Blacksmith Shop Information
Blacksmith shops are among the world’s first factories. It was in the first blacksmith’s shops that industrial production began. Blacksmithing is really more of a re manufacturing process since ...
Blacksmith shops are among the world’s first factories. It was in the first blacksmith’s shops that industrial production began. Blacksmithing is really more of a re manufacturing process since the initial manufacturing is the production of the metal itself. But it is in the blacksmith’s shop that the raw metal is converted into objects of either functional utility or works of art or often both.
The layout of the basic blacksmith shop is usually very simple. In one corner will be the forge. The forge is the hearth which contains a fire, fed by coal or coke that is used to heat the metal until it reaches a temperature where it becomes soft enough to be hammered into shape. Near the forge will be the coal hopper where the fuel for the fire is stored. The location of the coal hopper is important since the coal has to be stored near enough the fire to allow for easy transfer of the coal from the hopper to the fire as and when more fuel is required. At the same time it should be far enough away to prevent or at least minimize the amount of soot and ash from the hearth reaching the hopper and mixing with the stored coal.
Adjacent to the forge are the bellows. The bellows are an air pump that is used to force air into the forge and increase the heat of the fire. The original bellows were operated by muscle power, whether by the blacksmith himself or by an assistant. The modern forge shop will have the bellows replaced by an electric fan or blower. Since the amount of air being forced into the fire can be precisely controlled by adjusting the fan speed, accurate temperature control is easier to achieve.
The bellows or fan / blower is connected to the forge by a pipe through which the air is forced into the forge.
Near the forge is usually the tool bench where various tongs needed for moving the hot metal and a variety of hammers used in the shaping process are kept.
To the side of the tool bench will be an anvil or series of anvils of different shapes and sizes where the hot metal after being transferred from the forge by using the tongs, is placed for shaping using the blacksmiths hammers. Adjacent to the anvils will be the quenching trough where metal, after being shaped, is immerse in either water or oil, to cool it.
After quench the metal maybe taken to a vise located near by where it can be securely held while finishing work is done on it.
The artist blacksmith may also have painting and metal coating equipment in his blacksmith shop so that he can complete the artwork before handing over to the customer of offering it for sale.
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