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I Forge Iron

used forge worth the cost?


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I am not a smith, but I have a handful of projects I would like to attempt and one of my fellow junk collectors has a portable forge he would like me to buy. It is marked Champion Blower & Forge Co Lancaster PA USA. It is a hand crank blower with v shaped drive wheel that runs between 2 leather? wheels, one of the leathers seems to be worn or misaligned so it goes bump every time it spins around, and the drive shaft for the blower itself seems a bit rough as well. If I give it 4 or 5 good spins it will run for another 1/2 to 3/4 revolution before it stops. Based on that I would think it needs some work, the fella wants 150.00 for the forge. I intend to make or at least attempt to make some of the things I have seen in my Viking age books and museums. Would I be better off buying a newer forge possibly even a gas forge, (I like to play around with glass for bead making as well) or are parts and such available for old forges?
Thanks

Raasmus

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Raasmus, something to keep in mind is that a forge can be built for little or no money and probably about the same ( or less ) effort than the required rebuilding of this champion rivet forge. See the forge section of the blueprints and photo gallery as well ( especially the famous "55 forge " or Tim Lively's "washtub forge" ). With that in mind it would seem to ME that $150 is a little high, after all with $150 you should be able to buy what you need to build a forge as well as get a few pair of tongs or vice grips, and hammer or 2 as well as purchase a suitable chunk of scrap metal to use as an anvil and maby even a bag or 2 of coal or charcoal if you played your cards right.
Here is a good place to start looking for resources and ideas. http://www.iforgeiron.com/Blueprints_200-300/p2_articleid/223

Jens

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Tim Lively's forge design is the one that I built about a year and 3 months ago, when I first started smithing. It worked great, I just don'thave the patience to deal with fire tending. So I bought a gas forge off E-bay that uns off a simple 20 pound propane tank. The Lively forge design got much hotter, I am only capable of a mid-orange heat with the gas forge. It's definatly a great forge to build, as all the "parts" can be bought at the local hardware store.

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For forge blowers, it seems that no one ever mentions old vacuum cleaners. They are cheap, you can easily hook up the exhaust side to your forge, and you can hook them up with a rheostat, like a light dimmer switch or fan control switch to make them variable speed. I keep several old ones in the shop just as spares in case I have trouble with my old Buffalo electric.

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I have burned up a shop vac using it for blower. Took little over a year ( hard use ). I now use a squirrel cage from an old downdraft furnace. Plentee air. I also built an airgate. Just run the fan wide open and use the airgate to vary blast. Works excellent. I think I still have a pic of the setup on the gallery.

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