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I Forge Iron

Rivet forge update

Clint B

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I picked up this old forge awhile back. I just got after cleaning it all up and had a welder friend of mine try to repair a broken tooth on the main drive gear. After I got it all back together I was trying to adjust the mechanism to run smoothly but the gear jammed and broke the repaired tooth.


I'm a bit disappointed but the forge must go on! I removed the blower and gear drive mechanism, down to the hardware store for some fittings and swipe the wife hair dryer! It seems to be a bit high on the low setting, it went through my coal pretty fast. I have another idea to attach my leaf blower that will turn down to almost nothing.







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There's several ways to deal with the hairdryer that might be easier than the leafblower. 


1. Add a dimmer switch. (the variant I use) They're cheap, and the wiring's fairly basic. (many also disconnect the heating elements, as the resistance uses a lot of electricity, but the wife might want her hairdryer back some day!)


Some electricians are vehemently opposed to this, and may be right to be, so consider.....


2. Add an airgate. You don't have to mess up your tuyere pipe for this, several options, easiest may be attach a dryer hose to the pipe. 


Then you have several ways to do this, an easy one is put a slit in the pipe, and then a flat piece that slides in and out to partially obstruct the pipe,


OR same thing, but with a hole or holes in it that can be moved into/out of the pipe.


OR drill a hole in the pipe and block in varying amounts to allow air to escape.


3. Block air flow at the source. If it's drawing less air, then it's pushing less air.


And good luck with the regular blower!

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Lets see the broken gear on the blower. Chances are it's cast and the new tooth broke at the HAZ zone just off the weld. I'd probably opt for a brazed repair myself. depending on the tooth size you may be able to build up enough braze and file out the new tooth, or cut a piece of steel to the rough shape of the missing part and braze that in.


I saw a nice DIY airgate a member here posted elsewhere. It was simply a 2" pipe coupling he made two slots in with a slitting wheel on a grinder. Then he took a piece of sheet metal as tall as the slot was and drilled a 2" hole in it with a hole saw. Slide it back and forth and it works really nice.

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Here are some pics of the blast gate you were referring to  :)


You recalled the way I made it...very good memory!!  In the beginning, I used a 1/16" cutoff wheel on an angle grinder to start the slot, then used a sawzall to fine tune it to the thickness of the scrap sheet metal I used for the gate.  Pop rivets keep the gate in the pipe fitting.  I just slide it back and forth with a rod handle.  I use a fart fan and attached it with a piece of aluminum flashing and big hose clamps.  Interestingly, most of my forging on the brake drum forge is with the gate only about 1/4 open.  I only crank it open more with thick steel.


Clint, good luck with the forge...enjoy it!!






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