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Forge blower alternatives, any ideas

Thomas H.

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I am assembling a brake drum forge and I was wondering possible forge blowers ideas. I was wondering if a leaf blower might do that trick. But I am afraid the force of the air will send the hot coals airborne. A hairdryer maybe, but not really on my top list because I am afraid that it will break from over heating. My best shot I guess is probably picking up a BBQ hand crank blower, but I am not sure. If there are any websites that sell forge blowers or bellows for under $100 or less please let me know. And let me know any other ideas that are handy in a blacksmith shop

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Welcome aboard Thomas, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many IFI folk live within visiting distance.

A hair drier won't get hot enough to melt for a couple reasons. First, put it a little ways away on a short length of pipe, 18"-24" is plenty. Second it has cool air blowing through it so unless burning coals fall into it it'll stay cool.

A box bellows is really easy to make from a cardboard box and duck tape. There are a lot of options from home made from bicycle parts, setting up in a prevailing wind with a funnel to collect wind. (I've done the last and it worked a treat but a prevailing wind is hard to find) A sack and a piece of pipe makes a fine bellows.

Under $100.00 shouldn't be a problem but will take patience. Just don't get your heart set on one type, being adaptable is a prime ability in this craft.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Everyone has pretty much given you all the good suggestions so I cant add much. But I can tell you that I get good results out of the bathroom exhaust fan. I show it in a post about my forge, in the forge chimney section under "Video of my new forge and chimney"


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under the "don't annoy the neighbors" aspect of smithing I wouldn't use anything that was excessively LOUD.  If you are in the parts of CA that use furnaces to heat the house on a regular basis then a local HVAC business might have a lot of the exhaust assist blowers used on super efficient furnaces to make sure the not very hot exhaust goes out the chimney.  They may have a bunch of used ones in their bone pile.

These are NOT the blowers to move air through the heating ducts!  Much smaller.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd be more concerned about neighbors with pitchforks and torches; I often wear hearing protectors!.  

My first set of single acting bellows cost me about a dollar to build using scrounged materials.  It's still on my Y1K forge set up along with it's high dollar sibling---bought the leather for it!

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  • 3 weeks later...

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