Sparking the forge!

This afternoon was the inaugural sparking of my new forge!

I was so busy forging, that I forgot to take any pictures until afterwards.  Guess I’m not much of a blogger, eh?  But this was the set-up.  I’ve got a sturdy steel work table that I put the crane rail on.  The table already has a heavy vise (as I don’t have a post vise yet, it’ll have to do for now) mounted to it.  I put my tools (hammers, tongs, punches & chisels) on the shelf underneath.

I burned hardwood lump charcoal as the fuel for the forge.  It was good & hot, with little to no smoke, but the sparks (a.k.a. “fire fleas”) were intense.

To get the forge ready, I had to make a new cover for the ash dump.  I just cut a piece of 18 gauge sheet steel to fit.  The blower needed a new belt.  I was able to make one from a 60″ leather belt.  Beyond that, a light wire brushing to get off the worst of the rust and I was in business.

… yes, I said a 60″ leather belt, as in to hold up your pants.  Apparently they do make them that large.  The guy at the store where I found it (a small shop in the mall that repairs shoes, sells belts, wallets, etc) said that in all his years, he’s only sold 2 – and that I didn’t look anything like the first guy.

Despite tightening up all of the fasteners on the legs & bracing, the forge still has an annoying wobble.  Will have to take the time to look into what’s causing that.

To mark the occasion, we made a family day out of it.  My wife, kids and parents all came over to watch me do a bit of smithing.  Made my mom a bunch of drive hooks for using in her garden.  We had a small picnic dinner afterwards.


Now, I know some smiths may think this sacrilege, however …

When I was done barbequeing steel for the day, the forge had a nice hot bed of coals in it (I’d been using plain old hardwood charcoal don’t forget).  So rather than firing up the BBQ, I threw a grate over the forge pan and cooked up some “Forge Dogs” for the kids.  Don’t think I’ll make a habit of it, but my son in particular, thought that was just great.

… Forge Dogs.  If anyone actually reads this site, I’ll take a bit of ribbing over that one for sure.

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