Saturday, 21 July 2012

Hood goes on

Today, I fitted the hood onto the top of the forge. Well, almost.

It would seem that I am at two with measurement. I didn’t take the overlap into account, so the hood has a gap of about 10 centimetres. Looks like I have some patchwork to do.


Fixing the hood on to the top of the forge body, I went around the hood with drill and screws: drill a hole, screw the hood; drill a hole, screw the hood. Slowly pulling the hood into shape around the forge body.

The scale of the gap wasn’t clear until I was about 3/4 of the way around the hood. By then, I needed the able assistance of my lovely wife and daughter to push the hood down to the body while I drilled and screwed.

I’m going to use the panel that I cut out of the front of the body to patch the hood.

I couldn’t resist firing the forge up to test the tuyere. It worked brilliantly. With the vacuum on blow and the tuyere open, the forge fired up nicely … with the tuyere closed, the thing got hellishly fierce. The flames from the forge started licking the roof of my lean-to, so the flue is going to be critical if I want to keep a lean-to and not just work in a pile of ash.

I also did some clay patching around the base of the forge body. The clay that I laid in the base had shrunk by about 2cm, so I pushed more clay into the gaps and increased the angle of the incline of the internal dish shape. I also made a bit of a clay shelf at the front of the forge for more heat reflection and protection for me.

As the forge gets used, the heat rising from it will anneal the steel hood, so I am expecting this to pop and creak a bit while I use it for a while. When that has stopped, I will replace the screws that hold it onto the body, with bolts with spring washers.

I may need to cut another aperture into the other side of the forge so that I can put longer stock into the forge and heat it in the middle. Well, that can wait for now, it won’t stop me from using the forge, nor will it really limit what I want to do … for now.

Well … I’ll get onto patching the hood tomorrow. It shouldn’t take me very long. Then I need to put the flue on and through the lean-to roof.

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