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Forge

posted Jul 21, 2017, 11:06 AM by Freydis Egilsdottir
Having and using an actual forge is a common SCAdian dream, and one we've both had for a very long time. Hey, guess what; we've made one!

It's a single-burner propane-powered forge, with a "Mikey-burner" version of a Venturi burner (no, not our Mike, different one, although they've talked). It has a loop in the propane feed path that allows the propane to be cut back to an "idle" of 3.5 psi when the metal is being worked, rather than being heated, with the turn of a single lever valve. I say "idle" in quotes, though, because it ends up it works efficiently enough, once it's heated up, that it doesn't actually need to be kicked up off idle to use!

It has openings both front and back, so long stock can be worked as well; one can only work a small section at a time on an anvil anyways before the metal cools off too much and needs to be reheated, so this will allow us to do not only smaller projects like knives and decorative S-hooks, etc, but longer things as well, swords, tripods, whatever. So long as it can fit into the width of the mouth, the length isn't an issue.

Currently it's out at a friend's place, in his garage, having been set up and tested there last Sunday. It works really well! It's very well-insulated, so external heat is really decent, and even at an idle the thin metal we were working (a thin piece of rod Mikhail quickly bashed into an S-hook to give it a try, and a piece of bar stock he's working into a single-edged knife, possibly a small saex) heated up so quickly that, as quickly as such small pieces of metal cool off, less than thirty seconds of working time on each, I'd say, he could work on one 'til it cooled, pop it back in, grab the other, work it for a few seconds until it cooled, pop that back in, and by then, the first piece would be ready to go again. Heck, it's got enough room and heat to spare (even with the doors at either end only open a small gap to feed the metal into) that if we can get a second anvil built out there, we could absolutely have two blacksmiths working with it at the same time, one out each end of it.

Incidentally, for all those fearing Mikhail's threats to start in on it at events as soon as the sun comes up, before the heat of the day hits (which ought to be starting this Carnivale, in a few weeks, at the same property as is currently housing the forge), working heated metal is, happily, does not ring nearly as loudly as the metal hammer on the metal railroad track anvil, which manages to vibrate at just the right tone that a slightly hung-over brain melts at. It ends up. So that's something.

Here's a few quick pics of the forge, and Mikhail and our friend, Ulrich, whose house this is, giving it a go.


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