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Tiny Buffalo

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Thanks arkie! 
Irondragon, I like the sound of that!

I know it doesn’t change the functionality of my little pancake forge but I didn’t like it looking like Picasso built it lol. 

I’m gonna use this forge as is for now, but later I’m gonna swap the sucker rod legs out for some shorter pipe pipe legs, because this forge is a few inches to tall with the plugs welded on the rod, 

im gonna use these sucker rod legs on the next pancake forge but I’m gonna cut them down an I’m gonna weld them permanently on the next one instead of making them removable like this one, the next pancake forge I’m gonna  build  to use a stand alone blower,

but after I found the tiny Buffalo I just had to build it a new home right away!  lol. 



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Thank you punt, if your ever out my way hit me up, I be happy to have you test it out and let me know what you think, 

I forgot to say thank you to everyone! 
who chipped In advice from the start of this little forge project! That really helped out using a little bit of everyone’s ideas along the way. 
I’ll be incorporating yalls advice and ideas on the next few pancake forge builds! 

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On 7/22/2021 at 4:35 PM, TWISTEDWILLOW said:

DHarris, are you gonna bring your setup and be doing any forging at that conference? 

Not likely. This will be the first conference I’ve attended. Life always seems to happen on that weekend and I have to miss it. Last year it was COVID. The year before that it was golf with a friend in Dallas. But assuming nothing happens this year, I plan to be there. Hopefully Brent will be doing a class after. If so, I plan to take the class. 

On the subject of “fire starters”, I fold a small bit of cardboard into a tube. I twist one piece of newspaper and wrap it around the base of the tube.  I place coke around the outside of the tube to hold it in place and upright.  I then insert a strip of artificial “fat wood” at the inside corners of the tube. I then take another piece of newspaper and tear it into about four pieces. I crumple them into balls. I stuff the balls into the folded cardboard tube with layers of coke between each ball.

This is way more complicated than it really needs to be. But it is a fairly reliable way to get a fire started. If I have no coke from a previous fire (or it got soaked from a rain), I squirt a little mineral spirits down the tube.


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If you have pine trees in your area, you can probably find “real” fat wood. I just make my own. I split scrap lumber into thin strips about 1/4” to 3/8” thick. I then soak them in very hot, melted wax outside in a crock pot for a couple of hours. The wax I get from garage sales. There are always a lot of old, ugly looking candles for sale at them. You can get them for almost nothing. Although with COVID kind of shutting them down, last time I bought a block of paraffin wax at Hobby Lobby. 

If you want something which burns very hot and fast, find old celluloid guitar picks at flea markets and such. Shavings of them burn very hot. I’ve considered adding the shavings to the fat wood as the wax dries, but have yet to do so. Old guitar picks and wax soaked twine can be used as components of a lightweight emergency fire starting kit for use during the future zombie apocalypse. 

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I don’t have any pine on my property but there’s plenty to be had around, 

Im Not really worried about any apocalypses,

but I do gotta ask how on earth you figured out that old guitar pick shavings burn really hot? that really sounds like there’s an interesting story there? 

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I play electric guitar to backing tracks through pedals and an amp simulator. Headphones only. The sound would drive the neighbors crazy. I am terribad at it. If Clapton is God, that makes me a spider. 

I’ve always known picks are celluloid, old ones anyway. And I’ve always known celluloid is highly combustible. Like old timey film. It is celluloid and will burn down a theater quickly if you are not careful.

My baby brother and I used to play Army. I was always the Germans. David always wanted to play the Americans, specifically Patton.  Being the oldest, it was always my pick and I picked Germany.  Was fun. We used celluloid shavings and wax coated string to sabotage gun batteries and trains. To light them, we just used one of Mom’s lighters. 

For fat wood, look in the crooks and stumps of dead pine trees. 

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I have used a variety of things to get the forge going. Usually just get some kindling going and bank the coal around it.  I have used old cooking oil and bacon grease from the kitchen with newspaper or cardboard as well. 

In the Scouts we made fire starters with tightly rolled newspaper and wax. Roll the newspaper up until it is around 1" in diameter. Tie off with string about every 2", then cut between the strings. Then dip them in melted wax until completely soaked, and let solidify. They will burn for around 20 minutes once lit.

Another is take a cardboard type egg carton and fill the pockets with sawdust. Pour wax into the sawdust until thoroughly mixed. Once solid, cut the pockets apart to separate.

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When I was a scout we called the rolled newspaper and wax, "Girl Scout fire starters," Seriously, we were BOY scouts. A boy scout can start a fire with ONE match, two sticks or our knife and a rock! Everybody  knows THAT!

I carve a few shavings of paraffin as an accelerant to start fires. I used to carry a few birthday candles in my "survival kit" as a Scout and as a field guy. Just a little wax makes a long lasting hot flame. 

Remember carving a "fuzz" stick as tinder in Scouts? We crushed small sticks between a couple rocks to the same effect. Crushed sticks take a spark from a steel striker or bow drill nicely. Not as nicely as char cloth but close. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So…. here I was forging another roasting fork on a bright sunny day, minding my own business and cranking away happily on the tiny Buffalo blower, when all the sudden I hear an unholy chatter of metal on metal and the blower locked up! 
so I try backwards and forwards to no avail! Then I look at the impeller and I see it’s set screw is loose, so I says to myself that’s an easy enough fix and I grab a wrench and I reset the impeller on the shaft to where it turns both ways agin without hitting anything and I tighten down the screw… it chatters agin…. So I grabbed the shaft and realized that it had play back an forth, 

i thought we’ll just pop the cover off an have a look, maybe something came unhooked? I got the cover off and started inspecting everything to see what caused the shaft to get play all the sudden, 

well as I was looking around I noticed a little chunk of something covered in grease and stuck to one of the gear teeth, I wipe it off to discover its part of a washer/spacer, and as I rubbed it between my fingers it crumbled, so I looked at all the other gears and shafts and noticed they all had these fiber looking washers on them, so I guess that this one finally just gave up the ghost after 70-80 years. 

I contemplated taking everything apart so I could just put in another washer but then the thought hit me, that if I take this dude apart I’m prolly gonna end up breaking all the fiber washers! Not to mention trying to get all the gears back together just right so I nixed that idea an went digging around the shop for inspiration, and that’s when I found my miscellaneous drawer of odd and end pins and keepers, so I grab that an start digging through it until I found a couple sizes of e clips that looked close to the shaft size, and a pair of needle nose pliers, 

I snapped it on the shaft and bam! That fixed the play in the shaft and now the blower turns free in both directions with no noise! 

anyways I thought I’d share because I’ve seen others asking for help before when their blowers go haywire, it may not fix every blower problem but if anyone runs into a similar problem where a spacer has gave way an allowed some slop in a shaft then this is a cheap easy fix and you may be able to do it without dismantling the blower risking making a bad problem worse, 939DA33C-A69E-4C1E-94E6-32E0AC8D90E3.thumb.jpeg.f8f8da2d2a58b02d3b2fbe4ce4290172.jpegBD6E8FC4-4C95-4E6B-8D49-7D59ED55D332.thumb.jpeg.34355fd1cca0b285d73cb96dcc3e7077.jpeg6948E678-6A05-48B5-B05E-03E79539523C.thumb.jpeg.664a0e30754dbd99ec9017e5bb6e1126.jpeg09EBAE6B-46DD-4A7B-B37D-635FFD63A27E.thumb.jpeg.8c5afe66e8edf0192dc0a458a93f0a67.jpeg772C086C-DF12-4B8F-B3A9-C68E95BF383D.thumb.jpeg.2dda05e42be83426e9b30f19d1315647.jpegE29FB22B-5BF7-4564-8D9D-3CD44820C2F8.thumb.jpeg.f3df7055151190750f29120f01f7cd29.jpeg

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Thank you Irondragon, and thank you to Frosty! 

I thought of that too, the clip snapped tight enough on the shaft so it’s not gonna fall off but just loose enough that it can spin on the shaft and there is clearance on Both sides of it between it an the gear teeth on one side and it an the brass bushing on the other side, I cranked it for a couple minutes watching to see if it was gonna ride up on one or the other an cause wear but it spins nicely and never froze up a didn’t rub on anything,

so I figure if the blower stays well lubricated an everything stays clean then it would probably continue to work for a very long time with no issues, but I’ll probably pop the cover off a couple times a year an double check that it’s not wearing on anything just in case. 

An after thought that I had was this tiny Buffalo was designed for a bbq grill and was never intended for hours of use like I’m using it for, but I noticed yesterday that it has the same exact gear box as one of my stand alone Buffalo forge blowers so Later I think I’ll pull the cover off that one an see if it has the fiber washer also or if they put something different in it since it was designed for forge work? 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I will be bringing my setup to the conference after all. I signed up for the Brent Bailey workshop.  Participants are required to supply their own tools and forge. 

I had mounted my vise to a post which I cemented into the ground. Fortunately I bought a spare vise a few months ago. I will just need to work out a portable mount for it. My anvil is movable with a dolly. I used a huge stump for the base, but not so long It is embedded into the ground. I will need to take the stump to a level spot in the driveway and make the top of the stump level. Currently it is only level where it sits. 

I need to take my forge to my dad’s and modify it a bit. It needs tong racks and a slide out something to rest longer pieces of stock on while heating it. As it is now I must either hold it or find a stick to rest the stock on. Neither is ideal. I also want to make a removable back and sides so I can pile up coal around the pot without worrying about knocking it off onto the ground. 

Are you going to the conference?  If so, how will I recognize you?  I look exactly like my photos. My wife and I will have our trailer parked somewhere there. 

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