Yet Another Homemade Forge Question

The time has come to retire the too small, 35 year old Sears 3/8" thick
aluminum gas grill. Too many parts to replace yet again to make it
worthwhile. But I just can't bring myself to throw the thing away. So
I've been thinking...
...What about turning it into a coal forge? Presumably if I line it with
fire brick and/or refractory, with the addition of some steel pipe with
which to cobble a draft and tuyere, it should work, right? I figure
that the center portion would be the forge and the extreme right/left
sides would serve as coal store and/or slack tub.
Or am I going to find a molten mass of aluminum at my feet?
Anybody ever done something like this with such an item before?
Thought I'd ask first.
Reply to
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Chould be okay if you make the refractory thick enough. Aluminum becomes 'dimensionally unstable' at about 350 degrees, meaning cylinder heads start to baloon at that temp. I assume that this Al tub is roughly rectangular. I'd go with at least a four inch thick layer, with an overhang to cover the 'edge' of the aluminum. Aluminum grows more than steel with heat, so you might have problems sealing the air inlet. Think about a flange mount with the bolts trapped by the castable so they become studs out the bottom. Make the bolt holes in the flange about a thirty-second oversize to allow for creep at temp. Just keep the fire off the aluminum.
Reply to
Charly the Bastard
Sounds feasible to me it your lining is thick enough to keep the Al from melting. I made my forge from an old Weber grill and while it's not Al, with close to 4-5" wood ash lining it the outside never gets to hot to handle. Given the temp Al goes soft, I wouldn't just stack fire brick in. I think the gaps between the brick would need to be filled ethier with castable or fireplace mortar or ash or something.
Reply to
r payne

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