February Meet At Alex Parubchenko's Shop
in Trenton,February 9th, 2002
Many thanks to Alex, John Chobrda and Mike Erdie for making this a memorable meet.
The meet got underway about 9:30 and by 10:00 the copula was ready to be fired. The fire is first started with charcoal and then coke was added and the air blast turned on. More coke was added to fill the copula and then allowed to burn for 45 minutes to heat to copula fully. After the preheat the copula was charged with a weighed amount of steel and iron scrap and the vent pipes uncapped and the blast left off for 45 minutes to pre-soak the metal and core inside the copula. The air blast was then turned back on andthe bottom tap was opened till iron started to run out. A sand and clay plug was then inserted to close the tap and then the blast was run for a set amount of time till the iron had melted. It was then tapped, a cricible filled and the molds poured. The moulds had been set up for several small 5 and 10 lb. anvils.
During the pre-soak time Marshall Bienstock demonstrated some of the techniques he had learned at his recent visit to the Campbell Folk School. He showed how the project was colonial ember tongs and he demonstrated the forging of the box hinge joint involved in their construction.
Mike Erdie who constructed the cupola and made the molds for the demo reccommended a book called Iron Melting Copula Furnaces, For the small Foundry by Steve Chastain, available through Lindsay Books, Lindsaybks.com
For another report on this event and Alex's shop visit a version of the meet that was posted on
David Potts's web site.