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I Forge Iron

Shop space

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Hey folks,
it's been a while since I logged on, and man have I gone through some changes. The NYSDBA chapter that has met in my barn for the last 5 or so years has found another place to meet, it's a welding center, perfect for classes and everything. It's a good move for all involved. Now to the point, I always kept my personal shop separate, and now have a 30 X 40 space in the back of my barn. They left the smoke collection system, so I can fab up some hoods and put in several forges if I desire. My thinking is to actually make one side a coal forge shop, and the other a gas forge fab shop. It will be harder to heat than my current shop, but I have a barrel stove in place and can do some tightening up to keep the heat in. Here's my question, My barn is a lot further from the house than my current shop. I was wondering, have any of you made a shop move and found you did not go out to it as much? It will about double my working space, but I'm not sure the cold winter months will be motivating for me to go all the way down to the barn to play. That's what I do, it's not a serious business or anything, I do some comission work, but mostly just have fun!
Thanks. Mike

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Like many things in cold weather some preparation helps a lot. Can you lay a fire in the barrel stove the previous night and then sneak out and light it first thing and go back to the house and eat breakfast or drink coffee, surf the web for an hour or so before going out to the much nicer temperature for the shop?

I've just doubled the size of my shop by adding on a "dirty shop" extension and I find that I am *more* likely to go out now as I can leave my stuff set up for working and not have to put everything away to be able to close up and lock down the shop.

The time spent not putting away and getting out tools and setting up for an on-going project translates directly into extra productivity that makes me more likely to brave the elements. The dirty shop has a dirt floor open gables and an open vent space down the middle of the roof; but the walls keep the wind off and I haven't had too much snow drift in so far. A scrap piece of plywood to stand on helps the feet stay warm too.

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Hey Mike,

More space is a good thing and you have some assetts already in place. Heating the space is a big issue for winter operations.

Speaking from my own perspective, the -10F shop on a January morning is a daunting proposition in regard motivation, material preparation and machinery readiness. . Anything you can do to improve the heating capacity will help. I work out of an insulated 36x24 shop space but it is not independently heated. Its well sealed and out of the wind and that helps tremendously. A smith I know not far from here operates out of realtively open shedgarage and its some cold with the wind blowing in the winter. The forge will get the space workable after a time but it's certainly challenging at the start of the day. I may break down and go with a wall mount gas heater or any overhead garage heater but I always find something else to spend the funding on. Good luck with your new space.

Merry Christmas,

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hmmm....for me my "work" shop is several blocks away at my other house. Hard to get motivated to drive over when it is -30C. See my shop is not heated in any way. I would/will start my forge, put a plate over the fresh fire to heat for my anvil. Lay my hammers near the fire, go to the house and get water, then sit in my truck until all is warm, somewhat. About an hour or so to warm up and get ready before I can start something. Of course I now have a gasser and it is in my garage at my main house so I can just go out there, start the gasser, go get a coffee, and pound away after a few.

As to the size of the "new" shop. You say you have a barrel stove in the new shop, why not start it the night before and laden it with stoker coal to heat over night. Put in an oscillation fan to move the warm air, then Bobs your aunt, you have a semi or even warm work area the next day.

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