Forge and Anvil Descriptions
Forge: We have been doing blacksmith work for more than 35 years now, give or take a year or two. Since retiring, we gave all our tools to our younger family members so they can carry on the family tradition. Their grandfathers were blacksmiths. They are now making sculpture for their family and friends using the same techniques and themes we developed, plus a few of their own.
We have bought many old coal forges over the years. We finally wore them out and then built many versions of our own from scratch. The coal forge shown in the slide show was made about 10 years ago. It is the last one made, and should last several lifetimes or more. The basic forge dimensions are: Bottom Hearth - 33"x 24." Height from top to bottom of ground - 30.“ Side lips – 3," including the electric blower and hand crank blower. Total length from front handles to back of forge – 56." The Hearth Bottom is 1/2'" steel plate and the side rails are 3/8" steel. The legs are ¼," x 3" x 2" box steel tube. We utilized a variable-speed electric blower with a rheostat and manifold. Also a Buffalo 400 hand crank blower, with air gate to the firepot. This is a nice option! The Firepot is 1” inch cast iron - 14" x 12," with clinker breaker and dumping ash gate. The forge is very heavy but moves very easily on the solid Goodyear tires and alloy rims. The challenge here was to balance the air blowers so that this was possible. It took awhile, but it now moves with ease when necessary. No Idea how much it weighs. We sized the Hearth to accept the standard ½” Hoods found on-line. These are 30” deep and 24" wide. The draft on this forge is outstanding. Also added a tong rack to the front of the forge, which is attached to the movable handles. The only things not welded on, are the blowers, firepot and hood. We bolted these for easy removal if needed. We used the Champion 400 hand crank blower for the lighter work, but itcan also be used for the heavy stuff. It really cranks out the air when necessary. We rebuilt a lot of these over the years. Most would leak big time (they would lose and drip oil from the main shaft bearing house). We once found a 400 that used a shielded front bearing. Not sure if this was the original Champion part, but it also worked great. Marvel Mystery Oil can now be used instead of the heavy, 30+ weight. If you are fortunate enough to come across one of these, buy it! In our opinion, the Champion 400 hand crank blowers were the best you could use a 100 years ago, and still are today. They are bullet proof, even in a rough blacksmith environment. There is a lot of nostalgia in using one of these Made in America bad boys.
Anvil: The Anvils seen in the slide shows are two of the best we have ever owned; and we have had our share. The Large one is a 500 lb. Hay Budden, sitting on a 1000 lb steel stand. The smaller one is a 300 lb. Trenton sitting on a 450 lb. solid cast iron stand. Both these Anvils have outstanding musical hammer rings and can be heard ringing from a great distance. The solid steel cone is 5 feet tall and weighs 1200 lbs. The swage blocks are approximately 300 and 200 lbs. respectively. The various leg vises are 150 lbs. and have 7 inch jaws. We have collected a lot of blacksmith tools over the years, but have now downsized due to retirement. We now have only 2 or 3 of all the basic tools, with the exception of the one-of-a-kind types. All the tools shown in the slideshow now belong to our younger generation and are used in making their artwork. It’s a family tradition.