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Fireplace Bellows - Antique and Modern Styles | Fireplaces Guide

Fireplace Bellows Types

If you’ve ever spent time blowing into your wood fireplace to get dying embers to ignite on a new piece of wood, then you will certainly need fireplace bellows. With the help of these instruments you can avoid the ashes blowing back in your face and get the fire going easily without wearing yourself out.

The main function of bellows is the pushing air in a controlled manner to a specific area. They have had several uses, including blowing air in instruments and even in clockwork. Fireplace bellows have been applied in metallurgy, air-based instruments and even early forms of cameras.

Fire bellows History

Fire bellows have a long history. They date back to 930 B.C. and ancient times of the early Chinese, Roman and Greek civilizations. Early American settlers were fond of indoor fireplace bellows and would construct them from an animal-skin stitched bag. While having wide applications of use in Europe, the more common purpose has typically been for stoking flames to life in fireplaces.

Nowadays fireplace bellows are built with a triangular design and function as a single air pump tool. These instruments consist of wood-carved handles with a leather expandable middle.

Fireplace bellowsBellows consist of an air chamber and a valve (or nozzle.) The air chamber has an accordion like design which allows it flexibility to grow and contract with use. Fireplace bellows have 2 handles which, when pulled, force the chamber to “inhale,” drawing air inside itself for storage. When the handles are pushed downward, the air chamber forces the air out through the nozzle. Air blows out of the nozzle and onto a small fire or smoldering log to stoke the flames. As the handles are repeatedly lifted and pushed, the air is drawn in and pushed out, allowing for regular puffs of air.

Fireplace Bellows Categories

There are 2 categories of fireplace bellows these days. They include the common single-acting piston bellow and the double-acting. The single bellow functions by bringing air in and expelling the air in two different and distinct motions of the handles. The double-acting piston bellows allow for air to be blown out in both strokes of the bellows’ handles. It’s very important to underline that these bellows are considered stronger. They deliver more air than the tradition single piston bellows.

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