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anvilfire! News
Reporting Blacksmithing News When it Happens
Volume 3 - Camp Fenby Edition - Page 5
Vol. 1 (May June JYH)   Vol. 2 (ABANA)
An update on the portable coal forge at Fenby

My portable forge works better with natural charcoal than anthracite. The natural charcoal has very little ash and is so irregular that the fire maintains its draft. The anthracite slag and fines choke off the fire after several hours of forging. This requires the fire be dumped and rebuilt with fresh fuel. Self lighting charcoal briquettes will get anthracite started, but the high level of impurities in the manufactured charcoal will also slag up the air passages, so you can't use the briquets continuously. Finally, a positive, continuous air flow is necessary for the coal. Charcoal will maintain its fire without pumping, but coal will just go out. The air choke problem may be reduced with positive displacement type of air supplies, IE bellows, centrifugal blowers move a good volume of air, but with little pressure and once the resistance to flow exceeds the blower, the fire goes out. Based on my recent experience, a shovel shaped forge with a side draft may be more practical for continuous use, though for a suburban blacksmith/woodwork tool maker this forge has allowed me to make some repro woodworking tools.
NOTE: David is being modest here. The important thing about this forge is its compactness and the fact that ALL the smoke is going to go up the stack. This makes it a great forge for someone doing small work in limited space OR in living quarters such as a basement shop. - JDD
Ever see a Russian Anvil?
Bruce Blackistone bought this Russian anvil in a New Jersey farriers supply. Seems to be be a good anvil. The pattern is slightly different.
Tongs in progress by Steve Spies (page 3). Steve was taking advantage of the "open forge" to practice forging and make some tools to boot!

Russian Anvil (MADE IN THE U.S.S.R.)
The anvil weighs 100 kilograms or 220.26 pounds, give or take a couple of pennyweights for machining, paint, etc. It costs me $350 (don't tell my wife) for an average of $1.589031145011 give or take a farthing or maybe a kopec. LOA is about 24" and it stands (squats) about 11" high. The face is a little soft, but I can live with that for the price. Haven't chipped an edge yet and it's held up pretty well for the last 5 or 6 years. The Russians excel at heavy industry, and their tendency to overdesign does no harm whatever on items such as anvils. --
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) --
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July 4th, 1998 - Camp Fenby Edition.
Copyright ©1998 Jock Dempsey