blacksmiths, I have a question...

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by 3goodeggs, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    I am designing my son a shed for his forge and anvil...and all the scrap that goes along with this; and I have been given some used materials for the shed that I wish to use at the maximum area that we can afford to build.
    Is 10x10 feet enough room? I can arrange it much bigger, but then I would not be able to afford a cement floor.
    Is a cement floor better or worse? I can arrange it for a larger covering, half walled and half dirt flooring. That would allow us to add more cement, or walls if they are needed.

    Any suggestions? What did not work for you?
    Thanks.
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Whether that is large enough will depend on what he plans to do. I'm assuming by Blacksmith you mean real blacksmith and not a horse shoer. There used to be one not far away that had a huge building full of stuff and outbuildings as well, but his was an old, well established and well known shop and the only one around who could do just about anything at all. I'm thinking bigger is always better but if he's mainly going to have a small business or hobby going then 10x10 will get him going fine.

    In my younger days I was a farrier and did forge work a little also so I am not an expert but that's my 2 cents.
     
  3. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    Thank you! he wants to get into forge work as well... but I have a feeling that after the first really bad burn... well, mom gets her pottery shed. [​IMG]

    Do you think cement for the flooring slab is worth the cost? He is willing to pay for it himself, so if it is a good idea, I won't discourage him.

    we have a lot of friends who are very supportive and are offering all kinds of help to get him into this hobby. I think they would all like a place to come hang out too.
    They all have tools and things...and perhaps they just want to see it handed down to someone who will use , rather than sell it for scrap.

    Thanks for replying. [​IMG]
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Odd as this sounds, a wooden or dirt floor is better. Really hot metal will cause the surface of concrete to explode some. Could be dangerous if one accidentally drops a piece of red-hot iron.

    Even though wood burns, all you need is a bucket of water around for it. After all, the rest is wood. A wood floor gives protection from the ground and will have some 'give' to it that is much easier on the feet and legs, too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  5. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    I was also thinking that if something was dropped, it may bounce and it would be fiery hot metal projectile in who knows which direction. I think we will just do footers for the posts and a slab for the benches to set on (termites are always something we have to think about, even for pressure treated wood anymore) and leave the rest dirt. We will enclose it with some scrap metal roofing for some wind protection, and we can at least lock up the tools at night.
    Concrete is no longer as much fun to work with as when I was younger. It got heavier or something.
    I am easily talked out of it.

    He got his forge built today. He is grinning from ear to ear. [​IMG]
    Now we either need to get some coal, or start making charcoal. I want him to have more lessons, so I am not hurrying the coal acquisition. As a worry wart mom, I am unnaturally calm about this. I have not figured that out yet.

    Thank you SO VERY, VERY MUCH for replying and giving us you 2 cents worth.
    Because we are rather cents-less and I appreciate your input.

    oh, and did you use a glove that you liked more than others? I plan on getting him a leather apron as well.
    He promises to use it. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. kfchickenlady

    kfchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    N.Calif.
    kfchickenlady's husband here.....you can buy lazarus coal from centaur forge. or you can pick it up in bulk in Utah. if you want to save money, cement the floor where the anvil and forge are, the rest can be dirt, because the flatter the floor, the better. Id rather have my anvil not rock than worry about a cement floor, wood will catch fire as coal and hot steel fly and it will fly, ask my kid. As far as other people coming over, you can always expand or set their forges up on dirt. Coke burns better than coal, but you need a coke forge water cooled, because coke burns hotter. Charcoal is not coal, it wont burn hot enough. You CAN make your own coal, but IMO its not worth the trouble. Check around for a blacksmiths association in your area. Free tools are the best, you can always modify them, have fun, and burns are part of the game. [​IMG]

    Full time farrier for 23 years and play with ornamental ironwork just for fun.
     
  7. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    That is a good idea to have a pad for the anvil.
    Would you then bolt the stand to the pad? The anvil could be moved then if he needed, but they seem like disk squirters if I've ever seen one, so I would want it not to need to be moved much.
    And please don't tell me your son set the farm on fire, because I am priding myself -momentarily- on my lack of worry.
    He is getting started with the local blacksmith's association. Where we are, everything is a drive, but everyone is scattered everywhere.
    Thank you for replying. The more ideas we get, the less mistakes we may make and regret latter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011
  8. kfchickenlady

    kfchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    N.Calif.
    you dont want to bolt the stand down you want to bolt the anvil to the stand so the anvil doesnt move. the stand shouldnt move because of the weight. Most anvil stands are made of wood, traditionally a hard oak tree trunk, the best advice I can give him is to go to some of the blacksmith association meetings or members shops and copy an anvil stand he likes.

    In regards to my son burning down the farm, he didnt, he grabbed a hot shoe by accident...twice!
    good luck!
     
  9. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    ...ahh, "Just because it isn't red, doesn't mean it isn't hot." I plan on making him a sign with that written on it.

    I am trying to hold back the horses. I am a 'plan first, build later' type of person. And the wild horses just want to get on with it. I think I will insist that he go to more places and meetings before we do anything else. His benefactors think if I don't get it built now then he will miss his window for a life skill. [​IMG] I think they just want a place to come play with hot iron.
    He built a fire in his forge yesterday next to the plastic sided greenhouse... [​IMG] after that gets fixed, the worry begins.
    Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
     
  10. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Kfchickenlady ('s husband) is absolutely right.. Do bolt or fix the anvil down. The base the anvil sits on plus the weight of the anvil should be enough to keep the whole works from moving.

    And regarding the picking up a hot shoe: My old horseshoeing mentor had a joke. "Guy walks into a blacksmith shop and picks up a hot horseshoe and drops it FAST. Smith says, "Was it hot?" Guy says, "No, it just doesn't take me long to look at a horseshoe!"" LOL surely your son has heard this one by now though.

    Thanks for the tip on Lazarus! I built a small temporary forge a few days ago with some salvaged firebrick (there's a plus to inheriting a house with 50 years worth of junk stored at and around it [​IMG]) and did some forge work (for the first time in 35 years!) then realized I didn't have but a couple handfuls of coal. Bar-B-Q charcoal is OK for what I was doing but I'll surely need real coal and have wondered where to get less than a boxcar load. My neighbor let me have something I can use for a firepot so I'll be making a better one soon. I had a wreck in 1975 and my original forge was destroyed, but I found the fan I salvaged from it a few days ago. Talk about luck! I didn't' even remember keeping that.

    This time I'm only doing some blacksmith work and no horseshoeing though! My bad discs in my back plus um.. "over 50" age say NO DANG WAY YOU'RE SHOEING HORSES! Being a woman that does this stuff and retired so that I have time to is wonderful. Now if only I had the money to do everything I now have the time to do [​IMG]

    Thanking my lucky stars I doggedly kept my forge and shoeing tools and apron over all these years.

    PS - apron? Yes. Gloves? Probably not. Most of us can't work in gloves. You can't feel things enough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011

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