Coulter's Smithing Home.
I had heard that you could make a decent small forge from a brake drum, so I tried it. Thanks, Dale, for the drum. I welded the drum to some 4 inch cast iron sewer pipe I scrounged, put legs on the thing, added a hole for a fan, and there it is. I used some arc welding rod in criss–fashion to screen the hole in the middle of the drum. Except that a brake drum is just too tiny even for little knives. So I welded up a frame to hole some firebricks to expand the thing. Now it's just right for a variety of projects. When we get that awning off the back going, we will build a bigger version too. Small things can be color case hardened using this, it's a lot more economical to keep running the requisite time for the carbon to soak into the steel than the electric heat treat oven is. This is of course the most fun in winter, when the heat is welcome. We have used this in hand forging knives, heat treating, and bending large steel stock. Along the way the muffin fan got traded for a nicer squirrel cage blower that slows nicely when run on a variac. This is better than the controlled leak plan was.