Grem

Recently moved to AZ!

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Hey I just recently moved to Tucson in Arizona, though I've been a member here for a while, I figured I would start once again with a post here to see if there might be anyone near me who also does smithing.

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Now you have lived on both ends of the desert. Within the US. I can't imagine much summer forging happening unless you have more money than my family does! AC in the shop seems a must.

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Yeah, one night here in central Texas they had us do our second football practice at 11 pm and it was still 97 when we started. I really want a building with AC. If your not in the shade your day at the forge will be short.

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I don't see many swamp coolers for sale. I've only ever seen one at work (Home Depot). Can you get one for a good price? Does it work better than a window unit?

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They work as long as the humidity isn't too high as they work by evaporation. If it is too high you really do create a swampy environment.

Prices are all over the place depending on size, and location. Back in N.CA they practically gave them away, here in the desert they are like gold.

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Gets a bit sticky late August, the newer one pad units are the best, with the older units double aspin pads and set them on low. Drain the water down once a week or by the end of the season it will be full of costic water and calcified. Unless it is one of the all plastic units dont forget to put in a sacrifitial anode.
Whe never had an ac growing up, we had a solor hotwater heater, a wood stove and a swamp (evaporative) cooler in an all electric home. Dad worked for APS (the electric co.) they audited him 3 times, then they called him in to the head office to explane how he was "stealing" power. He wasn't, lol just a conservationist at heart.
They now have duel systems for your home now, with springloades atic vents and automatic controles to swich from AC to Evaporative for your home. With a 6-8 month cooling season it dosnt take long to make your investment back. The neweest sustems even use the cooler to precool the evaperator for the ac.
But it certainly can make a shop bareable in the summer. Just dont try to work under an uninsulated roof, the sun heats it up to 140+ and it radiates down on you. 116 in the shade is one thing, 130 is another thing entirely. If you build a shop, Tucson has a good rep for working with alternitive building, adobe is standard material, tires, cordwood, straw bailes, beercans etc are old hat. Flat rooves with an 1 1/2 of white stone over the membrain or 4-6" of adobe is pretty standard too.
Shade, airflow, water (lay off the beer and gatoraid) and a reasnable work rate are key. 10 min breaks every hour are also a good idea. The simple fact is if some ol'boy can roof in an AZ summer, you can safely forge. I do recomend long sleaves, long pants, a bandana and a good straw if you work outside, the hat is optinal inside ;-)
Lastly, unless your neighbors or prone to complain, adopt the siesta schedule. Do any heavy, hot work in the early AM, seek the shade from noon to 6 (no daylight savings time, so get up early in the summer, say 5:30) then get back at it at dusk. Siesta isn't "nap" as much as, "only gringos and mad dogs are out in the noon day sun" or "hid from the heat of the day" lol.

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Hi Grem, Welcome! I live here in Tucson. We have open forges through the AABA first Sat. of the month during the fall, winter, and spring. If you want more info, or want to just stop by the shop PM me.

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I plan to spend a few months in Apache junction after first of year. Will try to get to Jan 17 meeting.

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