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I Forge Iron

Setting up a forging area outdoors

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I'm about to set up my area outdoors with a Lively-style charcoal forge, pan and blower coal forge, hot-cut anvil (2"x8" mild steel on a 3 1/2" x 48" steel tube sunk to height), post vise and anvil, using RR ties as bases for those two. Forges on the left, hot-cut, anvil then post vise. What's comfortable for you forgers/smiths? Trial and error experiences?

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For me the best set up is the one that involves the least foot movement.When setting up outdoors and everything is mobile then I aim to set the anvil in the best,flattest shaded ground and then wheel the forge to a spot where it`s at most 1/4 turn and a slight foot shuffle from the forge to my right(I`m right handed)and the anvil.The horn points in the direction of the forge and the slack tub is either just to the immediate right or left of the forge depending on what type of work I`m doing.
I found that putting a tool shelf/rack within easy reach of the anvil has helped me now that I don`t have as good a grip as I did.Rather than drop or fumble with the hammer I rest it on the shelf and it`s within easy reach when I need it and out of the way of the anvil when I don`t.You probably have undiminished hand strength and feeling so carrying a hammer in your hand or laying it on the anvil face or handle up on the stump may work just fine for you.

I also run an electric blower and the foot switch for it is handy as I stand at the forge. Almost under the pan but easily found with the foot without searching or stretching.

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I like my gas forge over past the anvil about chest high, a stool for tools near the horn to my left (horn left, hardy right) and my tool box to the right on the ground. I now have a mobile bench for the post vise, so I need to rethink everything again. I am right handed.

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