mfine15

Designs for Primitive Bellows?

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I'm looking at starting some outdoor forging, in an area with no electricity with a few of my friends. What are the best designs for bellows, weighing effectiveness and ease of creating/price? I've looked at pot bellows and bag bellows, and preferably they would require little more work than those. I've checked out box bellows, but because we don't have access to uniform sheets of wood, those would be hard to accomplish. Thanks for your help.

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Not knowing where you are, I dont know what to suggest. other than readin in this forum for ideas.   I have no clue what may be available where you are.  If we have a rough idea off your location, we could suggest a local smith, or business to help you out with materials. I dont know if youy have Yak skins, or canvas around you.  This is a world wide forum having members from over 160 countries,  I should not recomend Lenningrad for free leather if you are in Hawaii

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Look at some pictures of bellows on google images and get some plywood. I made a couple of bellows just by looking at pictures and they both came out perfect. Didn't spend much either.

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If you are near a ready source of water you could try building a water bellows, put that in the forum search at the top right and see what you can see. There was a good discussion about that some six months ago or so covering the same subject, might be a good starting point for you.

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There is book basic blacksmithig.You can sae and Goat bellows.Its basicly gota skin bellows.Do you have somekind airtight material. for begining i will try to make two signle lung bellows.I woud't recomend Double lung bellows. They are heavy hard able to move, like my in avatar.Parts of bellows are base board (where nozzle go and flap) if you are making single lung bellows you need two pair.I try with one pair of fireplace bellows you can heat a iron  like rod 8mm(2/7 inch).The problem with one pair bellows is it will suck fire.For begining try to make two twins bellows.They need to be like 2 foot wide 3 feet long.There are a lot's of video i will show you at least five examples . This first is double lung bellows.

 

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The woodcut is from De Re Metallica and so that design dates AT LEAST to the 1500's A.D.

 

If that's too modern for you there is a description of making bellows in Divers Arts from around 1120 A.D.

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That coffin shaped bellows in the woodcut from De Re Metallica has me thinking maybe I can take it with me. ;) One less item for the kin to drag out for the yardsale, and one less check to the undertaker. Bonus!

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Great info on bellows. Years ago watched Bernard Herr demonstrate with a goat skin bellows looked like a lot of hard work opening and closing the skin and moving up and down. Also watched a Mong imagrant blacksmith use a box bellows with chicken feathers as the plunger seal. It was double acting and easily could ne made from pipe or tube.

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I am intersted in bellows and i ask old people how it's made.They used to say that it was made using goat skin.I think double lung bellows.But now you can use canvas, pleather vinyl etc.

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I liked my double lunged bellows better than my good hand cranked or electric blowers.  Used it for about 20 years and fiannly gave it away when I moved because I knew I'd never build a new version as long as I could frankenstein the old one.  I had mine set up so that I could get a billet welding coal fire pumping it with my pinkie!

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Mine are still in progress.Iam trying with leather because i dont have stuff to seal canvas,

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Can anyone comment on the thickness or weight of leather?

 I can here is from one book. I suggest you to make cloth from one piece. There is problem if you do seperate one for top and one for bottom chamber becasue air will escape on middle board. I do my bellows from seperate parts of leather and it leak a litle bit.

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