NickOHH

Worst Weather You've Forged outside In

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So Since its Raining Pretty good in my neck of the woods, and doesnt seem like its gonna stop anytime soon, i have a lovely day off from work, New Anvil to try out and all i dont know how long i can wait. so ill probably be out in the rain later, since i dont have a proper shop to work inside yet.

 

What is the WORSTE WEATHER any of you have been out forging in??

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105 degree actual temp with unknown humidity level apparently imported directly from Hell.   Even the act of lifting lighter to forge and I was already dripping buckets of sweat.   Called it quits 5 hours, a half-dozen Gatorades and 3 bottles of water later.  Absolutely MISERABLE, went in and had to peel off clothing, even my socks were soaked.   It was enough to make the decision to NEVER forge in the hottest summer months again.  I'll be working on indoor house projects next summer. 

 

I've forged in the rain, which was enough to convince me to get a lean-to roof put over my outdoor patio/shop - it'll be installed in a month or so. 

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Last winter me and a friend forged in his uninsulated barn during that polar vortex. Had to preheat his 350 lb anvil every day for a week. I think it got down to -20F.

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Worst?  Standing in snow in subzero wind chills---thats when I made a 1 fire brick propane forge powered by a cheap plumber's propane torch---then I could forge in the basement where it was only in the 50's! (degF)

 

Most interesting was at an SCA event where a thunderstorm blew up; I was under a shade tarp but with the winds I had small hail bouncing off the anvil face and hitting me in the belly...

 

I've forged a number of times in a drizzle having to stop when the water level on the forge tray finally got high enough to go over the firepot lip and put out the fire...

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Not necessarily the worst....  I was forging at my boy scout camp on my day off, just as a massive storm front was rolling in to the north.  The darkest clouds I have ever seen, and the thunder growling low in the distance in time to the rhythm of my hammer.  I felt like I was forging in Thor's workshop.  It started to pour at exactly the moment I was getting ready to weld the reins on some tongs, so I did the only sensible thing:  Finished the weld as the rain came down on the uncovered smithy, and then went inside. 

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I'm Hoping the weather is wrong today or changes, and this heavy rain stays as a light rain , try to cover the forge abit keep out as much water as i  can and sit the anvil under our deck not high enough to have the forge under there to tho i dont think, dont really wanna burn down the house, small propane unit would come in handy on days like theres though.

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....

I've forged in the rain, which was enough to convince me to get a lean-to roof put over my outdoor patio/shop - it'll be installed in a month or so. 

Spanky, you're gonna love that. :)

 

I forged out in the open when I could, then put up a 10'x12' tarp over the forge area (forge OUTSIDE of the tarp) for a couple of years.  Good for shade, poor for rain, sucks with snow.  Then....I put up a 12'x21' metal carport, no sides, with a 8' eaves and 10' roof.  Been out in hot sun, rain, hail and yesterday snow...forging and welding both; works like a charm. 

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Had orders to fill last winter, put your big boy pants on and get out there! :)
My unheated garage with the big door open for venting the gas forge, -14 below zero and falling....
cold.jpg

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OHHHHH, jealous, I'd love to get my hands on a slab like that. 

yea i was like a little kid on christmas when he said i could just take it, goin rate for slabs is quite high now, said he he had that and a few more longer ones sitting for like 20 years. could probably work somethin out for a couple more if i offer him some money. so if ya make your way to SE PA with a truck :)

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yea i was like a little kid on christmas when he said i could just take it, goin rate for slabs is quite high now, said he he had that and a few more longer ones sitting for like 20 years. could probably work somethin out for a couple more if i offer him some money. so if ya make your way to SE PA with a truck :)

 

you kidding?!  It's COLD up there!!!!   No thanks  

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you kidding?!  It's COLD up there!!!!   No thanks  

LOL come on , 44 degrees its beautiful, still t-shirt weather!

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Well 100 degrees and 90% humidity with a gasser blowing dragons breath at me, and slugging away with the power hammer, with respirator and work tunes hearing protection, Kevlar sleeves and gloves.  My boots were soaked as well as the rest of me, had a marvelous time;-)

 

Once I was making shoes for a big fat quarter horse and had the gasser on the tailgate of the truck and a down pour came through we probably got half an inch or better in 15 minutes. I was water forging, the shoes would pop as I put them on the anvil to flatten them out, again I was completely soaked down to me boots...

 

Winter forging in the insulated brick shop back in Attica, cooking my front side with the gasser and hot steel in front of me and Whaling away at the steel, and freezing my backside and feet off.  You also had to be very careful what you picked up, everything that didn't get warmed up in the gasser was flat nasty cold and might stick to you, and you felt the cold in your bones...

 

Seems like every other day at pumpkin fest we had winds that would blow the smoke and the flames from the coal forge back into my face standing at the blower...

 

Thankfully I don't have any stories about lightening, or wind so bad the anvil blew away... yet...

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While not outside , I have worked in a friend's shop in Al Ain , UAE , this is right on the edge of the Saudi Arabian 'Empty quarter, 56 degrees C in the shade(120f I think ) in a IBR shed/hangar forging happening on one side and metal casting on the other. I was wearing jeans and boots and for the first time envied the 'dish dash ' and flip flop attire:)

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For a couple of years in my small shop I had the hammer by the door, anything over a metre long and I was standing outside, rain, hail, snow, shine. May not sound too bad to the leisure time blacksmiths and /or those living in extreme/harsher climates amongst us, but a few fifty hour weeks getting cold wet and miserable is not so good.

I did have a mild bit of excitement one day changing tools on the Reiter hammer. I was just offering the top tool up to the dovetail when lightning hit the power lines and an enormous spark leapt between tup and pallet and so to me....felt like someone had thumped my elbow with a mallet...dropped the pallet onto my foot and hop/danced across the floor. One of the neighbourhood gossips came by and heard the tale. A few minutes later my brother-in-law telephones full of concern to see how I was. His service garage was only a few hundred metres away and in that time and distance the tale had grown to be that I had been "struck by lightning and thrown across the forge!"

Alan

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There isn't too much weather in our area of SE PA that keeps me from forging, except for 20+ mph wind.  Rain & snow can be defeated with a pop-up sunshade.

 

I did learn that MIG welding on my driveway in the rain was a really bad idea, though.  I only had to try that once!  Really bad experience.  Forging in bad weather doesn't really compare.  :^)

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I once forged when it was 110 give or take, not fun. Not fun at all. I was soaked head to toe and was standing in a puddle of sweat by the two hour mark. After four hours and a gallon or two of water, Iwas done.

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Been there SLS, lol. 110, -14, rain, snow, sleet, ice and gusts up to 60mph. Just another day in Oklahoma..
For those of you forging under a fly or un insulated roof move outside with a wide brimmed hat and a thin long sleeved shirt on hot days! Radiant heat can add 20-40 deg. And lay off the gator aid. Water, water and more water. A handful if chips (crisps for you all across the pond) will be just fine for electrolytes.
For you in the cold, get out of the wind, and switch to wood/charcoal put yourself between the windbreak and the forge so a bit of the heat is reflected on your backside, wool underclothes are your friend, lol. And don't forget the water and a hat!
Thunderstorms?! With a 3# chunk of steel held overhead on a stick? Nope I'm crazy not stupid.

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Most uncomfortable I've had was about 45 degrees in Western Queensland. That's in the shade -you wouldn't forge in full sun in that heat.
Exactly the opposite to snow-bound New York according to news reports tonight.

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Putting a scrap piece of plywood/osb on the ground to stand on when there is snow helps keep the feet warmer too.

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