Sargos

Buffalo Forge

Recommended Posts

There is one for sale locally...  the price is insane but...  I am a sucker and will probably go look at it. What are some problem areas I should pay attention to? It appears to have been left outside for a very long time and is part small pond and part bog...  surely cracks and depth of the rust will be a concern...  but what are the typical known trouble areas to check that a newbie like me would likely not be aware of?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blower or no blower?  That makes a HUGE difference in price--basically from nearly scrap to actual forge pricing.  Bad blowers can be anything from easy fix to impossibly broken gears so if it has a blower, DON'T assume it will be an easy fix unless you are POSITIVE about the problems.

Broken cast iron forges are a dime a dozen...easier to build something from scratch than do more than superficial repairs on badly broken cast.  Check for cracks:  A short crack often can be bridged as a repair but if it leads toward a bad break waiting to happen, skip it.

Sheet metal forges tend to have near terminal rust unless cared for.  Don't be fooled into thinking a repair isn't going to be all that bad--rust hides.  Again, if it's more than superficial you could probably build one from scratch easier and cheaper than trying to fix a dog.

Patience is your best friend.  Walk away from over-priced stuff unless it is so good that the price is pretty-much justified.  Another [often better] option WILL come along--NEVER forget that, even if you get the itch really bad to have it now.

Tuyere's get eaten away and are hard to replace/repair on some forges.  People often ignore this detail because they are focusing on the firebox area so don't take a good look down the throat.

Most tube legs are no problem to replace if bent up but the mounting points are the real problem:  A broken out mounting point on the forge can be a pain to find a work around.

If the seller thinks they have a gem when they have a junker, walk away with a polite "thanks but it's not for me" before any head-butting starts.  Not worth any aggravation or haggling over that big a perception difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Kozzy, that is exactly the information I was looking for. Yes it has a blower, however the seller has mentioned that the "tube" it attaches to is cracked. I have a feeling that tube might really be the tuyere, I will take a good look and get some pics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many forges have cast iron piping between the blower and the forge. 

Depending on the style, the majority of the value is in the blower, a forge can easily be fabbed up from whatever is laying around.

Most rivet forges I see are around $100....when they are in good shape.

If it is busted up, look at for just the blower value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember that thousands of these were sold cheap back in the days when you were still plowing by horse power many places. The 1897 Sears and Roebuck catalog had a slogan "every Farmer his own smith" and farms were *small* (If you go back far enough; an acre used to be the amount of ground you could plow in a day...)

They are not the best way to go for many types of smithing being shallow and underpowered---many of the really small hand crank blowers are a pain compared to the big ones where you could crank it a good turn and walk away to get a tool instead of cranking, cranking, cranking, cranking to try to get the fire up.

When sold as "antiques" they are often not being priced as using tools.  As mentioned a good blower would be about 80% the value of the system in my opinion.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again Thomas, I will take a look closely at it... but his $1k asking price is sounding more and more insane.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow--that's a steep price.  Maybe 1 in 5000 excellent-shape forges would be of the heavy commercial type which might justify that kind of pricing but the odds are way against that.  Those are so rare I can't even find a good picture of one to use as an example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, the vice isn't included at that price.  But it sure isn't going to win any beauty contests.

00D0D_8VbXzlgOeJK_600x450.jpg

00W0W_2HBmY2oK3Bx_1200x900.jpg

That price might be right if those pinecones get included tho...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now