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Mellin

Old Rivet forge questions

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So I pulled this old hunk of metal out of the ground and found out from a member here it's called a rivet forge. The only mark on the body is a "U" cast into the pan.

A piece of the blower housing has been cut through with what looks like an oxyfuel setup. The blower has a smooth wheel that turns freely and spins whatever is inside. 526 and 527 are the numbers in the casting of the blower. 

One can only assume that pieces are missing. For starters the drive mechanism for the blower. There's a bracket on the underside next to the "right" leg, no idea what went there. Also one hole on the top lip. As for claying the forge there's a ton of ways I see ranging from not claying and having a thick bed of coal to using common soil clay and then sand concrete mixes.

I don't know if I honestly plan on coal forging any time soon, i don't know the first thing about it but I would prefer to get this ol boy back in usable condition.

 

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The little wheel on the outside of the blower would take a belt that would turn the fan on the inside. That belt was usually run off either a larger pulley with a hand crank, or from a mechanism that the smith would turn by pumping on a wooden lever. The hole on the lip was probably for mounting that drive mechanism. The bracket on the legs and the cast bracket on the underside of the pan may have been parts of that as well. Your pictures are a bit fuzzy, so its hard to make out the details.

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So I found another semi identical forge 

 

This has many identical properties to mine the casting numbers on the blower and the u in the pan casting I can see I'm missing a few bigger gears and pulleys. I can go out with the boss next time he goes to clean the acreage to try and locate them but it gets dark too early and everything is frozen.  Is it a better idea to just buy a cheapo Amazon blower and duct it in?

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"Better" depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to start forging; may I commend to your attention the thread on JABODs

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13 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Better" depends on what you are trying to accomplish

This is correct.

Do you wa t to restore it, or is this going to be a working forge.

I have one similar, and its use is as a portable forge.

The first thing I did was cut out an opening in the bottom and put in a proper firepot, twyre, and clinker ball.

Use a blower setup of choice. I set mine up with a stand mount candy otto blower.

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I had a rivet for as my main forge for several years.  From my experience they are pretty prone to cracking from heat expansion if you don't line them with refractory cement.  Others may have had better luck using them as is but I wouldn't start forging in one again without doing this first.  If you ever wanted to sell it as a collector piece you can easily chip out the cement.  

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Forges like this used to be virtually worthless...so people would cut out the interesting bits like the main wheel to sell at "antique" stores.  No one would take such a thing on the forge but on the shelf as an "antique" hunk of interesting iron/wall hanger, that wheel would sell pretty fast.  Now forges like this with all their parts tend to sell pretty well (not big bucks, but enough to be worth trying).  With less than all their parts, they'll often still sell but not at very high prices.

So...you are missing a lot of what should be there.  It's salvageable but the real question is whether its worth you doing anything to considering you don't intend to use it.  I'd post it at a good price on your local craigslist or similar and pass it on to someone who wanted a project.  It might be a good starting point for someone else, whereas any efforts you put into it will not really pay back at all unless you intend to use it yourself.

There is always the option of "yard art" too but that's a shame when someone could be using such a thing (with some work).

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