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confederatemule

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am in the market for a vintage forge blower. I have 5 to choose from and I know nothin bout blowers.

My choices are:
   Champion; no.40, no.400, and a Champion with no number but identical to the no.40 only smaller.
   Buffalo; List 1268, no.200

Assuming they are each in excellent condition, which is the best choice or most popular, and why? If parts are needed, later on, which would be the easiest to get parts for?

I don't want to have to wring my arm off in order to get a high heat and I don't want to have to strain to get it started turning.

As far as the work I'll be doing, let's assume I will be doin all sorts of building, from ornamental trinkets to tools and accessories needed to keep a farm in tip top operation.

Thanks for any opinions.

Mule
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Anthony San Miguel

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Reply with quote  #2 
I understand the desire for a vintage forge blower. I really do. If I came across one at a reasonable price I would grab it. But a cheap blow dryer can work just as well and you won't spend any valuable arm energy having to crank it.
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confederatemule

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Reply with quote  #3 
I want to be able to operate it without electricity. I actually have an electric blower.
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Anthony San Miguel

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Reply with quote  #4 
Oh, okay. I have been giving some thought to the same thing recently, to being able to operate the forge without electricity. They come up around here (central Texas) every so often. They just are too unreasonably priced. If I find one at a reasonable price I will grab it for the very reason you want one.
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confederatemule

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Reply with quote  #5 
The prices on these are $125.00, $150.00 and $250.00. I am trying not to let the price be the reason for not buying. These are the first I have seen in the four years I have been lookin. They all belong to the same man and he will not budge on price.
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Anthony San Miguel

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Reply with quote  #6 
If I found those 3 at those prices around here, I would be giving some serious thought to buying at least the two least expensive ones. Consider how hard it's been to find them in the first place. Those are reasonable prices. It would be great to have a backup, especially since you don't want price to be the reason for not buying one.
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Hank Rearden

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Reply with quote  #7 
I paid 125 clams for my first blower. It was a tiger similar to the otto canady. Rebuilt it and haven't used it. I do use a small champion forge blower on a rivet forge. It does a great job. I haven't welded anything but I have burned metal easily.
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Seamus

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Reply with quote  #8 


FWIW

 

I have three blowers

1 Champion #40 and a clone with no name
but the parts interchange.  The no name one
was free, but frozen fast. 

Using the working one, which I purchased for $50.00
as a guide, I was able to disassemble, CLA and reassemble
the no name without any difficulty.  They both work fine
and I've had no issues getting lump charcoal hot enough
to burn rebar and mild steel.

The third blower is a no name but looks identical to the
buffalo Bufco.  The fan diameter is larger than the other two,
at least 8 inches.  It has it's own stand while the other two are
designed to bolt to a rivet forge.  I've used it successfully
for 7 years.  It's awkward to move around though
and I am thinking about mounting it under the shop forge
with a "whirwind" firepot as a foot powered blower like
this setup here

 

The two Champions are easy to work on and work well.
The Canedy Otto Royal Chief blowers go for quite a bit but
are more complex internally I believe with ball bearings and so forth.
As I understand it a larger fan is an advantage, less rotation required
for higher volume of air. 

I do not know the #200 but looking at an old catalog that would be
the one I would inspect most closely and if it's all there and in good shape
and I didn't intend/expect to move it around, it'd be the one I went for if
$ were not an issue.

 

 

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confederatemule

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Reply with quote  #9 
I have cranked and looked inside all of them now, although the first three were a week earlier than the two larger ones. I was not going to consider the larger ones cause of price, mainly. This is my opinion of what I have seen.

The Champion with no number but identical to the no.40 only smaller is very noisy, but looks good inside gear box other than a small nick in a tooth on the large gear on crank handle shaft. $120.00 with tripod legs. I did not measure the impeller or housing.

The Champion no.40 is in good condition at $125.00 I don't remember the impeller measurement for sure, but I think it is 8 7/8" diameter.

The Buffalo List 1268 seems to be in decent condition. The impeller is 8 7/8" diameter in a 11 1/2" housing. $125.00 I don't like it. I'd say someone has replaced the impeller with what they could find.

The Buffalo no.200  appears to be in good condition, at $150.00.  I wrote down this measurement, the impeller is 9 3/4" diameter in a 11 3/4" housing.

The Champion no.400 is in good condition at $250.00 I wrote this measurement, the impeller is 10" diameter in a 12" housing.

I do have a question about the no.400, though. The bronze/brass gear has, maybe, a 45degree bevel on each side of the gear teeth. This bevel decreases the possible width of the teeth by one half. I have looked around on the internet and can't seem to find a good picture of this, nor any explanation.

Is this factory standard on these blowers?

Thanks y'all for all of the opinions and information.
Thanks for any future opinions and information.

Mule


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confederatemule

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Reply with quote  #10 

Well, y'all, I bought one of the 5. I bought the Champion 400. It cost more, but, it was smoother and quieter.

I thank everyone for the replies.

Mule

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Hank Rearden

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Reply with quote  #11 
Can't go wrong with that choice. Love to see it working.
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daveboucher2000

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Reply with quote  #12 
I just picked up a Royal Western Chief yesterday. I've been looking for a hand crank for a few years, but have passed on them all until now. This by far the smoothest and quietest blower I've found to date.
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Hank Rearden

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Reply with quote  #13 
Royal western are nice blowers. What kind of forge table do you want to use it on?
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Yesteryear Forge

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Reply with quote  #14 
I actually prefer a hand cranked blower .
And the blower of choice for me is a Champion 400.
You can get a model 400 in several sizes but the gearboxes are all the same size.
I believe the 400 stands for a 40 to 1 ratio but I may be wrong

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confederatemule

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Reply with quote  #15 
As thangs usually work in my life, I came across a nice, complete with four leg stand, Canedy Otto blower. I had been lookin fer a long time and finally broke down and paid top dollar fer the Champion 400. Six months later I find this Canedy Otto at an estate sale. I now have two hand blowers. I gave $60.00 for the Canedy Otto. I just could not help myself.

Mule
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jmccustomknives

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Reply with quote  #16 
That's the way it works.  It took me 4 1/2 years to find my first anvil.  After that people started bringing them to me.  lol.  I call it the big fish curse.  It takes forever to land your first trophy fish.  Once that happens you start catching them not even trying.
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Hank Rearden

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Reply with quote  #17 
A guy in York PA. is selling his shop after 15 years. He's sold out of a lot but has a few items left. about 30 hammers a swage block smaller anvil, brand new whisper gas forge and a Champion Forge 400 he rebuilt complete with making new bushings. I hope to acquire the blower and maybe the gas forge and a few hammers. Priced as such 400 gas, 250 blower, 20 per hammer.  So the first thing I had trouble with was knowing I passed up the same type blower with table for 75 bucks last Fall at auction. Poor to fair and operable condition.
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