Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Recommended Posts

So backstory;

My parents music store (lessons/repairs) closed June 30th, and we have had to move the Picture Frame shop into the garage which is where I stored my forge/anvil/tools. So I had the idea of making some sort of outdoor shop area.

This is where the issues arise. I am not allowed to have any more cement pads on the property (we have the house, a 4 car garage and the other lot has a pad for the 2 car garage which houses the frame shop), so I will need to make a non-slab based structure. Basically, we can put up a 8x10 shed or thereabouts.

My shed concerns would be the floor of a shed is wood, so I would have to put something else on the floor to prevent burning the place down. Maybe sand/gravel mix?

I was also just thinking about making a semi-sheltered area where I could have the forge and a hood/windbreak for that, and the Anvil.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the budget?  I'm happy to spend YOUR money for you :)  If you can swing it, there are some good all metal options available--some lightweight (but more than those stupid yard sheds that collapse) and some really nice.  The good thing about one of the metal sheds/buildings is the ability to disassemble and move..or even sell later. 

Snow load and wind affect choices:  It appears that you are in the northern netherworlds where you use ice cubes to warm things up in winter.  How does that affect your needs?

Crusher run gravel with all the fines still in it (like a 3/4 or 5/8" minus in imperial measurements) will pack down to be almost like a concrete floor if the mix is right...and with effort could be removed later.

I just noticed that Northern Tool has an interesting 7' x 7' (roughly) option for the space-desperate...wonder if one could scab 2 together. http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200405082_200405082

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kardall said:

My shed concerns would be the floor of a shed is wood, so I would have to put something else on the floor to prevent burning the place down

I have many pictures of old blacksmith shops esp. in the New England area and the vast majority of them were wooden floored.  I remember 3 blacksmith shops were still operating  when I was a kid 50 yrs ago and they all had wooden floors.  those buildings are still standing and were converted to other uses.  Wooden floors in a shop doesn't mean it will burn.  I do go to 2 shops where they had caught fire at one time and the roof beams and boards were burned but not the walls or floor, both are part of museums today. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

an original shop in CT with wooden floors.  It was built 1870-1880 time frame and was used until late 1950.  Frame in picture is shoeing stocks that swing out from the wall

 

stone forge with wooden floor all the way around it. 

100_5674.JPG

100_5673.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dirt floors in a blacksmith  are great for a lot of reasons ;

Easy on your body, warmer too.

They won't catch fire or crack or spall when  you drop something hot.

Hot cut offs  and sparks stay put when they hit the floor instead of going into hidden cracks or corners.

Losing tools in a dirt floor is just a myth.

You can dig a trench and bury wiring or air lines as your shop layout and needs evolve over time.

Pour concrete puttings just below grade for the anvil, vise or power hammer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a problem with my dirt floor (indoors) that I have to solve. The soil is fairly fine sand and I get dust all over the place.

There is a minor nuisance in so far that my feet slowly shift the floor up to the bench and the anvil. It is minor because it is easy to rake it back when needed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well a good traditional blacksmith;s floor involved mixing ox blood with clay....   Where I live dust is a problem no matter what you do  as it blows in from the desert.  "Crunchy"  is not a choice it's a way of life!

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, gote said:

There is a problem with my dirt floor (indoors) that I have to solve. The soil is fairly fine sand and I get dust all over the place.

There is a minor nuisance in so far that my feet slowly shift the floor up to the bench and the anvil. It is minor because it is easy to rake it back when needed.

The soils around here give a similar problem. After they get dry and are trampled on a bit, they turn into a fine talcum-like powder that can't be controlled at all. You are almost wading in the super-fine dust.   Although other methods might be more appropriate, there is a water based sprayable product available that is often used on large dirt parking areas.  It basically makes the fines stick together so they never get too powdery--The more traffic it gets, the more things stick.  Not toxic or permanent so it might work for people who have temporary outdoor spaces during the summer.

I'll try and find a retail link and post it if I can.

I found one reference to spraying with soybean oil (which is one of the oils that easily polymerizes) and also using magnesium chloride dissolved in water which can be purchased on amazon and elsewhere.  Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate and I'm wondering if they would have the same effect as the chloride version give or take.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you build a "sandbox" foundation of ground contact rated 2x6 treated lumber and then fill it in with 4" of class 2 aggregate (same stuff used for gravel roads and shoulders around here) and it will compact into a nice hard floor that's way cheaper than concrete... add an inch of sand and square pavers later if you want a fancier hard surface floor.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for useful ideas. I am reluctant to use calcium chloride because chlorides are so aggressive on metals. Otherwise it is what we use on dirt roads to bind dust.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can use magnesium chloride it's a lot less corrosive than most salts . . .  still. The soil also MUST have fines in it and if there are fines it's probably compactable. Crushed base coarse like D-1 compacts like concrete so a LITTLE Portland cement raked in to the top inch or so before compacting keeps it from loosening up in use. Allow the cement to absorb it's moisture from the surrounding soils, no need to wet it. You don't want to make concrete, just stabilize an already stable soil.

The fact that crushed base coarse compacts and stays compacted is why it's used under toads, structures, etc. It's usually covered with a paving but a bit of cement stabilization does it for most cases without heavy vehicle traffic.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Magnesium chloride releases less chloride into the ground than other chloride salts When used as a deicer it also works to as low as minus 14 f. Has anyone, on this site, used that chemical to stabilize a dirt or sand or cement floor.

Avoid ammonium nitrate and sodium nitrate. These two salts actively attack cement. and masonry.

SLAG.

Link to post
Share on other sites

kT.P.

Are the T.S.A. folks into hobby farming? Ammonium nitrate and potassium nitrates are popular, well known fertilizers. I had no idea that they were aspiring green thumbs? Maybe even all thumbs.

I will definitely remember and tale your advice before  I set foot on an airplane.

Thanks, yet again, for your invaluable counsel.

Got to get back to work. The spouse cometh.

SLAG.

Edited by SLAG
orthography strikes yet again
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...