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Japanese toolsmith secrets.


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For years I have seen toolsmith forges, some outdoors some indoors but they all had the same general shape and a strange round thing on top with the same style wooden lid.

It can't be a vent for smoke or ash, otherwise the wooden lids would've shown signs of charring but considering some of these forges are indoors, it might still be something that deals with ash...

Point is I have no idea.

It's there for a reason!

Maybe there a tunnels of smaller pipes in the forge roof that lead the ash to the pot lid thing?

That...probably makes no sense?

 

Any ideas? Knowledge?

Wild theories?

 

 

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Edited by J.Leon_Szesny
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That particular photo may be hiding a tube for the smoke. I would not get too hung up on their secrets many of the smiths have shared much information in videos and demos. We may be looking at very skilled people and assuming there must be a secret there.....mostly skill.

 

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"Whats in the Pot?!" 

it's WATER! has to be, looking at the vapor smoke, it can only be water
but why? theyre not using it for quenching or...making tea.

could it have something to do with the heat in the forge? what would happen if the roof of the forge stayed cooled?
these forges also seem to have a draft function as the fire seems to get slightly pulled inside.
but how? where to?
one smith seems to also have another larger pot/barrel attached to the back of the forge.
BUT WHY??!

 

its been on my mind for years, I feel like this IS important knowledge,

theyre all making them like this and I need to know why! D:

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I often use water on the anvil when forging.   I would think you'd leave the cover off for this purpose.   Heat sink perhaps or the hole underneath allows expansion of the furnace without cracking. 

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One word: Tradition

Maybe it's for what @J.Arthur Loose calls "esoteric reasons"

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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I dont think it is for any reasons of consumption XD
in pic 3, you can see its a huge open tank which probably inevitably will have some forge gunk in it.

the best idea I can come up with is "cold air"

the top of the forge is open and connected to a water filled pot that cools the roof of the forge, which sends cold air into the forge from the front opening and the top, cold air presses stuff down, like ash and smoke and charcoal sprinkles.
I also observed that the thing connected to the back of the forge is a chimney pipe(im sure)

so everything would get pushed back and down the chimney by the cooled air?
tho the one smith seems to just have a large barrel instead of a visible chimney, maybe its inside the barrel or theres some kinda filtering system since he,s indoors. 

strong maybe on that theory.
I've already rebuild my forge tho to test this.(not sure I will see a strong indication of proof...)
 

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My experience with things like this is that it is usually a bit disappointing when/if you find out the real reason.  Generally the reason is much more simple than what we hypothesize.

 

My money is on tradition.  It is just darned convenient to have hot water around, so why change a good thing.

-Brian

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14 hours ago, J.Leon_Szesny said:

I dont think it is for any reasons of consumption XD
in pic 3, you can see its a huge open tank which probably inevitably will have some forge gunk in it.

 

You may be surprised by how many people would not consider that to be a problem.  :wacko:

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7 minutes ago, Jerrod Miller said:

 

You may be surprised by how many people would not consider that to be a problem.  :wacko:

I've been known to reheat a slice of pizza on my forge body...

  • Like 2

-Brian

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yeh if we're talking about sous vide, that could work pretty good.
plus I can easily operate the japanese fuigo bellow with my feet, which leaves my hands free to pour meaty soup from the bag down my gullet.

I do get hungry after 4-8hours.
that reminds me, I still need to go make a lid for the pot.

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Working with the water tank idea, have you considered whether the bellows pipe goes through that water pot? I have seen several forge bellows that run the pipe through a water suppy to cool the air. Don't ask me why I just remembered that......

Edited by Joshua States

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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I just thought of something, although it is pure conjecture on my part, maybe an open steaming pan might help with the air humidity?

I have noticably dry skin and lips after a forging session and I can imagine that it would be a real discomfort when sitting at the forge all week long.

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13 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Working with the water tank idea, have you considered whether the bellows pipe goes through that water pot? I have seen several forge bellows that run the pipe through a water suppy to cool the air. Don't ask me why I just remembered that......

I've heard that before but I dont think thats it, running pipe on top the forge back to the bellows then inside the forge doesnt seem possible for the size of the forge. for reference, most fuigo pipes are around 5-7cm(2-3") diameter.

 

59 minutes ago, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

I just thought of something, although it is pure conjecture on my part, maybe an open steaming pan might help with the air humidity?

I have noticably dry skin and lips after a forging session and I can imagine that it would be a real discomfort when sitting at the forge all week long.

thats sounds like something! also when using charcoal perhaps humid air might help to suppress ash particles from floating all around.
Pure conjecture on my part here but maybe humid air will make the fine ashes get soaked with water, thus causing them to sink to the ground instead of float and get in your face?

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