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I Forge Iron

extremely lucky acquisition


old rascal

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Wow, What a find. I heard about this forge through my son. His friend had mentioned that these people didn't know what to do with it and were going to junk it. It had been one of their grandfather's.

I contacted the friend and he even delivered it to me.

As you can see, it's going to need some work but it'll be a labor of love.

I also need some advice. I realize I should probably clay it although it shows no evidence of having been clayed. Does anyone have ideas of how thick I should make it? Should I bring it up to the fire pot?

I'd appreciate any advice.

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  What work does it need?  All I see is a little rust, and that should be pretty easily solved by wire wheel, red primer and maybe even some JD green or Farmall Red on areas not near heat.  Red would make it go faster. 

  I like that firebrick idea too.

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GOOD score you lucky Old Rascal!

 

An inch or so of rammed clay or even split fire brick is plenty of liner to save it from localized heat. Generally claying or lining a solid fuel forge is to disperse the heat more evenly. Cast iron doesn't like very much heat differential, especially a small zone in the middle of a large general area, it can make them crack. Even sheet metal likes even heat, though it won't crack it can sure warp. So, a layer of clay slows the penetration of heat and disperses it over a large area.

 

how it's lined isn't so important so long as it disperses the heat. Something that isn't crumbly is good as it'll keep the iron cleaner. You can simply dig clay out of the garden, river bank or pick up a bag of fire clay at the local concrete plant. I like just enough moisture in it so it'll clump when squeezed in your hand, then I hammer it in with a mallet till the mallet bounces. Then I burnish it with a little burlap, the smoother the surface the less clinker will stick and the less dust ends up on your work.

 

All that and the easy route is brick, easy fast and reasonably bullet proof.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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In reply to the posts.

I've spent the afternoon breaking off, drilling out, grinding down all the rusted nuts and bolts on the tuyere and trying to figure out how to put casters on the forge. I pull my forges outside of my frame building to forge. I'm going to clay 1/2" around that steel circle you see where the fire pot goes and then line it with fire brick. That brings me right up to the rim of the fire pot.

 

Unfortunately the people that had it had donated a couple of trunks full of tooling to the historical society. Argh, Xxxx. I sure could have used 40 or 50 more tongs and hardy hole tools. I'm not really crying, I was lucky to get this beauty.

There's two grooves on the top of the tuyere that match grooves in the bottom of the pot. Does it make sense to have the grate able to spin? Maybe to dump clinkers?

 

I hadn't given any thought to paint. I'll have to mull that for a while. Maybe give the blower a nice black, it sure works great. It needs ducting to the tuyere.

 

Can anyone tell me about Lancaster blowers? I'm curious to the age of it and the forge.

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I would love to have a forge like that.

 

As for casters, there was a fellow that posted a photo some time back where his forge (almost exactly like yours) had the legs sitting on a frame made from 2x4s.  The casters were bolted to the wood and he could roll it in and out of his shop with nary a worry.

 

I think the grooves you're talking about are for the clinker breaker axle rod.  Your fire pot was designed to use a clinker breaker as a grate, and that's the one thing I don't see in your pictures.  

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Keep an eye/ear open about that historical society.  When the one in Columbus OH decided to get rid of their "Street of Yesteryear" they started selling stuff off.  I asked about the smithing stuff and was told they were donating it to another Historical Society fairly local and none was for sale---then I started seeing items from their display on sale at local fleamarkets for *less* than I had offered them...

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Vaughn,

That's what I figured the grate was for. There wasn't a grate so I'll have to make one and weld it to a piece of 1/2" rod with a weighted handle to keep it from spinning until needed to break up clinkers. That will fit the grooves on the fire pot and tuyere. I also need a piece for the ash dump gate that was missing. The grate will be 4-1/4" D. and the gate 4-1/4" D  I have some 3/8" plate to cut them from that ought to work pretty good.

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