I've been putting this off for almost a year now, but with the forge chimney yet to be rebuilt and all quiet in the workshop, now is the perfect time. _____
This is a set of early 1800s Alldays & Onions forge bellows, kindly donated to The Old Blacksmith's Shop by Tom of Big Beynon's Blacksmithing before he left. They were in a much worse state than first thought, with all the valves inside chewed through by rats, and the leather cracked and brittle and full of holes. _____
This evening I've gritted my teeth and sliced up well over £150 of beautiful pit tanned hide into three strips over 2.5m long, 30cm wide and 4mm thick ready to reskin the bellows. Next job is to restore and repair the 200 year old oak and elm boards inside and bring everything back together!