Radnor Forge has an interesting bellows

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TRAVELING FORGE DISCUSSION
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  Radnor Forge has an interesting bellows
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UnicornForge
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Radnor Forge has an interesting bellows
« Thread started on: Jan 7th, 2008, 10:49am »

The web site for Radnor Forge has an interesting set of plans and instructions for bellows that he has built. Basically a small version of the "grand bellows" classification. One bellows that he made was completely of 3/4" plywood, and a second version he built used plywood for most of the project but oak for the top board and pine for the bottom board. He covered his bellows with canvas, and used stop blocks to limit the movement of the valves rather than leather straps.

My guess is that he built the second bellows using pine and oak to reduce or eliminate the problem of flexing of the plywood top and bottom boards. I built a 4 ft bellows years ago and the plywood tended to bend rather than push air.

Can anyone think of a way to reinforce the plywood so that it does not bend so much? His web page is located:
http://www.emainc.com/radnor/bellows.htm

I found a way to directly point to two of the images on his web page, by just placing IMG code before and after the URL address, as demonstrated here:



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« Last Edit: Jan 7th, 2008, 11:30am by UnicornForge » Logged

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Re: Radnor Forge has an interesting bellows
« Reply #1 on: Jan 8th, 2008, 2:13pm »

Neat trick with the image code.

Possibly if you line the outer edge with flat steel strip. If 1/2" plywood then use 1/2" x 1/16" or 1/8" strip. Drill holes every few inches for mounting screws. Suggest Hot Rolled mild steel, comes in 20 foot lenghts. Cold Rolled is more expensive and has sharper edges.
If the bag gets tacked to the edge of the wood plates then the strip could go on top of the bag. That should probably seal it nicely too.
I have no idea if this will help, just a theory.
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Steve Talaga
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UnicornForge
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Re: Radnor Forge has an interesting bellows
« Reply #2 on: Jan 8th, 2008, 5:04pm »

I greatly appreciate any and all suggestions. It would be *extremely* nice to find a way to reduce the weight of the bellows for the traveling forge. The oak 1.75" thick middle board I constructed weighed in at 60 pounds, and the other two boards did not weigh much less. 170 pounds (without the additional braces, cover, hinges, values, and stretchers), is just too much for one person to maneuver in that small space. I would like to get the weight down to no more than 100 pounds (complete with all its parts and cover).

Anyone see a way to use angle iron to reinforce the three boards? Angle iron, if I understand correctly, provides the maximum stabilization for the amount/weight of iron used.

Anyone have any magic wood/material that is as stiff and strong as oak but weighs a lot less, such as plastic or fiberglass?

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Re: Radnor Forge has an interesting bellows
« Reply #3 on: Jan 13th, 2008, 9:06pm »

There is a porous aluminum, but I doub't you would want to pay for it!
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Steve Talaga
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http://travelingforge.home.comcast.net
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