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I Forge Iron

New shop construction!!!

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I'm entertaining the thought of accepting an offer to help set up a blacksmith shop at a local museum. This is separate from my shop at the Quincy Mine (if you recall my posts from last year). If we do this we will be building from the ground up and are considering space enough for three work stations: forge, anvil, vise, etc. The other idea is one large forge centrally located with four stations located around it (one drawback that I can foresee is fire needs of the working smiths). I'm not sure about space requirements, I think my current space is about 8' square forge space, less bench and storage. What would you do different if you could do it over again? Its fun to dream, we may not get beyond the planning stage. Who knows...

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Right now I am in the process of hauling foundation material , one rock at a time for my new shop. 16x 24 one coal forge, one gasser in the plans so far . One wood stove. Gets nippy here in WI. Room for a LG 25 hammer. Lots of bench space and a welding table . 240 for the stick welder.

Should be enough room for now and space to add on later is I need it.


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Size totally depends on what you will be doing. If you need to swing a 20' length of 1" stock you will need a lot more space than a knifemaker with a 1' max billet or blade.

For general demos I seem to fit in a 10' x 10' space under my tarp

Do you have "finishing space" where someone can finish up pieces while not take forge station space?

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Well, it certainly does depend on what you plan on doing in this space. Figure on 9 square feet for each station: vise, belt sander, anvil; coal forge = 25 sq ft; layout/finishing bench = 45 sq ft; round up to 100 sq ft for just that much stuff. Now for storage/space for tools, materials, partially completed projects, room to put up shelves, any extra work stations, etc you need to add more space plus area to move around between things. This gets to more than 200 sq ft or about 12' x 16'. For a museum blacksmith shop, if they are willing to pay to build from scratch.....go for a 24'x 32' shop with high ceilings.

"Build it twice as big as you think you need, and twice as far from the house as she can shout".....old wise blacksmith

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