Monday, July 14, 2014

Bottom Draft Forge Clogs | How to Prevent It?

 Hi there David hope you and your family are well and hope you busy with your work and lots of sales I have a problem that you may have an answer too , I have 2 forges one side draft which works well the other is a bottom draft and it keeps clogging up with small coke clumps coke dust and molten clinker ,the opening on the forge  is 3.5 inches maybe I may need more airflow I'n not sure , it becomes a pain cleaning the forge and restarting it, would you know how to stop this problem hope to hear from you , will send some photos so you can have a look , thank you .
 Hi Petar
This is a universal problem with bottom draft forges. The rate at which it clogs up depends on the quality of coal you can get and the type of work that you do. Eg. heavy forge welding lots more clogging. 
With coal that has a lot of clinker in it we have to clean perhaps every two hours. Usually not a big problem though. I just scoop the large quantity of coke from the top of the fire, on to the side pan of the forge then scoop out the heart of the fire with the clicker and coals. Toss this into a metal bucket for screening later to get the good bits of coke . Give the clinker breaker a good rattle and make sure all is clear then pile the coals that I originally put aside back into the fire pot and crank the air again.
The coals at the side of the forge stay lit for about 1/2 an hour if they are piled up so it is easy to get them back up to temperature with a little air blast. The whole clean out process takes about 3 minutes so it is fast turn around if the coal is bad. Good coal I can get about 4 hours out of before I have to clean out.

Another option if you are in the middle of something important is I use a "clinker picker" Just a rod about 30 inches long with a small 1/2 inch diameter hook on one end that I can place down in the fire pot and grab large chunks of clinker that form and hall them out of the air opening and carry on work. Very fast and often all that is required to carry on work for another hour.

I hope this helps.
Take Care
David Robertson
Artist Blacksmith