lumettamichel3

how big of a shop do i need

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How big is your backyard?  ;)

How small? Ive known blacksmiths who were 4'7", and he was a good smith.

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How small are you? Hard to give any advise without knowing if you are 2' tall? 5'tall? Mouse size? Cat size?  :)

What tools are you working with? What are you making/going to make? What kind of forge, and how big of an anvil? Have a post vise or bench vise?

 

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If you can dedicate 10’x10’ of outdoor space it will probably be more than enough. I am working with the assumption that you are just getting started and will be making small items alone. If you want to build a shop with walls you will need to be able to answer the questions asked above before beginning to design it. 

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IFI immutable laws of smithing:

1)  No matter what size shop you have, it will eventually be too small and start to look like Mr. Whoopee's closet.

2)  Any horizontal surface will rapidly become a crowded storage space for the 10,000 items you can't find a better place for.

3)  Tools have invisible legs and will masterfully hide when they get the notion you are going to need them.

4)  Too much is never enough .

5) The most common time to find that you desperately need something is a few days after you take it to the scrapper or toss it in the garbage.

The list is longer but those get the ball rolling

tennessee-tuxedo-mr-whoopee-closet.jpg

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Build any horizontal surface so it can support at least 1000 pounds of weight.  Work tables need to be build to support even more weight.

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This thread reminds me of George Carlin's take on  "stuff"

I guess this applies to blacksmith shops as well. "Sometime's you have to get a bigger shop. Why? Too much stuff."

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My 30' xx 40' shop was getting crowded before I got the roof on it. 

Shops are never large enough.

There are never enough: power outlets, lights, ventilation, windows, doors, shelves, benches. Up here you can ad Heat to the list. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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If you haven't already done it, contact BAM(Blacksmiths Association of Missouri) They have plenty of members that will give you ideas and suggestions and will let you come see their shops. Good Luck, Al

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To be serious, ~12'x12' is a good place to start for a small shop.

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LOL i started with a 24x24 now im building another 24x24 for storage its a sickness the wife say's .Go as big as you can afford thats my advice...

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That is not a hanger for a Cessna, but something big enough for a C-130 or so. It is ok for the tail can stick out a bit if you want to close the doors. 

c-124.jpg

 

Ok, it is a C-124 but you get the idea.

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On 5/15/2019 at 1:35 PM, Kozzy said:

IFI immutable laws of smithing:

:D indeed the truth

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Zeppelin hangar or sports arena could be enough for several years.

Frosty The Lucky.

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As has been mentioned, it really depends on what you plan on doing. If you main focus will be small items and you will have minimal tools you can get by with a relatively small shop, say 8x8 or 10x10. If you plan on having more tools like a power hammer, hydraulic press, drill press, sander, lathe, ect. you will need more room. If your goal in ornamental work like large gates or sculptures you will also need more space to mock and weld things up. I work in an area around 400 S.F. which contains my anvil, gas forge, post vise, work bench, drill press, 4'x5' assembly/welding table, and its fairly roomy. The barn I'm working in is larger though so if I'm working on something bigger I can move some equipment around and utilize up to around 1,000 S.F.

I was planning on saying somewhere between 8'x8' and 100'x100', but these guys already got a little carried away with the blimp hanger.....give us a little more guidance on what you plan on doing and what tooling you plan on having and we can help narrow it down.

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Get some cardboard boxes and lay out the tools you have or will need into a shop design. Take a piece of stock like you will use and see if you have enough room to do the work you want. Adjust the boxes as needed.

This will give you a basic floor plan. Now make it a bit larger so you can work comfortably. Remember to have a place to put your working stock until it is needed, and a place for the slack tub, etc.

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Like everyone says,  bigger is better. 

That said my shop is 12’x12’ and its perfect for me working solo but Im 6’1” and rather lean. 2 is a crowd but doable. 3 is too much for my little space

6A351618-45F4-4A11-8875-C81B0D39E6D9.jpeg.caca91b9cd6656cadcc1b0c06ceb3c0d.jpeg

i want big shop and I cannot lie....

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You other smithin brothers can't deny......

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19 hours ago, pnut said:

You other smithin brothers can't deny......

NICE!

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When I moved out here I built a 20' x 30' shop, all metal with a concrete floor.

Later I added another 20' x 30'  to it all metal save for 4 utility poles to hold it up and with a dirt floor.

Now I'm starting to plan a 20' x 20' "carport" addition so I can park my truck out of the sun, or put a postvise in a buried gazinta and swing 10+' stock around it. (and probably another buried gazinta down the driveway so I can swing a full 20' piece...)  Already have another 6" postvise.

On the other hand I had a student who used to work out of his dorm room with the forge hidden in a BBQ grill out back of the dorm...

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Good Morning,

Normal size for a Shop is "Never Big Enough". In Sailboat world, '2 footitist is the Norm, always want 2 feet more!!

Neil

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On 5/15/2019 at 9:24 PM, Frosty said:

My 30' xx 40' shop was getting crowded before I got the roof on it. 

Shops are never large enough.

There are never enough: power outlets, lights, ventilation, windows, doors, shelves, benches. Up here you can ad Heat to the list. 

Frosty The Lucky.

That's bigger than my house.  And I just want to set up a corner of my shed for smithing...  *sigh* 

 

BTW, my 2 brothers live in your neck of the valley.  One in Wasilla and the other in Big Lake.

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