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I Forge Iron

Forge opening direction


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Before setting up and firing my 1st forge I'm trying to get as much safety info as possible.  This is supposed to be fun, not deadly, and even though sometimes tempting death can be fun, playing with this kind of heat isn't/shouldn't be one of those times haha.


Here's my current locational setup.  I'll be forging in my garage (attached to the house).  Asside from the roll-up door there is the door into the house and 1 window.  My wife and I smoke out there now so the window is always open and we have one of the window mounted double fans in there blowing out acting as an exhaust for both the smoke and heat.  I am not sure if that fan will be suffecient to exhaust the fumes of forging or if I'll have to upgrade, but I have a CO monitor out there already and I'll be keeping a good eye on it.


Now onto my question.  Does the direction the mouth of your forge face make any difference in safety at all?  Does it affect how much heat and/or CO builds up in the space at all?  In other words, will there be any difference between having the mouth of the forge facing in or out of the garage door?

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Wouldn't think it would matter as much as what you've got coming out of your forge. Will a hood be involved? Don't know how far from the door your garage is, size of the building, etc, but why not put a chimney on it, even a simple side draft? Search the forums for examples, lots of people on here forge indoors.


Better than risking CO exposure, even with monitoring.....since some of the symptoms include feelin' sick, dizziness, confusion and even unconciousness.

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I rent so I am very limited on what kind of modifcations that I can make to the space itself (basically none).  When forging, even indoors, I intend to have the forge near or at the garage opening with a fan blowing behind me to push as much CO outside as I can.  The forge I plan to make at the moment is some variation of the zoeller forge firebrick forge, but after reading someone on a bladesmith forum I may change my mind to a pressure tank style.  Need to research it a little more before making a final determination.

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If you have the forge in the garage, near a door with a fan blowing out is only a start.


The fan MUST get air from somewhere and the same garage door opening is the place. It will suck air in through the garage door as well as forge fumes (CO) and then cycle them back out. If the window fan is blowing out, this increases the problem.


IF the window fan blows IN, you have fresh air interring the back of the garage to offset some of the air the big fan is pulling back in from the garage door.


Put the gas forge on a carte or table and roll it outside. Put the big fan to blow 45degrees across the opening of the forge and down wind away from the house. Be careful of natural breezes as they will blow the bad air (CO) back at you from time to time.


You can position the big fan to blow UP and discharge the bad air (CO) up and above the roof. Pulling clean air off the ground should not be a problem, and you can aim the discharge air so it does not return to the work area.

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Thanks for the tip Glenn.  The fan I have in the window is easily reversable so that is not a problem, but I am quite certain it doesn't move enough air for a full "change out" very often.  My only concern about pulling the forge outside is that my driveway is far from level so I'm not sure how that would effect heating my work, if it would effect it at all (and I don't want hot work rolling out if I'm heating a small round.  The incline is pretty steep in some parts and for safety reasons would even try to put a forge on it, but it does a "V" invert about 3-4 feet before entering the garage creating a nice trough for funnel water off so it doesn't run inside when it rains.  That might be an ok spot, once I get the forge built I'll play around with different ways to level whatever kind of cart I use to put the forge on so it's safe and level on the incline. 


When you say big fan, do you mean industrial type fan, or would a typical box fan be enough.  Just trying to get everything laid out in advance before I get started so I can be as safe as possible.

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