Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Garage shop vs winter

Recommended Posts

I finally have enough tools and such to start putting together a small shop area.  If I clear out the corner of my garage (detached two-car), leave the door up for ventilation, etc I should have enough room to start small.

I’m intending on getting/building a propane forge and getting a small oxy-acetylene rig to do some light blacksmithing and possibly armorsmithing as well.

My question is this, how will Michigan winter treat the tools and equipment?  Dead of winter, nearing zero degrees, I’m guessing that I would need to very slowly heat the area and equipment to prevent thermal shock?  Is it ok to leave propane etc outside overwinter?  Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No need to worry about warming the shop causing thermal shock unless you heat with napalm. What will happen using a propane forge in a cold shop is condensation. Propane produces a LOT of water vapor as a byproduct of combustion and it WILL condense on everything cold. Rust can be a problem but there are products out there to protect your tools, I like LPS 3 expensive but effective stuff.

I have a barrel stove in my shop and lay a piece of 2" plate on it when I fire it up then go in the house while the stove takes the worst of the chill off. Then I lay the plate on the anvil, toss some more wood in the stove and have another cut of coffee. That's when I really want to get something done and it's zero or below. On teens and above days the forge radiates plenty of heat to keep me warm and I heat some 1" x 4" x 6" stock in the forge to preheat the anvil. These pieces of steel were for a project that got shelves but they're perfect for warming the anvil up. 

I'm not so worried about breaking a cold anvil as it just sucks the heat out of the work. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...