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Hello all.  Just joined the forum and have lots of questions.  The first is about design and layout of my forge, so I guess this is more of a masonry post.  I purchased an 1840's farm house, and it came with a blacksmith shop.  The only thing left of the forge is the top part of the chimney.  I'm trying to stay as close as I can to period design.  I know my rough dimensions, but what I need help with is how do I figure out how to lay everything out?  For instance, how do I determine the angle of all my bricks that make curves?  I'm trying to get a picture/drawing up loaded so people have a better idea of my design.  Sorry for the vagueness, but like I said, I'm just starting out.

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Period design depends a lot on WHERE YOU ARE AT and what the shop did.  A ship building blacksmith shop in England does not look very much like a frontier shop in America for instance. (and one in the upper midwest of America doesn't look much like one in Texas).

Forges will differ with use as well and with what fuel is being used!  

I assume you will be using a double lunged bellows; though in the Southwest of America using two single action accordion bellows have been documented.

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Welcome aboard Durant, 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.

You want to pick up a book on Masonry in your area. In the 1840s there were probably more adobe and field stone hearths made in America than brick unless you're east of the Appalachians. I believe it was the Chicago Fire that got brick manufacture really going west in the mid west. 

Of course all that's speculation not knowing where on the planet you cast a shadow.

Frosty The Lucky.

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If he is in the USA and  near a port there may have been  bricks that were used as ballast. I remember a historic house near me when I lived in New Jersey, USA, that was built that way.  Moxon shows a brick forge in his book published in 1703 so if he is in England...

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Thanks guys, I'm in Maine, not on the coast, and the info I have says this was a job printing and steam booker asst one point in it's life.  Still have no idea what those things are though.  Never thought of using field stone Frosty!  I like the look of field stone a lot more than brick, so I very well might be completely changing the design.

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Telling us where you live in one post isn't going to stick in our memories after we open another one. Putting it in the header keeps it up front any time we read something from you. That way someone in your general vicinity who has something you need or wants something you have can get in touch without searching for that. . . someone said he lives X and I have one of those I don't want in the yard. DRATS, oh well.

Be careful using field stone, there can be moisture trapped in cracks or voids that can cause an explosion if heated above boiling. Packed clay sand mixture under and around the fire itself is pretty traditional way of not killing the smith or helpers. Never, NEVER use rocks from a pond, stream, bog, etc. for a fire ring!

Frosty The Lucky.

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Job printers were the small printers that used to located everywhere and did small print runs of whatever folks wanted/needed.  So business cards, sale circulars and posters, anything a local business might need a small print run of.  There used to be a job printer next to my Grandfather's Bait Stand in Fort Smith Arkansas.

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