Geof hammering metal at the anvil. In the background the coal fire smokes merrily.

Forge setup and overview

Some naming conventions, a “forge” is the place where the fire is, while a “Forge” is the shop where the blacksmith works.

I’ve gone through a few different setups for my Forge over the years. I also have a challenge or two since I take the whole thing on the road now and again for public demos.The Forge, in the foreground an anvil rests on a stump, a propane forge glows in the background to the left, and a workbench is across the background strewn with tools.

One of the first iterations of the forge. The stump came from a tree that fell over in the yard and held my anvils for years. The anvil here is a small traveling anvil, I use this mainly for teaching and travel displays now. The little propane forge is sitting on a stack of cinderblocks with the feeder tank sitting under the workbench. The bench is exactly what it looks like, two sawhorses and a large plywood square. It was a good place to start, but it was never a great setup.

Geof standing in the middle of a traveling forge setup. A table on the right holds displays, a coal fired forge smokes in the background.This is from one of the public demos I’ve done. I’ve upgraded here to the coal forge and those sawhorses are now used to protect the viewing public from the hot zones in the display. The anvil here is a 168 pounder, but the stump is the same. Various supplies, a cooler for food and a medical kit are on the stairs and the tools have been organized into the rolling toolbox. This was an awful place to demo – that building is bright white and faces east.. it was like being a baked potato standing here for ten hours each day for three days.

Geof hammering metal at the anvil. In the background the coal fire smokes merrily.


Geof is tending the fire in the forge, slowly adding coal to build the fire.

Here is another public demo setup, the first picture I’m hammering on that 168 pound anvil, but I replaced the stump with an anvil stand made from 4×8 posts lag bolted together. So the right you can see the post-vice that is mounted to the workbench. I took up a lot of room in this display and I’m glad I did – the second show I did I had over one hundred and fifty people standing five deep around the Forge.

Geof speaking to a crowd while standing near his anvil.Geof poses for several cameras while standing at the forge.

Another public demo, with a better view of the new anvil stand, it weighs about eighty pounds by itself. The workbench is set up here again with the post-vise, and in the background those two blue shades housed more display items. The second photo here is from the other side of the Forge, the second day of this demo, you can see the forge working in the background here and my arm isn’t on fire, just blurred by motion as I turned the squirrel cage and listened to a question from the crowd.

This was an interesting demo to work, I was interviewed live by a regional news program at the first demo of the day, with about fifty people standing around to listen. An hour later at my next scheduled show that crowd was stacked on all four sides, even outside the fence behind us and we estimated it to be a crowd of around three hundred. Add in an air show with the blue angels streaking a few hundred feet overhead- it was very memorable.

I have a few silent movies from that demo, in this one VO-ACF-05-Movie1 I’m talking about the parts of the anvil to a small crowd.

In VO-ACF-05-Movie2 I’m answering questions and showing several of the display objects from our table.

A reverse shot in VO-ACF-05-Movie3 as I’m hammering on the anvil and the audience looks on. I admit, talking and hammering is difficult.


Researching ways to improve scientist’s access to data. Programming software to solve humanity’s problems. Disseminating emergency preparedness knowledge. Sharing knowledge about science. Practicing amateur radio. Serving humanity through volunteer efforts. Drives a robot to work.


2 thoughts on “Forge setup and overview”

  1. I live in Athens and have a 12 yr old son who is very interested in black smithing. I was wondering if we could come watch you and maybe learn a bit sometime?
    If you get this, please email me at [REDACTED] Thanks!

    1. I’m sorry, I’m not currently hosting visitors at the Forge. Maybe in the future I will do this again, I’ll be sure to post here when/if I do. I am happy to answer any questions your son has about blacksmithing, just ask away.

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