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I Forge Iron

Setting up shop

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If any of y'all keep up with my blog on our family website, My blog the you will have noticed that I am quite busy.

Well to get everything set up I had to move all my tools and my treadle hammer into my designated shop aea. We made some wooden tables and mounted the vice the other day. This is just temporary as you can see the forge is still outside. (I'm building a new forge with a Hofi hood after we get the wall framed up.)
Anyway, moving the treadle hammer was a chore to do by myself....the "come-along" I got at an auction was a life saver.

I used the come-along to winch the hammer up into the trailer. Then I had to drive about 100yds. The trailer doesn't have any shocks so every little bump made it look like the top-heavy load was going to "capsize."

Just hanging out...or up!

Our floor joists are strong.

Everything set up and functioning. The treadle hammer has bad recovery time so I removed the counter-weight, extended the back arm that the counter-weight is attached to, and moved some springs around. It works 100% better now! It is going to be much more efficiant now!

First things I made were some hooks for extension chords, hoses, etc. in ur shop. I decided for simplicity to cold bend them around this pipe.....that was a chore!

This is the barn and the new shop. Count three clear roof pannels from the left side. Everything from that panel to the left is mine!

And one just for fun! My lil' brother took this picture while we were practicing music the other night!

After we get done with this next craft fair (two weekends from now,) I should be able to get the forge in and the walls framed/sided. Wish me luck!


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If I can add a word of caution here because I always worry about other people`s safety.

I would recommend that if you`re going to hoist things from the overhead that you do one of 2 things,either get a piece of heavy channel to keep up there and spread out the load or make up a heavy wood beam with a reinforcing plate and drill a hole thru the center of both the beam( 6X6 or better oak or laminated pieces like scaffold plank work well.The longer the better within reason)and the plate and use a lifting type eye bolt as an anchor point for your hoist or come along.
Once you get it up in the overhead it can stay there and it`s fairly easy to scoot it around to where you need it.
Oh,and I`d use chain rather than rope between the beam and the hoist.You can see the chain bend but the rope usually just completely fails and the results can be devastating,especially if you are working alone.

I worry because I have seen too many young fellows like yourself put too much stock in what some rope or plank of wood can hold and end up paying for the miscalculation in flesh.You seem to have a very bright and promising road ahead of you and I`m just trying to make it a long and enjoyable trip and help to see you at the end of it as intact as possible.

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Looks like a nice set up there, should give you enough room to work and stay out of the elements. That is indeed some creative rigging around the joists, I believe that they are strong enough to support that treadle hammer, I would however suggest that you take Mainely Bob's advise and use a chain or cable in the future

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For light duty stuff a rolling barn door set up mounted on the rafters can do quite a bit. You know they are rated for several hundred pounds; so anvils, heavy vises and large stock can be moved around the shop easily. I plan to put one up in my shop as soon as I can scrounge one...or even one on each side of the shop.

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Congrats on the new space - What a great setting!

Give an ear to Bob and Thomas and set yourself up right for lifting load - besides the safety aspect, just having a solid, easy to use lifting system makes a whole lot of things so much simpler.

Keep those pics coming - you're an inspiring young fella regarding your passion and commitment to the craft!

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I admire the time, effort, and dedication that you have. Not traits that are found in most of todays youth I'm sad to say. I give credit to those that raised you. The shop looks great and should serve you well. Good job young man!

Good luck! Have a blessed day,

ps, I tried to go to your website but it said something about bandwidth and wouldn't go. I'll try later.

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As usuall I appreciate the comments and suggestions! I do like the idea of the barn door runner....we have two 34-foot sections......maybe I could "steel" one! LOL

I do have a tendency to skimp on things sometimes becuase "it is just this once."
I do think the rig I used was plenty secure, but since I am being cautioned by the more exprienced, I will go with a more sturdy method when I relocate the hammer in a couple of weeks. (It will be moved when I get the new forge installed!)

Got to get something to eat and hit the forge again!

Never think I resent honest opinions or criticism of my methods/work! Please keep that sort of thing coming!

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That looks like a fine space you have there Dave.

I'm not going to carp but I was going to say the same basic thing Bob did. What you had was fine for a light load but could've been bad slinging much more.

When you have occasion to move a similar load again and you will, try moving it laying down with the base facing the back. First the center of gravity will be much lower so it'll be more stable and easier to tie down. Secondly all you'll need to do to unload it is slide it back till it's balanced off the back of the trailer and use the come along to stand it up. That's how I unloaded and stood my 50# Little Giant last summer.

Just remember when rigging, NEVER get in a hurry unless you need to get clear of falling stuff. Never try to save a load that's going south on you, just get everybody and yourself clear. Picking up and repairing a thing is so much easier than a person.

Frosty the Lucky.

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I love you new space! it looks fantastic

I am a rigger, and fairly experienced with overhead lifting. It looks like you used sash cord to lift you hammer. The style and manner of you lifting are good, like Bob said a bigger beam would be better, but you know that now....

spread you lift over at least 3 ceiling joists... more is better and

chain or steel wire rope to a shackle are best for the point you are lifting to. even a heavy synthetic rope is better than a natural fiber... continuous fibers and higher load capacity

I have seen way too many pictures of a small miscalculation causing 70 to 90,000 lbs to fail

Here is a pic of a "miscalculation"

good luck and I can't wait to see you new work!

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Very nice set-up, looks like you have a good size shop and its always nice to get out of the weather. Another safety issue I saw and you will probably have this in mind.....its those bales of straw it doesn't take much for a hot piece of iron or sparks to go flying then you lose every thing. Good luck and enjoy.

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The hay is a bit of a worry. Right now the forge is far enough away and my anvil is farther. We are in the process of selling off our cows, and when that is done the hay goes too! We are going to frame a wall along in there and that is where the steel racks go. In the mean time, I just keep a sharp eye and a hose handy!

"Sash cord!" LOL I like that!

OK...OK! Next time I'm getting the 3500 lb. tractor chain! :lol: I'll dump the extra sailing rope, and buy some more chain, hooks, etc. Scratch that, I know how to forge weld now and I got some EZ weld yesterday so I'll just make some chain!

Thanks for the added suggestions! I like your idea of laying it down Frosty. I couldn't do that where I was moving it from as I didn't have anything to winch off of except the tractor. (I.E. The only way I could have gotten it to lay down is to shove it over and hope nothing broke :( )

Out of curiosity, how much do y'all think the hammer weighs??? 1/4 plate bottom that is 2' wide by 2 1/2'long, 5 inch square tube anvil post, 2"x2"x1/4" angle iron for the backbone, 25 pounds of head weight...

The guy I bought it from said he would guess 300lbs, but that he didn't know. I'd guess higher.

Yesterday I worked on dinner bells and S-hooks. I finished a pair of tongs, finished 12 dinner bells and got over half done on 17 S-hooks in about 4 hours. Should have more work time today.

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