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I Forge Iron

Always Have a Backup


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I recently traded for 1600 pounds of two and three eighths round 1080 steel. I was getting ready to forge a run of inch and a quarter shanked hot cutting hardies for anvils. I have a rather large Cast Iron Champion Industrial forge, with thick cast iron legs, which sports an electric rheostat directed champion 50 blower. I have been using this forge since 1977, putting thousands and thousands of hours of use on that blower. My wife recently toured my shop, and asked me, "just out of 'curiosity" "what would happen if that blower stopped working". My laughing response was "these blowers are heavy-duty, and this forge has been used for the last 90 years continuously". Well, lo and behold, with a two and three eights 1080 bar being heated in the fire, the motor started sparking, and then died. The gravity of my wife's question immediately sunk in. With a giant pile of blowers in my spare storage area in my shop, not ONE of them was a Champion 50. It turns out, after testing the unit, that this is a no-fix situation, with the motor windings having been burnt out, according to my electrician friend who tested the failed unit. Lucky for me that I have FRIENDS in the business. A very dear friend of mine, who had the same questions about his blower that my wife had, showed the good sense to buy four extra blowers, just like mine, just for spare parts. I qu8cky bought one of them, with rheostat, while my electrician friend is replacing the burnt motor on my failed unit. My good friend also said to me that I should get a spare hand cranked champion 400, while I was "at it" I left his blacksmith shop with that blower too, pictured below!!!!.



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I have no spares as of yet. But you made some good points:

1. Always have a spare of everything. (except the wife)
a. Listen to your wife.
2. Have as many spare friends as possible.
a. Friends willing to help.
b. Friends with spare parts.
3. Always be willing to help a friend in need.
a. Strangers also. They can become good friends.

Now I need to go look for a spare blower. Or a friend with a blower.

Mark <><

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After having my only anvil stolen right before a demo at a museum I have made it a habit of having duplicates of all my favorite equipment.

I have a "RR forge" where the blower was 220 volt but the #$%^&* previous owner had hacksawed off the rear bearing and put a pulley on it to run off a 110 volt motor. I finally found a 110 V blower that didn't have the same bolt pattern to mount on the forge but I could take the motor, 1/2 the shell and the vanes and mount it to half the shell of the 220 one that fit the forge---Igor, go fly a kite!

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I often run into some of my former co-workers, at Public Sales.

If it's a Machine Tool Auction, ... the same old croud will always be in attendance, .... and if it's my other area of interest, ... Antique Tractors, ... then that gang will always turn up.

No matter which, ... we ALL AGREE, ... that you need 3 of everything.

And no, ... it doesn't matter if you've ever used any of them, ... you still need them. :P


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As soon as you add *one* person to the shop you suddenly find that *both* of you want to use the same hammer, pair of tongs, anvil, etc at the same time. This is when it's important to make sure that *you* have precedence! (Well actually in my shop we *try* to have the person doing the fussier project have precedence---eg Knife forging over tent stake forging...)

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