Author Topic: Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)  (Read 1160 times)

Offline Mark15373

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Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)
« on: August 21, 2018, 04:16:56 PM »
Has anyone ever made anything like the old buffalo blowers? I'm using a small shop vac as my air blower for my forge right now, and it works great but would like to have something more traditional, if anyone has any advice I'd appreciate it.
Mark

Offline Robert Wolfe

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Re: Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 04:30:45 PM »
I think you'd be better off buying one. They are not that hard to find at flea markets, ebay, or word of mouth. Many blacksmiths have extras laying around that they pick up when the opportunity arises.
Robert Wolfe
Northern Indiana

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2018, 06:35:53 PM »
Not sure where you are located, but those blowers that are sold at farm sales in the Midwest, are sold in antique shops in California, and they arenít cheap. I made a blower years ago from a large hand cranked gear reduction grinding wheel. It must have a gearbox, and should not be the little one that are seen most often. These are usually cheap, even in California. I bolted it to a snail drum blower, and added a barbell weight where the original crank was for a flywheel. I also converted it to be run from a foot pedal, instead of a hand crank. Having both hands free is very hand at times.

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Offline Mark15373

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Re: Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2018, 07:45:56 PM »
 I had an idea somewhat like that but yes that's another reason I want to make one I don't have $300 to spend on a blower and wouldn't make sense to if I can make the same thing out of scrap parts laying around. Thanks for point me in the right direction

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2018, 08:31:09 PM »
I checked ebay, lots of them, the cheapest was a new chinese one for $44 shipped free. Lots of antique ones but they are a bit pricey at over $100.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2018, 06:43:58 PM »
My blower of choice is a big Lancaster crank blower. I have a small Buffalo, but it only good for small projects. The big blower will make good heat without wearing yourself out. I got the Lancaster twenty years ago. There was one identical to the one I own now in an antique store locally. They wanted $350.00 for it. A friend was moving out from Montana, and had to make several trips, so I asked him to look for one for me that was a little cheaper. He showed up at my door a week later with a nice one he bought at a farm sale for thirty bucks. The best thirty bucks I ever spent.

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Offline Canute Rex

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Re: Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2018, 05:16:59 PM »
If you want a blower and don't want to spend a lot of money (and don't want to search Craigslist and eBay for months) then go to surpluscenter.com and pick up a $50 AC blower. 160 CFM is enough to handle most forges.

Here's one:
https://www.surpluscenter.com/Electrical/Blowers-Fans/AC-Centrifugal-Blowers/160-CFM-120-VAC-FASCO-70639813-BLOWER-16-1547.axd

If you want to go really cheap and are willing to build a box around it, buy this for $15:
https://www.surpluscenter.com/Electrical/Blowers-Fans/AC-Centrifugal-Blowers/235-CFM-115-Volt-AC-FH175-Reverse-Curve-Impeller-Blower-16-1468.axd

Wire it with a standard dimmer switch and you'll have infinitely variable control.

Good luck!

Offline David R.

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Re: Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2018, 03:11:20 AM »
I used a dollar store hair dryer till I got my bellows fixed. Worked great. I rigged a pull chain switch to turn it off and on.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Hand crank forge blower (buffalo blower)
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2018, 07:55:19 PM »
I used one for years made from a 12 volt bilge blower, from a friends old fishing boat. It had the added advantage of being able to run it off a car battery in remote locations. My forge pan back then was the top of an old pressure tank from our house well. I made a lot of forged stuff on that old junk pile forge, and railroad iron anvil.

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