Late 1600's Portable Forge

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TwoThirtyAM
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Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby TwoThirtyAM » Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:07 pm

Hi,
Entirely new to the site, so I do apologize for any errors in post etc.
I was hoping maybe someone would be able to help as I have had no luck for the last week finding proper information.
I'm trying to find pictures and/or designs for late 1600s portable forges. I need to build one for an encampment friends of mine are doing. They asked that I would stand in as a Blacksmith and I was interested in bringing along a forge. I don't need anything fancy although I'm sure there isn't too much of that in the portable genre. I just need something period and that gets the fires burning.

ANY help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

~Rosalia



Graham Cooley
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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Graham Cooley » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:20 pm

You are talking about a time when people used horses like we do cars today. Everything was made locally where possible and the smith was an established feature of every town. Every extate of any size would have a forge even if they did not have a smith.

I suspect you are going to have a hard time finding any evidence of a portable forge. Why have a portable one when you could just go to the nearest town/village/estate and use theirs?



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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Dathi » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:00 am

Au contraire.

Armies, of which there are a few few wandering around Europe, tend to have lots of things that need blacksmiths to repair and shoe. Which means either sticking very close to a suitable base or taking the blacksmith(s) with you.



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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby chrisanson » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:32 pm

you just need a small steel box and bellows and some form of anvil. if needed you can disguise
the box with a outer wooden box. i just use a steel box with short legs ( about 6") and bag bellows.



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Lord High Everything Esle
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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Lord High Everything Esle » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:01 pm

chrisanson wrote:you just need a small steel box and bellows and some form of anvil. if needed you can disguise
the box with a outer wooden box. i just use a steel box with short legs ( about 6") and bag bellows.


As to portability, presumably there were tinkers travelling round the country repairing pots and pans etc in addition to anything an army might have had.

Dave the iron dwarf make forges. They are welded but can be easily disguised.

He occasionally comes across anvils as well.

He chats on the friends forum here so he might be along soon.


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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby The Iron Dwarf » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:15 pm

thank you L H E E
can make my forges other sizes and shapes and you can disguise them if you want, did a round one a few weeks ago that was about 18" diameter and had 3 removable legs.
have just come across another anvil but this will be a long term restoration project I think.
I can make a look alike anvil if you find a suitable pic ( most modern anvils are not the right style for what you want


forges, fireboxes tools and more.
http://uk.ebid.net/buddy/52487
new stuff inc chainshot + grenadoes.
visit my place and have a go

TwoThirtyAM
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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby TwoThirtyAM » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:05 am

This is all good stuff.

I was actually looking to make the piece myself. I actually do metalworking and simple blacksmithing. My issue is I've been more into sci-fi than history. And I'm just slightly concerned anything I make might not have that 1600s style to it. The reenactment group I'm a part of said if I can make it with my hands it's period, which, kinda troubles me, I wasn't planning on using just my hands, I was going to MIG weld it and do some hot bending. I just don't want it to look to modern.



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Bevis Gittens
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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Bevis Gittens » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:39 am

Oh now I saw a picture in a book the other day of a portable forge from the early 1600s. It was a wood cut of some explorer types in the New World.... problem is I flit between books so much I can't remember where is was. I will have a look and see if I can find it.

B


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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Bevis Gittens » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:42 pm

Found it. It is a view of Port Desire in Patagonia by De Bry dated 1603 (in 'The Sea Dogs' by Neville williams page 208) Of course De Bry may never have seen a portable forge I doubt he ever went to Southern Argentina!

whole picture (spot the penguin competion):

Image

Detail of forge:

Image

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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Chris T » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:45 pm

Nice one Bevis.

Rather than welding, I would use solid rivets....it is usually quicker to use period techniques (even if badly - they had shoddy work in the past:-)) than to use modern techniques and then spend time and effort trying to hide or disguise them.



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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Chris T » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:48 pm

er...looking at the picture again what you have there is a portable bellows: I would assume the actual hearth is a pile of turf.

Sorry to be a pain!



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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Grymm » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:18 am

A mate used to use a wooden hearth daubed and sealed with local clay which worked fantastically well. The bellows were the biggest bulkiest thing that he needed to transport he could rig a hearth from wood and/or earth but making decent bellows is tricky onsite. Griff, Gandi or Steve Morris may have pics of it working at COAM......... bugger thats 20yrs ago now!


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Bevis Gittens
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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Bevis Gittens » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:49 pm

Chris T wrote:er...looking at the picture again what you have there is a portable bellows: I would assume the actual hearth is a pile of turf.

Sorry to be a pain!


I agree the forge looks quite substantial. In fact looking at the picture they have built two house like structures so building a forge would not be that tricky. Whether the bellows were brought from England to use in such a situation or fabricated on site is not something I know either? Having read a few accounts of early settlers/explorers they were a pretty resourceful lot who would knock things up if the need arose. For example, The Popham colony in Maine in a year 1607:

"... built a storehouse, other buildings including a house for Raleigh Gilbert. They explored, got food from the Natives, fished, searched for gold. They also built a 30 ton boat called a pinnace. This was the Virginia built under their shipwright Mr. Digby." from http://shallopproject.org/Shallop_Project/History.html

Not bad going so perhaps the forge in the picture is a more accurately termed a 'temporary forge'?

I'll stop rambling now

Bevis


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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Bevis Gittens » Tue May 08, 2012 7:31 am

Another image of a portable forge this time from 1601 - Showing Dutch on Maurtius doing various things. Looks like this forge is on legs and in a (metal?) box, incidentally is also the first depiction of a Dodo published.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Het_Tweede_Boeck.jpg

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ZoeRPM
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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby ZoeRPM » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:17 pm

The Worshipful Company of Farriers will be able to supply historical information on any aspect of farriery: http://www.wcf.org.uk.



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Re: Late 1600's Portable Forge

Postby Mark Griffin » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:58 pm

Good pics of mobile forges in some Marlburian tapestries. If I had my books here i'd scan them. But all armies had mobile forges, pretty indispensable.


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