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Buffalo Forge/setting up shop

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Hey everybody. I'm new to this forum, my name is Collin Kimple and I live in Lee, MA. I have moved into a house out here and I just got the green light from the land owners to set up my first blacksmith shop! I shoe horses for a living and I am interested in setting up a shop for some shoe making, ornamental blacksmithing, etc. I have a little experience working in coal from when I went to horseshoeing school in Martinsville, VA but I am a total greenhorn when it comes to the workings of the forges themselves and I would love to get some advice. I obtained a Buffalo Forge from a friend of mine who was moving and could not keep it, I have pictures of the parts I have which include a hand crank blower. For one, I was curious if I could date how old this forge is; my plans were to make a hood and legs for the forge (any ideas on what materials to use appreciated) and I'd like to hook up an electric blower which I have investigated a little on centaur's site. I was curious if the 115 volt Dayton would be powerful enough and if I could retro-fit this to the part that the hand crank blower is attached which blows underneath the fire pot (forgive me for not knowing much about this). I also was curious how I could help the integrity of the forge as it obviously has spent some time out in the elements, I read something about putting some sort of clay in it. Basically anything else I should know would be appreciated, read as I'm a complete newbie...assuming I'd run some kind of chimney pipe out through the roof of the shed...do I mount the forge close to the wall or keep some space between? Thank you so much and if there are any resources on this forge or that you think would be helpful I'd love to do some homework, I was reading a little on the history of Buffalo Forge and saw pictures of some that gave me some ideas how i'd like to set this all up. Thanks so much and here's to hopefully banging on some steel in the near future biggrin.gif Collin








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Welcome Colin from the other end of the state. Good to see another Mass resident taking up the addiction.
You don't want to be too close to the wall. You may want to consider sheet metal on the wall near the forge. We had a entire smithy burn last year near here.

I would suggest you do a search on a side draft chimney. There are a lot of threads on it here. Nice looking forge. I don't know how thick it is, but lining it with clay can't hurt.

Have fun and be safe.


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judging by the pictures, you lack several elements, easy to fabricate. First, you need a grate, that fits over the hole in the pan in the forge casting. To make that, drill a flat piece of flat steel with a quarter inch drill, drilling many holes in that plate, which should measure about six inches by six inches. When fanned underneath by your blower, the air goes upwards through the grate, fanning your hot coal. Your air delivery system seems complete, just attach the blower and firepot which bolts and attaches via bolts underneath running through the underneath boltholes in the cast iron forge pan. The next step is making the legs for the forge. to do this, just bend pipe legs, and fasten them via bolts threaded through the casting, which holds all the pipe legs in place. All these legs should be bent identically, so that your forge sits level. Your forge is portable, and can be used outside. After you fabricate all the missing parts, come back for the next step, making a cowl and vent pipes to remove the smoke from your forge, should you choose to use it indoors. BTW, your forge is a very good one, and should provide pleasure for decades!

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Thanks so much for the advice. I am eager for the weekend to get here so I can get working on the legs!

I found this info http://www.alexbealer.org/datas/users/super_sucker_side-draft_chimney_v_1_5.pdf just wanted to check (Cross Pein) if this is what you meant by a side draft? Would this design be a good way to go for my forge?

Yes Colin,

Although most of the side drafts that I have seen on this site go out through the wall before heading up.
I guess that will be dependent on your particular building.
Do a search on the forums for "side draft" it will return a lot of results. I use my rivet forge outside for now, but when I get set-up indoors, it will be a side draft. I have seen several posts where people complain about their overhead hoods - don't recall anyone complaining about a side draft.

Also, when you search, you will notice tons of information pertaining to size of the flue, height above obstructions etc. And don't use galvy, you will read about that too.

Good luck,

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