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This is taking forever, but it is getting done. I'm finishing up the paver floor---I chose the pavers because I had them and if I want to pour concrete for heavier equipment, I can pull them up.

I have to do the electrical next. I have 110/60A available at the site and I'm pretty sure that I'll have two 15A and  30A circuits. My neighbor wants to me to get more capacity but I'm not seeing why I need it as of now. That may change, but I've thought about what I'm going to do in this shop and I think my plan will work. If not, then he wins and that will make the score Him: 3 and Me: 16,492. He says "Who's counting?" and I say, "Said by the person who is totally losing."

Then I have to fabricate the benches and find a motor for my spinning lathe. Get some shelves for tool and material storage, move in all the other metalworking tools and get them set, then finish the forge area. I haven't had much time for blacksmithing but I should be back to it later this spring. And we have a ton of branches and crap down, so I have to get Burnie the Charcoal Retort ready to make me some charcoal.

That's just the metalworking stuff.xxxx, I have a lot to do. Fun, though. And I'm going to have more questions, so thanks in advance for all the advice.

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Heh. You're hilarious, Irondragon. Picture me holding up my hand giving what my aunt Marilyn called, "The you're-number-one sign."

Let me get something more exciting than a bunch of pavers in there. But not too exciting, like me falling off the scaffolding or setting myself on fire. I like danger, but not too much danger.

And I am now re-thinking my shop layout and may have to get some advice, so I'll need at least some sketches to put up here. I know all the electrical will be in 3/4" conduit because I have a lot of 3/4" conduit---that's what my dome was framed with and I took down the dome and put the Wonder Hut in its place. I'm re-think forge placement, though, so I'll walk around the shop with a roll of tape and see how everything feels. Then I'll draw it up and gets some opinions.

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Good to see your AVATAR, it's been too long.

Unless you're planning on really wimpy pieces 15a is WAY under powered for a spinning lathe, what a 1/2 HP motor? Are you going to stick to doing jewelry? I'm thinking you'll be happier with a couple 30a 120v circuits and one 50a. 240v. circuit. The 240v will let you use things like a tombstone welder and a couple three HP on your lathe, though you can wire 240v to 120V motors pretty easily. 

A good way to plan your shop layout is to make mock ups from cardboard boxes so you can arrange and role play working in the space.  I've never had much luck with the tape measure and sketch pad method, even the CAD and 3D  modeling software is limited. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, hiya. Been working on other projects---a gal has to pay the bills you know. Apparently, the phone company will not accept my wit and charm in lieu of dollars. Downright communistical of them.

I use a small woodturning lathe for metal spinning all my wimpy stuff now and it worked fine---I just want to separate my woodturning from my metalworking, hence the Wonder Hut. My new-to-me spinning lathe was run on a 110v motor and the guy who owned it made some interesting things. I don't need anything huge---same thing with welding and machining. IOW, I'm pretty happy with what I got, which also sounds downright communistical. 

And if I do your cardboard boxes idea, I will video it because I have unbelievable acting skills, unbelievable as in, "I can't believe she had the guts to record that and put it on the intertubes." I'm pretty good with the 3d stuff, but I don't think I need to do anything like that---the space is slightly less than 16'x16' and I'm mostly trying to think about how to arrange workstation versus short- and long-term storage versus workbench/table. You know, the usual.

 

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Yeah, utility and mortgage companies are so short sighted. I'd LOVE a chance to write commercials, the only people I'd make look stupid are . . . Nevermind, not many folks actually. Wit and charm are worth dollars, it's a gold standard everybody should appreciate. Mundane folk. <sigh> (no, not in the SCA meaning of mundane. Just boring normals)

I picked up a Craftsman wood lathe years ago but it didn't have the beans to spin 20 ga. brass. I admit I'd never done any stick spinning but I knew what Dad's tools looked like and watched him do it when necessary. It was no sweat stalling the 1 1/2 HP motor, popping 20 amp breakers without applying myself. Yeah, I know about spinning brass but It wouldn't pull one pass let alone a breakdown,  not even close to annealing. It'd spin roofing copper okay but I can't imagine doing much serious spinning on it. 

If you ever get the chance try scissor spinning. Don't believe what the artist "spinners" say it's REAL spinning and with few exceptions far superior. You get to apply force through compound levers in true 2D rather than a pretty simple arc with greater control and roller tools apply the much greater force with less friction.  Think wheel vs. dragging a steel rod, which bears more weight effectively?

Oh man I want to see your videos. If folk think you're too out there for the intertoobs count me in! :)

Getting the shop set up is a challenge and opportunity that lots of folk never get ad like so much it'll never be perfect. Every time I think I have it right I discover something I should do differently. The smaller the space the more important placement is. Aren't the flat surfaces for storage?:blink:

Frosty The Lucky.

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On February 15, 2020 at 8:38 PM, Frosty said:

Aren't the flat surfaces for storage?:blink:

Well, obviously. But I thought I'd try something new called, "Putting Things Away." Like, everything has a place to go in a dedicated storage space. I know. Wild. Sounds risky, I know, but I'm a risk taker.

I made some of my turning and spinning tools---pure stick spinning---and I'd like to make scissor tools. I think that may work out pretty well. I like stick spinning. I think I mentioned that I absolutely sucked when I first tried stick spinning and then all the sudden, I got it. It felt like slowly moving water with a cupped hand. The aluminum just glided over the form. And I realized that it was like when I learned to MIG weld---suddenly the physical part, the eye-hand coordination and getting my feet in the right place and getting the rhythm of it, all worked. 

So I've spun aluminum and some pewter. I've done some copper, badly, and I'd like to do more copper. I'll probably try spinning brass once I have the other materials figured. I'm also going to try steel. But first get my basic processes down and at least prototype some of the designs I have in my head.

Anyone have opinions on overhead outlets? I've seen some shops where the outlets hang down, sort of like pneumatic hoses, and you just pull them over to the tool. Also, I was going to set receptacles about 18" from the floor but I'm thinking about putting them higher. Why? I saw some other shops that had their electrical higher and thought maybe they knew something I didn't.

Oh, and is anyone using pallet racking (24" wide) for shelving/storage or workbench? There's a guy near me selling 2'-wide vertical members and 4' and 8' horizontal members for not too much dough. 

I was thinking I might be able place pallet racking shelving then an open space for a workbench (or where a tool on a stand would sit), then have horizontal members above to connect the pallet shelf assemblies for more storage.

I also considered running an entire length of pallet racking and leaving shelves out to create a workbench but thought any vibration might cause stuff to cascade off the shelves, which would be bad. And not to worry---everything will be attached to the Wonder Hut frame because earthquakes.

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I use the Put things way thing but after a little while stuff just falls off the other side of the bench, table, etc. or runs into a wall. 

Yeah, copper isn't that easy to spin unless you're using roller scissor tools, you don't have to worry about the blank wadding up in front of the tool and you can spin it almost all the way in one pass with one to refine the little bits. 

I like pallet racks except they're so wide, how are you going to reach things in back. You know the back side against the wall is where the things you NEED are going to be. The only possible issue using them for bench space is working height. If it's good for you then it's good, a little wire to stiffen them up so your bench doesn't jiggle. 

Good plan screwing the racks to the Wonder Hut, it'll be much sturdier. Pallet racks have a little movement built in so they're more likely to stay standing in a quake. About stuff cascading off shelves I refer you to the "Put Things Away" effect.

I had a couple over head recoil outlets planned, even have the recoils but I never got to them. The 18" or whatever electricians recommend is a good height, especially for most power tools. I have a couple 4 plex boxes behind the wall benches, I hate tripping on cords. I may install bright lights and a recoil outlet (I already have two! :)) on a small jib boom crane mounted to the building's post behind the current work bench. 

Hey, I'm having the electric connected this spring! I buried the cable last spring. Maybe I'll actually put some outlets where I'd like them! I won't have to worry about that extension cord from the house to the shop anymore. Woo Hoo! I accidentally caught my last 10ga. cord plowing the first snow this season, that's about $140. down the tubes. :(

Frosty The Lucky.

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Ohio, The overhead extension cords are good for keeping the cord off the floor. Some of them have a breaker mounted at the reel and are a pain to reset if you have to use a ladder every time they trip, make sure you get one rated for the tools you will be using. I mounted all the receptacles in my shop about 4 1/2ft. off the floor, they are above my benches that my tools are set on, I can mount my benches against the walls, pile the shelves under the table full of stuff, store items along the walls and still have easy access to all of the receptacles, and I don't have to bend over, or move items, to plug/unplug things up.

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Frosty, I can get 24" wide pallet racks---you think those are still too wide? Those are like kitchen cabinet deep. I have some ideas about the workbench---regardless of what I do, there will be diagonal bracing for sure. My neighbor once said, "Triangles are your friend." I thought he was being weird, and he was, but he was also being smart.

And I did manager to kinda turn some small copper discs for candle cups. I had to heat them up because they work hardened, but it kinda worked (no, no pictures, I am too ashamed). I like copper and I know (a bit) how to do glass enameling on copper, so I was thinking I'd combine forging with spinning and enameling for some candlestick designs I have. I really like mixing up materials like that---forging with wood, like handles for the cutting boards I make, or forging steel and pairing with other metals. I get pretty inspired looking at the work other folks share here, just like I get inspired to do stuff when people show their shops or like JPL's portable smithy---dang, that's still a great lesson on focusing on the tasks you have to do and setting up the workspace to accommodate that by using the space well.

Of course, the most inspiring is your uncommon resemblance to Chuck Norris. You've really set a high bar, pal.

Les L, thanks for the info about the reset issue with the overhead. I didn't think of that. And having the receptacles 54" above the floor means not having to worry about moving stuff off the shelves below if I need or want to move a bench tool. And I like the idea not having to cut a notch in any work bench top for cables. Install would be easier, so my knees and lower back say thank you.

Today I have to finish creaming honey (we're beekeepers and still have 5-gallon buckets to package up) and get some stuff written up for fleabay/craigslist. I'll try to get some sketches up tomorrow or the next day. I'll be interested for your opinions on some of my crazier ideas.

Thanks a lot. This is really helpful.

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The receptacles at a height for use with a work bench are good.  Who wants to crawl under the work bench for access to electric.  receptacles on the under side of a work bench or mounted to bench legs are nice.  Depending on the height of the ceiling, receptacles mounted in the ceiling can be very handy.  Just reach up and plug in.

One thing to consider is a master electric switch for all the electric in the shop at the shop door.  This can also be a breaker box main switch.  Just throw the switch on the way out the door and do not worry about if anything is left on or not.  Switch thrown means no electric anywhere.

A small outside light acts as an indicator for electric in the shop. Look outside the house and if there is no light, there is no electric.  Saves a trip to the shop to check on things.

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I think 30" is pretty standard for counter tops and store bought wall benches. I only see the wide ones, I don't get out and around much I guess. 

Copper alloys work harden abruptly, one second it's moving like butter the next pass and it's wanting to rip. Mixing media and crafts is a favorite of mine too. Copper enameling kits are available for not much, there are sampler kits with a little of lots of colors that are good to experiment with. Enameling is fun if you like torches and stuff that is. ;)

10 hours ago, Ohio said:

Of course, the most inspiring is your uncommon resemblance to Chuck Norris. You've really set a high bar, pal.

Do you forget nothing? <_< Actually I'm aging more gracefully, fewer kicks to the head and all. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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23 hours ago, Glenn said:

One thing to consider is a master electric switch for all the electric in the shop at the shop door.  This can also be a breaker box main switch.  Just throw the switch on the way out the door and do not worry about if anything is left on or not.  Switch thrown means no electric anywhere.

A small outside light acts as an indicator for electric in the shop. Look outside the house and if there is no light, there is no electric.  Saves a trip to the shop to check on things.

 

These are good ideas. Thank you.

 

17 hours ago, Frosty said:

Do you forget nothing? <_< Actually I'm aging more gracefully, fewer kicks to the head and all. 

 

How could I forget that you look like Chuck Norris? How could anyone forget that? And it's such good material to give you a hard time about.

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:P I actually "met" Chuck Norris and  Bruce Lee briefly once. They were visiting dojos looking for movie extras. We stood in ranks and bowed in reply when they bowed in. They walked up and down the ranks, spoke briefly to the dojo Sensei. I was around 18, close anyway. Another gentleman with the group spoke to Mr. Norris with a few head motions in my direction. Then they thanked us, we thanked them and they bowed out.

Best I can figure I was noticed for the resemblance but never heard again. So close to stardom B) as a young Chuck, yet . . .  <sigh>  :(

Frosty The Lucky.

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In my shop I hooked up a socket to my air compressor and screwed in a red light bulb that stays on when the compressor switch is on, I don't forget to shut it off this way. I have several electric heaters with 4 hour spring wound timer switches on them, plus red light bulbs. Another compressor idea is to wire it through a time clock and install only the "off" cam set at the latest time you would be in the shop. That way the compressor will never stay on all night. Just use the manual switch in the time clock to turn it back on.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm progressing, slowly but surely.

I learned how to bend 3/4" conduit and have gotten pretty good at it. My pipe cutter needs a new blade (or I need a new cutter) because it takes forever to cut EMT. But it is getting done.

Using 24" pallet rack for shelving and work benches (yet to be installed) and am pretty sure I'm going to cut up the scaffolding I have in the Hut into a rolling work table. I have other scaffolding, so I won't miss this one. I have to draw up the idea of I have because I'd like to use some of the bits I cut off as swing up tables, but let me get the infrastructure done and I'll worry about that later.

Changed the location of my forge to a corner. I want to do small things and if I want to do big stuff, I can go outside. I think I'll cut a coal hole in the east sidewall for my charcoal. Basically, the charcoal will sit in a a top or side-loading watertight bin outside the structure that I fill from Burnie the charcoal retort. I can then open an interior door to shovel or rake the charcoal through the sidewall opening as needed for the forge. I may even have it sit off the ground so I can rake charcoal in next to the forge. I'll have to draw it to make sure it's going to work as I visualize it.

I had thought of enclosing my compressor on the exterior on the east wall as well, and then sending power and hose through the wall to cut down on the sound., but may not need to do that.

Finish up the infrastructure, set up the pallet rack, move in tools and equipment, start fabricating some stuff (tool racks mostly) and fixing up my spinning lathe and building the forge.

Don't have pictures, but I have a picture...

For_IFI.jpg.de5e1516e64ca65c2d6ed5085e1ea423.jpg

Century Graphic 6x7, Ilford Delta 100, way too early in the morning and pretty dang cold. I can't remember the shutter speed but I believe the aperture was f/11.

 

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I highly recommend your charcoal bin be air tight steel and separated from the Wonder Hut by a few feet and you use buckets or a wheel barrow to bring it to the forge. Coals can stay lit for days and if it gets even a little air you could have a bin of burning charcoal. 

Is that LIQUID WATER!? :o Wow, it must be really warm in Monroe!

Frosty The Lucky.

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10 hours ago, Frosty said:

Is that LIQUID WATER!? :o Wow, it must be really warm in Monroe!

Heh. Good one.

Re: bin air-tightness for fire prevention. My concept for the charcoal hole is to keep the storage and burning areas separated by a series of (probably steel) panels/doors as well as brick wall or surround to keep any fire/spark away from the stored materials. I'm trying to keep dust inside the Hut down by using this pass-thru. And it's one less round of toting to do, but those advantages mean nothing if I unintentionally set fire to stuff.

Intentional firesetting is a completely different thing.

I got the idea during a re-read of Silas Marner by George Eliot (Eppie is shut in the coal hole, etc.---adorable scene, actually). And then I remembered how people built firewood pass-thrus into their cabins, something people still do here.

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On 3/11/2020 at 4:37 PM, Ohio said:

Don't have pictures, but I have a picture...

For_IFI.jpg.de5e1516e64ca65c2d6ed5085e1ea423.jpg

Century Graphic 6x7, Ilford Delta 100, way too early in the morning and pretty dang cold. I can't remember the shutter speed but I believe the aperture was f/11.

 

Excellent photo!  The shutter speed had to be a second or more unless that was some really FAST water.

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Your precautions may be good enough, I don't know. I just wanted to make sure you knew charcoal tends to stay lit for a long LONG time. I have an ash bucket with a tight fitting lid and coals would stay going sometimes two days. I stopped using it, even in the shop. If I had to carry the ash can out away from the house it was no more work to carry the stove's ash pan and dump it in the driveway. 

We had a house when I was a kid with an exterior firewood door and bin for the firewood. Pass through is as good a term as the one I don't remember but I'm sure that's not what Dad called it. It had an inside wood box too all built into the fireplace. I really liked that house, it had two fireplaces like a house in Southern California needs one. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yeah, I know about charcoal staying lit. We heated our homes for over two decades before building the house we're in now. But your point is a good one and I'll ponder it as I move forward.

Why, yes, houses in South California need fireplaces so during winter holidays, you can fire them up and then crank the air conditioning for a truly festive experience. It's traditional.

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