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shop make-over - pic heavy

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Our old blacksmith shop is looking tired and I have decided it needs a make-over. We want to make it more accessible to visitors, so that they can walk in and get a close look at the anvils, forge, bellows and tools etc. I have posted some pics of the shop as it looks now - a bit of a disorganised mess. I want to group the tools together - tongs, punches, hardies, etc and add some labels explaining what they are. There are hundreds of tongs and all different shapes, sizes and uses some of which are a complete mystery. I hope I may be able to post a pic or two of some items to help me in identifying some of these things.

This is not my everyday work forge of course. My demos are done in a separate farrier's shop which is set up to allow more visitors. This is purely a static display.

Anyway, I know you like pics, so here are a few of the current set up. Any suggestions welcome.

 

shop1.JPG

shop2.JPG

shop3.JPG

shop4.JPG

shop5.JPG

shop6.JPG

shop7.JPG

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Of course we love pictures!  So much to see. I think what you are planning is a great idea.  If you could, a display or two of operations that would go on in the smithy. Kind of like in progress like the blacksmiths just took a break for lunch. 

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Hmm perhaps a couple of boards showing the materials, steps and the tools used for certain things might make a good static display.

Museum displays tend to get crowded; but I like displays where things are set up as if it was a working shop.

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Thanks Thomas and Das - both your suggestions are similar. It would be nice to set it up like as though the smith had just gone for lunch. Perhaps a bench with a job in progress and the tools around it. My demo forge is a bit like that though - often there is a half completed piece sitting there. It certainly looks like a working space, as indeed it is. 

 I want to make a board where people can learn something about the tools used, but we have so many I don't want it to look crowded. Nice problem to have. It's not an immediate job, but I'll need to tackle it soon. Just getting some ideas. I also have to consider security. No-one will walk off with the anvil but small tools (especially antiques) are too much of a temptation for some folks. Someone took a liking to the brass hub oilers on our 1923 Harley Davidson.

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How about some loose leaf binders in addition to the board displays?  They could be organized in sections perhaps by which wall the tool was displayed on.  Use vinyl covered binders for durability/clean ability, and clear vinyl page protectors.  Save your computer files and it will be easy to print a replacement page when one gets too worn. Put it on a tilt top pedestal stand.

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That's a good idea. I'll think about how that could work. There's a fine line between too much information and not enough.  Some folks want to know everything, but we have to remember in a place like ours, maybe half the visitors pass the blacksmith shop without a second look.

In our tool shed we have the tools displayed with a simple number beside each one and on the adjacent wall is a list with the descriptions matching the numbers. It saves having heaps of writing on the display wall.

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How about a nicely stacked pile of coke in the forge with a couple of bright red electric light bulbs just showing through-when lit would look like the forge was lit and slowly burning.

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Just now, Tommytaptap said:

How about a nicely stacked pile of coke in the forge with a couple of bright red electric light bulbs just showing through-when lit would look like the forge was lit and slowly burning.

Bottom-blast lightbulbs, or side-blast?

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Looks like it takes the side blast light bulbs. 

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On 3/12/2017 at 2:29 PM, ThomasPowers said:

Hmm perhaps a couple of boards showing the materials, steps and the tools used for certain things might make a good static display.

Museum displays tend to get crowded; but I like displays where things are set up as if it was a working shop.

I agree. i would also clean from rust and oil a few tongs, hammers and the anvils, and leave a pair of gloves laying around as if the blacksmith had just left for a smoko :)

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Thanks for the ideas. The red light idea is worth thinking about. The smithy is quite dark so it would show up well.

And yes, all the tools, anvils etc will be oiled. I'm leaning towards the idea of having it like a working shop. I could have his billy near the forge, Marc. I usually have smoko in my smithy - amazing how fast the billy boils on the forge. You can see his old akubra on the post above the bellows.

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billy, smoko, akubra - :) you gotta like Australian English!

found all those on-line, btw, so all clear...

Bests:

Gergo :)

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