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On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 7:01 AM, Reeltree said:

I like your excavator's toys. Instead of changing out buckets on the track hoe he just keeps a different size bucket on different track hoes.

He's been at it for a very long time.  He is a very handy neighbor and we exchange labors over the years..  

On ‎7‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 8:40 AM, Les L said:

Looking good Jennifer. I wish I was close, I would be the first enrolled in your first class. I'd even come help you work on it so you could start the classes earlier.

thanks Les,  Happy to have you aboard no matter the distance. :)    Sounds great to me.  It's a been a good start so hopeful to have it all together this fall.  fingers crossed. :) 


Thomas,  We have so much clay and high water and the site is not ideal with the lack of flat terrain.   For a home based business the building for best by law protection has to be behind the house and is the reason for the location. Well that and for a savings in dirt.     The dirt is going to cost more than the building. :(





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At some point there will be concrete covering most the floor.  (Machine shop area, auto repair area and fabrication area for sure) .

Where the main forge areas will be rock dust (forge, anvils, vice )  "blacksmiths triangle" I call it.

The cement floor will happen over time.  I figured about 45cuyd should do it. 


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On 7/19/2019 at 7:38 AM, ThomasPowers said:

Other places require extensive excavation and filling to get a good supporting pad to pour on. Others require pilings.

Ayup, such is foundation engineering. Having the background as a foundations driller I was darned careful where Deb and I bought property. I selected a lateral morraine and once I stripped the 1'-2' of organic and decomposed soil overburden waste we were on glacial till the most dense unconsolidated soil there is. Meaning the soil hasn't started to turn back into stone. It even drains well enough I didn't have to do anything special for the leach field. 

My big mistake was in not making the shop floor high enough, a heavy snow year and it will have a couple inches of water on the floor during breakup. I spent half a day working on the drainage on the high side last summer so maybe it's good now. 

Oh and a bit of terminology FYI. The material you build on, fill with, etc. is either soil or material. Dirt is misplaced soil, you have to you wash off. 

Clay is hard to deal with, especially if you have high ground water table or lots of rain. There is a road improvement project on the Glenn Hwy. in Palmer. They are excavating as much as 12' below OG (original ground level) in some places  but a minimum of 6' on the whole section. No wonder it's taking two years. It'll be nice to have 4 lanes and a median though. 

Looking good Jennifer I hope he's compacting till the roller bounces and not using much water, too much water is a bad thing.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the info and terminology.     They came to me with the level where it is and I asked for 6 more inches in floor height.. this will move the floor about 12" higher than the surrounding run off or nearly level with the ground that will be in the front by the garage doors. 

My plan if things go well is to do nearly all the concrete work (less floor)  and then figure out where fill is needed after a year. the floor height and a 2ft sidewall height should keep me dry enough there was some wet in both front corners but it's dried some in the last few days. 

Unlike most things I won't be able to do any modifications once the foundation goes up so now is the time to get it as right as it can be.  Last week one of the suppliers for the fill flipped his excavator and this left the project on hold slightly.   He's ok. just banged his shoulder some.. the excavator looks like i just needed to be righted. 

I know nearly nothing on this kind of thing it's daunting as there are many different kinds of fills and soils or materials vs soils. compactible, etc, etc.  then cost associated with different materials. 

As an fyi the back section is nearly 14ft to the subsoil in depth. Each layer was compacted with the roller in vibratory mode.. Each time they hit the vibrator the house would shake and it sounds like we were under attack by helicopters.  Nearly 200ft away. 

The footings areas I compacted with a motorized compactor and it was neat as you pointed out the machine will bounce when it's compacted enough.. Was a weird experience. 


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Jennifer's on clay and judging by the pics of her place it's well watered so NO they can't use the soil there to fill with. Clay soils are what's known as F.S. (Frost Susceptible,) meaning it holds water and won't drain so if it freezes it will move a LOT.  F.S. soils absorb water and hold it so if you disturb it say shake it it will liquefy which is a B A D thing. 

Fortunately it can act as it's own impermeable layer preventing water from migrating beyond a point often as a result of organic compounds that left a degree of oil. Anyway, excavate deep enough to hit a dry layer and you can fill a good foundation. Unfortunately the ground up here moves often and violently enough we often end up driving piles rather than trying to excavate to a stable layer.

Soil is any ground where it's supposed to be. Material is typically soil you are using or can rely on. Say: structurally, drainage, fertile farm soil, etc. so material is a generic term for something you're using in a project, like lumber.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 7:22 PM, Judson Yaggy said:

Can I come take a class when it's done?  Or buy Alex a class?

Judson when I can get it together enough to be valid. I will have an open forge day for friends and both you and young Mr. Yaggy for sure will be invited.   

The both of you are of course welcome to come to take a class or 2.. :) for sure would be my pleasure.  

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Ok,  everything is moving along..  After a talk on a PM with Frosty.   ( Thanks)  there were some idea shared which are very good..  Not quite sure how I am going implement them at the moment but the foundation is moving long.. 

there is now steel through out the foundation or will be once the final pour happens in the next few days.  From what I can figure its going to take about another 1000 cuyds of fill to get it all up to grade..  OUch.. 












I've been lax on the updates.. sorry about jamming them all together.    







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We get really bad winters here.. I wanted a way to seal the building up.. Not only that but I wanted a full 12ft door height.. the only way to do this with this size building from Bison steel buildings was to put in a 2ft extra height column or in this case column with frost wall. 

The building will be fully insulated as most classes will be fall, winter, and spring.  My summers are way to busy at this point.. 

IF&C thanks the finishing pour is tomorrow.. 

Then it's a matter of waiting for the building to arrive.. :(


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the Power hammers will have full foundations..   Once the building frame is up I'll go and grab the 200lbs Fairbanks  and start a rebuild on it..   The power hammers will be in place before the floor is poured. 

the right side will be the forging area. with fabrication work station on that side as well. the power hammers as it stands right now will be arranged at a diagonal from the forge and anvil. 

Really the long time goal will be about 5 years to full completion. If there is enough student base, this will determine how things manifest and at what pace. 

23 hours ago, JHCC said:

That is, like any blacksmith shop, just slightly too small. 

Just went and picked up the near to last load at the old shop..   Few small pieces left like the oil quench tank and exhaust fan and a few tidbits besides.. 

it is filling up quickly..  the whole right side will be smithing.. the left side will be automotive and welding/machine.. 



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Chris..  I'm anxious more than dreamy about it..   At this point of my life I'm slowing down..   If I were 25 and this was happening oh, my, oh, my would I be excited.. LOL.. 

Now it's uncertain how things will work out... I'm a saver so to spend like this at my age I doubt there will be the same return on my investment.  :) But, it creates a possibility.. 

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Well, I meant it when I said I'm happy for you.  Just wish you lived near me, I'd love to take some classes from you.  I enjoy your videos so much.  As soon as I get my forge finished I'm hoping to try and mimic some of what you've made in the videos.  But I've a ton of practice to do before I get there.

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