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I Forge Iron

10'x10' Forge

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That's plenty of room for a hobby shop.  Look at Pughman's smithy build here on the forum.  He built one just about the same size and outfitted it really nicely.


All you really need in a smithy is room for one step between the forge, anvil, vise and tool rack.  Anything more than that is nice, but the "work triangle" is the important part.

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Multiple, large doors. Forge on the windward side of the space. Here in oklihoma I would places the forge in the NE corner, as we face north, west and south winds. Southern, and eastern doors. This lets you open up the doors, and heat a 20' stick in the middle. Wile keeping cold north . western storm winds, of of you. We also face south winds that can be unpleasantly strong, especially in winter, so south doors are desirable.for ventilation in somer and wind protection in winter.
One also might consider getting an old utility trailer and building a 8' wide shop on it. Might be able to side step code if your shop is on wheels.

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Our biulding code - (JUST OURS) says we can build a 120 sq. ft. without a building permit.

Check your code well.  

Because if you are able to build a 120 sq. ft. (example: 12' x 10' = 120 foot) shop you will find that the little extra will mean a lot later on.

Over my life time I have had three (3)  different shops while I was making a living at blacksmithing and welding.

My largest was 2,400 sq. ft., and the others were only about 900 sq. ft.

I say the above, just to say that you will adjust to your situation and make it work, that is a part of the skill!


Now; my (hobby) forge station (that is not connected to my main finish shop) is 14' x 14' and it is just right with room to spair. 

Because like what Charles Stevens suggested, make it adjustable so you can open it up wide when you need too.

Design your openings so you can take advantage of the predominate prevaiing wind direction to air out your shop.

Make a 12' x 12" slot with a hinged door so you can feed long peices of steel stock into your forge station with ease.

Let your mind jump out of the box (ref: Glenn :) ) and create designs to meet your needs and wants;

that is all a part of the fun!   


I suggest that you store as much of your steel and any other material that is not always in immideate demand; somewhere else.

It will keep your small forge station clear of clutter, more room to forge, and it will be safer.


I ramble on and on :D  - But I also wish you the best at whatever you wind up doing!!!! 

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I cant imagine filling a 10 x 10 foot forge, thats a lot of coal.   I estimate at least a quarter ton to load it up with coal.  So I assume you meant the shop, I will relocate this there for you, so you can read about other peoples shops, and get more ideas.

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Thanks for moving the thread. I thought there was a shop building section, but I couldn't find it.


I'm in Southern Ontario, and 108 square foot is the biggest you can go without a permit. I'm not planning on building one anytime soon, but I was just thinking about it in general. I'm really thinking about how could you best use that space, not how to setup a new shop for any particular kind of work.


Maybe it shouldn't be square?

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Ok for my knife and small stuff set up that was about that size in a larger shop I had an 8' workbench coming out from the wall for the "head end" with a slab of soapstone on it (old laboratory benchtop) that my propane forge sat on. On the front side of the bench was a tong rack bolted to it and a 4" postvise.  


To the right side of the work space (when facing the bench) was an 8' long timber balk that had several anvils a swage block etc on it. it was run up alongside the bench to give a larger entry space at the aft end.


To the left was a hammer/tooling rack that went along the wall.


Finally at the Aft end of the space was a sq 4' heavy built bench that had my 6" post vise mounted to it and was faced with chunks of 2" steel plate and with my extra post vises piled on a shelf underneath it.  


The space between the sq bench and the end of the balk was the "door" to the work area though it generally has a travel anvil on a stump there as well.


Inside it was a easy step to most of my tools and the heavy vise took a couple more but for heavy objects this was no problem.


Note I didn't need a heater in this shop and ventilation for the gasser was part of the bigger (20x30) shop plan.  I have since added another 20x30 to it and moved the forge out to it and redid the old section into armouring/post forging knifemaking

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