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I Forge Iron

My winter project: Bellows blown demo cart

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My fall project started with the rebuild of an old Great Bellows that I found on Craigslist. It turned out to be a real basket case, Leathers rotted, ribs broke, valves shot. It was re-leathered with canvas sealed with an old formula for oil cloth (boiled linseed oil and Iron oxide), new valves and ribs built, and new hinges. It has turned out to be like the old joke about the curator of the museum explaining the ax that George Washington used to cut down the cherry tree: "The handle has been replaced 3 times and the head twice, but this is the very same hatchet that got young George in so much trouble...." If i had it to do over again i would have built a new one from scratch.
Now, with a new bellows, i needed a setup to show it off. I saw the cart in the blue prints by Mark Parkinson I Forge Iron - Blacksmithing and Metalworking - I Forge Iron - Blacksmithing and Metalworking and liked the design so I stole it fair and square.

Today I did a test fit up of the components and think I have what I want. The vise and drill press will be setup for quick removal for travel and I have added an under carriage tool/stock box below the deck. The wheels are from an old horse drawn hay rake. I have fabed up most of the brackets and pivots out of wood but they will be replaced as i get the forge up and running. I have been thinking of making a removable enclosure like this print of a civil war traveling forge. http://www.usregulars.com/images/gibbon15.gif

note the unique way the bellows in that cart is constructed with opposing lungs.

The next step is to finish assembly of the wooden components and paint. Then fire up the forge and begin the metal work for the wagon.




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