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I Forge Iron

New shop


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I'm in the process of putting together my shop. I've converted part of my barn by pouring a concrete floor, wiring the space (110 and 220), and putting in ceiling lights. So far, I've got a coal forge (large one) with hood, a smaller coal forge, a gas forge (two burner), a treadle hammer, three welders (gas, arc, and MIG), various vices, an electric and an old drill press, swage blocks, a couple of grinders, an anvil, and a 25# Little Giant. The structure is wooden. I'm facing the inside of the shop with corrugated metal and have a question about insulation. I'm thinking about using some UltraTouch Denim Insulation behind the large coal forge (between the corrugated metal and the outer wall). The Ultra Touch is supposed to be very fire resistant. I will space the forge about thirty inches away from the wall (perhaps with another metal reflective panel about four inches away from the corrugated metal). Will this work? Does anyone out there have experience with this product?

I'm, also, going to have to run a pipe up through the ceiling ("smokestack"), and will probably do the same when I put in a wood stove. The problem is that the roof is old fiberglass panels (brittle). What is the best way to cut the holes?

I'm just a rank amateur at pounding hot metal!


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Coal forges don't tend to put out a lot of heat into the general environment---I point out to people who think my feet must be toasty working at a forge in the winter that important parts of my anatomy are much closer to the hot spot and are not damaged in the summer so why would they think my feet would be warm in the winter?

What you worry about is hot metal---a cut off end can travel 30+'; stock flipping out of your tongs, etc. If your insulation is completely covered by corrugated sheetmetal I see no problems.

I just leave big openings in my roof as we got less than 6" of precipitation this year *total*. Knowing WHERE you are at might lead to suggestions suitable for *YOUR* *LOCATION*

If you are in a wet area you might see if you could go out a wall for your forge flue. Woodstove flues are much more picky as they deal with much hotter gasses and doing it to code will be a good idea!

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