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I Forge Iron

Popular Mechanics Writer Searching for the Right Blacksmith


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Hello -
I'm a writer for Popular Mechanics and am covering a story on super sheds. I've been browsing through this site to see if any blacksmiths use a shed as a workshop. If you do in fact use a shed - those standalone structures in the backyard - for blacksmithing activities and would like to possibly be featured in this article, please contact me as soon as possible including an image or two of the shed (preferably one you constructed) and a description of the purpose it holds in your work. I'll be in touch to follow up shortly thereafter. Thanks!

Amanda

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Welcome aboard Amanda, glad to have ya!

I'm attaching a shot of the tarp tent shop I built when Deb and I moved to this property and were, clearing land, grading, digging, building the house and such.

The old tarp tent shop was built on the front of our connex to keep the weather off the tools and make a marginally heatable space if I needed to forge in winter. The view is from the front of the connex, I don't have a pic of the whole thing and it's pretty much dismantled and gone now.

The connex (shipping container) was and is secure storage with a few machine tools set up in it. The tarp tent was about 8'x16' built off the front to do hot work like smithing in.

The second pic named "Roof9-07" is why I don't need the old tarp tent shop. The gray building is my new, still under construction 30'x40' steel shop. I had the concrete slab and footings done professionally and had help erecting those things you just can't do alone. The rest was erected mostly by me with a little help from friends.

Frosty the Lucky.

post-975-015279500 1279309771_thumb.jpg

post-975-034215200 1279310320_thumb.jpg

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I was wondering who'd be first! lol.

Amanda, welcome to IFI. Personally I forge outside & use the garage for cold work at present, so I don't qualify. However I know at least one member here in Oz has a shed along the lines you ask for. Double_edge_2's is pretty clever for example.
Are you interested in overseas sheds, or does your article require specifically Conus area?

Not that you'll have any difficulty getting more than enough material for your article in Conus anyway! :D

May I ask if it's possible to get a copy of the article when it comes out? I haven't seen your magazine over here unfortunately.

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I was wondering who'd be first! lol.

Amanda, welcome to IFI. Personally I forge outside & use the garage for cold work at present, so I don't qualify. However I know at least one member here in Oz has a shed along the lines you ask for. Double_edge_2's is pretty clever for example.
Are you interested in overseas sheds, or does your article require specifically Conus area?

Not that you'll have any difficulty getting more than enough material for your article in Conus anyway! :D

May I ask if it's possible to get a copy of the article when it comes out? I haven't seen your magazine over here unfortunately.



Yeah the mag is a pretty big deal this side of the water... About as good as a guy magazine gets (well thats not THAT kind of guy magazine...):D
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I will see what I can do for pictures Larry. Since it rarely rains here I was mainly looking for wind protection. Laid the drums on their side, and started stacking (5x4x5x4) and welding. Ended up with walls that are around 10' long, 8' tall, and 3' thick. Self standing, movable, free materials, and funky. Wood doesn't hold up well down here in the desert, and I am a big recycler/repurposer, so it just fit in with how I like to do things. With the tops cut off I have lots of cubby hole type storage for materials, etc. For the floor I used a stack of RR tie plates flipped upside down, and laid them down like pavers. They were also free. I still need to weld up the back wall, but with it being 115 yesterday, and more of the same today, it aint getting done this weekend :blink: Yesterday was 115, windy, lightning, and scattered rain bursts - life in the desert Southwest - gotta love it.

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Okay, so she edited her profile thanks to a bunch of adolescent old coots! Where's that leave me, looking at YOUR profile pics? <_< Oh, I can HARDLY wait!

I like the idea Bigguns, not only is it built from recycled materials and the rest, the dead air space is some insulation from the unholy temps you deasert rats seem to thrive on. It's more like a solar shade shield than insulation actually, sort of like an ice house roof. What do you do for windows, use your imagination, hang prints of outdoor scenes or?


Frosty the Lucky.

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Okay, so she edited her profile thanks to a bunch of adolescent old coots! Where's that leave me, looking at YOUR profile pics? <_< Oh, I can HARDLY wait!

What do you do for windows, use your imagination, hang prints of outdoor scenes or?


Frosty the Lucky.


I`m bettin` he has a pair of those way cool X-ray specs for when he wants to have a look at what`s approaching.

Either that or;
A man turns a corner and see`s a blind man swinging his seeing eye dog in a circle over his head.
He asks the blind man what he thinks he`s doing.The blind man replies"Just having a look around".
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No X-RAY glasses. When I am done it will only have 3 walls,so I will have one really big window. No roof planned-maybe a tarp, it was made mainly to stop the winds that we get fairly often around here. When it is 100+ I won't be slaving over a hot forge. Eventually I hope to have a subterranean shop that will be comfortable year round.

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Hey Bob,
I consider myself to be one of the smart monkeys. When I started planning to move to the desert I started researching alternative construction to beat the $250-$500 a month electric bills others have during the summer months. How does one do that? Thermal mass, and smart architecture. Use Mother Nature to your advantage, do not fight her, if you do she will kick your butt everytime. Earth berm, straw bale, rammed Earth, monolithic concrete domes, and container homes have been looked at so far. Each one has it advantages over the others, as well as disadvantages. In my opinion they all beat a traditional stick built house. Better thermal efficency, less maintenance, better security for some, lower operational costs-heating/cooling, quieter,(rammed Earth) repurposing of tires that would otherwise be difficult to dispose of, and I really like the idea of possibly using the materials found on my property to build my home.

I saw a show on HGTV-back whe I watched TV 2+ years ago-of a home in Vegas. 2,500' above ground, 17,000' underground. There are other more modest subterranean homes in the Vegas Valley, so the planning dept. is OK with them.

My current smithy is constructed of recycled materials, and when I smith I am recycling metal I have scrounged, so it fits for me. Recycling, repurposing, sustainable living, and just being aware of what my impact on this big rock we live on has been a way of life for me for some time now. In short - I hate waste. It really bugs me how we have become such a throw away society. I see it every trash day. Useable lawn chairs, filing cabinets, building materials, etc. set out for the garbage collection. Then there is the masses of packaging , or more correctly overpackaging of items. In some cases the packaging is far greater then the item it contains. A day on the shelf, a lifetime in a landfill. I have a sort of connection with wood items, and love working with it. I found a 2x6 at work one day that had been tossed. The grain caught my eye,and I sanded the end some. 149 rings across that 2x6. So here is a tree that was a minimum of 149 years old, and was probably MUCH older that was cut down, made into a 2x6, used one day, and tossed into the trash in probably a month's time. Lumber is not like steel where you can make more in a day, it takes years to grow good quality lumber, so I hate to see it thought of as such a disposable item. I now use some swag bags that I got from Harris Engineering(rifle bipod mfg.) at the SHOT show a couple years ago for my grocery bags. Got tired of thos flimsy plastic bags piling up. Being single, and more concious of what I buy, I have cut my waste stream down to a tall kitchen bag every 6 months which consists mainly of non recyclable plastics. Food waste, paper, plastics, cans, bottles, are all recycled/reused somehow. I collect the aluminum cans from work, and have been putting the treadle hammer to use smashing them :P When I worked at Jelly Belly, one of the security guards was making $300 a month on the aluminum cans he was collecting. I have seen places paying $1.80 a # for cans in CA. When I turned the ones infrom my folks estate I got $200.54 for 6 trash cans full of smashed cans. Yet how many cans do you see thrown away? They are also one of the best items to recycle as it only take 5% of the energy to recycle, as it did to make. Other items cost more to recycle-watre bottles. And when did our water supply get soooooo bad that we now live on bottled water? Arrrrrgh! Well I need to get of my repurposed plastic milk crate now, and go do something else. Rant over.

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Okay, so she edited her profile thanks to a bunch of adolescent old coots! Where's that leave me, looking at YOUR profile pics? <_< Oh, I can HARDLY wait!


My guess is that Amanda was smart enough to know that her pic (or a pic of a pretty girl, anyway -- but I choose to believe that was really her) would draw a better response than no pic. And now she's found what she was looking for, so she doesn't need the pic anymore. ;)
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Speaking of blind guys. I saw this guys assist dog pee on his shoe. So the guy pulls out a cookie for the dog and I said "why are are you giving him a treat after he peed on your shoe"? He said "I'm not giving him a treat, I'm just trying to find his head so I can kick his butt"!

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