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I Forge Iron

It followed me home


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My daughter broke her ankle pretty bad right after Thanksgiving, 2 plates 14 screws, but she was unable to do Christmas. So we brought Christmas to her and the grandbabies. While at her house she asked what i wanted for Christmas, i said an 1864 Sharps, which is totally out of her budget so i said anything blacksmithing and said, jokingly, that there was a  Champion blower someone had for sale locally for $400, still out of her budget. Anyway she calls me today and asks if my package arrived yet. I said what package and she said to expect something from that place named after the rain forest in S. America. 

Long story short this arrived today. I will get it up and running and give a review. From what i see it has pretty easy movement and a good flow. The gearing i could not get a good count but 1/4 turned seemed 10+ rotations of the impeller so i am thinking at lest 40:1. When you let go it has about 1 1/2 turns coast, i think i may replace the handle with a counter balanced one. 3 complaints, the exit is only 1 1/2" but has a flange bolted on so i can get a bigger opening for air flow, and the wrench they sent with it, a 12mm/13mm for bolts that are 13mm (worked fine) and 11mm (not so well), the bolt holes do not line up in the base plate, i expected that though and figure that will be discarded when i build a stand anyway. 

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Just bought this today.   No markings, needs some grease and I just made a belt for it out of cotton belting as a temp fix.  Now to start prepping for trying to make the elusive forge weld.  BTW, I was looking under the coal forge section and didn't see if I needed to put some refractory cement on this.   Quick hint?  Yes?  No?  Why didn't you read that before you got the forge?

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Clay, not refractory cement. You can dig it out of the local creekbank or back yard. Unscented, unused kitty litter works too. Don't get it real wet- it will crack on drying. Make your ducks nest and get a layer on the whole thing then pack it with a mallet or block of wood. First time I did it, I got a bucket of pre mixed refractory mix. Yard clay is cheaper and does the same job.

Steve

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If you are going to use it you'd be best to clay it even if you have to use a kitty litter mix (clay, and preferably not previously used by cats).

Worst case dirt would be better than nothing. Hate to see a post after this one asking how to repair the crack in the forge.

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Put the cat litter in a 5 gallon bucket with some water, put the lid on and let it sit for a week. It will get good and saturated and make a nice bucket o' clay. Use what you need, add more litter and water, put the lid back on and stick it under the work bench. Check it every once in a while and add water as needed and you have a bucket of clay for when you need to make repairs. 

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11 hours ago, Chad J. said:

I will clay it in spring once it warms up above freezing.

Build a fire on the ground and after it goes out you'll be able to dig the clay like it was the height of summer. If you're going to use a cast iron forge in the cold weather it is even more likely to crack if it's not clayed. 

Pnut

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They somewhat remind me of the suction canisters we used at the hospital I worked at. But ours were bigger and clear so you could see when they were full to dispose of them. Those look a little less disposable and probably not for medical use.  But you'd hook your vacuum to the one and then could attach up to three drains (ng tubes, etc) to them to create suction.

Ours were also considerably larger, they would hold about a liter of... stuff before being full.

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On 1/24/2021 at 4:59 PM, BillyBones said:

Put the cat litter in a 5 gallon bucket with some water....

Got it, now do I need to let it dry on its own or can I build a fire in it to help it along.  One means learning to build a coal for,  the other means dragging a heavy forge into my house so it didn't just freeze. 

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20 minutes ago, Chad J. said:

do I need to let it dry on its own

Just make sure you don't use too much water. The mixture should be stiff and hold a shape after wedging it. Then let it dry on it's own. If you build a fire while it's wet it will crack, you can use a hair dryer or just a fan to help in speeding up the drying process.

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Mr. JHCC was so kind as to send me several pieces of wrought iron (for free, I might add) to make a whale or something else out of. Need to find a good day to make a prototype whale out of mild steel before I ruin one of my three pieces of WI.

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