A friend and I volunteered to rehab the forge at a local Scout camp. It's lain idle for years (probably decades, based on the size of the tree Dave pulled out of the forge!). We should've counted the rings.
Last weekend we hauled up a blower (the Ranger had not yet found where their blower was hiding, probably in the back of a shed somewhere), some coal, tongs, &cetera and tried firing the old forge.
First thing, it's huge. It would take a 100 pound bag of coal with room left over. We had to pile up some bricks in the forge to constrain the fire to a reasonable size. But it worked. For a warm up ;^) we made a couple of S-hooks to give to the camp Rangers. Then it was on to the main event. We're trying to come up with something the Venturer groups could do as an activity. What do these kids like most? Fire, Bacon, and Knives. Well, I think we got 2 out of 3 here. Not bad.
Start with a RR spike, heat it to bright orange, and whale on it with a big hammer. Heat it again, pound it some more. Repeat until the end of it looks knife-like. One more heat, stick it in the vise, and put a twist in the handle. Then it's off to the bent sander, files, and grinder to finish it off.
Wood Hoarder, Blade Sharpener, and Occasional Tool User