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I Forge Iron

Building a new smithy and workshop in Uk


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I’m building new forge and workshop here in UK.  Two halves, one “dirty” for forging, grinding, welding, etc, and next to it a metal workshop with lathe, drill press etc.  Dirty side with the forge will be open at the front, clean side behind doors and attractive tools stored there to be wheeled out when needed on trolleys.  It’s gonna be totally Oak frame oak rafters and oak weatherboard on a concrete pad. The size is equivalent of four bays - two on the right for the forge and two on the left for the clean workshop.  The forge side Im gonna try to keep traditional, with my 130 year old bellows hooked up to the forge, and my old smithy stuff. The clean side can be more modern and well lit. This is where we are so far, more pics to follow in coming days.  980D3743-D841-4AF0-B578-6ECEAC7D65A9.thumb.jpeg.21166a856be780c9f67319b7ecac0418.jpeg

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Roger, looks cool.  When you are done you will have a great shop.  Will you also have a wood working area?

It sounds like you will have plenty of ventilation but make sure you have enough overhang on the eaves to protect you from wind blown precipitation.  I have heard of (and experienced) that happening in the UK to a degree I don't have to worry about here.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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No plans for woodworking… I don't find it as forgiving as metal bashing and I gain stress rather than losing it as I do when sticking things in the fire then hitting them hard with a hammer. The rain may be an issue here in UK, but since I regularly set fire to myself while forging, all I need do is walk outside for it to be extinguished…  so there is a silver lining to our rain cloud issue here.

 

seriously though, Im looking at methods to reduce the susceptibility of the wood building to fire. I suspect it’ll be keeping the place free from sawdust and wood chips, making sure there arent little corners of junk to catch light and other stuff.  

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Putting concrete backer board or fire resistant sheetrock on the walls and above the forge if you won't be using a hood would probably be a good idea and like you said keeping a tidy shop helps. 

Pnut

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I’ll have a hood and chimney so should be Ok. Putting some form of board up is an option but slightly worried that it’ll give me more nooks amd crannies where a spark could get to. Plus it will detract form all the lovely oak, and also cost more… Thinking hard. i’ll be certainly hanging several fire buckets around, and will have a fire hose ready. Im looking at fire retardent clear paint for the oak, but not decided yet. Anyone tried that?  

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Posted (edited)

The oak is bought in kit form from a British Company who get the oak from France, I understand.  “Oak Frames Direct”. They have given me good service

Edited by RogerrogerD
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That's going to be one sweet shop Roger! It's easy enough to make wood fire resistant by spraying it with a saturated borax solution, it soaks into the wood and when dry inhibits combustion. 

I don't know if you can buy laundry borax in the UK though, this side of the pond you can find it in any market with the laundry supplies. 

So long as the wood cladding inside isn't very thin it shouldn't be too susceptible to sparks and little bits of hot steel/iron or coals. I have a steel shop building but still make a point of going back out about half an hour after closing up to do a final walk through checking: gas bottle valves, power is off and sniffing for smolders. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Really nice shop Roger, I'm happy for you. Love the oak framing.

Wood isn't really a big fire hazard. It takes a lot more than a little flash fire to start, and continue burning, thick wood. 

I assume you buried the power lines out to the shop? What size service are you installing? 

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thank you. 
Running in  a single phase 240V 40A through a buried armoured cable.  My lathe will be run off a digital inverter. I intend to install a compressor for air tools, using 15mm copper pipe, because I hope it’ll look better than blue plastic pipe against the oak. 
You’ll note the left hand side has roofing felt but the right is deliberately without. You’ll see the underside of the tiles on that side - trying to make that side a little more traditional looking. At the far end, right hand side will be a lean-to structure for steels stock and forge fuel.

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