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Antique Forge Problem


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I've acquired an old forge with a champion blower. The blower is belt driven from a flywheel that is spun by using a leather strap ( like an old boat motor) while the blacksmith is using an up & down motion with a lever. I've seen similar forges that use a pitman to turn the flywheel but never like what I described. I've restored the forge and blower to a good usable condition but cannot figure the winding mechanism. I understand the leather strap spinning the flywheel but i seem to be missing whatever is required to retract the strap (coiling it back around the flywheel's hub). The forge was given to me in pieces and I'm so close but not quite there. I can send photos to whoever is interested.

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Greetings Ox,


If you look at the picture that John was nice enough to put up..   Your blower has a wishbone strap and the counterweight that returns the arm.  I have the earlier model that the rachet is a grab and release on the outside hub...



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Welcome aboard Oxnbibs, glad to have ya. If you'll put your general location in your header you may be pleasantly surprised to discover how many of the IFI gang live within visiting distance.


Pete: Sure you could use innertube but a more traditional field expedient for a broken belt is bailing twine or some fringe off a coat/jacket, etc. Turning the blower isn't a high stress operation so almost anything will work.


Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 1 month later...

I'll take pics of my pump handle forge that shows how the straps work, there are a few differant types out there, most common is the ratchet. mine is differant and sounds like what you are describing,it has the lever connected to an arm that has two sides 90 deg from each other, and pivots in the middle (like an open triangle) so as you work the handle it moves the ends back and forth, the strap which is connected to either end goes through a drive wheel and winds/unwinds as the lever moves, the flywheel has a clutch mechanism in it sort of like a bicycle wheel, so it will coast on the back stroke much like a peddeling a bike does. I wouldn't use an inner tube for a belt, rubber burns with hot coal spilling on it. a picture is worth a 1000 words so I will get some pics to show you what I tried to describe.  :blink:

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