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I Forge Iron

Workshop Makeover - All Ideas Welcome!

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Dear IFI Members, dear Friends!


You have been helping me really much since I joined this forum both with advices and with relieving the loneliness I felt being alone with my interest. I am incredibly thankful for that. You and your words written here have become really important part of my days - thank you for that, too.


But being greedy may be built in the human nature - so I bother you with further problems.


I plan a shop makeover which basicly means getting rid of the junk and trash accumuleted in the building used as my shop. The origin of this problem was that the building was meant primarily for stroring all kinds of stuff, and only later I began to turn it into a shop. 

In the first times I used only the area behind Door 1. That expanded into an L shaped workspace with the forge and anvil. 

Now suddenly new needs have arised:

- work space for the lathe work

- safe and organized way to store all the raw materials

- space for two anvils and a post vise (mounted to its own stand)

- making possible that visitors/guests watch forging work

- much more equipment storing possibilities

- open place for assembling


I have given some thoughts to this operation, but more the brains thinking more the merry (I hope  ;)).

Also I have read about this through the IFI sites. 


And some notes on the drawing below: 

- windows are on the wall behind the lathe

- all the doors can be opened totally

- main direction of wind is north-northwest - which way the doors face

- walls are some sort of slate sheets, no nailing, riveting to bear weights is possible; only the poles (P) can bear stuff

- there are some unmoveable things: the forge, lathe, built-in shelf and the workbench

- the ground level of the area behind Door 2 is lower then the other one's



If you have read this far I am very thankful for your effort - if you even comment this you are the most kind!








Somehow I can't attach bigger picture.


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Unsure why the pic won't show up better, but it's a good starting layout.  Guessing the power keeps the lathe in place?   when you say you are wanting to make it possible for guests/visitors.are you meaning freinds? or more clients?  A good spot to watch the forging is behind the clack tub, but id recommend a half wall with a polycarbonate window.  no chance of hurting a guest that way. could drop it in between the pillar behind the lathe, and the second poet on the left wall.  could keep chips from flying off the lathe toward the forge as well. 


Spent the afternoon tinkering with this in cad. have to get a mental break occasionally.  Render attached.  Can play with it more if you can give more details.  Your shop area definitly has potential.


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Hi Candid!


Thank you for the great effort taking this into cad. It looks reaally nice!

One of the reasons why people can't answer my questions can be: I forgot to ask explicitly what contribution I need in this. When writing in English I have to focus to the language so much I sometimes forget the main line of thought.

But back to business:

I want to be able demoing for visiting groups (ie. school classes). This is in the future, but now is the time planning it. Your idea with the polycarbonate half wall is plain genial. Those could be even door like on hinges, and could be opened and closed when needed.

Well lathe is unmoveable because its rotating power comes from an axle hanged to two steel poles going deep in the concrete floor.


In the weekend I started to clean the junk out. And made the material storing possible in the junk pile's place. 

I make a new drawing when I have a little time. But my baby daughter was born yesterday so... a bit more other things to do  :)


Thank you again!





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Your questions are specific enough to get started on Gergely, it's just a complex thing to organize. As I recall our high school metal shops demonstrating one of the tools required most of the students do class work because there just wasn't enough room for much more than 10 to watch.


A shield is a must around any demonstration that CAN throw debris. A nice folding screen be it poly carbonate or window screen can be the perfect place to showcase YOUR blacksmithing skill. A screen needs a frame yes? Perfect place to show off your scroll work, joinery, leaves, flowers, etc. etc. By folding these typically hinge vertically in around 4' sections and can fold flat for storage. Unfolded you can arrange them so they form a straight wall or a curve or completely surround a station.


I' thinking if you plan on having audiences very often you'll need to have a lot of your tools ad equipment portable. You'll also have to have a way to safety lock the power tools or sure as the sky is blue somebody WILL turn something on. Most likely it'll be a teacher rather than a student. The kids will usually pay attention and respect your safety lecture, teachers . . . Not so.


A good way to help lay out shop and work areas is to make a scale drawing of the room itself and make scale cut outs of all the features tools, machines, storage, furniture, etc. and you can just move stuff around to get a feel for it. I found a little wire circle scaled to represent a work circle was really helpful too.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Thank you, Frosty, for these valuable tips!

Having audience is only a future plan, but you never know, it's better to be prepared.

I try to have as portable equipment as it is possible. The forge itself is portable only the chimney is built in. The anvil is 114#, its new stump is being made to be movable, too. I'm not sure what to do with the vise: I'd  rather make it not portable but strong and with a holding bottom plate I can stand on.

I really like the electric safety lock idea, I'm gonna think it through. Around here working safely is not a common concern, but there are people who think they can operate all the machines they find. This two added together may result very serious problems, and I really hate to clean bloodstains.

If I can finish my work early today, I draw new pict showing what I have in mind.





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I don't know what your electrical service looks like but here we have circuit breaker panels. In a similar situation I'd just make sure electrical equipment was isolated by circuit. That allows you to kill the power at the panel and can be locked and really helps keep idiots out of trouble.


Frosty The Lucky.

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