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A TEMPORARY FORGE

What prospector has not at times been troubled for the want of a forge? To steel or harden a pick or sharpen a drill is comparatively easy, but there is often a difficulty in getting a forge. Big single action bellows are sometimes bought at great expense, and some ingenious fellows have made an imitation of the blacksmith's bellows by means of sheepskins and rough boards.

With inadequate material and appliances to hand, the following will be found easier to construct and more lasting when constructed. Only a single piece of iron is required, and, at a pinch, one could even dispense with that by using a slab of talcose material, roughly shaping a hearth therein and making a hole for the blast. First, construct a framing about the height of an ordinary smith's forge. This can made with saplings and bark, or better still, if available, out of an empty packing case about three feet square. Fill the frame or case with slightly damped earth and ram it tight, leaving the usual hollow hearth. Then form a chamber below the perforated hearth opening to the rear. Now construct a centrifugal fan, such as is used for the ventilation of shallow shafts and workings. Set this up behind the hearth and revolve by means of a wooden multiplying wheel. A piece of ordinary washing line rope, or sash line rope, well resined if resin can be got--but pitch, tar, or wax will do by adding a little fine dust to prevent sticking--is used as a belt. With very rough materials a handy man can thus make a forge that will answer ordinary requirements.--N.B. Do not use clay for your hearth bed unless you can get a highly aluminous clay, and can give it full time to dry before the forge fire is lit. Ordinary surface soil, not too sandy, acts well, if damped and rammed thoroughly. Of course, if you can get an iron nozzle for your blower the whole operation is simplified.


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