Kagé the Tinkerer

Please help this newbie restore his forge!

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Hey all! 

I bought this old rust bucket coal forge. I believe the term I’ve seen used is “rivet forge”. Zero make/model marks, that I can find. Tore the whole thing apart, replaced the pump handle, drive belt, and all the nuts n bolts. Three of the blades were busted off the blower fan, so I fabbed up some new ones, and attached them to the existing fan. Sprayed all the parts with a high temp, rust resistant paint, and reassembled the whole thing, only to have it NOT PUMP, SPIN, OR BLOW AIR!!!! 

Please help. The belt is nice n tight, the handle has room to maneuver, and the new fan blades fit inside the blower housing....what’ve I done wrong??

 

Also, there are extra holes in the pan. Any idea what those would be for?

 

TIA,

- Kagé

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Kagé welcome to IFI. I always suggest reading this to get the best out of the forum. READ THIS FIRST  I'm sure someone with experience working on that style forge will be along shortly to give some advice. The only thing I know about them is I think they use a ratchet to drive the belt wheel.

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After much searching around, I realized I never lubed anything after I put it back together. :blink: Rookie mistake....

Now the handle, 1/4 gear, and drive wheel turn, but the belt just slides over the small wheel with the fan. *sigh*

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Is the belt reasonably tight and is the blower lubed? Just a couple FEW drops of 30 wt. works a treat for lubing blowers, don't get carried away.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I used bar and chain oil. Got everything turning, but my homemade blades were wonky, and catching on the edge of the blower housing. Got ‘em ground down and straightened, and they’re setting for the next 24hr to let the adhesive cure. Barring any other oversights on my part, I think I’m good!

 

Fingers crossed, I should be up n running tomorrow night! Tuesday at the latest.

 

- Kagé

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One thing I noticed that might be missing: Usually there is a small riser/attachment where the middle of the  handle attaches and pivots.  Your photos imply that part isn't there (or my glasses need cleaning).  You might try some image searching to see what similar risers/attachments look like so you can fab a version.  Those were a stress part so tended to break and are often missing from this style of forge.

The handle may be a bit shorter than I've seen elsewhere but photos sometimes distort things like that.  

And since it wasn't mentioned and bears mentioning in case someone happens to wander past this thread:  With a cast iron pan like that it will definitely be necessary to clay that forge before use to prevent cracking.

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Fan blades are usually just sheet metal, relatively light gauge. Yours appear to be a bit thicker than needed. It takes a bit more 'oomph' to get the greater mass moving. That might  be part of the issue.

Steve

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10 hours ago, Kozzy said:

Your photos imply that part isn't there (or my glasses need cleaning).

The handle may be a bit shorter than I've seen....

With a cast iron pan like that it will definitely be necessary to clay that forge before use to prevent cracking.

- Your glasses are fine. Lol. I’d seen those in pics of similar forges, and was planning to rig one up for mine. What I’ve got now is already denting my new handle.

- It’s the same length and hole positions as the one I got it with, but that could’ve been a replacement handle already, and been shorter.

- Thanks for the tip! I just got some refractory in a couple days ago. I’ll slather some on there.

Steve - the fan still had one blade attached, and it’s cast iron, almost the same thickness as the stock I used to make the new blades. Ideally, in the near future, I can cast an entirely new fan, but we’ll see how that goes.

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11 hours ago, Kagé the Tinkerer said:

I just got some refractory in a couple days ago. I’ll slather some on there.

Do a search of this site for information about claying and mixtures to use.  Refractory and other cementitious products are not the best options.  It's one of those areas where simple is better.  

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On 5/14/2019 at 12:31 PM, Kozzy said:

Do a search of this site for information about claying and mixtures to use.  Refractory and other cementitious products are not the best options.  It's one of those areas where simple is better.  

I have some green sand mixed up that I was planning to use to line a new melter. Would that be a better option for lining the forge, and use the refractory in the bucket instead?

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Dirt, a soil with high clay content a couple inches thick will do the trick for zero dollars and zero cents. 

Pnut (Mike)

You can also shape a ducks nest or any other shaped firepot you need with minimal hassle when you use clay. It will make your forge more versatile.  Clay and a couple fire bricks will work for a lot of projects and you can reshape the configuration if you need to.

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Simple is good, a subsoil with 30% clay works good (just put the dirt in a jar and add water. Shake and wait for it to settle. It will stratify revealing the clay, sand and silt) no need for refractory cement or castable refractory. Inflact clay is the basis for many refractories. 

Sort out your blower and the linkage and think about a wind/sun shield for it and you will be golden. 

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Charles R. Stevens, you've made me a full on clay filled forge convert. 

Pnut (Mike)

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Thanks, Mike. Like most of us I fall victim to overthinking. So I do my research (having grown up preinternet and encountering bad reference material in print) and I doodle (I have a stack of graphpapaer journals) and experiment. 

That said dirt worked well for centuries, it still works. Same for side blast forges and bellows. Coal and charcoal as well. 

My mind is always a whir of thoughts, and after years I have learned to let it running wile taking notes. Eventually a simple saluting presents its self

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