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I Forge Iron

Champion 104 Rivet forge


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Hi there! 

I recently purchased and restored a champion 104 rivet forge. It’s a cute little thing, with the smallest champion gearbox I have ever seen. 

it’s in remarkably good shape. Under the thin veneer of rust it looked like a forge that was seldomly used, and obviously taken care of. 

My question and my difficulty is with the blower. I took some video of it and I will try to upload it here. Edit: I uploaded it to YouTube. Here is the link 

the blower is loud, and I am getting definite gear noise. Every champion blower I have ever used has been relatively silent. I know the fan mechanism needs to be balanced, so it doesn’t cause a wobble, but the gears still seem stiff. The gears look great, there is no pitting or damage to anything inside or out of the gearbox. 

is this normal? I realize it’s a smaller forge, but are the river forged inherently stiffer than their larger counterparts? I know the 400 blower has ball bearings in it, so that will make it smoother in general. I haven’t pulled any of these gears, so I don’t know if there is significant wear on whatever bushings are there. Any advice would be appreciated. 



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What does it sound/feel like when you turn the handle the other direction (clockwise)? It could just be that the worm gear is worn for one particular direction turning. Did you grease the ball bearings or anything else while you were doing the cleanup? It could be that the grease is adding resistance, same with the gear oil. Maybe it's just too thick and a 30 weight oil might make it turn easier. It's a beauty though.

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Great looking forge & blower. I hope you are planning to clay the pan before building a fire to prevent that cast iron from cracking.

The blower looks like a # 40 or #140 to me (many were not marked). The adjuster stud&nut, sets the end play in the fan shaft, check to see if one of the fan blades may be lightly touching the housing. How much gear oil do you have in it, the lower gear teeth should run in the oil to splash oil to the other gears & bushings. I have found that most of the blowers will take a set for clockwise direction like JME1149 said.

The blower is listed in this catalog showing a breakdown of the gear system.


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