If it were autumn, I'd be talking about the wood stove. But, the weather has for the most part broken, so except for an occassional evening fire to ward off a little chill, the stove is done. We have also managed to put by most of a winters worth of wood for next year.
No, the fire I'm talking about is coal and smoky with the smell of hot iron. About a month ago I found my long awaited forge blower. A Buffalo "Silent 200". Located practically in my back yard, it was well worth the $80 it cost me. Now the possibility of incliment weather won't stop me from forging metal. Back in the scrounged hair dryer days there was always the possiblity of electrocution in the back of my mind. Even though I've had it, my plate has been too full to do anything. Whenpeople start telling you about free firewood for next year, firewood becomes the priority.
Well, today Pelenaka asked me for a second closet rod in her closet. I thought there was a pair of closet rod brackets in the hell box, but, I sure as hell couldn't find them. The shop is full of scrap pipe and dowels, but, no brackets were going to mean a trip to work on my day off. Then I tought, "hey wait woods, there's I pile of quarter inch round stock in the scrap pile". So a couple six inch pieces, flaten out and shape leaves on the ends, crank them around the anvil horn. a little twist to the leaves made them stand out slightly from the wall. which allows for some bend in the 3/4" dowel rod. well it worked. Not as pretty as I would have liked. Shortly after the first leaf was shaped the fire didn't seem to do what I wanted. Either the metal seemed not to heat, or it was getting so hot it was burning up. Being the first fire I was coking off alot of raw coal. Later when the fire was out, I found a clinker the size of a golf ball. Biggest one I've ever pulled out of the forge. To those that don't know. A clinker is a big chunk of impurities from the coal. They all melt out and settle to the bottom of your fire. When they form the wreak all kinds of havok with your fire. Doing things just like happened to me today. Even worse when you are trying to weld, which becomes impossible. Maybe my next upgrade will be a comercial firepot with a clinker breaker. Then you use the breaker to bust up your clinker and then it falls though and out of the fire.
Or maybe, I'll figure out how to build one. I'm sure it was some blacksmith that built the first clinker breaker. Maybe I'll follow his lead.