JamesH

Better to sell side blast and go simpler?

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Hi everyone,
i'm here to ask you all for yet more advice. When i bought my anvil, vise and tools the seller talked me into taking his forge too, which at the time seemed like a good idea. Now the problem is that i've had to buy materials for and build a lean-to/workshop type structure down the garden, to eventually work in,  and generally make sure its suitable for what I intend to do. i've spent months working on this trying to get it all ready to use before winter and my personal deadlines keep being missed and its disheartening.

Now the forge I got is a beautifull thing, however i've never even had the chance to light it and after the cost of building and aquiring everything to actually start swinging i've now ran into the issue of electricity to power the blower on the forge and it's starting to get demoralising. The cost of laying a cable and getting power would be madness and due to recent circumstances money has suddenly became a very precious comodity. What i'd like to know is if you all think I would be better served selling or trading my current forge for somthing smaller and simpler to get me started, and worry about paying for such luxurys as a blower and power points when i'm skilled enough for that to be more of an issue and can hopefully make my forgings pay for itself.
This is very much currently a hobby too, though it is my hope than in a couple of years it could be a side-business.

I'll attach photos, and thank you all again for everything.
I'll also add coke or smokeless fuel is a virtual must. The neighbours are very particular and while the noise and hammering is fine if they think smoke could get to their lillys there will be letters to the local council etc. This is in the West Midlands, UK

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If the cost of electricity is the issue James, how about an old car heater fan run off a battery (moony), recharge it once a week, or what about making a bellows, double lung or Japanese box bellows? Nice forge btw.

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Thank you! errored twice so i'll try keep it short this time.
Its the price of armoured cable per meter, pluss i'd have to dig up a 35ish meter trench to lay it. Then theres the cost of getting a professional who might understand why we cant always use the kettle without a power cut to come and make sure its all wired in properly. The forge is almost new and i saw the receipt when I bought it and im very glad it was "second hand" Sadly due to all the issues in starting up I've no idea how to even use it...

 

EDIT: As for bellows and alternative airflows i'm vastly inexperienced and a lot of the pros and cons are completely lost on me. Its getting demoralising now but i'd kill for someone to just walk in and talk me through it all.

Edited by JamesH
more info

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Mate if it were me, I'd stick with that forge at least untill you have read enough here to make an informed decision about it, thats what they used before electricity. There is a lot of good experienced blokes here, some may be near you. Dont get demorslised now, it's a learning curve for all of us.

Brendan

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Sadly this one requires the electricity, thats why it's such an issue right now. It has a blower and everything built on the back, unless you meant to remove the electrical element and attach a bellows that way? i'm sorry if im confusing you or not being descriptive enough, the learning curve is feeling so vertical recently its begun its own scrollwork.
So you recomend I keep this one for now, and simply get another one rather than sell or trade into something else?

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What are the actual poser requirements of the blower?  I am pretty new here an very new to this all, but how often are you planning on running this? In my back shed, before I could get power run, something as simple as a extension cord got me through until I got the underground in. It literally takes only a few minutes to lay out and recoil. I apologize if I am over simplifying.

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we have extension cords, but it takes two too reach the shop and that doesnt help the bad house circuitry. But if theres rain it shuts down the whole thing and the layout of the garden makes that very impracticle. Pluss now its winter its raining almost every other day. I'll draw out a map of the garden to help ilustrate the problem.

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Not sure about across the pond, but here it is common to utilize a water resistant plug connection or waterproof enclosures. . We use them all the time on the construction projects I manage.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Cooper-Wiring-Devices-15-Amp-125-Volt-2-Pole-3-Wire-Water-Tight-Industrial-Grade-Plug-Yellow-14W47-K/203492422

 

http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Headz-Extension-Cord-Safety/dp/B00A4DVNMW

I didn't realize you had power issues from the source. Just hate to see you get rid of a forge that nice and could serve you very well.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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Okay, so in the picture attached the "Patio" is the rear of our property. The dotted line shows the path the extension cord goes. The garden layout is due to the previous owners buying the bottom half of the angry neighbours garden, the school field is used daily by the students and school so health and safety says nothing at all near there. The archway is a narrow trellised opening that leads to the "second garden" and has a stone path leading through. The map also does not show things like the rockery, the stone slabs, the actual gradients and way the space is being used but basically to lay power i'd have to run a cable from the shed shown, along angry neighbours wall, either through a fence and set of bushes or the archway where it would have to imediately head right towards the hedges, and then along to the forge to prevent the cable from being buried where people do gardening, cut the grass or couldnt accidently damage it. 35m was as estimate on my part, but as the 25m stops where ilustrated when almost heading as the crow flies then it may actually be closer to 50m when the turns are taken into account. The power draw is around 200 volts if i recall right?
This when ready will be used almost daily, for hours at a time and for woodwork as well as metal. The extension cord idea was what i originally hoped to do untill it came to trying and the distance became all to apparent....

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Can we get a photo or two of the existing blower mechanism? I would also explore human-powered modes of air supply, and it may be possible to remove the electric motor and provide some other means of turning the fan.

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g

 

Can we get a photo or two of the existing blower mechanism? I would also explore human-powered modes of air supply, and it may be possible to remove the electric motor and provide some other means of turning the fan.

Ill take tomorrow, this would be ideal.

 

I didn't realize you had power issues from the source. Just hate to see you get rid of a forge that nice and could serve you very well.

 

Good luck.

 

 

Whoever did the extension has bodged it on the "ring" somewhere,
The price for cable is £100, the cost of the electrician to sort the power is a mystery and for sockets alone would be atleast another £100+ which is more than i spent to build the workshop! so thats something id love to avoid when we might be moving in a couple years anyway, we can get the same sockets here but again its the source and the expense.

Double post due to site errors, so replied seperately to save deleting a post.

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If it is a universal motor, then DC (batteries) is a tempuary selution. One of the small gennsets is an option as well. 

If plastic conduit is an option by code, it generaly is cheaper than DBX (direct barial cable) and I have found (as has the utility companies) that moles will eat the insulation. 

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If it is a universal motor, then DC (batteries) is a tempuary selution. One of the small gennsets is an option as well. 

This is another ideal solution. Gen is something i'd end up buying downline anyway I think so I can jusitfy this more expense-wise and i'd not even realised I could use batteries until this thread! Is their a guide on here somewhere for setting up whatever connections i'd need?

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Lots of "off grid" info out their. Idealy with a gen set, one would use a batery charge and inverter to charge the bateries off the generator and use the inververter to produce AC (lines) electric. If you have a "universal motor on the blower (generaly have replacable brushes) then you can do with out the inverter. Now, the genset can be used independant of bateeries its just more fuel efferent. 

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if you can get to kettering this saturday I can give you some help, send me a pm if you are interested.

I can think of several easy, cheap and safe solutions to your problems

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My forge is unpowered, previously I used a water bellows as a stop gap until I completed my Box Bellows (these can be made very easily and very crudely and still be very effective), Your forge could still be used as is, as a simple hearth forge, and you could then update with a power supply later. I know it can be frustrating not meeting the deadlines you set yourself, I've been in much the same predicament myself for many years, but it looks like you are almost there.....keep pushing!

I'd also add, that for the learner, there is much to be said for a manual bellows......specifically, not burning half of your steel away through a temporary lack of concentration....you'd be surprised how quickly a good blower can ruin a decent piece of work!!!!!

As Iron Dwarf has offered, I suggest you take him up on it if at all possible.

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I'm hoping too :)
Thanks smoggy and dwarf. Sorry to hear your struggling too, its a shame something that only a couple generations ago was almost a 1 in 5 job is now so awkward to even begin!

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I'm getting there now James, it's all part of the fun. Odd though that closer you get to completion the more there seems to be that needs completing, reminds me of the Woody Allen quote "...Infinity is an awful long time, especially as you get near the end..."

I'm doing some work on the door today, so I can install a lock, then I can move some kit in there perminently.

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I see no labels, stamps, stickers, plates or anything more than just the dial on the blower. It appears to be the original part and has a 13A fuse.

 

and smoggy i know exactly what you mean. I started with 4 poles in the ground with a tarp over and now i've ended up with 4 walls, gaps for ventilation, a solid oak table to use as a bench and the upcoming issue of; "which of my friends wants to help me move just a couple of heavy items down this very long garden?"
Just nearly lost a leg trying to lay the anvil on its side to see the base!

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Just because that thing has a blower attached to it doesn't mean you have to use that blower.  Build a simple box bellows and plug it into the airway.  A day's labor and a few "quid" for some lumber... and it's all together except for joining it to the forge.

 

I certainly wouldn't get rid of such a nice forge.  Very nice bit of kit, even if that shade of blue is a bit on the ugly side.

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I'm sure that "brightness" will very soon gain a forge patina and be somewhat less aggressive on the eye....

 

And I agree Yaughn, if James let's that forge go he'll regret it in no short order.

Edited by Smoggy

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Have to get in the housing to acualy see it, safty or noise abatment? Sould be simpe enugh to coble up somthing for a temp, say a 12v hair drier for a caravan camper, or adapt an old car heater blower (soup can and a cookie tin) ext, if you want to stay electric. Temperary with out to much brain strain looking to see if the motor is universal. Then again an inverter and a battery is still an option for now. Lots of ways to go. 

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As he will most likely be burning coke an electric blower of some sort is probably needed.  If you can source an old car heater blower you can get one that works off of a 12 volt car battery *and* comes with multiple speeds set up!

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