Bracing a coal forge table.

Daniel Macina

Well-Known Member
I have a pretty good length of metal plate that I want to eventually mount a proper coal firepot on. My question is this steel is only 1/4" thick (not ideal but trying to use what I have) so I'm going to have to brace the underside somehow. Would it be enough to get some pretty thick barstock and weld it underneath in such a way it forms a x (going diagonal from one leg to the other) or is there a better way to do it? I know the table top should be a little beefier but this was free so I was trying to use it.


Forum Owner - Moderator
In my experience with coal forges, 1/4" will only work for a short while before it starts "sagging" from the heat. I did the very same thing once..... using a large piece of 1/4" for the "table", and cut a hole to insert the firepot..... after about a week of forging, the 1/4" started sagging badly all around the firepot....kind like a sinkhole. :) I first took it apart, then laid the table upside down and attempted to get it back to level with a sledge hammer......not so effective. I ended up getting a piece of 3/8" plate to replace the "table" top, and braced it underneath with 3/4" X 1 1/2" bar, with the narrow edges facing up/down. That worked well.
You could frame it with runners then some across the shortest distance...I'd prolly use 1/4 x 1.0....remember...weight does not equal strength...the beam height does. if you do this don't be stingy with the braces.

Daniel Macina

Well-Known Member
It's funny because I've looked at several commercial coal forges and the tables on some of those where less then 1/4. I was shocked. If I had tons of money I would make a 1" thick table. 1/2" would probably be plenty but I like to over build things. Lol.