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Cold, Really Cold Weather Forging


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Hey Frosty - Keeping the door open in sub zero temperatures sounds unpleasant. Could you put one (or more) of those clothes dryer duct heads through the wall backwards so that make up air negative pressure will open them when air is needed but be closed when not. The problem with make up air is likely to be one of your biggest problems in a well insulated and heated shop. Of course I suppose that you could preheat make up air, maybe through your flue robber system.

So far as the automobile windows breaking, that probably has something to do with tempered /heat treated glass not liking extreme sub zero weather.

Sure those type vents are commonly available. What I have is a sub floor exhaust system (not hooked up yet sigh) it removes contaminants close to the source so make up air isn't as big a factor. The propane exhaust is the more concern but the infloor exhaust system will remove it too. Best part there is it means circulating the hot forge exhaust under the floor. Cracking a door for make up air is no big thing so long as it isn't blowing right on you.

NO permafrost here, not since a couple thousand years after the last ice age. FS (Frost Susceptible) soils are a concern anywhere though but our's isn't FS, it's well drained so we're good there. Permafrost is an issue in Brian's neck of the tundra though I don't know about his property specifically. The Fairbanks area often has a high water table and doesn't freeze, even seasonally.

The broken side windows in cars and trucks were entirely wind damage. Some were caused by bits of sand and gravel hitting them at 140mph, some were just wind effect. First the upwind windows got blown in then the downwind ones got blown out. Pitted windshields were the norm and even though we parked facing into the wind we still lost a couple side windows. The insurance Cos lost money that storm.

Really cold weather can damage windows though but that's the thermal shock effecting ships. You almost never see a car windshield that doesn't have a crack or two.

Frosty the Lucky.
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Cold? wassat? we dont worry much about cold on the bayou, in fact sometimes the weather gets so cold water will get hard (?) The weather channel says "protect pipes" It sure is funny to see gas meters wrapped up and protected from freezing.

COLD is how beer should be served. Protect your pipes means it might be hard to light it if you don't block the wind. <SHEESH!>

Frosty the Lucky.
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Can anyone explain what local practices are regarding construction of foundations on permafrost. I looked up commercial construction recommendations and was amazed at what is needed for slab an grade. Five feet of crushed stone with air duct ventilation ducts to keep the fill chilled down below slab on grade construction.

SOG foundations aren't generally recommended for permafrost but there are a number of code methods. If you call the state materials lab they may let you come in and read the ASHTO sections on permafrost construction.

What kind of slab construction are you referring to? What you describe is a very general description of a road grade technique but one several years or decades out of date. About 25+ years ago they started using convection to supercool road grades so much less fill was necessary. The gravel is to provide a NSF (Non-Frost Susceptible) base. Free standing static water can cause frost heaves even from more than 30' below grade so making sure there's free moving air under a road is critical.

The freeze tubes are one of those head slappers that it took someone more than 100 years to think of. Simply lay a length of 12" galvy culvert 20-30' longer than the road width under the road bed. At one end lay a 90* elbow and install a length of the same culvert so it extends above ground level higher than average high snow depth and put a china cap on it. On the other end of the culvert do the same thing but extend it about 6' higher. Any time the ground temp is higher than the air temp convection circulates air and cools the road base. If you drive to AK you'll see the things sticking out of the ground along the road every so often. Some places are harder to keep frozen than others so there isn't a set distance.

If you're building a structure forget trying to keep permafrost frozen, it's a real hassle and really expensive, build on piles. Driving steel pilings to physical refusal, they won't jack and it's easy, really easy to build a floor structure you can pour concrete on. If it's a critical permafrost situation you'll need to elevate the bottom of the floor and sheath it with curved corners so the wind can flow unimpeded. This is actually a really handy thing as the faster moving wind under the building keeps the snow cleaned off.

Are you moving to permafrost country? Be aware there isn't much very far south of the arctic circle with a few exceptions. The ground freezing in winter doesn't make it permafrost though it's really common for folk to misname it such. Contact the DOT materials lab and ask questions of the people who know the local. And yeah, I am one of THOSE guys retired after 30 years.

Frosty the Lucky.
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