My reason to do this project....pure fascination! I was also able to mix two interests of mine together,
Miniatures and Mechanics!
As a young child as well as taking me fishing at old mill dams, and looking at the ruins of old waterwheels, and encouraged my interest in all sorts of mechanical items........So I have always had a fascination of machinery and curiosity as to how it works.
When I married, my husband also encouraged me.
When I saw for the first time the massive tilt forge mechanism and the 18 foot water wheel (standing by the static water wheel actually takes my breath) at the 18th century industrial hamlet many years ago, I was totally awestruck. When the wheel and mainshaft were turning and driving the hammers, the noise was incredible and you could actually feel the noise and sheer power through the floor under your feet!!
As well as the massive scale of the machinery you can actually see how it works!...... Water from the dam feeds into the pentrough (holding tank), which supplies the water to the wheel turning it, in turn the wheel turns the spurwheel, this meshes with and turns the spur gear on the end of the mainshaft which has a flywheel to keep it running evenly and camrings with projections which are turned by the mainshaft trip the hammers to work the hot metal.
A smaller water wheel drives the piston-like bellows mechanism inside the forge to blow air into the hearth to heat the metal rods to a high enough temperature to be forged under the tilt hammers.
Sadly the forge hasn't been working for a number of years and it is hoped that a grant will be allocated to restore it back to full working order. I sincerely hope the day it is restored will come.
Statistics of my little forge.
Explaining how I made the individual items would be really hard because I made this forge for the love of machinery.
All the machinery, waterwheel, wheels, gears, flywheel, main shaft, hammers and heads, "cast iron" supports, range, hearth, bellows and mechanism, pipework, chimney, doors, shutters, door frames, corner stones, window frames, sills, lintels, the wheel wall and the little slabs on the top of them, bucket, beams, coalbox, pentrough, ladders, guillotine etc, is made from balsa! On the complete project there has to be between 800-900 pieces of balsa cut and used.
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