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I Forge Iron

Winter Blues

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Hey all, I don't know if I'm the only one with this problem, but here it is. You see, I have an outdoor shop. It's great, because from spring to fall it's nice to have the breeze while working over hot steel. But now that it's winter, I'm not sure If I should use it, as I live in Iowa and there's tons of snow. And really my main concern is the steel cooling off too fast when hammering it. That and slipping on ice, but that's what salt is for.

So i've been having "forging withdrawal" for the past month and a half or so. Anyone else experience this? What do you do to overcome it? I've been trying to do other stuff outside, like split wood, but it's just not the same!

(And don't get me wrong, I love winter and the cold weather with snow and all, but I hate not being able to forge.)

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Put the forge just outside the door to the basement and the anvil just inside.

Use an OA torch in the basement and put the anvil wherever you want it.

Buy one of those electric coil things from Grant and watch your meter go into hover mode.

Wait till the wife`s not home and then bring that RR rail anvil upstairs,fire up the fireplace and use the hairdryer for a blower.

Go visit your buddy who makes real money,has a real shop and doesn`t mind heating it.

Buy all the `smithing books from all the nearby used book stores,stoke up the woodstove,crack that first book and dream till mud season gets here.

Sell the cat,get rid of the dogs,haul an old stump into the basement and switch to cold work/armor till spring.

I`d say sell the house and move south but my buddy in Texas is near as cold as I am in Maine right now.

Face the fact that there`s no real good answer and you`ll have to go "cold turkey"

Stop listening to me and just go out there and DO IT!

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Bob put it so well that it's hard to add to...But here's a couple more:

Hang a coffee can with some glowing coals from your woodstove under your blower,you won't believe how easy it'll get to turn!

Just forge away and ignore the snow,everything that you'll need will stay clear by use,you'll soon have your work area all worked out.The cold won't bother the tools,or the steel(i presume that you're not forging critical parts on that Boeing contract).It'll even teach you to work faster!

Count your blessings:The light is exellent outside,hard to beat by many a heated shop.Also,you won't overwork your heat-it'll look cold while still quite hot.

Throw some junk ply or roofing over the whole mess when you're done for the day-you'll be all ready to go tomorrow again.

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Thanks! I've been thinking about setting up shop in my basement for a while, but there's a lack of space. I'll see what i can do though. Our wood burner gets hot enought to forge with I'm sure. And I do need to get some more smithing books. Thanks for the reminder! :D

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Arizona is nice, I went there several years ago when my family took a road trip to the west (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, then up to yellow stone) The problem is I think the heat would get to me, especially while forging. But I guess it'd be better than Georgia (where I used to live) where it would get just as hot as AZ but was really humid. Some days it seriously felt like you could drink the air!

In winter the south is really heavenly though, but I'm busy with classes until late spring, otherwise I might consider living some where down there during the last part winter.

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Haha, it's funny how in one place 30s is "bad." It's been getting up in the 30s around here recently, and it's a very welcome change compared to the -20s it was a few weeks a go. The 30 degree weather is when I go out and forge and chop wood! :lol:

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