/8 rod is bent into a square cornered U with 2 inch right angle bends at the top of the U. The ends of the 5/8 rod are put into a hole in each ear. A leg is made from 5/8 square stock with an eye in one end that goes around the 5/8 rod at the bottom of the U. When the U is pulled up into place, the leg hits the floor and supports it. At the back of the forge two angle irons are bolted to receive the smoke chamber.

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