Fuigo

From Hitachi Metals Tatara website

Einosuke Murakami, a researcher interested in the history of steel manufacturing in Japan, notes that one can see two paths for the development of bellows around the world. One he describes as that of the saucer-style bellows found in the southern culture regions, including the ancient Orient and India. The other is the leather bellows found in the ancient northern cultural sphere. The Zhongyuan region of China is part of this latter group. The pump bellows was developed in the cultural border-crossing zone that stretches from this area in southern China to the Indochina Peninsula, a development that incorporated elements of bamboo tool-making culture into the leather bellows. This, it is hypothesized, may have been a step on the road to the development of the fukisashi bellows. In Japan, the bellows used for iron manufacturing in ancient times shifted over time from the leather bellows to the foot bellows, but by the medieval period it is the fukisashi bellows (a box-type air-pump) that become common. However, there were iron-manufacturing sites that continued to the foot bellows until early modern times, and the use of both foot bellows and fukisashi bellows persisted in iron-manufacturing use until the invention of the tenbin-fuigo at the end of the 17th century.

Airflow Testing

This was an attempt to find the best combination of valves and outlets for the most efficient air supply for the work involved. I built a test box and attached a blower with a known CFM (cubic feet per minute) to test several design variations.

17 Photos

Traditional Fuigo

This design is hundreds, maybe thousands of years old. It is quite efficient and once you establish a rhythm it is less tiring than you would expect. It is valved so that you get airflow on the push and the pull stroke. Kind of like circular breathing.

7 Photos

Fuigo 2.0

Fuigo 2.0 is term coined by Ric Furrer of doorcountyforgeworks.com. It refers to the fact that this an evolution of the original fuigo design.

21 Photos

36 Responses to “Fuigo”

  1. Rob Palmer UK says:

    I have built a box bellows, internal dimensions 2ft high by 1ft wide, length of box ( internal ) 3ft 6 inches. the out let to the forge I moulded onto a 2 in flange with air setting fire cement as I found the iron pipe I used singed the coupling box. No problem since. the piston was made reasonably air tight fitting felt draft excluder on both sides. A good continuous air flow can be generated easily raising fire welding temperatures in a coke fire. Charcoal can be used but uses quite a lot in a day. I hope this is of some use.

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