Sunday, May 1, 2016
First-time Firing of the Forge
My Christmas present was an anvil and a forge. It may have taken four months to get these items set up in their own dedicated space, but there was no shortage of enthusiasm to get the forge fired up. First I needed some charcoal. I sourced this from a forest coupe that had recently been burnt. This seems to work well and saves a lot of hassle than trying to create charcoal myself.
The anvil is sitting on a wattle stump with a piece of recycled workbench top nailed level. As the anvil weighs many kgs it was a slow job to lift it up there using stacks of concrete bags as steps.
The forge is a 44 gallon drum with a bowl in the centre. Air is blown up through holes in the base of the bowl by an electric blower powered by a battery charger. The blower is situated to the left so that the coals fall straight down and not into the blower. The circle cut to fit the bowl is ready as a lid to restrict air to the charcoal when you finish. All homemade by Michelle's son and passed on to me.
A small fire is lit in the centre of the bowl and charcoal heaped on slowly. Once well alight the blower was turned on and the heat started to roar.
I started with a simple rod offcut and heated it in the bowl.
Lot of hammering the end to a point and then I started to put a bend in it.
A nice curve to make a hook. The coals certainly seemed to be hot enough to make the steel glow.
Once I was happy with the hook at the end I cooled off the rod and could work on the other end.
A very satisfying start to my blacksmithing. Lots of possibilities and lots of questions to be answered.