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Hi All, I'm setting up a coke forge in a derelict outbuilding at home near Bath... I would really like to get it right as it's costing me a small fortune in building work, electricals, etc.! Just asking for a bit of advice if possible as I've only ever worked in one other forge. So - I'm wondering if there are any friendly folk out there in the South West that wouldn't mind showing me their place and / or spending 15 minutes with me? It would be great to meet some fellow smiths too anyway. I've got very little experience, but I love working with metal and so I'm just going for it. I've got quite a small area allocated and the ceiling is only 7" but I do have the luxury of an upper storey that I could knock up into which I'm thinking I might well have to... Sorry - bit of an open question - I'll be doing some layout sketches tomorrow which will probably help. Thanks in advance! Debbie
G'day There are a number of images in various threads on ifi which show quite well the numerous workshops from all over the place. Clearly we all have our own preferences for how far away from the forge the leg vice, anvil, hammer and layout table should be. Two or three paces seems to be the norm, from what I've observed, but this really works best for smaller forgings; of a size which can be manually handled by one, or perhaps two, people Some shops plan around the idea of a flow, from raw materials in at one end of the shop, then to say a cut-off saw, followed by a number of pathways for the cut material. To the forge, the layout table, the lathe, or mill, twister or press. After that, the item goes to the next machine or apparatus it needs to visit as part of the manufacturing process and onwards. The individual items end up on the assembly table, or in a clear space assigned this purpose, and once the final steps are taken, the finished item goes out, either where the raw materials come in or via another point used to load road transport say Others appear very much random and seem to be planned on the basis of 'this is where it landed, so this is where it stays!' Not to say there is anything necessarily wrong with this 'evolved' type of floor layout, but there are benefits with being just a little more organised... Especially when the opportunity to be so presents itself as a blank canvas I have a multitude of ideas on how to set my new space out and am looking to obtain the benefit of second hand knowledge. You know, "I did it this way and it works" or "I did it this way and found I had to change things like this..." Most of my gear is on wheels, or is of a type that can be readily shifted, so I plan to have nothing fixed hard and fast, with the exceptions being the 'properly planted' hammers. I am experimenting with having at least one air hammer of 90lb [40kg] size mobile, so even those machines may be readily shifted to suit the job at hand, if that experiment is successful. I'm also looking at making a grid on 2' [600mm] centres of 2" [50mm] square tube [sHS] which will be cast into the entire concrete floor of the shop. This makes for flexible but rigid mounting for things like leg vices and permits rigging equipment to be used to tweak items that are otherwise difficult to handle. Think giant acorn table... Regardless of this essentially movable workshop, there are things to consider - hammers and anything too big to roll about or lift - when it comes to the placement of the fixed items and before I commit to a final arrangement, I consider it prudent to raise my question, which relates to forging area layouts for larger working shops, where bigger items are manufactured in particular. I would like to know if any one has floor plans of the working areas in their larger shops they would be prepared to share here? Regards Jim Deering
So I made this rivet spacer. it is not perfect, but is accurate enough for my uses. (not using it in machining) As you can see from the photo I had to drop a few rivets. Obviously in a situation like this the small errors multiplied to give me my headache. My question is about layout. I laid out one leg very accurately and used it as a guide. should I have laid out each hole separate? My guess is the errors came in towards the end of the process as the guide got less accurate each time I used it. Could I have just made two guides and switched towards the end, or buckle down and let my brain go numb while I layout nearly 100 holes?