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I Forge Iron

What needs fixed in the shop


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What have you seen in "other" shops that needs fixed? Not that it would ever happen in your shop ....but some things that need attention from a outside perspective, a fresh set of eyes.

If you were to pick one or two items that could be "brought up to standard" what would they be?

* The electrical cord that the insulation has separated and pulled out of the socket. Wires still intact, but it just needs reattached.

* The air hose with the bulge in the rubber. Still serviceable, it just needs a coupling installed at the bulge (or a piece of pipe and a couple of clamps).

* The fire extinguisher that leaked off and now the needle is in the red zone, but not very far into the red.

* The one piece of steel you keep tripping over and have intended to move for how long ?

Any other ideas?

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I've suspended use of the oxy/acetelene torch in my shop until I get new hoses. Last week I opened the valves and heard leaks.I told my son to NOT use them as well.The hoses are old and cracked. I don't consider it safe to patch around on those kind of things. Gonna get NEW HOSES!

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Multi plug adapters plugged into multi plug adapters plugged into multi plug adapters and the fifty power tools plugged in to the gob and all plugged into a 15 amp plug. "How come the lights dim when I turn on my gri-...??? Gosh. it sure got dark all the sudden!"

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I have an air leak I need to fix on the pipe from my compressor. One of my roll up doors has something that rolls around in the top when I close it. I really need to take the cover off all my welding machines and my plasma cutter and blow out all the dust and grit. I need to take the guard off my hammer and grind and paint it. This is a good idea, maybe now I will get some of this done. Kinda like a "honey-do-it-myself list.

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I have to find another place to put the treated 4X4 posts that are going into my kids' new swingset. I need a hood on my new forge to draw the smoke out of the shop. Since I am just getting a good start at this, I need to come up with places to store tools and steel that I am not using and I need a good work table. But I will be moving within the year, so all of that is on hold until we get our new place.

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One of the big safety things I see in a lot of shops is steel storage. Even I do it and that's not good. I have stuff sticking out at head height and I have head banged, nearly poked out my eye and caught steel in the mouth. In my old shop I would stick Styrofoam blocks on the ends to slow down injury. Undersized electrical service is another big item too. I have seen under sized air mains in shops where they rely heavily on air driven equipment. They will run their compressor at a higher pressure to make up for the undersized main. They will also have the line sloped toward the air tool instead of back to the receiver and no auto drain on the tank.

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I ask the original question, so I guess I better report back on the progress. So far I have removed two old artificial Christmas trees (in boxes), a 5 gallon bucket of clay for lining forges (now firmly dry and set up like concrete), and a wheelbarrow of loose metal, drops, etc.

The trash man got a garbage bag and a half of old paper, cardboard, floor sweepings, etc.

There may be hope yet, I just have to stay focused a while longer.

On the bright side, I did take time to install a flood light over the main work table. (pun intended)

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  • 2 weeks later...

The blacksmithing parts of my shop aren't up and running yet, but I'll call out a few safety points that I want fixed before I declare it complete and running:

1) Better steel storage is needed for sheets and long lengths

2) Wiring needs to be run on one side of the shop. I finished the other side on a different circuit and now run extension cords across the middle.

3) A large fire extingisher is needed. I picked up one of those old small ones with the needle just into the red for free. When the indoor forge is finished, I'll need a real one.

4) Overhead storage is needed. I'd like to get some kitchen cabinets high on the walls to clean up much of the clutter that is just being stored for some unknown project.

5) The old geared-head drill press needs a switch and a bigger motor. Right now I have to reach behind the flat belt to the power strip switch on the wall to turn it on. Then, the motor is short on torque and needs a pull or two on the belt to get started. A new, larger start cap didn't help enough.

6) Various tools should be anchored better: the grinder, belt grinder, drill press, power hacksaw, benches...

7) I need a real welding bench. I have a ~30x30x.75" AL plate sitting on a composite wood table...

8) The water lines need to be fixed. There is a sink out there, but the pipes had burst before I moved in. That's supposed to be the first aid/clean up/fire suppression corner, but I piled up junk there because the plumbing needs work.

9) Last but not least (I couldn't think of a tenth, but I'm sure there's more) the projects, materials, and latest finds that are all over the benches and floor need to be finished and out of the way.

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  • 6 months later...

Electrical list:
Hard wire the buzz box into the wall so the 220 cable isn't rubbing against the edge of the welding bench.
Improve the level of lighting in the welding area

Add some sort of a hood to guide the smoke better into the chimney.
Install a sky hook so long work can be supported.

Install the hoist.
Install the drill press vice which I have now owned for 10 months and is still in its box.
Fix the holes in the tiled floor with some cement.
Lock away all those loose tools that kids find so fascinating.
Build the bench for woodwork.
Demolish the "bench" that is falling to pieces and has a 70 pound vice on it. (Ouch).
Sharpen the chain on my saw.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The rotary amperage selector on my arc welder is stuck on 75 amps......must have gotten dirty. An arc at the contacts.NOw I must take the thing apart to survey the damage. I had this happen once before, and I just broke it loose gently, cleaned it up, and was good to go.
We'll see!

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