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Old 14th August 2013, 03:48 AM   #1
DhaDha
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Default Burmese Forge

Hello. Here are a few from a trip to Myanmar last year. I thought some members might find them interesting. The forge was found at a market on the shore of Inle Lake.
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Old 14th August 2013, 03:52 AM   #2
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Some pics of Burmese forges from 1900 - 1910. Photos borrowed from the Dha Research Archive.
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Old 14th August 2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DhaDha
Hello. Here are a few from a trip to Myanmar last year. I thought some members might find them interesting. The forge was found at a market on the shore of Inle Lake.


Thanks for sharing, always nice to see the traditions being kept alive.
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Old 14th August 2013, 03:26 PM   #4
Gavin Nugent
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Nice to see tradition is alive and kicking.

In the 19th century the smiths typically used steel bought in by the Europeans...chains that shackled elephants was a favorite because it was readily available...question, do they still recycle today or are there other sources of metals? I ask as there must be mention of mines in Burma from the Pre EU contact???

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Old 14th August 2013, 04:50 PM   #5
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Great pictures.

It looks as though the major changes have been baseball caps and colour photos.

Roy
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Old 16th July 2020, 09:46 PM   #6
A. G. Maisey
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Gavin, in both Jawa & Bali, until today, material is recycled. In Jawa during the colonial era railway tracks were a favourite source of material, so the Dutch used to have night patrols on some sections of the rail lines to prevent theft.

Not long ago they built a bridge from Surabaya to Madura. One of the construction problems was that as soon as the bolts holding the bridge together were put in place, those bolts were stolen. Bridge bolts are pretty big and a good source of material for hand tools.

For the kerises that I made myself in Solo I used steel from an old bridge and iron from old cart tyres that I bought from a scrap yard in Solo.

Recently a few pandes in Bali and at least one pande in Solo have been using hightech modern steels in the knives that they make. But the problem is that that they do not understand the special heat treating requirements of the material they are using, so they're just throwing money away and the buyers think they are getting something superior when they are not.

Most pandes that I know in Bali & Jawa Tengah use motor vehicle spring steel for knives and tools.

David, the big hammer head is a pretty common anvil for small work, both in Indonesia and in western countries. Just about anything that is big enough for the intended work can serve as an anvil. My first anvil was a section of railway track, I've taught a few people and they used sledge hammer heads, railway track, pieces of machinery as anvils. The trick is to mount the anvil on a good solid stump and sink that stump deep into the ground, somewhere between half a meter and a meter. The difference between a big anvil and a small anvil (like a bit of rail track or a hammer head) is that a big anvil makes the job faster and easier. I learnt on a 150 year old English anvil that weighed 350 pounds, it was really easy to work on. My own anvil is only 75kg (165pounds) and not as fast nor as easy.

This has probably been seen by a few of you, but it might be of interest to those who have not seen it:-

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/BANDIFORGE.html
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Old 17th July 2020, 01:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
David, the big hammer head is a pretty common anvil for small work, both in Indonesia and in western countries. Just about anything that is big enough for the intended work can serve as an anvil. My first anvil was a section of railway track, I've taught a few people and they used sledge hammer heads, railway track, pieces of machinery as anvils. The trick is to mount the anvil on a good solid stump and sink that stump deep into the ground, somewhere between half a meter and a meter. The difference between a big anvil and a small anvil (like a bit of rail track or a hammer head) is that a big anvil makes the job faster and easier. I learnt on a 150 year old English anvil that weighed 350 pounds, it was really easy to work on. My own anvil is only 75kg (165pounds) and not as fast nor as easy.

This has probably been seen by a few of you, but it might be of interest to those who have not seen it:-

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/BANDIFORGE.html

Hi Alan. I am assuming you are responding here to the statement i made on the Thai smith video you posted. Yes, railroad track becomes a first anvil for many people getting started in smithing. I've been trying to get myself started in smithing and find that a good anvil can be your most expensive purchase, so people use what they can find and afford. If i could find a 165 lbs anvil for a decent price i would be more than happy with it.
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Old 17th July 2020, 09:26 PM   #8
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Yes David, correct, I read both threads one after the other and thought of them as one when I wrote my post. Sorry.

Anvils are really expensive, but for knife work you can get away with just about anything steel that has a face or face area over about 3" across. Even a piece of old machinery will do.

The forge bed itself is pretty easy to improvise, and an old vacuum cleaner set on the reverse function makes a good blower.

Can you get decent fuel where you are? Peanut coke or hardwood charcoal?
Coal can be used, but it is messy and poisonous.

The other tools you make yourself.
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