Irondragon Forge & Clay

U.S. Army (Cavalry) pack forge

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About a decade ago I picked up this pack forge. I had never put a fire in it until today. It is in good shape and the Champion blower puts out great air and runs smooth. The reason I hadn't lit it up was there was no fire pot with it and I couldn't find much information about it or if they even had fire pots. Today I decided to fabricate a fire pot and table that's removable and it sure will maintain a nice hot fire. Now we have a self contained forge to take anywhere. If anyone has information or pictures of these pack forges I would love to see them.

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Looking at the sides before and after it looks like he dropped the pot in on top of the tuyere that was there.  Looks removable too.

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Would be more easily removable with some welded on loops or handles of either edge. ;)

 

Nice forge!

 

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13 hours ago, turbo7 said:

Did you cut the hole for the fire pot? What was there before?

The hearth table already had the hole cut. It was 1/4 inch scrap from another project and odd shaped that had to have scrap fillers welded in. The picture just before the retro fit fire pot is how I received it. The tuyere is held in by a plate and brackets underneath but doesn't protect the box bottom which is thinner from the heat of the fire and without a fire pot it would take a huge pile of coal to get a decent fire. The fire pot itself is a reclaimed wheelbarrow wheel with the hub cut out and it sits on the tuyere plate. To remove the retro fit, I shovel any coal from the hearth and the ash & coke fall out when it's lifted then swept up. I'll take some more pictures of the underside.

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Just a guess, but the original intention may have been that the smith would add a few shovelsful of dirt when setting up at each new location. That would insulate the bottom without creating additional weight that would have to be transported everywhere.

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This is the tuyere plate the fire pot sits on.

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The brackets that the tuyere & blower attach to.

 

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Everything except the retro fire pot fit neatly inside.

 

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Ready to go traveling.

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The underside of the retro fit.

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17 minutes ago, JHCC said:

Just a guess, but the original intention may have been that the smith would add a few shovelsful of dirt when setting up at each new location. That would insulate the bottom without creating additional weight that would have to be transported everywhere.

That was my thought too, dirt or river clay. Anyplace I would set up dirt or clay is not usually available so I would have to haul it too. The raised hearth & fire pot works well, not any heat is transferred to the bottom sheet metal. I'll just transport the retro fit separately.

The retrofit handles are a good idea, that way if the fire pot is still hot it will speed up breaking down.

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57 minutes ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

That was my thought too, dirt or river clay.

Great minds think alike -- and so do ours!

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I was actually given a copy of US military blacksmithing manual that included a section on this specific forge. Unfortunately I think I may have gotten rid of it. Ill look closer tomorrow. I bet it can be found online with the right keywords to search though. 

 

Brent 

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Cavalry forges were Duck's nest forges, no fire pot you shovel in a few inches of dirt tamp it down leaving the air grate clear.

An old associate had probably a dozen he'd picked up at an auction and I got to give one a try. Nice forge perfect for taking along on remote jobs so I didn't have to use the campfire and breeze for a forge. I would've bought one but he thought they were made of gold so . . . 

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Just saw one of these for the first time in a stash of equipment a friend of mine is in the process of selling off (downsizing before a move), definitely functional and very convenient!

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In use you just shovel in a convenient fill, so your entrenching tool was part of the kit. the long riders guild acualy has blue prints on their site showing the anvil and vice as well.

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I really like it. Have used it several times at BOA meetings.

The retro fit fire pot raises the fire enough so longer stock can be used. I love history and enjoy using things that Smith's before us used. Somehow I feel a connection to them when using old equipment.

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My grandfather was a cavalry shoer in the Spanish-American war. He always called it " the Philippine Insurrection ". When I acquired a cavalry forge 40 some years ago, he said the forge was filled with mud. The fire bowl could the be shaped to fit the fire. Round for shoes, long for a trough fire for long stock. Sometimes took a lot of cranking when the fire was made of dried manure!

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Welcome aboard 4th gen glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the gang live within visiting distance. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hello, 

A friend has asked me to reconstruct a forge identical to this one.  There is next to nothing left of the box and lid, but the hardware and legs are all intact.  I was hoping I could get a measurement of the thickness of the sheet metal used so that I can have a new one brake formed.  Any chance you could provide that?

-Adair

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Irondragon,  I would really appreciate that if you have the time.  Thank you.  In the attached image you can see what is left of the forge I've been asked to reconstruct.  

-Adair

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Interesting. You would think that if they were looking to save weight that these would have been made as a side blast and eliminate the long blower tube. Maybe just hang or insert the blower on the side instead. Sometimes I wonder about Govt designs, and the rational behind them. . I have a 1967 M-715 one and a quarter ton 4x4 utility truck that came from the Army.  It has the usual canvas drop top, custom bed with all of the hangers for picks, ax, shovels, and Jerry cans.  I go to slide a sheet of plywood into the bed and it stops short.... I look up front to see what I am hitting, and I am bottomed out against the cab.... A full size truck, and the bed is 2" short of 8'----- BRILLIANT!!

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