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I Forge Iron

Side blown forge


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This forge was seen at Finch Foundry's St Clems Day blacksmithing celebrations, and will be there again this year, at Sticklepath near Okehampton in Devon UK on Saturday November 22cnd, free beer and bacon butties for competing blacksmiths, all welcome, make a trivet, no time limit.




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Light the forge, (Preferably coal) flatten the top with the frying pan, put in some lard (or cooking fat/cooking oil) let it heat up, when fat is sizzling, put bacon in and let it fry, turn bacon over and let it fry, (you can have it floppy or crispy, depending on how long you cook it), put an egg into the pan whilst this is being done an let it fry, baste the top with the hot fat if you want to.

Take a bread bun and slice it horizontally through, making a top, and a bottom.

When both the bacon and egg are done to how you like them, place the bacon on the bottom half of the bread bun, egg on top of the bacon, then put ketchup or brown sauce on, and place the top half of the bread bun on to this assembly,

You are then ready to munch.

You can tell the participants by the typical yellow "badge" they display on the front of their aprons/overalls/shirts.

See, hear, and smell the blacksmiths

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Sounds like my breakfast this morning save we used green chili cheese bagles and had ham as well as bacon and egg---and fresh chopped green chili to go on it as well insead of red or brown sauce

I had a leftover one for lunch too---just set the insulin pump on turbo and don't forget the the statin pills!

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Sounds like what I've been eating since I could see over the top of the stove.

Here's a good one for the pan. Fry up some sausage or bacon in small pieces but not till done. Toss in a little chopped onion, pepper and or peppers, etc. When sweated to remove some moisture mix with dry ingredients for biscuit dough. (American style, not English biscuits! American biscuits are like a scone with no sugar) Bisquick works quite nicely if you don't make your own. Adding shredded cheese is simply excellent.

Then add the wet works and mix till moist, the less you mess with them the better they turn out. Then portion by the spoonfull, flatten lightly and fry in the bacon/sausage drippings.

OR you can bake them and make gravy from the pan drippings.

We used to wrap the dough around sticks and bake them over a camp fire.



Edited by Frosty
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Having made a good few side drafts, the tue centre height can vary quite a lot, generally, what works is a good depth between 3" to 5" with a tue bore in the range of 3/4" to1.25" diameter.

If you make a "pocket" under and to the front of the nose of the tue (about 12" square) using firebricks this gives an area for the clinker to drain into and solidify when you shut off the air blast, it can then be fished out in a large lump.

Because of the size of the hearth, (Volume) you will need a lot of fuel to fill it, to minimize this you can put a layer of old ash if you have any, or sand if not, into the base of the forge about 2" to 3" deep, but not in the pocket under the tue

One curio I was given many years ago was a side blast forge made from 16swg aluminum sheet,18" wide by 24" long by 4" deep, on an 18" side a 1/8" 6" square plate was bolted that had a 3/4" diameter pipe welded on passing through the centre(3" from base) a side valve arrangement welded to it at the rear, and a 1/50th hp squirrel cage fan bolted to this slide valve

The slide valve consisted of a flat plate with four holes in (same centres as the mounting holes in the fan) welded to the end of the tube, two spacers, a plate that would slide beteen the spacers to cut off the air flow the lot bolted together to form the assembly

I have attached a picture of a slide valve arrangement to try to clarify this item, the one shown has a tube to connect a flexible hose to from the fan and is mounted under a bottom blast forge

The tue iron was a lump of cast iron about 2" diameter 3"long, drilled 5/8" through and drilled again at one end about 1" deep to fit over the tube, a drilled and tapped hole put in at 90 degrees to the bore so that it could be secured to the tue tube.

A roof slate was then placed under the front of the tue to stop the clinker melting the aluminium through. Coal put in and fire started, the forge worked well.

Hope this helps


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Another excellent butty filling is chips. Some might call them French fries, others pomme frites. For best results, use a white bap, apply plenty of butter, and use proper chips, none of this oven chip or pencil-thin 'fries' malarky.

Or, start with a hot, oiled pan and add small bacon chunks, making sure to not cook it all the way through. Add chopped onion, mushroom, grated cheese and either tomato puree or preferably chopped ones. Keep stirring as it finishes cooking, and serve hot with oatcakes, tortillas, crackers etc. A good sausage or other cured meat is good here also. For the cheese, the more mature the better. Chopped or dried chili, crushed peppercorns and all sorts of chemical fire can be added to taste.

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Hi Doug, the ridges stop the slide vibrating or getting knocked when in use, it is just a series of holes drilled in line and then cut out down to the centreline from the edge

The piece it goes over is forged or ground to a knife edge to locate into the cutout so that once the fire is running does it does not need constant attention, and you can mark on where it works best so you get instant repeatability.

The attached is a different picture showing the small hole drilled through the slide which enables a small draft of air through which keeps the coke fire ticking over when the slide is in the closed position, the T bolts on the socketed legs secure the square legs into the round sockets to stabilise the forge on uneven ground (saves using wooden wedges)

Square goes into round better than round into square, the inner seam on a square tube fouls on the round one, and so the square tube has to be drifted to fit, or the round tube grooved to allow it to be removed and fitted easily.

Keep it Simple (Like me):)


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