I just returned home with a forge that my mother-in-law has been using for a
Besides the two HEAVY coats of white latex paint, it looks all there, and in
good shape. I live in Las Vegas, so doubt there is much rust or corrosion.
The top cast iron "bowl" (my word) is intact, as are all the parts. It is
missing the drive belt, which I am assuming might be leather.
I am looking forward to blowing off the paint, cleaning it, and getting it
going and heating up some metal. I know this is probably going to be yet
another addiction just like my others, but what the heck...........
Is there anyone famliar with forges out there that I can send an e mail
picture to so as to identify this critter?
Or send me the rec.crafts.dropbox url.
She was using a FORGE as a bird feeder? I've got to see a picture
If you want to get rid of the Latex paint, just build a large fire and
cook that sucker until it's red hot. The latex will blister and simply
peel off. After it cools, a wire brush should finish the job.
A forge needs a blower. Do you have the original, or are you planning
to build one. Some of the hi-tech fans now available might work very
I don't know if I can identify the forge as to mfr and mfg date, but I
have a couple of 'em myself and you can send my a picture if you want.
Yes, it originally had a leather drive belt for the blower, but there
are a few different styles. On a couple of types there is a simple
endless belt that drives the blower wheel and the cranking mechanism is
all gears or gear sectors. One at least one model, there is an
additional leather belt that sort winds up the wheel that actually
drives the blower belt.
If the forge isn't already cracked, I would not "heat it red hot" to
get the paint off. In actual use, the forge "pan" would never get that
hot and the firepot itself would seldom get that hot either. I have
seen any number of these forges where the firepot has been cracked all
the way across (usually from pouring water on it when hot).
Under neath the "bowl", there is a large diameter wheel. On its shaft,
there is a gear, perhaps two inches in diameter. There is another gear that
is one fourth of a circle with a ball on one end. Upon fiddling with it, it
works like this:
The shaft on the large wheel has a lockout assembly that is in neutral when
turned in one direction, but engages in the other. The quarter circle gear
is lifted. It falls under the weight of the ball, and engages the gear on
the shaft. This large wheel turns a smaller wheel by way of a belt. That
smaller gear has a shaft that has a vaned wheel inside a housing. The
spinning vanes blow air up into the bowl. There is a Y in that flow line
that has a cap where the amount of air going up to the "bowl" can be
regulated. It looks like one would mount a lever from a rafter or such, and
a chain or rope down to the ball to lift the drive gear. I guess it could
be fixed to a foot driven Rube Goldberg device to lift the ball and drive
Will send you a pic.
Just a minor point to bring up if you plan on getting the blower
running. Some of the blower bearings are tapered on the ends and set in
Babbitt metal. A friend of mine bought one and thought the ends had
rusted to a taper. When I looked at it I realized that the bearings can
be 'adjusted' with a stone age tap on the end of the Babbitt. High
engineering for a low tech world.
Steve, wow! Sounds like you have a real, antique, hand operated forge.
My wife's grandfather was a blacksmith and had one similar to that you
describe. The lockout gear is there because these things were generally
operated by the intermittent pulling on a cord and releasing it, which
powered the blower. Sometimes a foot pedal was used. The one I saw had
a pull-cord which drove a pivoting beam attached to the raftters of the
shop, which evidently in some way was attached to the blower mechanism.
Given that yours has the blower mechanism attached, I have to retract
my statement about heating it red hot to remove the latex paint. Were
it me, I'd simply use a propane torch to blister the paint and then
scrape it off. A wire brush will finish the job. Most importantly, you
don't want to melt the bearings in the blower mechanism.
Sounds like you have a real treasure in your hands, so please take good
care of it.
Thanks. When looking at it yesterday, I noticed that the shafts were weird
looking at the ends where they go into the pillow blocks. I will definitely
pay attention when dismantling and cleaning.
Can I send you a picture?