TKSST is on summer vacation until August 14th. •  Browse 5,000+ videos >>
Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Primitive Technology builds an improved multi-blade forge blower

Watch more with these video collections:

“In the 6 years since I developed the first forge blower,” writes Primitive Technology‘s John Plant, “I had made very few improvements to its design. So I decided to do some research and development to see if I could improve it’s efficiency.”

In this wordless episode from the Far North Queensland-based engineering YouTube channel, Plant molds a new clay casing and tuyere, as well as three new wind-generating fans, impellers made from cane and folded leaf blades. He continues:

“From my research, increasing the number of fan blades from 4 to 8 yielded an increase of 19% volume of airflow. So I set about building a better fan.”

testing the blades

“Instead of splitting the rotor and inserting blades made of bark into it, I made spokes from split cane to hold the blades leaving the rotor intact. This increased the longevity of the rotor, as well as the spokes being heavier, contributing more momentum, assisting the impeller in winding back in the other direction after each rotation. Instead of bark being used to for the blades, simple (and easier to find) folded leaves formed the blades. These, being flexible, are less likely to break against the walls of the housing as stiff bark does. Finally, a lid was added to the housing to make maintenance easier.”

the new pieces

“The new blower works better than the old one with more airflow occurring. I experimented with different numbers of blades on the impeller (4,6 and 8). The more blades used, the slower the impeller can be spun to produce the same airflow. This makes it easier to operate as the users arms don’t have to move as quickly, making it more ergonomic. This conservation of effort will be important in iron smelting later.”


Watch more Primitive Technology on TKSST, including:
Making a Forge Blower
Simplified blower and furnace experiments
• Creating wood ash cement from scratch, an experiment

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Woven bark fiber mats made by Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

Water powered hammer (Monjolo) – Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

Thatched Workshop, a 5-week Primitive Technology project

Rion Nakaya

Termite clay kiln & pottery – Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

Simplified blower and furnace experiments – Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

Shrimp Traps & Sweet Potatoes: Food with Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

Sandals – Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

Pottery, a stove, and a palm frond dome hut – Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

Making Polynesian Arrowroot Flour from scratch

Rion Nakaya