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I Forge Iron

JLP Blacksmith Teaching Center.

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Well, it's gone and happened.  The contractor showed up and in 2 days are nearly 1/2 way done. 

The teaching center will be 40X60' and have 5 work stations fully equipped with own forge areas, workbenches, vises and such.  that is the plan anyhow. 

Here are the startings of the whole operation...  

the first few were of last year about august.. 










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so, last summer I had a guy who was putting in a septic system on the house next door come over and knock down some trees that were dead or hollow.. It meant getting out the ax and hatchax and making quick work of the limbs. 









And yesterday they made it out for site work.   And there we have some more today. 









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8 hours ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

I can't imagine limbing all those trees with an axe.:o Bet you're relieved to get started though.

I'm so much faster with the hatchax than with a chain saw up to about 3" . few swings and done.   Not only that but it's light and nimble. :)  the Stihl 045 super is a tad heavy for limbing on the smaller stuff. 

Thanks for all the encouragement guys.  30+ years of desire is coming together.   

If I can get everything into position as I see it in my mind it will be spectacular.  

Be a few years till completely done but I'll have 4 forges up few weeks after it's enclosed.. 


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Wow Jennifer, 40' x 60'! That's going to be roomy. . . till you get it filled beyond capacity that is. ;) 

Are you building a: red iron steel, wood frame, collecting those logs for post and beam, or?

What else do you have plans for in all that room? You and 4 student stations won't make a dent, you could easily have 20+ in the space. That's just a space comment, even when I was on my game I'd never take that many students, I top out at 6 and maintain quality.

I'm sure looking forward to the WIP pics.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty,   just enough room for what I have on hand and planned.   the overall length is 80ft with the front dormer. 

My personal work area, then the 4 forge centers/workstations,  a welding/fabrication area, a machining area, and a maintenance area and a showroom. 

i figure there will be just enough room..  Nothing extra really.. 

 The 20ft shed dormer roof over the entrance where all gas cylinders will be stored outside the shop proper.  there is room on the side front for a coal bin with a feed shoot..  this will take a few years to build.. 

I had planned originally to put in a repair center for reforging anvils/ forging anvils but after more research into how cost-effective it would be. I'm not sure I will engage in that form of work commercially but I might take on something for myself. 

oh, and then the 200lbs Hammer..  the compressors and such,  In some ways, it's going to kind of museum-ish as I have so many old tools that now reside in the back 40.. 

4 or 5 students is about all I would want to take on at one time.. One on one instruction to me is very important to me.  Each will have their own forges and anvils, vises, work benches to work from. 

If the call comes to add more work stations it could be increased but for the time being, the options will still be pretty good. :)

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Wow, I'm truly impressed, Jennifer.  I'd love to have something like that here in my area.  Guess the closest thing to that is my Thursday night group.  But it would really be "something" to tutor under a working blacksmith.

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1 hour ago, Chris The Curious said:

I teach a Beginning Wood Carving class at our local Vo-Tech.  Don't need any more responsibility.......thanks.;)

But look at all those trees you could carve, Chris!

I had something similar planned before the accident and when I told folks they called it a factory or commercial fab shop, etc. I wanted a 40' x 60' main shop with a 20' x 60' set of bays along one wall so I could isolate materials from the HOT stuff. The foundry would've gotten it's own building. 

Maybe in the next life, unless medical advancements can grow me a new body before I croak. :wub: Think about it, in maybe another 10-20 years they might be able to 3D print and grow us a 20 yr old body and transfer us.

The coolest part? I WILL know then what I know now! :)

Frosty The Lucky.

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My house was built by a local contractor for his own use and lived in it for years before he sold it on. After I bought it we had a bit of a flood one summer and found out that it was higher than the area around it by about 6" and was "high and dry" while most of the neighbors had water in their houses.

A little extra height is good!  When I built my shop addition I walled the pens with pressure treated 2x6's and filled them with arroyo gravel/sand/clay.   I've been dry so far---though we haven't had another year where we got triple our normal yearly rainfall---yet!

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Sounds like the guy was a good builder.  that is a great reason..

Because of the expense with fill, the site guys asked if where it is now would be ok..  I asked how much for the 6" more they said 2K..  Yup. 2K for 6" of dirt.. :) 

it's hard to imagine but the site prep and dirt will cost nearly as much as the building..   I don't know how anyone can afford some of those larger project. 

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Some places are worse than others.  Where I am at the ground is rated for direct pour on the surface.  We have no topsoil so it's basically subsoil at the surface.  Other places require extensive excavation and filling to get a good supporting pad to pour on. Others require pilings.

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