Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Is a basement forge ever okay?

Recommended Posts


First post. I am just getting into the hobby and am thinking about how to best set up my work space. I know a major concern is ventilation and I have read some of threads about forging indoors and the potential hazards. 

My question, is it ever be feasible to have a basement set up and would I just be asking for trouble trying to forge indoors? The only reason I am considering this is because I have a well functioning basement fireplace, and I wondered if I could use that to vent gases from a 2-burner propane forge. 

My basement specs:

-Hearth and fireplace, flue in good condition have had roaring fires in winter with no issues

-Multiple block glass windows with sections that can be opened for ventilation

-Multiple CO detectors in the house, one of which gives a PPM readout

-Drafty 1920's construction

-Concrete floor and tiled concrete walls

-HVAC return air is blocked off, but HVAC constantly blows new air into basement

-Have the ability to create positive pressure with blowers motors that pull fresh air through basement windows. 


My thinking, was to just test it out with a few  different venting set ups and see what  PPM CO readings I got. 

Interested in your opinions if the windows and fireplace might make this a feasible option or if it's just a bad idea. 





Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could make a hood to capture exhaust gasses and with forced ventilation push them out the chimney.

You would of course have to do this correctly which may be expensive.  Have you though of using an induction forge that doesn't burn a carbon containing fuel?   Have you thought of using a microforge during cold months where the chimney would provide adequate venting?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Hay there Bear, I am a retired Fire Chief. After you read this your going to think this is crazy, but burning down your house is way more worser. There are some things you need to do to make this safe. Lets start with air. You mentioned Positive Air flow. Absolutely a great idea. I would recommend a heat exchanger so you can pull outside air to create the pressure,  because you will exchange your houses air multiple times an hour and if you run AC or heat for your house you truly will be heating or cooling the neighborhood. The idea here is to provide an air flow from your point of egress to your forge. I would also put in a forced air exhaust fan, just incase. As far as heat source Induction is absolutely the safest, if your house wiring is up to the job. If your going to use a gas fired forge I would recommend an automated fire suppression system that disconnects the fuel from the forge, most folks call this an Ansul system. You may get away with just a fuel cutting system. The Fire load in your shop will drive what system you need. For obvious reasons I would keep any combustibles well away from the shop. This includes your clothing,  you don't want to be a flaming screaming MEME running through your house looking for a hose. If your going to use Coal, make sure you have a heavy cover. May want a sprinklers. There's a product http://pinkshield.ca/ I would install this on the ceiling of the basement and any exsposed wood. Also there maybe a need to install spark arresting curtains. Above the forge heat shielding is a must, and around the forge if you have any wood. I would recommend http://www.rockwool.com/business-portfolio/Rockwool-building-insulation/ be installed over and around your forge. This material will not combust under normal fire events and I would put it a least two inches behind the heat shielding and over wood. Make sure you have a clear Egress plan, like the kind you have for your family. Do not exhaust your forge through the the hearth unless you install an approved flu pipe from your forge all the way to the top of the flu. A certified Chimney Sweep can help you with this. Also Carbon Dioxide detection devie is paramount.  Above all I would check you local building codes, life safety codes and your local Fire Department,  good luck friend if I can be of any further help please let me know.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The insurance company may not insure the building or even cancel the existing insurance. Fire inspector may have something to say also.

just because you can does not mean you should. Safety of the family, the dog, and your safety should come first.

Link to comment
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.

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...