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I Forge Iron

Pre-fab shed shop

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HI All,

Been out of the loop for a while.  We've moved, built a house and left our free standing open-sided shop with our old home. We added a 12' x 20' out building shed that we use to store the mower, mortorcycle, tires, garden stuff, etc.  http://www.bradsbarns.com/buildings/sheds/a-frame-deluxe/

(Similar to the Duratemp A frame deluxe pictured but with 2 sets of double doors)

We're thinking of turning this into a workshop/smithy.  This is the type of wood building that is installed in one piece so it is on skids and has a floor.  Can this be used as a smithy?  I have a gas forge on a wheeled stand and the anvils are on stumps which can be moved.  It's unfinished inside (wood frame) but we have electrical outlets and lights.

I would probably also use it for my wood shop.  I realize that metal shavings and wood shavngs can cause a spark hazard for dust collection so I plan to make sure the work areas are cleaned separetely and not in use at the same time.

We are looking at possibly getting another building of a similar size and have options there, too.  One could be a run-in type shed on a gravel base with one side open.  The one thing I don't like about this type of building is that we live in an area that often has high winds and that would leave anything inside potentially exposed to rain and snow.  I like the 2 bay one with the lean-to.  We most likely will not run electricity to this building but may get solar lights or something if needed.


The problem is that this would have to house the smithy, zero turn mower, motorcycle with sidecar and garden she'd, then the other would become just the wood shop. 

Any thoughts are appreciated.



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Wood shavings and fire is always a concern so your on the right track being mindful of fire safety. Can doors be fitted to any of the run in sheds? The run in shed combo would give space for the mower and the motorcycle and room for other stuff. It would look pretty good with a lean-to off the front for smithing in the summer.

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Both types of building are attractive and look practical. I agree whole heartedly mixing wood and hot work is dangerous and requires some special precautions. It's not impossible just more hazardous. You can't even safely use the same dust comps.

I can't think of a reason not to put garage doors on a run-shed. I really like the lean to, it affords extra room for assembling large projects wood or steel, say new doors for the shop or railings, etc.

A wooden building isn't a high fire hazard for a blacksmith or other hot shop. Any hot scale, cut offs, etc. will start smoking as soon as they hit wood, a flashlight will show up even whisps of smoke. If it's a serious concern you can spray everything down with a saturated solution of laundry borax in water as a reasonably effective fire retardant. The real hazard is leaving little gaps and openings if you put interior walls in it. Murphy's law dictates any bits of HOT steel WILL find their way into any available nooks and crannies. Sheet rock, mudded and taped, floor to ceiling, trimmed openings, etc. are highly recommended.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Is a building that is built on skids a good enough surface for anvil work?  (Our current shed). I think the specs on it are pretty good.  It has 12" OC floor joists and 3/4" TG plywood floors.  I could finish the interior or leave in bare to the studs. Reading Frosty's post seems to suggest that if I finish it it would have to go all the way to insure integrity against hot steel in the nooks and crannies.  One argument against finishing is I hate doing Sheetrock taping and muddying.  Any new building would likely be the run-in shed style which I would not finish the interior of.

If I did have the wood and metal shop in the same building I would probably use my Festool dust extractor and use separate bags for metal cleanup vs wood.  I would have to do a decent clean in between uses, but that would be a good work policy anyway.  Would that work?

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Nice!  If I get the run-in shed for a smithy they come with 1" thick oak kick boards that go 4' up the interior walls. I was going to ask if they could leave them off but maybe that would be a decent interior wall and I can get some sheet metal to finish off the rest of the walls. 

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If you do a bit of searching on wooden smithy floors, there are some threads that reference the vibrations from the hammering. If your anvil stand is just on the floor, the whole building may bounce, but if you could somehow get the anvil stand on the real ground underneath that would be better. I'm trying to work around this problem as I am trying to design a smithy that will be built on skids. But then again, I'm only 18 so why would you listen to me???

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