In general, the use of a grate rather than a clinker breaker does limit
utility somewhat. You will have to poke slag through those salt-shaker
holes or stop and clean the fire out more often.
I say "somewhat" because I have used a simple grate-type, light weight
forge with a hand cranked blower for portable demonstrations for the
last 15 years with no serious problems, forge welding included.
To see the other side of the coin, take this link:
I think this guy is a little extreme, but he does make several good
points, so read the whole article. As the guy says, money IS the object
here. It's up to you.
In my shop, I have a nice deep cast iron firepot with a clinker
breaker. This is the style I prefer to use, but that forge weighs about
200 pounds and is connected more-or-less permanently to its chimney.
Your first forge doens't have to be your last forge.
Side blast would be a better option, and you wouldn't have to worry
about breaking up the clinkers.
Second that your first forge doesn't have to be your last, and if you
get the bug it definitely wont be :-)
Out of interest what do you want to make?
In that case :-
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)83567632&sr=1-1>
Get this book, it will teach you how to get up an running very quickly,
and at a minimal cost. It covers everything you need to know.
I get a lot of satisfaction when I make a sword :-) I think I'll get
more joy now that I have access to spring steel sheet :-)
Har! Try this Charles...next time you are doing a demonstration and
someone says "I'd like to learn to blacksmith" just look em in the eye
and ask "Oh? what kind of knife did you want to make?" I think I get
about a 90% return on that question, everybody wants to make knives.
Not only that, but everyone who doesn't have any interest in doing it
assumes that that is what you're doing if it gets mentioned. While I
did make one knife, I've been asked about a hundred times if I can
make a sword, when I'm actually a lot more interested in hammered
copper and ornamental things like stair rails. But, I will admit that
the thing that got me started was making chisels (until I discovered
how much harder it is to hammer high carbon steel than it is to goof
off with 1018, that is...)
I blame that old "Conan the Barbarian" movie.
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