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This is my first post in a long time and i was just wondering if anyone had tried just buying a shipping container and turning it into a shop, seems like with both sides open there would be plenty of ventilation, my only worry would be that constant vibrations going through the whole metal structure would deafen you

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Used to be an old timer woodworker in the area who had three separate shops at his place- all three were buses with equipment lined down one side and stock down the other. Really enjoyed watching him work.. machine to machine, getting stock as he went. Sad we are losing the old timers and their hard-won ideas. He made almost all his own equipment. Always said, with a big grin, "Bet you never saw one of these before".

Dave

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I set my shop up in a Connex till I got my real shop up. A connex has a wood floor so it wasn't like working in a steel drum but it wasn't the best shape. I ended up using it for my lathe, drill press and storage. It's still here and being used as storage, they're really tough units and make great structures with a little or a LOT of work. If necessary I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Junker,

 

Shipping containers make inexpensive and great secure storage., 20's, 40's, 45's. Most are 8 ft x 8ft and that makes for a small dance floor width wise.  You can arrange them in any number of configurtions that will allow an outside covered area. keep in mid they (dry storage units) are made of corten steel. If you are going to do any mods, use e-7018. The boxes arent pretty but they are functional,  particularly if you are operating in a remote location. Good luck.

 

Peter

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I have a 20' on my property in Northern MI. I use it as a shop when I'm there. I pull the forge and anvil out use it and put it back when I'm done. I would like to get another 40' for a back and 20' for a side. Then build a 24' roof to go over both.

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Junker,

I think you're on to a fine idea.

A fella down the way from where I used to live set up two of them with a roof between and sliding door ends on the center section. He used the set up to restore the classic cars he loved to work on.

One side was the tooling and work area, the other was racks and shelves with all the parts sorted into their various points in the process. He had double man-doors installed on both for easy access. It was spacious and he kept it very organized.

The car being worked on occupied the center which had a concrete slab. The whole set up worked a treat!

Sadly, similar to Windancer's story, he passed and his wife had to sell off his whole operation.

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There was a fellow out here that used to a lot of odd jobs, everything from diesel mechanic to sculpture and his place was four 24' units and two 20' units arranged in a "U" with the 24' stacked on the sides and the 20' units stacked on the end with a 3' catwalk all around with 3' doors cut into the top containers to access them for storage. He then had a crane that traversed the whole of the open space and over that he had scrounged some arched steel trusses and covered them with corrugated tin sheeting for some sun protection. The bottom containers were where he kept his tools that he needed access to every day and his office with A/C. Nice set up, he could pull a big diesel engine or build a big steel sculpture and then load it up on a truck to haul away for the client. When the city inspectors caught site of it they condemned it after it had been up and running after nearly twenty years, reason, no stamped structural drawings and no stamped electrical drawings, didn't care about the plumbing at all, not a skilled trade.

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thanks, for the input guys, trying to figure out how im going to get back into smitthing once i get out of the army, ill be going to college so i won't be able to live out in the boonies anymore, trying to think of something i could maybe keep at my parents place or set up behind a rental in a more residential area

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Might look at a enclosed trailer, you can find used car hauling trailers affordable, if you build a "shed" on it then your golden. Steel studs (use the heavy read painted ones) and roofing tin are light . With some infinity you can make the sides tilt up as awnings. Close it up and it's secure, no zoning hassles and no need for a Crain to get it out of mom and dads back yard.

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Zoning is a big consideration.  A local friend had two 40' containers for antique cars on a farm.  They were in the back of the property, not visible from any neighbors or the road.  When tax re-assesment time came, the assessor reported him and he had to have them removed.

 

Another friend in the same town put a 20' next to his shop, and connected it.  But he put siding on it and painted it to match the shop.  No problems ever.

 

I like the trailer idea.  Maybe with an extended roof out the back, and a hoist setup to move the anvil to the ground.  Put the forge nearby at the back.  Use the rest for tool and stock storage.  Easy to setup, easy to move.  No zoning hassles.

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Some were on the web I came a across pictures of a forge wagon used by a LAFD, I think to shoe fire horses, the forge and anvils wer in a low horse drawn wagon with a roof, I'll we if I can find it. I've shoes out of a stock trailer with the anvil stand lager to the floor, no need to take out the anvil.

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From a cost perspective, I think it comes down to buying a container at the right price. Down here in Central Texas, most of the ones I see are at least $3K and usually closer to $4K or more - but I can build a 20x20 pole barn with 10' walls for much less in materials (assuming I provide the labor). I also think containers are often easier to obtain near large seaports due to the ship commerce but harder to find further inland so location can be a mitigating factor.

The idea of having two tied together and facing each other sounds like a good method, especially if you can line them up to catch prevailing breezes under a covered overhang.

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I lived in a Connex in the sand box over seas and we forged just out side of one and worked in side to finish up many a project, the anvil and some other equipment was set up out side under a 3/4 enclosed cover and sand bagged for our protection but it worked Awesome !

 

Sam

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  • 5 weeks later...

I have a 31 x 14 foot workshop that is costing me £20 a week at the moment but if i buy a £2000 container (over here in the uk at least) i can put it on a friends farm for free i am wondering all the same things as you the main one how long will it last (im in wales right under the Brecon Beacons  ...we invented rain ! )

i am thinking i could use the doors to swing the anvil and the forge out on and use the rest for storage etc the doors will swing out and the anvil and forge will adjust to suit , anvil drop down on to a base, put a pipe on the forge for a longer chimney etc. just need to get a smaller anvil the 544 lb one i have may rip the doors off :-) 

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they are made of corten steel that is not too bad for rust but check what it is like before buying as the floors sometimes rot out.

 

hot in summer and cold in winter and noisy all the time.

 

you should be able to get them for less than 2 grand, fix the forge on the outside under a roof if you can, the anvil is more of a problem but I would not fix it to the door

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Cheap containers are usually "warped" from having been dropped and often are no longer water tight.

 

One guy I know has an insulated freezer box as his workshop.  Sounds like a good idea in very hot or very cold areas of the country.

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+1 to Dodge.  The way I'd do it would be to pour a slab, set 2 containers along opposite edges, bridge between them with scissors trusses, cut some doors here and there.  You could build a big dry (but not warm) shop for $7 to $10 thousand.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

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