The blast is sometimes supplied from ordinary bellows of various forms; at other times, as at the Woolwich dock-yard, by three enormous air-pumps, which lead into a fourth cylinder or regulator, the piston of which is loaded with weights, so as to force the air through pipes all over the smithy, and every fire has a valve to regulate its individual blast; but the more modern and general plan is the revolving fan, also worked by the engine, the blast from which is similarly distributed.

In some cases the cast-iron forge back is made hollow, that a stream of water may circulate through it from a small cistern; the water-back is thereby prevented from becoming so hot as the others, and its durability is much increased. In other cases the air, in its passage from the blowing apparatus, flows through chambers in the back plate so as to become heated in its progress, and thus to urge the fire with hot blast, which is by many considered to effect a very great economy in the fuel.

Some heavy works of rather complex form, such as anchors, are most conveniently managed by hand forging; many of these require two gangs of men with heavy sledge hammers, each consisting of six to twelve men, who relieve each other at short intervals, as the work is exceedingly laborious. Their hammers are swung round and made to fall upon one particular spot, with an uniformity that might have suggested to the immortal Handel the metre of his "Harmonious Blacksmith," but not certainly the melody; the conductor of this noisy, although dumb concert so far as relates to voice, stands at a respectful distance, and directs the blows of his assistants with a long wooden wand. The Hercules or crane, used for transferring the work from the fire to the anvil, which is at about the same elevation as the fire itself, is still retained.

The square shanks of anchors are partly forged under a vertical hammer of very simple construction, called a "monkey." It consists of a long iron bar running very loosely through an eye or aperture several feet above the anvil, and terminating at foot in a mass of iron, or the ram. The hammer is elevated by means of a chain, attached to the rod and also to a drum overhead, which is put into gear with the engine, and suddenly released by a simple contrivance, when the hammer has reached the height of from two to five feet, according to circumstances. The ram is made to fall upon any precise spot indicated by the wand of the foreman, as it has a horizontal range of some twenty inches from the central position, and is guided by two slight gye rods, hooked to the ram and placed at right angles; the gyes are held by two men, who watch the directions given. This contrivance is far more effective than the blows of the sledge hammers, and although now but little used is perhaps more suatible to such purposes than the helve or lift hammer, which always ascends to one height, and falls upon one fixed spot.

The square shank of the anchor, and works of the same section, are readily shifted the exact quarter circle, as the sling-chain is made with flat links, each a trifle longer than the side of the square of the work, which therefore bears quite flat upon one link, and when twisted it shifts the chain the space of a link, and rests as before.

Many implements and tools, such as shovels, spades, mattocks and cleavers, are partly forged under the tilt-hammer; the preparatory processes, called moulding, which include the insertion of the steel, are done by ordinary hand forging. The objects are then spread out under the broad face of the tilt-hammer, the workman in such cases being sometimes seated on a chair suspended from the ceiling, and by paddling about with his feet, he places himself with great dexterity in front or on either side of the anvil with the progressive changes of the work; the concluding processes are mostly done by hand with the usual tools, A similar arrangement is also adopted in tilting small sized steel.

With the reduction of size in the objects to be forged, the number of hands is also lessened, and the crane required for heavy work is abandoned for a chain or sling from the ceiling, hut for the majority of purposes two men only are required, when the work is said to be two-handed. The principal or the freman, takes the management of the work both in the fire and upon the anvil; he directs and assists with a small hammer of from two to four pounds weight; the duty of his assistant is to blow the bellows and wield the sledge-hammer, that weighs from about ten to fourteen pounds although sometimes more, and from which he derives his name of hammer-man.

As the works to be forged become smaller, the hearth is gradually lessened in size, and more elevated, so as to stand about two and a half feet from the ground: it is now built hollow, with an arch beneath serving as the ash-pit to receive the cinders and clinkers. The single hearths are made about a yard square, and those forges which have two fires under the same hood, measure about two yards by one; a double trough to contain water in the one compartment and coals in the other, is usually added, and the ordinary double bellows are used *. In proportion as the hearth is more elevated, so is the anvil likewise, that in ordinary use standing about two feet or two-and-a-half feet from the ground, its weight being from two to four hundredweight.

Numerous small works are forged at once from the end of the bar of iron, which then also serves the office of the porter required for heavy masses; but when the small objects are cut off from the bar, or the pieces are too short to be held in the hand, tongs of different forms are needful to grasp the work. These are made of various shapes, magnitudes, and lengths, according to circumstances; but the annexed figures will serve to explain some of the most general kinds, although variations are continually made in their forms, to meet peculiar cases.

Figs. 82, and 83, are called flat-bit tongs; these are either made to fit very close as in fig. 83, for thin works, or to stand more 'open as in fig. 82, for thicker bars, but always parallel; and a ring or coupler, is put upon the handles or reins, to maintain the grip upon the work. Others of the same general form are made with hollow half-round bits; but it is much better they should be angular, like the ends of fig. 84, as then they serve equally well for round bars, or for square bars held upon their opposite angles. Tongs that are made long, and swelled open behind, as in fig. 84, are very excellent for general purposes, and also serve for bolts and similar objects, with the heads placed inwards The pincer tongs, fig. 85. are also applied to similar uses, and serve for shorter bolts.