Stew1803

Help with new shop design

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Hi all,

Not posted in a while but am seeking some advice.

I'm going to be moving out of my 300 year old shop sadly as its being converted into a house (can be seen of Page 20 of show me your shop), And building a new one, it'll be a wooden frame and walls and tin roof. Roughly the size of a large 2 car garage (maybe a little bigger) with doors big enough to fit a car in just out of ease.

So how would you set it up inside? I will have both a solid fuel and a gas forge, two anvils, 2 post vice, belt grinder, welder and all of the accompanying tools and materials. And there will be a small power hammer going in one day.

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Get some grid paper and draw the shop space, including any windows and doors. Draw to scale the equipment you have now and what you expect to purchase in the future and arrange it in the drawing. 

When you have a working design, go out into the yard and duplicate at exact size your drawing and equipment positions. Use cardboard boxes, string boundaries or what ever works and you have on hand.  This will give you an idea of the room needed to swing a 10 foot bar of stock and the walking distance from one piece of equipment to another.

Finally when the walls are built, put everything that you can on wheels so it can be easily moves about and re positioned, or moved to sweep the floor.

There is no right set up, only what works for you in your shop. 

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It's rather like designing a kitchen. The important bit is the work triangle: Forge to Anvil to Postvise.  For general small work you would like the anvil to just be a turn or a turn and a step away from the forge, The post vise can be the same on the other side or if not used as much, another step out.  For Larger Work you need to experiment with the size of stock you will be moving through the shop on a regular basis.

My basic suggestion is to get some chalk and chalk out the dimensions on a driveway and cut some cardboard to the size of your equipment and then lay them in the chalked outline and move them around while maneuvering a piece of stock to see what works. (I would also suggest not bolting anything down till you have had a chace to actually use the shop a while.)  Don't forget to take in account common wind directions and water flows when it rains!  (My shop has the main 10'x10' roll up doors along the common wind flow in our valley, ventilation is generally NOT an issue!  Helps with cooling too.)  I built my shop in two goes (so far!) and have a clean shop and a dirty shop with a roll up door between them.

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Hopefully you can see the attached file, The smiddy will be around the size of a 3 car garage (depends more on funds and how easy I can get trusses rather than ground space really)
 

I think I have the work triangle to where I want it, its similar to what it is now (Excluding press and power hammer they will be later additions once I build them)

Smiddy plans.pdf

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I sure wouldn't do it that way. I'd put the roll up door in the end and arrange the shop in a U around 3 walls in the other end. Man doors can go almost anywhere without disrupting the work flow. And you MUST have doors in different places in case you need to get out FAST. It is a HOT shop and if you keep a car in it you have volatile flammables in close proximity. Hmmmm?

That'd give you max open floor space and put virtually the whole shop in one of two work triangles. Work TRIANGLE is more specific to kitchens. I draw a 12' dia. circle when I draw shop plans, I almost never need to access more than two things per process. Eg.: Forge - Anvil, forge to power hammer, forge to vise, etc. I just used the forge as central it isn't necessarily, depends on which piece of equipment you use most often.

Laying things out in a U allows smooth movement of projects through the area. Laying a space like yours out similar to what I suggest will allow you to bring materials in and unload them to racks on a long wall with minimum handling. Back your pickup or trailer in and lift stock off the side to the racks on the wall. 

Your cutting station would be at the end of the benches on the stock rack side so you could pull the stands and saw into open floor space to cut the needed stock into working sizes or manageable lengths. Then everything rolls back out of the way. From there stock moves to the hot work area where forge, anvil, power hammer, etc. are convenient. Once hot work is completed projects can move to hand / bench work area, then to finishing and finally packaging and shipping. It flows around the horse shoe. Minimizing the shop space necessary for legwork and handling while maximizing useful space for equipment and leaving the maximum open floor space for vehicle or large project assembly and ancillary work including loading onto the trailer to go install on someone's porch.

No I didn't think of this way to lay out a shop, I got it drummed into me by Father, worked in the environment in his shops and get to compare the philosophy to others. Sure, it's a production shop philosophy but what's wrong with laying things out to be effective? 

Hmmmm?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Doors cant go on the side or back frosty due to the way out property is laid out other wise I would put a gable door in, a car wont be stored in there, but I weld up a lot of machinery and vehicles so its ideal to be able to get them in the shop, I'm wanting any metal work to be carried out in this shop as we have valuables in the other that I do not want to burn down in an accident, and this shop will be stand alone a good distance from them.

if I swap the sides the racking and work benches are at then I would be working in U shape around the forge/ anvil area. But in an ideal world I would put a roll up on the end but property boundaries and woodland I'm not entitled to disturb prevents this unfortunately.

 

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I would first off determine which forge, gas or coal, will be your primary. Then set it up as any of the above. I prefer a triangle, but am comfortable in many situations.

Then, consider setting up the other forge as a stand alone setup, meaning with it's own anvil and post vice. This could be either permanent or portable. 

I understand space is always an issue. The benefits here are primarily, both forging stations are set up efficiently and,,, you have a second  forging  station avalable for many things such as a helper or a class.

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On 3/10/2019 at 7:05 AM, Stew1803 said:

if I swap the sides the racking and work benches are at then I would be working in U shape around the forge/ anvil area. But in an ideal world I would put a roll up on the end but property boundaries and woodland I'm not entitled to disturb prevents this unfortunately.

If we lived in an ideal world I'd be a tall bronzed adonis billionaire. I agree swapping out the bench and racks will improve your space. 

anvil made me realize I wasn't clear about about work triangle vs. circle. Placing your most used equipment in the center of a  circle makes it one point in 5, one pace work triangles.

If I were to assume your shop were too wide to conveniently put a work circle centered in one end pick two walls. You could end up with an oval so put the 2 most used pieces of equipment in the center. 

These are rules of thumb wiggle them to fit.;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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