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Blow Hard Bellows - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Blow Hard Bellows

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  • Blow Hard Bellows

    This is a fire tool that I end up using a bit. First time I saw one of these was at a 'Mountain Man Rondy' just outside Wasilla Alaska... and no, I didn't see Governor Palin there, skinning a moose... ..

    But the "wana - be" mountain men were about, and using this 'blow hard bellows' to encourage fire strength...

    An easy to build little tool that comes in handy to encourage a bit of fire to take off, or get a fresh stick on the pile producing heat, or to blow the ash out of the middle of the oven floor to make room for a new pizza, or loaf of bread...

    A length of copper pipe, with a cap soldered on one end, and a flare soldered on the other end to accommodate the 'blower'. The cap has a small hole drilled through the cap to concentrate and direct the air. As you can see in the photo's I end up using the tool to poke the fire, and move the wood around...

    The bellows in the photo is 1/2" copper tube; it is three feet long. This length works well.

    The blow hard bellows is a handy little tool, that helps keep the fire going at the oven or in the fire place. I used these one year as Christmas gifts for family and friends; they all liked them.


  • #2
    Re: Blow Hard Bellows

    Hi Jed,
    I guess you made it out of copper so that when it conducts the heat from inside your oven and burns your hand (well at least gets too hot to hold) you should have got your fire going or dusted your hearth, eh?

    Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

    The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

    Neillís Pompeiii #1
    Neillís kitchen underway


    • #3
      Re: Blow Hard Bellows

      I thought that I was original in making my version of a "blow hard bellows." It's interesting to see that others have also invented them. I tried different lengths and diameters of pipe but ended up with 3-feet of half inch copper pipe. It works great. As for the comment on heat transfering to the user's hands, that has never happened to me. The end of the pipe in the fire does get hot but the heat is dissipated by the copper over the three feet of pipe. Copper transfers heat readily and it loses the heat long before it reaches my hands. It works a lot better than a standard bellows and it was a lot less expensive.


      • #4
        Re: Blow Hard Bellows

        I also use a copper tube about four feet long. Nothing special just an old piece of water line that hooks up to a low powered compressor that sits underneath the oven, works like a charm to get the fire blazing hot. Works great for cleaning out ash residue also.


        • #5
          Re: Blow Hard Bellows

          I know this solution may not be available to those of you in warmer climates but I used an aluminum cross country ski pole.

          I picked them up at a garage sale in the summer for a song. Cut off the tip and top of the handle.

          The natural taper (Wider at the handle and smaller at the tip) of the handle to the tip provides a great concentration of air flow. I left part of the handle in place to provide a grip.

          I like the idea of adding a poke to it but I am thinking more of a sharp pick that I could use to turn the pizza. The pole is strong but I believe not strong enough to pull or push logs around. But I have seen a pizza turner somewhere in here that is just a pick like an Awl point, perpendicular to the pole. I will see if I can rig something up and post pictures.

          Last edited by mrchipster; 11-20-2011, 08:30 AM.


          • #6
            Re: Blow Hard Bellows

            I also used 1/2"copper pipe and simply flattened the end to reduce the size ofvthevhole in the end. On a few occasions after a few beers I almost knocked out a front tooth, so mine now sports a rubber cover with a hole made in the centre to prevent this. My latest version which I prefer is an 8mm stainless steel tube (no restriction on the end). This has two advantages. Firstly the stainless steel doesn't bend like the copper so you can use it better as a poker. Secondly the smaller diameter seems to work better. Stainless steel does not conduct heat as well as copper although I never found this to be a problem.
            Always remember to blow not suck!
            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


            • #7
              Re: Blow Hard Bellows

              Stainless steel does not conduct heat as well as copper although I never found this to be a problem.
              I knew there was a reason I was keeping old golf clubs around that I couldn't hit worth a damn...


              • #8
                Re: Blow Hard Bellows

                Originally posted by GianniFocaccia View Post
                I knew there was a reason I was keeping old golf clubs around that I couldn't hit worth a damn...

                Another good source of tubing especially a nice long Driver, except for those graphite shafts. and the grips are easy to hold.