It looks like the clay that I have lined the forge with is almost cured. Still a couple of days to go until the weekend, but if all goes well, I will give the forge a test firing on the weekend with some hay and softwood. Definitely don’t want t he fire to get too hot, just enough to help the last of the moisture to be driven from the clay.
I still have to make the cone at the top of the forge, attach the flue, out a hole in the roof of my lean-to and then put the chimney up.
Probably the hardest part of this operation is going to be making the cone for the top of the forge. At the moment I have a cut a chord cut from a circle in 18 gauge steel. I have to bend the chord evenly to make a cone. I reckon that a simple bending tool should do the job.
Basically, the design for the bending tool is a three long steel pipes with a threaded rod through one end. The middle pipe will be used as a lever to bend the sheet. I’ll put a hole in the end of my chord and bolt the pointy end to the underside of the middle pipe so that the sheet rotates relative to the anchor point. That should mean that I end up with an evenly bent bit of steel sheet when I’m done. As the pipes are quite long (two of them are 8m long and one is 5m) I should get quite good leverage to apply to the bend.
Anyway, that’s the plan and I’m not sure that it will work yet. I’ll post pictures of the bending tool on the blog when I’ve made it and of the results of my conjecture.
When the hood is made, I’ll be bolting the hood onto the forge body and riveting the flue onto the top of the hood, that bit should be straight forward.