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I Forge Iron

Hobby shop from old aviary/fish pond/storage shack...

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The space behind the garage here is as secluded as I can get in the suburbs. We had used the space for lots of reasons over the years, originally there were clothes lines there, then an above ground pool, then an aviary & goldfish pond under a roof built like a pole barn with old telephone poles, then just storage. Then I bought an anvil.

So, with the roof about to cave in on the empty aviary half of the telephone pole based structure, I set to re-roof that side. The other side I did many years ago in wood, but termites found their way into that part of it also, which means all of it will need to be replaced. 

i already tore out the rotten side which was way too low anyway, now it will be tall enough to afford limited lifting apparatus of heavy things. I also want it to be self venting at the top. The shape  resembles an umbrella, which probably has a name I can't think of right now. Whenever it is that I decide on a forge type, I hope to run the chimney right up the center. I have a long way to go before then. Life still needs to happen in the meantime.

Anyway, here is the only picture I took from the demolition 'phase'. There were lots of dumpster runs. 


I know that even telephone poles can incur termites in the center, but i know the exterior will outlast even an empty core. I capped the tops of the poles with steel in my own fashion. 


And to these I will join the poles along the circumference to the center pole and go from there. Oh, I am doing my best to reuse as much scrap iron as possible. So far, I did have to buy one 20' full piece of square tube, but all the rafters are salvaged (and stretched) trailer axle tubes. i should have just enough of the rectangular tubes, the intermediate rafter braces will be square tube axles, or round if I am forced to use those. The round ones are the most common. :)


Major items on the 'to do list' include, of course, finishing the roof, mounting the new Peddinghaus on a stand, designing and building a forge. I already have a good number of hammers, a post vise (which also needs a stand), some starter tongs... I needed a place to make it happen, and I have been wanting to do this for a really, really long time. Deciding to buy the Peddinghaus is what kicked me in the butt. 


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I just bolted some old steel trusses to my utility poles.  My poles were heavily creosoted and fairly new;about 10 years in the ground before they were removed to put in another set of train tracks.  Out here they should be good for at least another 70 years.  Found  couple of old trusses---bolted together rather than welded or riveted---on craigslist and bolted them to the posts. I did buy new C channel purlins and a LOT of Self Drilling Self Tapping metal screws.  My metal walls and roofing were courtesy of a terrible hail storm back in 2004, softball sized hail! With the roof being overruns from re-roofing all the schools and the walls being a friends damaged and replaced roof. Got a couple of used roll up doors from another smith and had a 600 sq foot shop extension for around US$1 a sq foot.

Next expansion will be a carport off the end to block the sun when doing summer forging or parking...

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Yeesh!! That is some serious hail!! If I had access to free sheet metal, that would be neat.

Last time I roofed this shed I used left over 5/8" plywood siding bits and pieces. I used to hang that stuff for pay.

Creosote on telephone pole bases would be applied to the end grain. For that reason, the butt ends of the poles were the best to use in ground. Once you cut into them though, the heart wood is exposed to bugs. i don't know about railroad ties.

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My poles were treated end to end---heavy duty industrial use.  I've seen some "pole barn" varieties that I was not impressed with though.

I had a family friend stop by last night with his cast iron chicharrones cauldron for me to match the cooking tools to; Their family business is next door to a place that specializes in steel roofing...I asked him to let them know I was looking for used roofing on the cheap...

That hail storm was interesting---100% of the roofs in Socorro were damaged and any car left out was pretty much totaled. The insurance company rented a building and set up appointments.  Drove in, totaled my pickup, offered to sell it back, and back out the door in 10 minutes. (The offered me US$400 more than I had payed for it to total it and then sold it back to me for $700, I put a new windshield in it and drove it, I didn't mind the hammered look and did like the $4000 in the bank...drove it till it was hit by another driver and their insurance company again offered me full price on it as a salvage title had not been filed for it!  Reminded me of the two farmers getting rich swapping a mule...)

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Mr. T-Diver,

Wrote the following,

"   Once you cut into them though, the heart wood is exposed to bugs. I don't know about railroad ties. "

SLAG suggests that the wood be treated  (really soaked) in a solution of water and copper sulfate,  (CuSO4) to thwart insects and micro-organisms,  (especially fungi).

That chemical is mucho toxic. So thoroughly clean up all the area that was under or near the treatment and yourself.

I would only treat a few feet that is at the wood's end that contacts the ground.

Once the wood thoroughly dries, coat the end portion with creosote.

The wood might then last until your grandchildren collect social security.

Just sayyin',

Sincerely,  SLAG.

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