SandHuf

Found antique forge

69 posts in this topic

So I found this old coal forge. It had no name on it, just the numbers 145-18. I looked into it and I think it's a champion forge. It's pretty rusted up, so I put some rust dissolver on it. My questions are; what type of metal is it made of? It is safe to use? Should I try claying the dish if it is cast iron? The blower works and I would really like to use it.

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Great find!! I wouldn't hesitate to heat iron in that forge.  Appears to be mostly cast.   Very cool old forge! 

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I have a similar looking Champion setup, the pan is stamped steel. CI would be thicker, and usually has the instruction cast in to 'clay before using'. Either way, claying would be a good idea.

Steve

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1 hour ago, Stash said:

I have a similar looking Champion setup, the pan is stamped steel. CI would be thicker, and usually has the instruction cast in to 'clay before using'. Either way, claying would be a good idea.

Steve

What are the steps to claying the pan? Would I use fire clay? Are there certain ingredients to mix with the clay?

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

Looks to be a cast iron rivet forge. Claying won't hurt if you don't use a lot of water managing your fire. The danger to a clayed forge is water can work between the clay and the pan accelerating rusting. Can't say who made it but it's a really common pattern from the era, I have a Buffalo that looks almost exactly like it except for the crack that makes mine sort of iffy to use. Mine has, "Clay before use" cast proud in the pan. Mine's also set up for a Champion 400 blower.

I wouldn't mess with the phosphoric acid derusting agents or paints. It is what it is and has a couple few generations of life in her with a little care.

Naw, no special clay need apply it's only purpose is to spread the heat out, cast iron does NOT like spot heating like you'd see around the air grate. Mix aprox 2-3 pts. sand to 1 pt. clay, river bank, garden, ditch, etc. is just fine. Only add enough water it'll clump hard when squeezed in your fist. Then ram it in the pan with a wooden mallet or the end of a board, a steel hammer is overkill and you don't want to accidentally give a cast iron anything a smack with steel hammer. Ram it till the mallet bounces and it's good to go to work.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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2 minutes ago, Frosty said:

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

Looks to be a cast iron rivet forge. Claying won't hurt if you don't use a lot of water managing your fire. The danger to a clayed forge is water can work between the clay and the pan accelerating rusting. Can't say who made it but it's a really common pattern from the era, I have a Buffalo that looks almost exactly like it except for the crack that makes mine sort of iffy to use. Mine has, "Clay before use" cast proud in the pan. Mine's also set up for a Champion 400 blower.

I wouldn't mess with the phosphoric acid derusting agents or paints. It is what it is and has a couple few generations of life in her with a little care.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Heh it's a little late to put the acid on. If it is cast iron, shouldn't I put clay in it to keep it from cracking? I'm a bit new to blacksmithing so excuse my ignorance please. Also should I bother painting it?

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There a few decent threads on IFI in how to clay an anvil. I have a very similar river forge that -- once clayed to create a better firepot shape -- works really well. 

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9 minutes ago, JHCC said:

There a few decent threads on IFI in how to clay an anvil. I have a very similar river forge that -- once clayed to create a better firepot shape -- works really well. 

You clay your ANVIL? I wanna see pics! :lol: :lol::lol:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Would river clay work ok for claying the pan?

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2 minutes ago, Sander Huff said:

Would river clay work ok for claying the pan?

Ayup, just fine.

Frosty The Lucky.

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24 minutes ago, Frosty said:

You clay your ANVIL? I wanna see pics! :lol: :lol::lol:

Frosty The Lucky.

Oops.

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If the rim is thick it's cast iron; if the rim is thin it's stamped out of steel.  I can't tell the thickness of the rim from any of your pictures.

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3 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

If the rim is thick it's cast iron; if the rim is thin it's stamped out of steel.  I can't tell the thickness of the rim from any of your pictures.

It's a bit thin. Will it hold the heat from coke well? Or will it melt?

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You are obviously correct.  It is what it says. No secret there. It is the model 140 EUREKA blower. 

No clay. I use mine all the time. But did make a false bottom for mine with 1/4" plate. I removed the tuyere plate and made a new one , incorporating the tuyere into that plate.

It will destroy steel.  It goes to welding heat in no time. Be careful. My students dont take it seriously because of its size and get careless. 

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Thanks for the great info! Can you post a picture of yours?

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Yes. I have several.  However it is on my computer at the school and we have the weekend off including Monday for MLK jr. 

 

Tuesday if I remember.  

I will add that mine is still the original red. Well......not the pan!

I brought it to the school this winter as the (blacksmith) shop is closed.  I fire it up in the shop with the door open and folks come by and watch me. They always mention how they love the smell of coal and ask to crank the blower. 

The wood shop made me a new oak handle. 

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Awesome. I can see a few spots of red on my blower so I plan to repaint it that color.

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8 hours ago, SReynolds said:

I was wondering if the last 2 numbers of 145-18 was the year? That would make it 1918. Is this true?

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9 hours ago, SReynolds said:

You are obviously correct.  It is what it says. No secret there. It is the model 140 EUREKA blower. 

No clay. I use mine all the time. But did make a false bottom for mine with 1/4" plate. I removed the tuyere plate and made a new one , incorporating the tuyere into that plate.

It will destroy steel.  It goes to welding heat in no time. Be careful. My students dont take it seriously because of its size and get careless. 

 

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Check these out. 

To answer your question;  size of pan.

How about that retro look with the sheet steel cabinet, huh? I kill for that. 

20170115_142029.jpg

20170115_142121.jpg

20170115_142504.jpg

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So is mine the 145 S, 147, or 146 S?

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Yes sir. If your is cast with 145 on the pipe then it is 145-18. The 18 is, of course, the pan size. S = steel (pan) 

Model 145 (no S) is cast iron pan

These are late model units. Not 1880 or nothing like that. 1930 era (?) Not sure when the bagan these, but must have been the 30's as they are advadvertised in 1940 catalog

20170115_184147.jpg

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So since there is no S it is cast iron. Except since it has no S it doesn't look like the one in your catalog. Mine has 3 legs.  I can't seem to find the word clay stamped into the bottom because it is rusted out. Should I do it? I really don't want this thing to crack when I fire it up.

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It will not have the letter S cast into the pipe under the pan. That pipe assembly is used on cast iron and the pressed steel pan. 

Yours looks like steel. 

Protecting the steel pan with something isn't a bad idea.  I know some who do not but I would and do on my old champion (steel) forges.  I use a1/4" thick steel plate.

I do use a cast iron forge and do not have clay as the guy I bought it from did not use clay. It has been used hard by him and myself with no clay. However it is a newer forge and not an antique.  The firepot and surrounding table is cast iron . Come to think of it, I believe the old champion forges have firepots made of cast iron. No? Just says "Tuyere Iron" in the ads. So why is the firepot tuyere iron up to the challenge but the cast pan surrounding the fire (no fire contact) isn't?  sounds like bunk. Maybe somebody at champion blower and forge was smoking something. 

Nonetheless.  You dont have a fire pot.  Your fire sets direct on the pan. 

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I probably would put a 1/4" steel plate in. But if you have it like I think you have it, you have it under the air vent so it over laps over the plate. I would do that but I would have to take out the air vent and every bolt on this thing is rusted in and I would hate to have to cut more bolts out. I already had to cut 2 out of the blower hinge. 

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Sander Huff, one little bit of forum etiquette: when you quote a post with photos in it, edit out those photos before you click "Submit Reply" unless you have a question about a specific detail that cannot be described and must be seen.

Photographs take  up a lot of bandwidth, and it's a courtesy to forum owner Glenn not to use that up unnecessarily.

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