I broke the last handle I had on a decent hammer, so now that it's cooling down it is not as crazy to have a fire going and there is no point having a fire without red hot meal is there? I just bought a new handle from the hardware store. I'm quite happy with it. It wasn't varnished which is the biggest problem I've found with most new handles you can buy.
Anyway, it could also be that I'm using a dodgy forge design and it's blocked up with ash and dirt. A very distinct possibility.
Now that I have a working hammer however, all that I will need to do is light a fire, get a draft and I can get to it. So look out for more forging posts over the next few months.