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I Forge Iron

Buffalo Coal Forge


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I just got a old Buffalo coal forge and I need to rebuild the gears in it. Once you turn the crank it starts to make a loud howling almost grinding noise but it is not grinding. Is there a bushing/bearing rebuild kit available some where I have looked but come up empty. I have taken the covers off and greased it, it did get a little better but I would like to go thru it before I put it to use. I have attached some pictures to help ID it. Any help of info would be great I was told it is from 1908 but don't know if that is true. Thank You




Coal forge.png


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There are no specific rebuild kits because there were so many variations across brands and even within brands that it's almost as bad as car parts.  Your best bet is to buy single bronze sleeve bearings at some place like McMaster (Amazon carries some but I have been screwed over several times when trying to get bronze bearings from them).  Because there are more modern standards now, you might have to adapt something that is close rather than searching to find an exact perfect match.

Also remember that most of these blowers were built to be cheap and appeal to the smaller user back in the day---that means quality of the gears and some other parts was never all that high.  Some can be quite good and some...well, you could probably cut better gears with a chain saw.  Point is, don't expect miracles in balance or gear engagement (quietness).  Just go for the best you can get from what you have.  Buffalo should be pretty good because they had a reputation to maintain.

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Thank you Kozzy

 I just took it apart to further inspect the gears and there are not chipped teeth on the gears both of the big gears are stamped 69 assuming the teeth count. The bushings don't look to be warn bad but I will measure and replace what I can. For all I know the noise might be normal but I don't want to damage it if not so I will rebuild before I use. This is my first solid fuel forge so I am learning about it as I read here and go. The grate in the bottom of the Tray does have a crack in it and needs to be replace what should I use to make a new one or is there some available to order ?

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If you used grease that's the wrong lube for them.

Heavy oil is the right one, chainsaw bar oil with a little STP will work or 80 wt gear oil. Don't fill it to the brim, just enough for the lower gear to pick up the oil and oil to show at the shaft will work. Expect the blower to leak oil they all do.

You can get the fire grates off eBay or if I remember Kayne & Sons and Centaur Forge.

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Thank You IronDragon  

 It was packed full of grease that's why I put more I have taken it down and cleaned all the old grease off the gears and cleaned the gear housing up check all the gears for any issues and they are all good I will use bar oil as I have plenty of that for the little giant. I have a centaur forge store 20 miles from me and the have the tuyere grill and a bag of coke waiting on me. from the measurement's I will have to modify it a little but that is not a problem.


 Irondragon I see you are in Eureka Springs me and my girls go up there every June for a week so I can get away and do some riding we normally stay on spring street with eurekazen. Is your forge open to the public ? Its up there that actually got me into Blacksmithing my wife bought me a knife at a mill out side of town and I had never seen Damascus until then and it just kind of spiraled off into a new passion for forging. It would be cool to come see your smithy this june if you are open to the public.    

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