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I Forge Iron

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Hi All,

So may be doing a bit of hands on experience with our scout unit, at the summer camp we have.

The site is in the middle of nowhere so no access to mains electricity and no cars on the site.

I was thinking of taking two forges with me, from what I can see I have the option of getting a hand powered blower similar to the ones being used on the JABODs

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or I could go with a 12v mattress inflator and then wire up a battery pack to run both.

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or could I use a rechargeable battery version of this?

I am tempted to not go with the hand blower option just because I want to be able to focus on what the kids are doing. Rather than having to keep the fires going. I am thinking of using soft coal or even charcoal as the fuel.

I will be running them for the majority of the day as the kids will be broken into groups and rotating constantly through the day.

 

Any advice would be great thanks.

Luke

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I'd go with charcoal, for the simple reason it gives you the widest option of blower types, you could buy or make any version of what we think of as the traditional bellows or nake a chinease box bellows. In fact makig the bellows could be a good initial project for the scouts.....you just need all the bits handy! Just about most other form of air mover you can come up with will or can be made to work, and with charcoal you can turn it off when there's no iron in the fire saving battery life, that may well be all too short in the first place. If you can get manual bellow the scouts can take short turns on it..... it'll be along time before you run out ot scouts!

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22 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

 it'll be along time before you run out ot scouts!

That is true they are an endless source of free energy :lol:

I do like the idea of using the manual pumps to save on power issues, and I am leaning towards the charcoal just to further ease the learning curve for the kids. I did consider the path of making some bellows but I dont think they will have time with all the other activities they will have to do.

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Air is easy to move, you can use a paper bag or pillow case, cardboard boxes and some sticky tape make easy bellows. It also makes perfectly servicable air ducting to a made on the spot clay fire nozzle. 

The boys ARE pumping the bellows. Yes? managing the fire truly is an important part of the craft.

Show the boys you don't need special stuff, one of the main tenets of Scouting is Self reliance.

How about this for a theme. Start out picking up trash along a section of road, creek, illegal dump site, etc. Use select trash, make the bellows, burn the clean wood and using a boulder & cobbles forge the plain steel they've picked up into useful tools. How many merit badges is THAT? :D

You'll be a legend.  B)

Frosty The Lucky.

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I purchased a matress hand pump to take camping for forging. And to pump up the air matress of course lol. The scouts can take turns working the pump and forging whatever and you dont have to haul the extra weight for the batteries. Saves money in the long run as well. 

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2 hours ago, Frosty said:

Show the boys you don't need special stuff, one of the main tenets of Scouting is Self reliance

That would be my aproach Frosty, you can send them off in small groups to accomplush part of the task, one collecting fire wood, a group supplied with a magnet to source steel and another with a spade an a bucket for water to dig and form the hole in the ground forge...(kids won't mind bending down half the day to reach the forge) etc....I'd supply  them with some starter kit to ensure a tleast some success.

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My idea was to put together a JABOD for me to use and as an example for the kids. The camp I will be doing this will actually be made up of all three units so ranging from the beavers to the scouts so the age range is 5 to 14.

I like the idea of getting the older ones build forges. But that might be a seperate meeting when i can dedicate the time  or build it up over a few weeks.

I was hoping with camp just to spark their interest in the craft. I may end up using a bit of both, and swapping the blowers to best suit the age group that i have on.

The advantage is i can rotate them so one pumps the air whilst the other works on their piece and swap over it would keep them out of mischief.

16 hours ago, Frosty said:

Air is easy to move, you can use a paper bag or pillow case, cardboard boxes and some sticky tape make easy bellows. It also makes perfectly servicable air ducting to a made on the spot clay fire nozzle. 

That would work towards 4 of the current badges unless they change them again. I do really like this idea for the older ones.

14 hours ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

I prefer this type as the inlet and outlet are in the base as a posed to the handle. I don’t like the tube wiggling all over the place and it’s the biggest I have found. As to the 12v, they are noisy and you will need some way to control the volume

The hand pump does like a good option for what I have planned.

With the blower i was going to use a 3/4 ball valve like on your original JABOD.

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9 hours ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

To reduce the noise ad a “T” and expell the exes air. A lot quieter. I never have liked the wine of vacuum cleaners.

Do you mean something like this so that as I reduce the air it can redirect it out to prevent that whine.

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Nothing so fancy, just a plain 3/4” T with a valve on one branch, the pump on another and the tuyere on the third. 

This way you open the valve to let air out of the T, thus  reducing the volume of air coming out the tuyere. Set up the tuyer on the center of the T and the valve and pump on opposite sides.  

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