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300 Days to Dooms day skill – How to build a forge


21 April 2012

A skill to create needed tools from base material is known as forging. But in order to get to the point of creating, you need a forge! And that is today’s topic for your list of needed skills.

Forging is an old skill. This from Wikipedia:

A forge is a hearth used for forging. The term “forge” can also refer to the workplace of a smith or a blacksmith, although the term smithy is then more commonly used.

The basic smithy contains a forge, also known as a hearth, for heating metals. The forge heats the workpiece to a malleable temperature (a temperature where the metal becomes easier to shape) or to the point where work hardening no longer occurs. The workpiece is transported to and from the forge using tongs. The tongs are also used to hold the workpiece on the smithy’s anvil while the smith works it with a hammer. Finally the workpiece is transported to the slack tub, which rapidly cools the workpiece in a large body of water. The slack tub also provides water to control the fire in the forge.

So the forge is the prepared soil is to the gardener. Construction is fairly easy. You only need:

  • Fuel
  • Fire proof container
  • Moving air
  • Water tank

Fuel is a bit tricky, but you can make your own charcoal with some practice, and we will cover that in a future topic. Propane is a popular fuel, but in a post-collapse world, good luck getting that! Dry cow dung can reach temperatures hot enough to process metal. Keep that in mind when bartering with a rancher or farmer.

Almost anything can be used as a container. A gutted out, cheap, BBQ that has the inside lined with bricks makes an excellent container and while there is power, a hair dryer or leaf blower will increase the oxygen to the fuel, increasing the heat.


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