The three major projects during this visit were focused on getting the forge itself ready for use. In this episode, fabricating a custom manifold for combined fuigo box bellows and electric cage blower.
During the early stages of tanren, the air must be slow and constant for a couple of hours straight for thorough heating without oxidization of the steel. A task traditionally reserved for an apprentice in order to allow the smith to carry on other work, Pierre’s solution is to install an electric fan under the fuigo with a valve system and manifold that allows him to leave the fuigo during this stage. In the video, the manifold and valve housing can be seen, the blower is yet to be installed. Wiring for a power switch to the blower runs up the front of the forge wall.
This series is a compilation of what footage I was able to collect while both of us worked morning ’til night but gives a good idea of what went on and will offer some valuable details for astute observers.
Learn more about Pierre at soulsmithing.com.