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Anvils in America - THE anvil book.

Blacksmithing and metalworking questions answered.

NC Whisper Baby photo courtesy NC TOOL PRODUCT EVALUATION

Copyright © 1999 Jim "Paw Paw" Wilson,

Some parts of this evaluation are repeats from the Whisper Momma evaluation. After all, they're kin folk!

The NC Whisper Baby comes packed complete in a heavy card board box.

NC packing photo by Jim Wilson

The Forge is assembled, but none of the accessories are attached. This makes for smaller packing and cheaper shipping. The parts are easily identifiable, the instructions are clear. Safety is emphasized in the instructions as indeed it should be. This is Propane gas folks! It not only burns, it also explodes if you don't handle it correctly. The instructions, if followed, will make sure that you handle it correctly. The entire assembly could be done with two 8" adjustable wrenches. I used regular wrenches.

The Whisper Baby goes together easier than the Whisper Momma. It's smaller, lighter, has only one burner.

Total assembly time? 18 minutes from open the box to light the fire.

The manufacturer sends EVERYTHING you need, (except tools) including a full roll of teflon tape to seal the fittings.

Well OK, it goes together nicely. Could a total novice do it? Yes, if the novice can read and follow instructions.

Does it work?

Yes, it does. Not quite as fast as the Whisper Momma, but faster than I expected.

Using the same piece of stock that I used to do the first test heat with the Whisper Momma, the Baby took 2 minutes a 25 seconds to bring it to white heat. That's not at all bad for only one burner.

Photo (c) 2000, Jock Dempsey Photo (c) 2000, Jock Dempsey
The Baby has a stock door on the back, very handy when heating long stock. The Momma has an open stock "port" on either end. Works the same way, but they don't have a flap the way the stock door on the Baby does.

The guy with me in the shop when I un-packed it made the comment, "It's so little it's cute!" And he's right, it is. But it works darn well too.

I don't think it's quite as good a buy for the dollar as the Whisper Momma is, but that's ONLY because it's so much smaller. It's still a LOT of forge for the money.

- Paw Paw
NC Whisper Baby - Photo (c) 2000, Jock Dempsey Following Jim's initial report the "Baby" came home to the guru's shop and has since seen ocassional use. I have the following observations:

  • The Baby is very frugal. It uses very little fuel.
  • You can carry the forge in one hand and the tank in the other!
  • It doesn't get nearly hot enough to forge weld with as the multiple burner models do.
  • I'm using a double width brick as a front hearth, something the forge needs. I'll build a permanent setup later. The notch in the door clears a standard thickness brick nicely.
  • The only complaint is, when the rear stock door is open, hot exhaust rises and is sucked into the burner. This causes the burner to flutter and if allowed to continue for a length of time would generate significant carbon monoxide. There are two solutions to the problem. Rotate the burner 90° (the manufacturer would have to do that), or install a sheet metal guard.
This is the only NC TOOL forge that has this minor problem. It is because the burner lines up with the stock door. On the multiple burner models the doors/ports and the burners do not line up.

Would I purchase another "Baby"? YES! IT is a very handy tool and a LOT of work can be produced with it.

- guru See also:

anvilfire graphic (c) 1998 Patrick Dempsey
Copyright © 1999 by Jock Dempsey, DEMPSEY'S FORGE