silly goose

Looking for a forge and hand cranked blower

Recommended Posts

Hi, guys, I'm new here.  Just acquiring my gear.  Been looking around for a forge w/o too much luck.  What I've found so far is not that far in price from going new with CF.  Does anyone have experience with them or their hand cranked blower? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi and welcome to IFI.  This is a great place to learn but be prepared.  You will be told to get a beverage and do some hours of reading.  You will also be scolded for not practicing safe smithing.  Be honest about what you are doing and take your punishment if it happens...the curmudgeons don't like when people eliminate themselves from the hobby.

 Before you buy a forge do some serious fuel consideration.  What is available and within your budget.  You can make any coal work with the right design.  Charcoal or raw wood works as well.  Propane is also an option.  Figure out what you can get readily and then get the forge that works with it.

 

You will also want to think seriously about building your own simple forge to get started.  You will understand forges in general when you do the leg work and building on your own (with help from this site).  Plus, the scrounging you will have to do for materials is the perfect education you will need for smithing in your area.  You need to make connections.

 

So, before the curmudgeons jump in here and get cranky pile on more information: What fuel will you use?  What do you intend to make?  How much room will you have?  What other equipment do you have?  Etc....

 

You will quickly learn like I did that the forge, while important, is not as critical as much of your other gear.  Having good, safe tongs designed for the stock you will be using is more important.  You can get metal hot in any number of ways.  You certainly want to enjoy using your forge and it should get quite hot without making you miserable.  You also want it to hold the stock you intend to use.  However, it shouldn't break the bank.  Let an anvil, hammers, tongs and a vise do that for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am set on using coal, which seems to be in abundance around here and relatively inexpensive at that.  This is only going to be a hobby for me, and I hope to learn to make useful things around home and flint strikers for a start.  I have a couple anvils so far, and have been working on acquiring a forge.  I've gathered a couple brake drums and set them aside just in case I decide to build one.  My plan is to gather up my necessities for a while, and build a small shop in the spring if all goes well.  I am also hoping to use a hand cranked blower.  I've been able to look around and check out some old forges, but....  like I said in my original post, the owners seem to be pretty proud of what they have.  I am not in a hurry, I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with CF forges, or their hand cranked blower, as I may decide to go with their blower over paying close to the same for some of the older blowers I'm finding around here. 

I will need hammers and tongs as well, but again I have time.  I have been able to find plenty of vices in the area, they seem to be around $150.

In the meantime, I'll keep reading and looking, and scrounging stock to be repurposed later.  Thank you for taking the time to respond.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The type of coal matters.  If you have access to bituminous coal your plans are on solid footing.  A brake drum forge will get you started in a matter of weeks or less if you have the time and desire.  But if you are looking into anthracite coal (and I'm guessing you are because you said it is inexpensive), then you will find that a hand crank blower won't work.  Anthracite needs constant air with decent pressure to keep it burning.  I use anthracite with a side blast forge and love it.  Plenty of people use it on bottom blast forges as well.

Either way, using bituminous and anthracite are completely different beasts.  Don't focus on acquiring a hand crank blower if you are planning on using anthracite.  Instead , start looking for bounce house blowers, old furnace draft inducers or any other blowers with good static pressure.  Look for low decibels (less than 60 is my wheelhouse).  You will also need an air gate no matter what.

having two anvils already puts you ahead of most of the pack, congrats!  Enjoy the hunt for gear!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look for a bathroom ceiling fan or other electric blower that could be salvaged for cooling a machine such as a Xerox copier etc. You cal always dump any excess air if it produces too much air for your needs.

Have you looked at the 55 Forge and modifications?  Inexpensive to make particularly if you use the side blast version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard Silly Goose glad to have you. You're slipping into a common beginner's mistake and accumulating tools planning shop, etc. etc. before you have a handle on the craft. Keep it really simple to start, forget getting the "right" forge for now, check out Charles Stevens' "forge in a box" thread for a forge design that's highly functional, easy to build and is . . . DIRT cheap. You don't need more than a garage sale blow drier for your air blast.

ANY smooth faced hammer is a "forging" hammer, try to keep it under 32oz. till you develop proficient hammer control. I highly recommend a 32oz. Drill Hammer. They're a good weight to move metal efficiently but not so heavy they make mistakes permanent right away nor tire or injure you. Recognizing when you're getting tired is an acquired skill believe it or not. Lastly Drill Hammers have shorter handles which improves your control and again making mistakes less permanent before you realize you're making . . . ANOTHER! :o

Forget tongs for a while just use stock long enough you can hold it directly. (Don't make me tell you to hold the COLD end!) Tongs should only be used if you have to, everything between your hand and the work is a separation that reduces sensitivity and control.

You have an anvil. You don't need much, hot fire, smooth faced hammer, anvil, and something to forge. That's it, you make the rest and I'd like to suggest you make a chisel of one of many descriptions so you can cut the stock.

One last thing to bear in mind, this stuff is fun, enjoy it.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard!

6 hours ago, Frosty said:

check out Charles Stevens' "forge in a box" thread for a forge design that's highly functional, easy to build and is . . . DIRT cheap. You don't need more than a garage sale blow drier for your air blast.

Here is the link to that thread; well worth reading in full: http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/44842-just-a-box-of-dirt-or-a-simple-side-blast-forge/.

Congratulations on already having something to hit on. Post some pictures on the "Show me your anvil" thread so we can see what you've got!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have access to pea size bituminous coal, $6.50/40lbs, which I thought was inexpensive, but I've never bought coal before, and I'll admit I don't know much.  I'm taking note of all advice and realizing that my thought process is probably flawed a bit.  I'm going to read the box of dirt thread next. 

I'd love to show you my anvils, but I am technically challenged and will have to wait for my wife to give me a hand with that.  I have a 94lb Trenton, and a 144lb Peter Wright.  They aren't in perfect condition, but I'm pretty happy with them just the same.  The Trenton cost me a couple hours yard work, and the Peter Wright cost me a box of donuts and a breakfast.  Yup, I got real lucky.  I was dumpster diving in a scrap metal bin today(with permission), and left with a two foot piece of RR track, and the fixins for a tuyere to go with my brake drum. 

Thank you all for your replies, I have a lot to learn. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds to me like you just might be a first class scrounged already or are very lucky.  Either way, I think you have a leg up on the game!  I'm jealous about that coal price for sure....to the point of skeptical.  If it is home heating coal then it is anthracite.  Those are the normal prices I would expect to see for heating coal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drove right past them (20 minutes off the highway anyway) during the summer but they were closed so I had to drive on home.  I can't see their prices online though.  The website doesn't work well on mobile...my phone or iPad.  Some of the links to pages won't work.  I'll check it out later on a computer, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a new guy like you. I'm looking to have my forge finished this weekend. I want to use tools that were only available to smiths in the 1900s-1800s. But bellows can get really spendy. Don't go cheap! spend the money (Seriously, don't waste it on junk from China just because it's $60). I've never smithed, I have 0 experience. Get a Bathroom fan while then once you get good, invest in tools. Listen to these guys, they know what they're talking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.