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I Forge Iron

Putting together a new, smaller smithy

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A while ago I moved a town over, into a 120-year old house with a shed on the property.  Last weekend my brother visited from Indiana and helped me haul much of the heavy stuff from my old shop to the new.  I'm still cleaning out the shed, organizing, and there's a long way to go, but I'm hoping it'll be working by the end of summer.  This does represent a major downgrade in shop size; the shed is 12' by 12', and my old space was more than twice that.  I'd like to build a whole new shop, but that's not in the cards for now.

Here's the shed.  It is in fact leaning.  So's the house.  Across the road is the Caving Grounds, 100-year old iron mines that are, well, caving in.  This area has been mined for iron since the mid-1840s, and there are still two big pit mines nearby.  If anything on my property is square and level, it's by accident.


I have to figure out the chimney, but it will either come out the roof or this wall, depending on what the code guy tells me.  It's the one thing I'm worried about.


View in the door.  Obviously still a lot to clean out.  I'm going to build a workbench along that back wall next to the shelves under the storage loft.


Working out the work space.  I have a stand for the blower but I may mount it to the forge to save a little space


The giant I-beam table has a hardy hole, clamp, and mount for a leg vise.  The workbench will be the same height and I'll put them together.  Then the red table will go by the door.


I think I'll build a super sucker instead of an overhead.  Not sure if it'll go off the side or towards the wall at this point. 


I'll post updates as progress is made!

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I can see that turning into a charming little smithy / sales room Nick. Feel good to be out settling in? I have a couple thoughts, you live in the UP and get considerable snow loads. Putting the stack at the bottom of the pitch puts it in the line of fire when show slides off the roof, either a roof penetration or coming up around the eaves. You can put in snow stops of course but it's still going to catch a lot of weather. Then there are heat issues from the stack melting snow on the edge of the eaves where it'll refreeze and cause ice dams under the shingles. Search out ice dams and roof leaks if you're not familiar I'd rather not get into the subject to start off. :unsure:

Perhaps putting it through the gable opposite the door will work? It puts the stack away from sliding snow or melt runoff and you don't have to use long pipe saddles to get it far enough out and around the eaves. It'll be supported higher along it's length too, you'll need to get the cap at least 5' above the peak or whatever code dictates. Being 12' wide means you can't get the stack farther than maybe 7' from the peak and I believe fed code says 10' or more from the highest point. 

The one issue I might see is the tree(s?) directly behind that gable end and what might be necessary to satisfy fire code and personal safety.

Make sense?

Oh, a last thought. Next thing you build lean it the other way. :rolleyes:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hi Frosty,

There's a lilac bush behind, and that cherry tree on the left as well.  I can't go through or near the gable because there's an enormous spruce on that side, so near the middle of the building keeps it the maximum distance from both.  Ice and snow are an issue (they always are, right?) but I feel restricted by the trees and size of the space.  I think a lot's going to come down to what the city says.  Asking forgiveness isn't better than permission when forgiveness comes with a fine instead of three Hail Marys.

And can you imagine what it's like hanging pictures in my house? 

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9 hours ago, jeremy k said:

Gas may be your best bet due to the chimney issues?

I'll go through a lot of fuss and bother before I give up on my solid fuel forge ;)  I know I can do everything I normally do with gas, but I'm pretty happy with coal and charcoal. 


5 hours ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

Threw the roof at the peak isn’t hardest way to go. 

That would be my first choice, but it would mean the forge is in the middle of an already small space.  I could play around with the layout, though, and see if I can get a comfortable working area like that.

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I was afraid it looked something like that. You'll maybe need to make something to divert snow and ice away from the stack, something like a dormer roof. Steep enough to cut the snow so it flows around but not so steep the junction with the rest of the roof causes it to pile up and make ice dams.

Forgiveness is pretty easy to get IF you don't build a fire in it before having it looked at. If you're lucky you can explain how little chance a coal forge is to produce sparks.

Induction forge time? 

Shouldn't be a problem hanging pictures, use the reusable sticky putty stuff like used in the 3M wall hooks. I have a pack here somewhere but can't find it and the puppy won't let me look without helping. Just make sure there's no dust on the wall and it works a treat.

Frosty The Lucky.


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23 hours ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

I think he would be better off with making crooked pickture frames to match the walls, Jerry. 

That'd work. Heck, I think I see a whole new Location appropriate niche to fill! Decor for the geometrically eccentric? Furniture for the plumb challenged? Sinking treasure? Cantiques?

Frosty The Lucky.

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