Saturday, 1 September 2012

Another play with the forge

After playing with the cart wheels, I had to wait for ages for the glue to cure, so I thought that I’d have a play with the forge.

I didn’t want to do anything dramatic, just get the forge up to a good heat and straighten some bent steel reinforcing rods that I have. The longer plan with the rods is to make them into forge tongs. To do that, they have to start out as straight stock.

I had loads of sawdust at hand, so I thought that I would also try out starting the forge using sawdust to see how that works. Apparently, this is a good way to start a forge fire. The particles of fuel simply disappear up the flu when they are ash and they take almost nothing to start.

Well, that’s partially true. When the sawdust burns, the charcoal particles form a crust over the fresh sawdust underneath and so only the top layer burns properly. When I turned the vacuum on to give it some air, that changed everything. The fire got started very well and was soon quite hot.


I put the reo into the fire and started heating it. After about 15 minutes the fire was hot enough and I got to about 650 degrees centigrade for a 5 minute bake. As I was only bringing the fire up to bend the steel, this was hot enough for me. Also I didn’t want to use up too much fuel.

I still have loads of reo left to straighten, so I’ll be doing some more of that.

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