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I Forge Iron

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Chris P

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Hi all, I guess this post will serve as an introduction too. I'm just getting into blacksmithing and I want to set up a small shop in my basement. I've taken a class, and will be taking a few more after Christmas, unfortunately, the school is over an hour away from my house.. so, I really need something at home to work with.

Originally I was thinking a coal forge, but because of the cramped area and less than favorable ventilation I'm leaning towards gas now. Could someone tell me if it would be better to hook the forge up to the natural gas line in my house or to just get some canisters of propane? I'm not really sure which would be cheaper, kinda on a budget, but hoping to make more out of this than just a hobby.

Thanks everyone, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

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thanks for the suggestions and advice :). I'll probably hold off on the natural gas as I'm thinking of building a shop and it wouldn't be equipped.

just out of curiosity, would coal be a better choice in a basement... or are basements just a bad idea to begin with?

oh, and as for the type of basement, its just an old fieldstone basement with basically dirt floors and 8' high ceilings.

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Personal Soap Box here:

Small enclosed spaces are not a good idea for any kind of burning of carbon based fuels, ie: wood, charcoal,coal, propane, natural gas, gasoline, kerosene,or old rags, unless there is well designed ventilation. CO, carbon monoxide, and CO2, carbon dioxide are both killers and both are products of combustion. Low levels of CO are cumulative in the body and require 6 days of healing of the blood stream to rid the exposure. Each new exposure adds to the previous dose. Death can be in as little as 5 min. CO is colorless and has no odor. Headache , dizziness, and disorientation, are your first symptoms. Those who try to save you will also be exposed and risk their life.

In the past I owned and operated a small (20x14 foot) shop to do emission testing on cars, the shop was 2 walls and 2 garage doors with both ends open. Cars would enter one end and drive out the other. Testing took about 5min/car. My exposure was 6 days a week, I tested as an average of 70 cars a day and I used a Nighthawk Digital CO detector. While testing the doors were NEVER closed. In spite of this I would often go home with slurred speech, headaches, and memory loss. On two occasions I had brief loss of consciousness, once is was lucky enough to have a customer call the EMT's to revive me. The other time i came to on my own and sought treatment. 10 years later I still have memory and concentration problems.


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