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Old 01-15-2024, 10:05 PM
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Default Single Burner Forge

Cold fitting shoes for smaller horses is relatively easy but as the shoes get bigger the job gets tougher. It has gotten to be a chore and the other day I broke a hammer handle fitting a shoe on our draft cross and decided it was time to have a forge at the farm.
I looked at some of the commercially available farriers forges and found them to be very expensive for how simple most of them are. So I took inventory in the shop and decided that I had half of what I needed already and I started building a forge. I also have been on a kick to get things more organized at the farm and decided to set this up as a work station with a small table top with racks for tongs and punches and a rack to store shoes on .

The base is made with 1" square 14 gauge tubing and has cast iron casters. The table top and forge floor are both standard firebrick. The body of the forge is 3/16 mild steel, which is overkill but I had a partial sheet and I don't have to worry about it burning up in my lifetime.
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Old 01-15-2024, 10:13 PM
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My big forge in the shop has two 1 inch burners that I made from black pipe fittings. For this forge I used the same basic design but I made it a 3/4 inch burner.

I used a contact tip from my mig welder for the orifice and started out with an .023 tip to make the nozzle. You can tune the burner by sliding the nozzle in and out of the Tee to adjust where the gas enters in relation to where the air gets pulled in by using a set screw at the top.

Outside of the forge I had a stable flame from 1psi up to 15psi, and at 15psi the flame was impressive.

After installing the burner in the forge I found the flame was blowing itself out above 4psi and the flame wasn't as big as I wanted at those low pressures. I ended up switching the mig tip to a .030 and that seems to be the sweet spot. The gas velocity is just enough slower the flame doesn't blow itself out and you get considerably more heat at the same low pressures.
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Old 01-15-2024, 10:18 PM
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The right side has a shelf for the gas bottle. I bought a 30lb tank for this which should run it for a long time.

The left side has shelves for some of the my shoeing tools.

The front is rack for horseshoes, and has a rack in the top to hold tongs and what not.
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Old 01-15-2024, 10:25 PM
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The walls are lined with inswool board. It is an inch thick and can be cut with a utility knife, but is rigid and holds its shape by itself.

I coated it with a thin layer of mizzou castable refractory. I have some plistex ordered which is a reflective coating that will make it more efficient and I will add that over the mizzou.

Yesterday I made the liner and fired it very low a few times to cure the mizzou. Today I ran the forge for half an hour and made a set of 3/8" tongs from a set of blanks I got from Ken's Custom Iron.

So far I'm really happy with how the forge works.
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Old 01-15-2024, 10:56 PM
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Very nice!!!!!
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Old 01-16-2024, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
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Very nice!!!!!
I second that emotion: NICE!!!
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Old 01-16-2024, 09:03 AM
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Nice, I like your shoe and tong storage too!
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Old 01-16-2024, 11:22 AM
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I know you've been talking about this forge in bits and pieces the past little bit, but I wasn't expecting this. With your workload and daily to-do list, I didn't imagine it to be quite so complete yet

Looks great and awful handy.
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Old 01-16-2024, 12:25 PM
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Looks like a nice job. Functional and economical, as long as you do not add in your own build time.

Something I’m learning more the older I get. I have to start asking the question , who is ultimately paying me for my time. I tend to do a lot of research and learning on my own time at home, and making times that makes me more efficient/ organized at my work. It’s what I do. It’s appreciated by the boss usually, and he tells me to add time to my timecard for stuff done at home, or do it at work on the clock.

I really need to start doing this more, because ultimately, the owner of the business is reaping the most benefits, and it’s not like I see more raises / bonuses in my paycheck ultimately.

But for the most part, I am happy with my work environment, and sometimes I need to realize that money isn’t always the main thing.


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Old 01-16-2024, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toprecycler View Post
Looks like a nice job. Functional and economical, as long as you do not add in your own build time.

Something I’m learning more the older I get. I have to start asking the question , who is ultimately paying me for my time. I tend to do a lot of research and learning on my own time at home, and making times that makes me more efficient/ organized at my work. It’s what I do. It’s appreciated by the boss usually, and he tells me to add time to my timecard for stuff done at home, or do it at work on the clock.

I really need to start doing this more, because ultimately, the owner of the business is reaping the most benefits, and it’s not like I see more raises / bonuses in my paycheck ultimately.

But for the most part, I am happy with my work environment, and sometimes I need to realize that money isn’t always the main thing.


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I am trying to be better about putting a value on my time when I do something for myself. That is the thing though, this job was for myself. The horseshoeing is a side gig for me that I bill out separately. As farm manager my responsibility is to make sure someone shoes the horses, but I don't have to be the one. I do sub 80% it out but circumstances always end up where certain horses it is easier to do myself, or a horse loses a shoe between farrier visits and I need the horse to be doing its job, so I put the shoe back on instead of having a week of downtime for the horse. Having a forge at the farm will be easier on my body and since I charge by the horse for shoeing it should be more profitable when the job is easier.

The closest thing commercially to what I built is probably this guy:
https://www.stockhoffsonline.com/aca...ol.html#SID=70

That has roughly the same size chamber, side vents/barstock openings and a front door just like mine (just with 2 smaller burners instead of one medium) and it is basically $1000 and does not include a tank, or any kind of a stand or table for it. The burner parts for mine were about $75, the liner was about $120, I already had the firebrick and the steel sheet from other jobs, and I would still have had to build the table, buy the tank and put it all together. If you figure just my time for making the box, making the burner and putting the liner in, I came out way ahead even with a decent hourly rate.

Since it was me that needed a forge it made the most sense for me to build this. If it had been a case where "the farm" needed a forge I might have just ordered a forgemaster or NC forge and been done with it.
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Last edited by Matt Shade; 01-16-2024 at 04:58 PM.
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