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I Forge Iron
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Barrelblower

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After looking into different options for my forge blower (hairdryer, electric duct fans, vacuum cleaners, car heater blowers) I decided to try building my own. After a lot of research on this site and others I concluded that I want a handcranked blower.

 

I didn't have a build plan other than that the only case suitable for a blower was 200l barrel. Other than that I had to use whatever scrap I had lying around. The case is a 230mm cut from the top end of the barrel. The lid sealing the case is a piece of 1,5mm sheet I already had. The axle for the fan is a length of 30mm hydraulic tube and the fan blades are cuts from the barrel sides. The back plate supporting the fan blades is a piece of 4mm plate I also had lying around. The stand and the frame is mostly pieces of steel frame from scrapped sofa and various other bits of scrap. I couldn't find gears large or small enough to get the gearing I needed with just 1 set of gears so I butchered and old excercise cycle for the secondary gear set and the primary is from an broken bicycle. I didn't have any suitable bearings for the fan axle so those I had to buy. Sorry about the lack of pictures from the fabrication. At the time I didn't think this would ever amount to anything but a failure so I found no need to document it.

 

It took me about 12 hours spanned over two weekends to make this. I didn't aim for anything more than a proof of concept so I can see if it's even a functional design.

 

Tools used. 125mm angle grinder, power drill and 150A mig.

 

Now I just need to hook this contraption into my forge and HOPE it pumps enough air.

 

This is by far the ugliest thing I've ever built.
Front side
Back side
Barrelpiece fan.

 

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I really like the creativity and end result - I would bet lunch that blower will make a very nice fire in the forge.  You don't need a lot of CFM volume but it does help to have good pressure, which is what a centrifugal paddle fan provides.

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If I calculated correctly the ratio is about 6,75. I wish I could get it higher, but those were the only gears I had, and I'm hoping the large diameter of the blower will offset the lack of rpm.

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