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Hi guys, I'm trying to design a layout for a blacksmith shop for industrial design students. To be honest I don't know much about blacksmithing or the machinery used.. But I have a general idea. The machinery or tools required are: metal guillotine, sand blaster, forge, grinding, metal saw, plasma cutter, MIG, TIG and spot welding. I will also need a Foundry (metal casting). I am currently doing researsh about the machinery and the security mesurments. However any help from you guys would be welcomed, especially about the workflow in the shop or how to organize the equipments etc. P.S: I added the floor plan where the shop will be (The space in grey)

Thank you

Drawing1-Model.jpg

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Welcome aboard azzy. Have you read this yet? READ THIS FIRST  It will help you get the best out of the forum. There are several layouts posted. You make no mention of the most important pieces of equipment. Anvils, vices, work tables etc. It's hard to give advice without knowing about them. Also if you edit your profile to show you location that would help too. Shop layouts are generally different in other parts of the world than in the U.S.A.

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Without a working knowledge of blacksmithing I would recommend you visit a school with such a program and talk to the instructors and see the layouts of the shops there and ask what would improve them. Incorporate the changes into the design of the classroom you want to create.

Pnut

 

 

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Welcome aboard Azzy, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many members live within visiting distance.

You aren't asking about a "blacksmith shop" you're asking about establishing an industrial arts school. Probably equivalent to high school occupational heavy metal shop. The main difference in the classes I took in the late '60s and what you're asking about would be the "machine tools we had" and the mig, tig and plasma cutter you're proposing.

Asking an open forum for what is very specialized information isn't a great idea. You really should contact an industrial school or company. Nothing you propose is new so there are only small details you'll need solutions for. Frankly some of the things you mention are hand tools, not necessary equipment nor requiring particularly marketable skills to operate.

pnut's suggestion to start taking classes yourself is a very good one. How do you expect to organize and equip a program you know so little about? This isn't a situation that the theory of management CAN apply to. You really do need to know how to do the job to run it, let alone build a school and teach.

I'm not trying to discourage you, America needs good trade schools, desperately but they have to be good schools. I seriously WANT good trade schools so I want you to do it right. Make sense?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Good Morning Mr./Miss/Mrs. Azzy,

It is a good thing that you are naive enough to ask this question, on a Blacksmith forum. None of us know the safety criteria that your School Board and/or Government monitors require. We also don't know what the safety considerations are for your Workers Compensation Board. If you really have been taxed with the job of designing, YOU should be asking another similar school in your area.

You put your right foot in, You take your right foot out, You put your right foot in and shake it all about.......................

Neil

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Your list of tools and tooling suggest a industrial complex rather than a school.  There are no dimensions to your drawing so we have no idea of the area available to work with.  JLPServices is currently building a blacksmithing teaching school that is about 40 x 60 feet. 

Does the building have electric service available to run the equipment?   Have you checked to see if the building structure will even hold the weight of the equipment or support a power hammer?  The noise and vibration of large power hammers can radiate a long distance unless properly isolated. How are you going to ventilate the forges? 

There is no mention of how many student are in any one class or how many student stations are needed for each trade. 

 There was no mention of what size budget was available for your project.  There are many important considerations before we can answer your questions.  

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One example I can think of why designing something without a working knowledge of what's required is the numerous small towns around the US that tried to do something good by funding a municipal skatepark and then letting a concrete company design the skatepark with no idea of what a skate park needs. Lot's of wasted tax dollars, space,time, and disgruntled young people is usually what they end up with. Luckily I was involved in a skatepark being put in where I'm from and the city listened to the skateboarders and hired a contractor who specializes in building skateparks. It's a pleasure to ride there and people drive for hours to come and skate. The exact opposite happened when I lived in a town in Tennessee that hired a general contractor with no experience in the field nor would the city council listen to any skateboarders. They took bids like any other concrete job,hired the company who put in the lowest bid and they now have what is essentially an unskatable skatepark. Another one with the exact same story is about an hour and a half away from me now. It was actually voted the worst skatepark in America in Thrasher Magazine.

Specialized trades/activities  require a working knowledge of the field to set up a shop/space. 

 

 We all really want you to succeed so my advice would be to take a course, talk to and visit in person as many instructors and practicing blacksmiths as possible so you can take notes on the setup of their classrooms and shops. 

Keep us posted and let us know if you have any specific questions. 

Good luck

Pnut

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Boy, you are asking for a tall order of information with very little information as to funding, area overall and such. 

I am putting up a 40X60" shop and it would be large enough to do all you ask.  But it would not be inexpensive. I see you all ready have a building but how big is the area? 

I knew a place that had a small cupola that used to pour cast iron. (still in building when it was sold. Missed it by that much..).   

More information is needed to give you a better answer.   

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What will be the focus?   What size projects are contemplated?

When I teach a simple beginner's blacksmithing class I have no more than 2 people to an anvil and for small projects, at most 6 to a forge. However I bring more anvils than needed to allow for HEIGHT difference in the students. A 6'4 student and a 5'2 student cannot safely use an anvil the same height. 

Arc welding can't share the same space as other activities due to PPE requirements.  Casting needs safety requirements of it's own. Like NO DISTRACTIONS!

For a very nice smithing school set up may I commend to you Robb Gunther's school in Moriarty NM.

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Remember to always have the anvil, forge and post vise set up to work in a triangular pattern.  It's really more efficient to have each of those important tools a step or two away from each other.  I'd think several stations set-up like that for students.  

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Depends a bit on what they will be making. 1 step is the desiderata for small stuff but try swinging a 10' stick of metal around in that triangle. Also will they be sharing the forge or other equipment?   I like to spread out the anvils a bit so we don't have turbulent flow with hot steel.

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Very true Thomas!  I'm thinking since they are students, they will be learning with small stuff.  

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My requirements for a student to pass my class:

1: They listen/watch and follow instructions.

2: They are safe around other people with hot steel.

3: They are safe around themselves with hot steel.

If they pass these three criteria they are welcome to continue forging with my equipment on more advanced projects.  

I also tell them that aesthetics are not part of the criteria; their S hook may engender projectile vomiting in passersby when they hold it up for display; but if they passed those 3 they're good to go on! 

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