Recommended Posts

Hey everyone,

As of late, I've been thinking of where I should set up my shop. I would use my garage, but I have my car parked in there at all times to keep it away from the North Carolina sun. My wife has no issues with me starting up my own shop, she just wants to make sure our house isn't set on fire in the process (reasonably so, as it's a rental). So, I figured since I have about another 2 years at the place, I could set up a forge outside in our backyard. We have these paver stones set into the ground, so I figured that would be a good flooring. All I need is to set up walls an a roof. As it's a rental, I don't want it attached to the house for safety reasons. We have a shed already in the back yard and don't use it for really anything, but it's made entirely out of wood and really don't want it to catch fire. Wood walls don't bother me, as I plan on screwing together 2x4s, maybe some 4x4s, and tacking some plywood to it just to keep me out of the elements. My big problem is the floor. I worry the forge, and sparks, could potentially set fire to the floor. Yes, I know that's what extinguishers are for, but I'd rather have one and not need it due to the way my shop is built than vice versa.

TL;DR-- I want to build a little shack-like shop in my backyard to forge in so I don't have to use my garage. Anyone have any good ideas, or speculations on the matter? Good things to incorporate in the build? I wanna hear everyone's ideas and opinions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Figure out the size you want, and double it. You can move the equipment outside to forge and back inside the building for security if you have a suitable floor such as patio blocks, and the equipment on wheels. The roof outside the building can be free standing and provide shelter from the rain and sun but be open to the air. The outside roof can be a heavy tarp is need be. 

Keep in mind that you may need permission as the property is a rental. There are lots of possibilities. Get creative with the design. It might help if it can be disassembled into panels to move when you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A steel formed carport works. If you don’t want to build. Get the snor rated ones with square legs as you want to insulate the roof and the snow rated ones are on 4’ centers. Steel building supplies carry a white Mylar faced R13 bat that is 4’ wide and 100’ long (makes a nice hot water heater blanket as well)

one of our U.K. members just got a dissertation on using pallets 

scroll down till you see my ugly mug. 

Another option, as a farrier my primary shop is my truck, so a trailer is also a good option to my mind. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

++ on one of the steel roofed garage structures that can be taken down and moved to your new location.  You may want the walls mostly open for ventilation; but enclosing it for security is also possible.  I was given one once that my wife used as a carport. (searching on steel carport brought up a lot of possibilities.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Things you can see through do not help the "there's stuff in there worth stealing" calculation.  Though I have been thinking of using gravel shaker screens to go round my next shop expansion as they are more difficult to get through with a bolt cutter.  The "good stuff" will be kept in the more secure shop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the carport idea, but I don't have quite that much space. Maybe I could make something a bit smaller? What do you guys think about using 4x4's as the structural beams, then using sheet metal rather than plywood as the walls? I want something that I could take down for when I move, then rebuild when I get to my next destination. I also like the tarp idea, it's relatively cheap and easy to make. I want to be able to forge year round, so maybe some tin roof, wood beams, and three walls with an open face for ventilation? I could leave gaps where the roof meets the walls to allow for more if need be as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can build frame panels and panel in steel or ply etc and bolt them together at the corners and bolt the roof on to the top of the wall sections, then when its time to move, unbolt, flat pack and reasemble at the new place

To make it easier to move, the panels don't have to be one piece, they can be made up in sections.

Most low cost prefabed garden sheds are supplied like this in the UK but are generally nailed or screwed together on site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 10’ gambrel roof would be leagal even on a 3” high trailer.  You can buy gambrel kits ormake your own. This is a barn not a shed, so the ground contact rated runners are under the walls not the floors as it will be dirt (optinaly you have a hole in the floor for the anvil). This can be stressed skinned with metal roofing ran horizontally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought about renovating a trailer, and turning it into a portable forge. That way, when I get good enough, I can demo for people who were interested at craft fairs and such. But until then, it would just be nice to have something to hook up to a truck and haul across the country for my next duty station, or wherever I decide to settle down at. For now, I think it would be most beneficial for me to just string a tarp up to keep me out of the weather, and set up a few plywood/2x4 constructed walls to give me just a bit more shade. It'll be cost efficient, and I can focus my money more around the actual forging equipment rather than having a threadbare shack because I dumped all my money into this elaborate building. In your guys' opinion, would you rather have an open walled shop, exposed to the wind and such, or add in three walls to protect yourself from those things? How will it affect my work, working in less light? I know it would be easier to gauge the steel's temperature in the dark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The shade of a tree is about right for gaging temp, kind of like watching videos on an IPad. 

Securing/hiding your equipment from thieves (even on base) is always an issue. 

A 8X20 high cube conix is pricy and the movers won’t love you, lol insulation and ventilation are musts to keep you from baking your brain (being a marine that may be to late...Army, had to take the shot. Marines are dang good troops and well led)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much too late, haha. All the crayons and glue really have done a number on it. Glad to see a prior servicemember here. I'll be sure to insulate and ventilate if I do decide to close it in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if you don’t close it in,  a rain fly over the tarp will cut down in radiation. We both know how stifling those old canvace tents can be compared to the newer double walled ones. Same thing here. 90 degree day (I grew up we’re 115 was a reasonable summer temp) and you have 120-140 degree roof radiating heat down to you, were with at least a ceiling 1/2 the energy gets reflected back.

if your using tarps, a bender tent from PCV works well (cattle panel and tarp shelters are all to come on her, but to low) I would acualy recommend two 10’ pieces comected with a 90 to form a Gothic arch set 8” wide and on 2 foot centers. Don’t bother with glue and they knock apart. 8x12’ require 7. Currently the ends and run the long side on the east west axis to help with heat gain. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hay Joshua, If you want to see a superb model of a small shop look up JLP services here on this site. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now