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I Forge Iron

Buffalo blower no. 4


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Hello all, as this is my first post let me say the obligatory... First time poster, long time reader.

From the research I can do I believe I have a buffalo blower no.4 without tuyere. Based on the patent date, I believe it is dated between 1877 and 1880, all the other blowers I've seen so far have the 1880 patent #. It looks just like the picture in the 1892 buffalo forge catalog (pg256), but that is the only info I can find on it. It needs a leg, a couple of welds and a little TLC, but I got it for free digging through a neighbor's junk pile. I have most of the parts, but I wondering if anyone had any idea how to find more original parts for a blower such as this. I only need the connection between the upright leg and the wooden handle... parts #188 and #191 on  pg264. They should be easy enough to fabricate to make it usable but I would like to keep it as original as possible. Forget the seat belt that I'm using as a belt in the pictures, that was just to see if everything worked. Which it does smoothly and quietly. Though it takes a lot of effort to spin the large gear by hand.

I know it's off topic, but the blower is connected via dryer duct to a bottom duct tire rim JABOD, and I'm using a pre 1910, 99lb Peter Wright anvil, and need a place to mount a ¿Peter Wright? leg vice(no pics of that yet). Both found in barn of same property as blower, also for free. Along with various punches, drifts, and hammers, but someone had already got the tongs and hardies. They said they had no idea for any of it and it but I did then I could have them. As soon as am able I am going to make them either a gate or arbor to thank them. All in all I would say it's a good start for someone just starting out.









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  • 2 weeks later...

Haha, I found this in one of our old burn pile areas. I knew it would turn up once I knew what I was looking for.

Does anyone know what material buffalo forges are made of? My logic leads me to believe that they are cast to be uniform to sell. But is it cast iron or cast steel, or am I way off? I would like to know what I will be working with before I go ahead with the restoration as It looks like the new piece I found was loosely riveted to the upright leg in the 4th pic above. I may need to draw the peg out a bit and upset it enough to hold the pivot point on again


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Cast iron , which is a bugger to weld correctly. I have done several cast iron repairs, and some grades are not weldable. Brazing is the safe way to do it. The peg has to be steel to forge as cast will just crumble.  Cool looking blower, and it appears to be of a substantial size

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It definitely has some size to it, it is 35" tall, 35" long, 24" wide, it has a 17" blower, and weighs 175lbs. The description I have found for it says "Buffalo blacksmith's hand blower no. 4- This is the largest hand blower made in the world, and is especially designed for flange fires in boiler shops, and extra heavy work in shipsmiths' shops, as it will perform heavier work than any other hand blower built" (pg. 254 buffalo general catalog, 1892)

I looked into brazing, and though it seems simple enough I'm not quite ready for another new skill set yet, so I think I will try to find someone in my area who can/will do that kind of work. On the plus side, the pivot point had a groove in it to slip onto the peg, so no reforging there. I will have to replace a pin that held them together, and get a handle that curves like a plow handle that looks like it would be 4' long based off the drawing in the catalog.

I'm stoked to be getting closer to having a fully functional hand blower

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  • 1 month later...

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