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I Forge Iron

Restoring an old champion forge

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Take a wire brush (not a grinder!) and clean up the actual forge if you so desire. I don't think it's really necessary though. It may help in determining if there are any small cracks in it, however. 

I have a blower identical to that one that I'm working on restoring, so I have a little know how with them (very little, in truth.)

First thing you're going to want to do it unbolt it from the forge and remove it from the tuyere. Then undo the bolts holding the two halves of the blower together, and split the housing. Take the half with the gearbox and remove the machine screws in the top of the gearbox and remove the top. From there, you'll have a clear view of the gears and you should be able to determine the problem with the crank. More than likely, some gears are rusted together. 

As a side note, at no point in working on this thing should you be forceful with it! That cast iron is old and brittle, believe me. Be careful undoing those machine screws too. I stripped a few out on mine, and had to drill them out, VERY carefully. Try to avoid that. 

Good luck. Keep us updated. 

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First: Add your general location to your profile. You may discover that there are other people close to you that can offer guidance or their experiences with similar models.

Second: Read through the Bellows section of the Forges forum here. Narrow down your searches to Champion to refine the specific information and figure out which model you have (it is not a Champion 400).

Third: As stated above, don't force anything when trying to remove, clean, open, or operate it. Some of the Champion blowers (I don't know about this particular model) had special features built in that if you try to pry off the top cap, you would break the casting (as Thomas was suggesting above), those had to slide the cap off after removing the screws. A good soaking of a penetrating oil before you begin will definitely help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Looking good. I gather from your pictures, the crank handle is missing. A diligent search may turn one up. If you can't find one clamp a pair of visegrips on the shaft and forge one shouldn't be too hard. Here is a picture of what it looks like off of the shaft. Scroll down to the picture with it all inside the box.


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