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I Forge Iron

Any info on this antique forge?


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Hey everyone. I'm wondering if anyone here can help me identify this old antique forge. It's for sale a couple hours from me at what appears to be a pretty reasonable price and I'm trying to decide it it would be worthwhile trying to rebuild it or not. It's in pieces now and the seller says it's missing a small gear and the flat belt. 

The seller says the pot is 13-1/2" and the legs look to be about the same size. So it might be pretty short.


I've been doing image searches on google and haven't seen anything exactly the same, but I found a thread here that included a link to an old Canedy catalog with this image. 


That got me searching for bench top coal forges and I found this one (picture below) that is similar, but still not the same. If it is a small bench top forge, would it be more of a novelty item than a functional forging tool? Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I'm hoping to speak with the seller after Christmas for more info, but wanted to do my homework first. Thanks.


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I'm not as down on it as Daswulf but he makes a point.  IF you could easily replace a gear and IF the blower is usable shape you would still have quite a small forge.  The only use I could see for it is a portable forge for demonstrations.  If it were me and the 2 above considerations were met I would only pull the trigger if the price was very reasonable and part of my motivation would be the curiosity factor (It's little and cute!).

So, evaluate your needs, restoration ability, and budget and make your own decision.  At best, it will be functional for small projects only.

BTW, welcome aboard.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand"

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Those little bench top forges were great for workshops that only need access to a forge  every once in a while---like needing to harden lathe bits that you have ground from annealed HC stock.

Not something I would want to use for a lengthy session of smithing.  Cast iron is quite fragile too and sometimes can crack if nonuniformly heated; especially when old with who knows what stresses in it.  It would have to be awfully cheap for me to take it home---like scrap rate; and I would probably turn it into a small charcoal grill at that!

As mentioned; you are unlikely to find repair parts without buying another donor forge.

So: you can build a solid fuel forge body pretty much for zero, see the JABOD, what do you want to use a forge for?  (If you wanted to learn to drive would you be looking for a model T Ford in pieces?)

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Thanks for all the feedback. I've already built a brick pile propane forge that works pretty good for a beginner like me, but I am curious about coal and would like to learn more and experiment a bit with it. I also enjoy rebuilding old machines, so that's part of the reason I was attracted to this old forge. I don't think replacing the flat belt and making a small gear is beyond the realm of possibility, but I could be wrong. If it was closer I'd definitely grab it, but I'm not sure it's worth a four or five hour round trip in the middle of winter. I'll have to give it some more thought. 

Thanks again.

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