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22nd of January 2017

22nd of January 2017
My first ever experiment in blacksmithing =) About two months ago I constructed an experimental make-shift forge. A month ago I borrowed couple of books on metal working. But I haven't been really reading those books, and today I finally decided to try, just based on what I vaguely remember from elementary school, and what I have seen real blacksmiths doing. Oh boy, this was fun, almost magical art. I'd like to experiment a bit more before posting a blog entry about the process.
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Cool. We used to have an old blacksmith forge here on the farm, but it burned down when I was very young. Sometimes I think about trying to build a little forge out of a brake drum, but I have so many other unfinished projects haha.

Hehe, I don't know for how many years I've been thinking that it would be fun to try simple blacksmithing. And I was thinking of different ways to blow air into the coals. Bellows? Hacking an old computer fan to blow air into a metal pipe? Then it finally dawned on me that a vacuum cleaner can be reverse operated to make it a blower.

That's how I've seen it done. A small shop-vac blowing into the bottom of a brake drum. They put a thing with a hole in it below the brake drum. A flap over the hole can be pushed to the side to let some of the extra air out, to adjust the amount of air that actually gets blown into the coals. I've heard of people using old furnace blowers too.

I've seen some older ones with a hand-crank blower, too, but I don't know if they make those anymore. Well, I imagine the Amish probably still make them, but they'd be expensive for the non-Amish to buy!

I've seen blacksmiths using a pedal-operated portable forge (or furnace? How does this terminology actually go in English? Anyway, here I'm not referring to the building of a blacksmith, but the actual heater thing.)

Something like this. I think there is a pedal which makes the big wheel go round, and then there is a belt transmitting the rotation to the fan of the blower.

EDIT: changed the link to direct to a better picture - nah, seems like I can't get a direct link to the exact picture... So the above link takes to an index page, and I mean the image which is second from right on the lower row =)

Yeah! :D That's almost exactly the sort of outfit I've seen at some of the primitive meets I've been to. Except the guy has a crank on it instead of a foot pedal, and his kids take turns on the crank.

Here's some stuff kinda like the brake-drum forges I've seen:

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