vaporlock

restoration of a "portable" bellow forge 1902-1920

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Hi All,

 

I purchased a working bellow forge which looks to have been a type of rivet forge built somewhere around 1900-1930 i have not found identification on it. and I can not find any info on this type of forge except an old belgian hardware catalogue but they only had sideblast forges.

post-55290-0-59576700-1405441392_thumb.j

the bellows work on the up and the down stroke but air was limited. It was spilling air at the return valves so at least the valve housing would need a complete rebuild.

next was the tuyere which was clogged with debris and a few nice sized chunks of aluminum/aluminium and lead. I did manage to get them out without any major hassle.

 

Since the bellows seem to be working I will leave them alone and I am thinking of using leather for the "valve flaps" (looks like originally they used some kind of tissue). however, I have no idea which sealant to use for the joints between the different pipes from the bellows exit to the tuyere. most high temp joint material hardens and i do not know if they will act as a glue or just simple sealant

post-55290-0-39657700-1405441922_thumb.j

and the tuyere from the top.

post-55290-0-74176900-1405441923_thumb.j

Another question is, the table was lined with bricks can anyone tell me how these forges where originally lined? I would say bricks but the tuyere is quite a bit above the bricks.

 

Any and all info is more than welcome.

 

Vaporlock

 

I apologise for the dodgy pictures, it was very sunny. 

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Before brick, probably river bank clay. I have used clinker and ashes, make a paste and it stays put. There is no wrong way or material.

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Thanks swedefiddle, 

 

Would you cover the tuyere? the way I got it, the top of the tuyere is completely exposed and even-though it is a heavy cast-iron piece, I wonder if it is meant to be like that or is it safer to protect it a bit from the heat. I can not find any documentation on this type of forge.

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Right, the valve housing to be restored. 

post-55290-0-49899100-1405790411_thumb.j

top removed, anti return valves. reasonable condition

post-55290-0-98695100-1405790450_thumb.j

intake valves? bad condition.

post-55290-0-95775200-1405790655_thumb.j

 

I'll take all ideas on materials to use:-)

 

vaporlock

 

PS; I love the "compressed air" tap. 

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Yeah, don't get fancy relining it, these were designed to be simple, easy to maintain and repair. Field clay ("Field" meaning any clay you don't buy) and sand will work well. Don't get it soft wet, you want it just damp enough to ram into shape. Too wet and it'll shrink check as it dries, think dry mud puddle.

 

Leather ought to work on the valves. For sealing the joints I'd try head gasket material, it'll take plenty of heat and the air supply will be cooled by the air flow. You might get away using high temperature RTV silicone gasket sealer but I don't think it's going to need perfect seals.

 

I think I'd want to play with what kind of fire it makes and then decide what kind of air grate if any to use. I don't know if the air will cool it enough, it's going to get plenty hot regardless. I'd have to mess with it but I'd start with it protected and see how it works and TAKE NOTES.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hi Frosty, All good advise. I didn't think about head gasket sealer. At least it will remain flexible. I agree with the need to play with it to get it right. I try and do some pictures progressively. Thank for the help, There really isn't a lot of information available on these. Too common in the days i suppose.

 

vaporlock

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Hi All, 

 

Small update, I have rebuilt the valvehousing using the original valve weights/plates and using some kangeroo leather. This was the most supple and durable leather I had at hand. I think i could have used denim but that would have meant adding a type of sealant (silicon) between denim and valve opening. I hope the leather is sufficient.

before :

post-55290-0-97159500-1406544975_thumb.j

after:

post-55290-0-25139900-1406544984_thumb.j

before:

post-55290-0-89332200-1406545035_thumb.j

after:

post-55290-0-27195700-1406545046_thumb.j

post-55290-0-24608500-1406545057_thumb.j

before:

post-55290-0-00701300-1406545081_thumb.j

After:

post-55290-0-10380000-1406545100_thumb.j

post-55290-0-63905800-1406545107_thumb.j

 

Need to clean up a few more bits and then the trials and see if it all works.

 

vaporlock

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Looks like that'll work just fine to me. If I didn't have a couple stores handy that carry leather I'd probably use moose or caribou as locally available hide/leather, especially considering how darned tasty moose: steak, roast, stew, chili, burger, etc. is. 

 

How's roo taste?

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hi Frosty,

 

the kangeroo leather was the only leather supple enough to "hinge" properly. 

No kangeroo's in France and when i was working in north australia, we only ate wallaby, the kangeroo was for the krokodile farm .

 

How is the leather of those big animals? I would imagine it to be very thick and stiff. kangeroo is about 0.7mm extremely tear resistant, pliable and super soft  (think gloves and high end motorcycle leathers)

 

vaporlock

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SHE BLOWS,

 

Yes, the "kangaroo" valves work perfectly. minimal air spillage. The gasket sealer does the job as well.

now all I have to do is find some clay in this region of mine.

 

Pics will follow

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i reckon it's great. i'd make up a couple if different grates, more/less holes, drop in and change fire size. IMO drill holes along the tuyere, thread the holes and put bolts in, ever start doing blades take out the bolts change air grate to single hole plate and away. that is a "to make" for me definatley

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Turbo7,

 

Yes, I was thinking of making a rectangular grate1-2 inches above the original tuyere ( i do not feel like changing/drilling the original one) of which I can close and open different patterns of holes. the "bucket" in which the tuyere is places should be deep enough.

 

one question, Can the total surface of the holes in the grate surpass (slightly) the surface of the one hole in the tuyere or should i keep the surface one for one. I imagine more surface reduces airpressure through the grate.

However if i would need more air I could add a small blower to the manual bellows via the "compressed air valve" as seen in the second pic of post #7.

 

Lots of possibilities.

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