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Setting Up My Workshop (Image heavy)

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After a trip down to the Westpoint forge and a course on toolmaking with John B, I managed to get hold of an anvil and a forge. I am now setting up a workshop at a friends house, who lives a little more remotely than myself.
I thought i'd keep a log of what i'm doing and people can offer advice, or general mockery if they so wish.

Today I went to my friends and he showed me the area at the bottom of his garden that I could use to set up a workshop in.

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There was a small wooden shed that I could store valuable stuff in and padlock, as well as a larger storeroom made out of breeze blocks.
The storeroom is much larger, but doesn't have a lock on the door. So I decided to store my box full of tinder in there and possibly mount my vice in there as well as its a short walk to if needs be.

Here is an image inside the storeroom, with the vice in rough place and my box full of chopped up pallete to act as tinder for lighting the forge.

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There were also several large bits of metal about that have come off of trucks which I can use. Hopefully they will be useable....

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Here are a few images of my forge, which I bought from John.

Top

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Bottom

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Fire pot

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And here are a few images of my anvil. I believe it weighs 100kg.

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And a top view

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Edges

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After clearing up some of the random stuff about, I packed my things away in the shed and locked it up.
I also bought myself some safety gear from Screwfix as well. I think getting into good safety habits near the start is a sensible idea.

After getting home I took a few images of my things that still need taking there.
Here is my tree stump, that needs sawing to height.

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Once the top is sawn off with my friends chainsaw I will place it on a paving stone to keep it level, then plane it off flat and treat the wood to slow its splitting.
The top piece that is sawn off will become a chopping block for the chopping wood.

The following image shows a load of tables from work that were hacksawed apart and were going to be skipped. I took them away (after getting permission I might add) and aim to make some tool racks out of them. The spare stuff will go on to making a stand that will hold my sink, and act as a quenching recepticle.

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More images and info to come, as I progress with things!

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Posted · Report post

Looking like a good start Tom, look forward to watching your progress. Those springs should serve you well.

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Good stuff. Drilling and bolting can make some of the steel frame into a very solid bench if you need. Many many uses for that material all the same.

Phil

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wow tom - exciting :) will watch with interest and help if i can..

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Thanks guys.
My next set of jobs is to chainsaw the log to size and level it. Then try and clear the workshop site of clutter and weeds/grass etc.
Then i'm going to start cutting up my steel table bits and try and make a tool rack and a stand to mount my quenching sink on.
This will give me a load of practice with an angle grinder and with welding, which will be good experience. My friend is going to help me, as its his gear and he wants to learn too.

I also need to get a blower for the forge and set that up and I will get a load of cheap clothes from an army surplus shop to forge in, so I won't care if they get wrecked.

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We all start somewhere and it looks like you have a good start with all the basics tools of good looking quality from your photos. Have fun! ;)

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I managed to cut up my benching over the weekend, and just have to weld them together now to form my tool rack.
I also went to a car boot sale and got a load of old tools and metal for £2, with a free bucket. I will post up some pictures of them tonight.
I also have some images of the benching cut up and made ready for welding.

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Fantastic spot,Tom,that arched passage through the hedge is just COOL!Looks very private,secluded,and peaceful,like a great place to meditate on forging!
Beautiful set-up,that anvil's a treasure,though not sure if it's new,or someone just has different working methods over there as far as the edge-radius.I'd try not to hit it close to those edges,at least not with a sledge.
The firepot is great!Also,kind of surprising-i thought that the bottom-blast was forbidden over there! :P

All in all,Beautiful,man,congratulations!!! :)

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The anvil came from a school apparently. So it won't have seen much heavy use. Edges are nice on it as well.
Still got to get the log chainsawed to size.

The set up is down the bottom of a garden, but it backs onto an RAF base, so shouldn't be a problem with noise. There will be lots of noise from planes etc, so I doubt the locals will moan about the noise from me. Hopefully!

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Sounds wonderful,Tom,very glad for you.

Here's a thought,just an idle one:An anvil that nice doesn't,necessarily,require a stump(often,an anvil of less than sufficien weight is strapped to a stump as a part of an effort-absorbing logic).
If you've some angle handy(-er than a chainsaw),an angle stand would serve as well.The mass of this anvil will not require restricting it too much.
I work on an anvil half that weight,and only have it restricted from lateral "walking" by a couple of nails,it suffices even for all the horn-work.
Again,congratulations on such a neat set-up,and Good Forging to Thee! :)

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Funny over here it's the school anvils that tend to be the most abused as most of the "recent" students don't give a @#$% about other peoples tools and equipment---I was give an arched back Vulcan with the horn broken off that was previously used in Fine Arts Metals at a local university. I had found a mint swedish cast steel anvil for them to use as a replacement---the new instructor guards it like a pack of rabid dobermans!

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The stump is more to get it up to a workable height and means I don't have to make another thing. I'll give it a go and see how it goes.
I'm guessing its around 100kg. Haven't been able to weight it. It feels roughly about what a 100kg deadlift feels like. Luckily I can lift at least 130kg!

Here are the photo's of my benching that i've cut up.

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As you can see i've cut off the cross bars that were left on there when it was originaly cut up and then grinded the paint off to leave a nice clean bit of metal to weld the parts to.

I've got 4 pieces cut to act as end pieces and then roughly cut out 2 central bits. Will leave me with 3 sections to place tools in, that will be just under 2 inches width. Loads of space.
I also got the sides cut for another thing as well. Going to mount the sink I got on top of it to act as a quenching bath.

Below is an image of a load of stuff I got at a car boot sale for £2.

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Some great stuff here and I got a bucket for free. Brilliant!
Think i'll just clean up the hammers and g-clamps and then paint them to protect them from rust.

Can anybody help me identify what the other stuff is?

I know one of them is a carpenters axe. Might mount that up and use it as a large slitter.

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Over here we would call that a shingler's or roofer's axe as it was designed to trim cedar shingles, nail them down and pull out old nails if necessary.

Lets see a pair of nippers, cold chisels, a couple of cabinetmakers crosspeens (you can hold small nails between your fingers and the narrow peen can slip between yout fingers to start the nail---if you are careful.
and of course the Bar, Steel, 1 ea...

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I think the cabinetmaker's crosspeens are called "Warrington Hammers" - design supposedly developed in, of course, Warrington, England.

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Nice anvil...Dig a hole and set the stump to the right height; it will then be a truly solid foundation. You may also want to consider enlarging the blast holes in the firepot - but give it a try before making any mods. In general, a slot or series of slots tend to work more satisfactorily than a grid of holes because the latter seem to clog more readily.

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going good tom:) ive got mine on a stump, but its a big anvil and it would prob be better on the angle stand arrangements everyone seems to prefer. its just a bit bulky on the stump i have, i would quite enjoy to see daylight under my anvil :) i am a bit lazy to make one too though altho there are loads of versions on here if you could be bothered. my anvil is big and it still slips about on the stump....

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Yeah, what HWooldridge said. It's much better to sink the stump into the ground if you can. It provides better mass & also keeps the stump from moving around.

RAF Benson or Brize Norton? Can't be Abingdon, that's long since been given to the Logistics Corp. (I lived in Oxon for many years. ;) )

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Its Brize. Up in Carterton!

I will see if I can sink my stump into the ground. Would be great if I could get it in there.

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Heres an image of my tool rack that I finished.

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Sorry its at an angle!
Theres two slots for toold and then a cetnral bar for putting tongs on.

The wleding is ugly, but I will grind it all nice and flat and then paint over the top of it.

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Hi Tom, One suggestion for your tool rack- casters!! You may not need them now, but once that tool rack gets laden with all the lovely tools you've made and collected, it's pretty heavy, and can be really very handy to be able to wheel it around. Someone suggested that to me and I put casters on both my tool racks, and it's one of the littlest but best things I've done, especially if you are tight for space. (which I am) so it means you can rearrange easily.
Anyway, looks great, such a good feeling to get your own space up and running!

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Thanks a lot Colleen. Its ugly, but functional. Bit like me really.
One the bottom of the legs at the moment are some adjustable legs, which will help me place it somewhere and stop it wobbling. Luckily when it comes to moving things i'm a pretty strong lad. Managed to lift my anvil on my own!

I've got a load of the rusty bits of metal cleaned up and got some paint to paint them with. I also got a grinding disc for the angle grinder, so may well have a go with that on them as well. Below is an image of them after sitting in cheap cola for 2 days and then given a hard scrub with a wire brush.

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Tomorrow i'm aiming to move some stuff over to my 'workshop' and hopefully saw my log to size.
Sadly I haven't been able to fix my friends chainsaw, so its going to be old fashioned grunt with a hand saw.

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Nice setup! I look forward to seeing more images in the future. I also agree, putting caster wheels on the items you fabricate like your tool rack is very helpful, I have casters on all of my racks and any objects I want to be able to be moveable and it has been a huge help for me. Just make sure to get larger wheels that can support anything. These can be found on ebay and on harbor freight.

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Should be going out soon and cutting up the tree log and carry on cleaning up my hammer heads.
I've got one more thing to fix on my tool rack and I can take it and my tree stump to the workshop and get more set up.

More photo's to come soon!

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Here are a couple of images from the cutting of my log tonight.
I let my more experienced friend do it and it paid off, as its quite a nice flat and square cut and I still have all my fingers.

Heres the cut log and the remainder, which will be used as a chopping block.

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And heres a top view of the log. The lighter patch in the middle is the dry bit. Still got quite a way to go before I oil it!

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I've got a bit more done. I've got a load of stuff over to the workshop. I've sourced some steel stock and a source of coke, both near my workshop.
I've got 40kg of coke and will get some steel over the weekend.

I've tried a setup of the workshop and it should work out ok. Could do with setting up make shift 'roof' to cover where i'll be working. I think I will also look to get a big barrel to cover up my anvil, on its stand when i'm not there, so I can just cover it over when I leave. This would save me having to save it up every time I go over there.

My main problem now is getting a blower for the forge. I've got an extremely cheap hairdrier, that i've had to gaffa tape to the blow hole in the forge, as I couldn't find any flexible tubing. I've got a lead on some flexible tubing now and am hoping that this weekend I can get some and some steel and then fire up the forge on sunday and get cracking!

I promise to bring back pictures as well.

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