Author Topic: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!  (Read 7683 times)

Offline heelerau

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #50 on: April 20, 2018, 12:31:28 AM »
 It sure is tiring when you put in your best effort and something unforeseen upsets the apple cart.  Still after you have finished these bellows, they will last another 200 years! I do admire your determination.

Cheers

Gordon
Keep yor  hoss well shod an' yor powdah dry !

Offline David R.

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #51 on: May 04, 2018, 04:33:57 AM »
Well I think I’m finally done with the bellows. All new leather and they seem to be working fine. I think she is getting used to me. I can blow it up and stop and get a good 15 - 20 seconds of residual blast.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline Jack Romanchock

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #52 on: July 19, 2018, 05:49:33 PM »
at fort Vancouver we had an overhead bellows similar to yours, beautiful work by the way. The bellows exploded when coal fumes were pulled back into the bellows. We had to put in a gravity check vale in to prevent this from happening again. thanks for sharing

Offline David R.

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2018, 02:26:52 PM »
I made a check valve in air pipe but not sure I am satisfied with it. It seems to have reduced my capacity some.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline David R.

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2018, 04:34:37 AM »
Still tweaking my bellows. They were working pretty good but I knew I had a problem with the valve in the center board leaking through some so I pulled just enough nails to get the leather loose on top corner and get access. We had made a valve face out of heavy aluminum sheet but it had warped and  was allowing air to leak through. The middle board has a slight dip where gravity has taken it’s toll over 150 years or so.
Here is my solution; I welded up a frame out of 1/2” square stock and trued the face up on a belt sander. I welded 2 ears on to screw it down with and caulked it and srewed it down. I made a new valve board and covered it with leather with a piece of heavy elk hide for hinge. ( I tested it on the bench with fielder’s gauge to make sure it would sealbefore installing.)
Works much better now, but will still draw back just a little if I let the bottom paddle fall with no pressure on top one. I am convinced there is a small amount of leakage between chambers in the middle board or snout. I will keep my check valve for insurance.












Also modified my handle for more user comfort.
[url=https://ibb.co/fvrzNU]





Next I decided to do efficiency test. I mixed up some soapy water in my garden sprayer and doused everything. I still have a little work to do to eliminate some air leaks.
To those who will say why not use just use a blower, I suppose my answer is for the same reason I hunt with a flintlock instead of a semi-auto.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline g.pennell

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #55 on: September 24, 2018, 04:54:50 PM »
Nice!  Good detective work, and well thought out solutions. Ain’t troubleshooting fun?  Before long you’ll have those pesky leaks sealed up, and that old bellows huffing and puffing in earnest!

Greg
“Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks” Thomas Jefferson

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #56 on: September 24, 2018, 08:28:20 PM »
Been following and watching your work on those bellows, and really admire how you tried to keep faithful to the 18th/19th century techniques and practices.

I believe you have really worked your heart out to get the bellows working properly, and are still at it.

I agree with you about the flintlock vs semi-auto.  My friends sometimes tease me about doing things the hard way.  I tell them if they concentrate on their shooting technique instead of the latest/greatest hardware, they will only need the one shot.

It's been working for centuries, and I see no need for change, much as you with your traditional methods.  The biggest point is  it's more fun!
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.

Offline David R.

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #57 on: September 25, 2018, 03:18:58 AM »
I agree Craig, much more fun. Some of my relatives and their hunting partners show up with $$$ loads $$$ of gear to hunt. Dozens of stands, feeders, cameras and trail monitors scent blockers, scent drippers you name it. I wait till they go back out of town and slip down with my flinter and still hunt a day or two and most always put some venison by. More power to them but I like my way better.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #58 on: September 26, 2018, 06:30:06 PM »
David, thank you so much for this article. A local museum I am connected with is getting ready to restore a bellows. This article will help a lot. I have built several small fireplace bellows in the past, and wondered if the seamed leather might not leak. I had the same problem with my first small one.

  Hungry Horse

Offline David R.

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #59 on: September 27, 2018, 03:39:00 AM »
Working on a better connection for air pipe to tuyre. It has a four bolt flange and in my haste to get running I just stuck the pipe in but it leaked badly. Today I forged a flange out of 1” x 1” angle iron so I could bolt the connection.

Beginning to shape.


the


Coming around


Almost there







Forging complete, shown with pattern in one shot.
I have made prettier forge welds but looks like it will hold. Once it is installed under forge no one will see it but the spiders.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline heelerau

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2018, 08:11:22 PM »
I reckon that to be a pretty neat job ! crosspein to work the flange.  I have just yesterday concreted the floor of my forges front stoop, now just have to wait for concrete to go off before I can go back into the forge. It has been a long journey.  I imagine that the flap valve should be working a treat now. Sure has been a fair bit of messing about to get this air system going. Hopefully this should be it !!

Cheers

Gordon
Keep yor  hoss well shod an' yor powdah dry !

Offline David R.

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #61 on: October 13, 2018, 03:29:50 AM »
That looks good. Nice looking repurposed posts. How is your shop laid out?
I haven’t gotten a chance to try out forge since putting everything back together. Just finished working  a blacksmith demo at a big local festival last week with a good friend and catching up on my job this week. We are on our way this weekend to the mountains to take my grandson on his first steam train ride. Geared steam logging engines, good stuff.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline heelerau

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #62 on: October 13, 2018, 09:42:45 AM »
I can pretty well swivel from the forge to the anvil and the quench barrel. The post vice is a couple of steps away, you have to step past the anvil to it. It is a small shop,  coke bunker is agin the wall to the right of the door if you are looking at it from the outside.  There is a smaller coke bin next to the bellows. Here are a couple of photos. The floor under both the forge and anvil is cracker dust, the rest of he floor is reclaimed jarrah hardwood baulks about 6 inches thick.  This type of shop is pretty typical of what you might find on a small farm, good enough to fix chains, sharpen crowbars picks, weld , make shoes and shoe horses and other reasonably small jobs.



Keep yor  hoss well shod an' yor powdah dry !

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #63 on: October 13, 2018, 04:57:01 PM »
David, I was wondering if you used a metal stretcher/shrinker to round out the angle iron.  I have one from doing airplane work, and am no longer needing it.  Nice tool, in very good condition.  Let me know if you are interested.  I only used it on aluminum, so I'm unsure how great it would be for steel.
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.

Offline David R.

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #64 on: October 14, 2018, 11:45:30 PM »
Craig I am not sure I know what you are referring to. I only used a hammer on the flange with cross pein to spread flange.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #65 on: November 06, 2018, 04:37:28 AM »
Don't know why I missed your last post.
A metal stretcher or shrinker uses flat plates with teeth on them to kind of "stretch" the metal, thus making the circumference longer, and creating a flanged circle.  I think you could check the online catalog for Aircraft Spruce & Specialty.

I was at an auction this past Saturday at an Amish farm.  One of the items was a LARGE metal stretcher.  The owner said he used it to work on steel up to 1/4" thick, and the horizontal part of the flange about 2. to 3" wide.  Would make some pretty large flanged pieces fairly quickly, no forge needed.

Mine is much smaller, and I mostly used it to make aluminum flanges from .062 stock.  The jaws on mine are also dual purpose, being able to shrink as well as stretch.  The guy's large one weighed about 150 lb., mine weighs about 1/100 of that!

Either way, bet you got that bellows all sorted, and blowing good air.  Envious, but to old to be forging stuff!
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.

Offline heelerau

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #66 on: December 06, 2018, 12:22:23 AM »
David, after quite a few years of looking, found the remains of a Buffalo mod 611 post drill with an automatic feed still intact, and a few other bits with it as well. It did cost a bit of money but it completed the drill, I also swapped the threaded steel bush the hand wheel  is fitted to, as the original ones' shoulder was just about gone, also the pivot bolt for the main pinion gear. The auto feed works a treat. I do have an electric post drill in the main workshop, so I don't have to be serious with this one, but still nice to use on occasion. I also made a simple rustic herb knife out of a small file, hardened it in canola oil. I have a farrier/roping reining mate who is a second generation blacksmith, he gives me a tune up from time to time as I am largely self taught. Drill photo is before I went on and rebushed the handwheel.


2012 golf r 0 60





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Keep yor  hoss well shod an' yor powdah dry !

Offline David R.

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Re: Rebuilding bellows, Up above my head!
« Reply #67 on: December 06, 2018, 05:29:18 AM »
Gordon, that looks like a good stout drill. I really like mine and find I use it a good deal. I hot punch a lot, but some projects are better to drill. I got my post drill very cheap but it was in poor condition and siezed. It took a lot of penetrating oil, pounding and a little heat. I really need to bush or babbit the arbor bearings, they are a little loose, but it works OK for what I use it for. I have a smaller one in better shape, but the flywheel is missing.
I have really been enjoying my shop and the bellows seem to be working quit well now. I do like the sound of them, something satisfying about it.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.